So for those of you that have been wondering about the BE...
I have always been so inspired by Ali Edwards...her perspective on documenting her family's life, parenting, politics and her care for the environment. I am a daily "blog-stalker" and make the occasional post. I embrace many of her projects. One that has really resonated with me is her "one little word" project. This link will take you to an archived entry on her site where she shares information and links on this project.
This is the third year that I have had a word of the year and have brought some friends onboard! Each year I gather and make some visual items to keep my word of the year with me each day. I find the visual reminder helps to keep the word a part of my life.
In 2008, my word of the year was APPRECIATE. We are so very very fortunate to live where we do, to be healthy and happy and to have such a close family unit. I wanted to make sure that I, and my family, really considered all that we have, not in terms of material or financial wealth, but in the kind of wealth that really matters.
In 2009, my word of the year was FOCUS. I can have tremendous focus when I am passionate about something or I have a lot of tasks to accomplish and I guess it helps that I have a bit of an obsessive tendency. Where my focus lacks is in areas I am not confident with like completing my PhD, running, etc. I really wanted 2009 to be the year that I got some things done, instead of procrastinating. I also wanted to maintain my focus with what is really important to me...to focus on what is important to me in the big picture - my relationships with my husband and sons and in doing the right thing when making important decisions.
For 2010, I have chosen the word BE. This was a runner-up last year and has been ruminating in my brain since the first year of my PhD program when I wrote a phenomenology paper on the power of being present and just being. I reflected on my kindergarten students and my then almost six year old Colin who are so good at just being in the moment-they aren't multi-tasking and they certainly aren't having a list of things they need to do running through their brains to distract them. My breakdown of the word be/to be/being in that paper really got me thinking and the word has come up in so many different ways over the last few years for me. With Adam's involvement with Me-to-We, I have been reminded of one of my all-time favourite quotes:
Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi
So in thinking about my word for this year, I knew I wanted to:
Be the change
Be in the moment
and really, just BE.
I know BE is a bit out there but it is a very personal choice for me. Here's to a 2010 that is experienced fully!
One of the areas of my life I am always working on is seeking balance. Some days I find it, others definitely not. Like yesterday....
We all slept in and rushed through breakfast and then had to get Colin to school early for crossing guard and then I was off to work. It was a long and taxing day...lots of brain energy used! I got home around 5:30, relieved to find the boys had adhered to the "no fires or explosions while mom's not there" rule. Thank goodness Adam is old enough and responsible enough now to walk Colin home from school some days. I channeled my inner Julia to get a healthy and quick dinner on the table for us, checked over homework and then got Colin over to soccer practice for 7. I came home to wade through applications for a program I am running for the district and I was determined to meet my self-imposed deadline. Adam worked on homework and then I went back to get Colin from soccer, we got their lunches made and bags packed for school and then got the boys off to bed. I was just finishing up with the applications when Neil got home from his PAC meeting at 10:30 and we had a few minutes to talk. Harried to say the least. Not much balance found yesterday.
Today was better...a meeting at UBC, work shopping at Kidsbooks and then watching Adam's basketball game before heading home for some downtime before dinner, homework and Colin's fencing. Today, although busy in a different way, had moments of "being present"...listening at the meeting, enjoying the game, talking with the boys. I feel much more at peace today.
Seeking balance...it's a process! But I think I know what it feels like when I do find it so I need to hold on to that feeling and remember what it takes to get there.
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." Albert Einstein
It was a gorgeous sunny crisp day here...still no snow though! I took a break at work today and went for a walk and within a 5 minute radius, I came across so many Olympics banners an O-Zone signs. Minoru Park in Richmond is being taken over as a celebration site for the Olympics with all sorts of entertainment and its all free to the public. Should be lots of fun and it looks like there'll be lots of bike parking which should work for us if this weather continues! There is so much about the Olympics that I love and the values that are represented...I know there are many concerns as well (the politics, the commercialism, the huge $$ going towards the games) but I am embracing what I see as the positive aspects of the games being here.
And do you notice that bicycle parking sign? Love that! And I couldn't help but see a math problem or two there ;)
1) The weather here has been absolutely spring-like. Flowering bulb plants are popping up in our garden, buds are on trees and apparently there are some cherry blossoms in blooms! Yikes! Not so good for a Winter Olympics city!
2) As I watched Adam's hockey game afterschool, I noticed he plays basketball like he plays hockey. Quite a lot of " body checking" happening!
3) I am so glad BC finally has a distraction law for drivers...no cell phones, texting, etc. Not being much of a cell phone user (I rarely have mine charged), it doesn't really affect me but I sure will feel safer on the roads. Its crazy what people think is okay to do while they are driving. Apparently Oprah did a show on the dangers of texting while driving and is starting a "pledge not to text" campaign.
4) Do you know what the colour of the year is? I love it. One of my all-time happy colours.
5) Am really trying with the water. Keeping a few slices of citrus fruit in ice water on the counter is helping.
6) A group of friends has decided to start our own esty shop so we can participate in Hearts for Haiti. More info to come soon but we are going to make some heart pendants for the cause and involve our children somehow.
7) This week's cookies are our favourite Chocolate Snowflake Cookies. These have been Adam's favourites since he was 4. I love the hint of cinnamon in them.
8) And just in case you think all the boys eat around here are cookies, another favourite treat of theirs is fruit salad.
9) Colin had sabre class this evening. A lot of clanging and clashing!
10) And I'd like to leave you this evening with my favourite instrumental mash-up. Love to listen to this as I am working on the computer late into the night.
I mean, I have only really told very few people about this blog and I know my mother checks it daily (hi mom!) and some friends have told me they check in on it regularly, but 1000 views in 25 days...how did THAT happen?
When I checked later in the evening I was up another 50 hits, 40 of which came within half an hour because some blog promotion site showed my blog. How weird is that and how did they find out about me? Kinda spooky. And someone googled "lego cupcakes" this morning (I can track where some searches come from) and my blog was one of the top 10 finds in this topic...who knew?
This whole blogging thing has been an interesting experience. I am sometimes caught off guard when I run into a friend or we're chatting and she mentions something and I wonder HOW DID SHE KNOW THAT I DID THAT??? and then I realize that she's read my blog! Its kind of weird putting so much of our life out there for others to read but I wanted this blog to document our 2010 so part of having the everyday stuff documented is realizing that others are essentially being provided with a window into our world.
So thank you to those of you who are reading along...I would love to know who you are though ;)
I had a great time last night with friends. All their stories so inspire me in different ways. I have been thinking a lot about enjoying the everyday, growth, not feeling guilty to focus on me sometimes and have been inspired to think of protein in a different way ;)
Isn't this penguin just so cute? His happy feet make me smile. (We made these cards last night...)
After an early morning hockey practice, math homework, a reffing schedule fiasco and some time to hang out on the couch and watch football, we went into VGH this afternoon to visit Grandpa Kamide. He is still in VGH in the neuro area but is not in ICU any more. I think he was quite glad to see the boys but was very sleepy so we didn't stay long. It's been almost two months now...he did say today that he just wants to go home. I can totally understand that!
Neil brought the boys back these amazing RC helicopters from Seattle and they have been playing with them all day. There are have been many crashes and subsequent repairs (thank goodness for crazy glue!).
Well, that's my summary of Sunday...I quite like alliteration, don't you?
So other than a marshmallow battle (see photo below) and a torch test (see more photos below), the boys kept it together while Neil has been away. It has been spring-like conditions here so the boys have enjoyed getting outside. They each have these crazy marshmallow shooters which they used yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours. Our neighbours are probably wondering why our yard and cul-de-sac are scattered with mini-marshmallows!
We watched Canada for Haiti together last night (wow...were Nelly Furtado's and K'naan's songs ever moving) which was sometimes hard to watch because of the images but I thought it was important that the boys see it.
Before bed, Adam had to 'test" a torch he has put together with some sort of self-lighting mechanism. The first test was a "fail" and then there was success!
I stayed up late since I don't sleep well when Neil's not here anyways and worked on a few little things. I finally finished our 2009 Christmas photo ornaments (couldn't just not do them at all!):
I played with some glimmer mist on canvas (there's that BE again):
And I started on some Valentine's treats:
And today brought not a great day for Adam and Colin and their soccer and hockey teams. Such life lessons to be learned by playing sports!
I am crossing my fingers the boys will safely occupy themselves upstairs while I have a "girls night in" with good friends, sushi and some fun projects!
I have been so inspired by the 5 book (video peek below) that was available at Starbucks last year and is also available on the Compendium website. It is difficult to predict and plan out your future - having a premature baby taught me that lesson at a time in my life when everything was going as "planned". But, you can set goals for yourself and think about what you MIGHT like to accomplish or where you MIGHT like to be in your life a year from now, or as the book suggests, 5 years from now.
*note: I feel ethically obliged to point out that the video/book declares that it took Columbus 5 years to discover a new world...and well, we know that's not true as the Americas were traditional lands inhabited for many many years when he came upon them...I just couldn't let that go.
This book has helped me think about living my life with intention - to actually be present and not let my life just be something that passes by over time. I am using it as a journal this year and will likely be including some photos ;) Please enjoy...