It’s pretty crazy to think that we are only two days away from beginning a new year.
I don’t know whether time is speeding up, or if I am slowing down, but events seem to be happening at a much quicker pace, than say, ten years ago.
So, to whomever turned up the dial on the world’s treadmill, could you slow it down a tad friend? I need to catch my breath and get my bearings!
I find that doing something that really pushes your physical and mental limits is a great way to help both time run away from you, and yet somehow make it hang suspended in mid-air, like some crazed escape artist, hanging from a tightrope wire.
For instance, yesterday, M, my dad, and I climbed Mount Haystack, all 3560 feet high and 8.6 miles long of it.
It was an adventure and a half, especially seeing as though for the actual ascent we didn’t have a marked path.
I have never scrambled up so much loose rock in my life.
I have never been pricked by two different types of cacti, nor have I ever seen a coyote while mid-mountain descent ( they are usually only skulking around my backyard back home).
Nor have I ever seen a view quite like this one before:
We started out at 7:30am, to get a jump on the crowds (there weren’t any) and the heat (there was quite a lot of this).
It was a seriously fun, seriously taxing hike.
Other things that I learned while out on the trail:
1. Barrel-head cacti always grow leaning to the south, and look like giant prickly cucumbers.
2. An oasis will crop up in just about the most remote, random place that you could ever imagine.
3. Making your sandwich with a tomato in it the night before is never a good idea, even if you think you’ve protected the bread with both lettuce and cheese, because the lettuce and cheese will also make it grow soggy.
4. I am the queen of the world.
It’s quite insane to really mediate on 2012 as a tangible, real thing. I remember ringing in 2000 as if it was yesterday.
It’s not that I am weary of the new year, but more curious, filled with a subtle sense of wonderment about all the new (and completely bonkers) adventures I will embark on next.
So here, in no particular order are my resolutions for the approaching three hundred and sixty-five days:
– Run the Victoria marathon in 3:30:00 – Begin training in April, qualify for Boston in October.
– Travel, explore and take on the (sometimes scary) unknown with the love of my life, Mr. M.
– Continue having a positive relationship with food and my body, because without this, there is no way I will be able to accomplish numbers 1 and 2.
I am also so happy to be writing regularly again through Rant and Roll.
Many, many thanks to all of my fabittyfabfab readers and subscribers. Your encouragement, comments and support mean the world to me! Without a doubt, you all make my little, slightly daft heart smile!
I wish you all a brilliant and beautiful coming year, free of prejudice, and bias, but always REMEMBER: should you encounter any of this in your daily life, do not despair, for after I wrench myself from the corner from whence I have curled myself up in the fetal position, I WILL TAKE THEM ON AND I WILL CRUSH THEM!!!
Do you have a place that you like to visit, because no matter what may have happened in your life (or may be happening) – as soon as you get there, you suddenly feel better?
You feel healthier? You feel whole?
I have such a place.
This past Friday night, M and I adventured up to the Sunshine Coast where his parent’s have a brilliant little getaway that they very generously let us make use of for the weekend.
This place is amazing for many reasons.
From the spectacular view of the waterfront, to the epic record collection, to the amazingly comfortable beds, to the new wood burning stove – it really is a piece of heaven.
I’m not sure how many times M and I have visited this unique and beautiful spot, but I can without hesitation say that each stay has, and forever will, occupy a special place in my heart.
Before I regale you with some of the finer (re: hilarious) moments of our brief, just-passed sojourn, here are three snapshots of past-times spent at this haven of dreams.
1.Sepetember 2003. M and I have been dating for approximately two months and I am completely head-over-heels in love with him. I am in first year at UBC and he is in third, and one day while we’re eating breakfast at my dorm’s cafeteria, he asks me if I would like to go away with him at the end of the month.
Yes, I tell him. Unequivocally, without question, YES.
My heart practically implodes in my chest upon hearing that my father is willing to let me borrow his car for the weekend. My excitement knows no bounds.
We arrive early the Saturday morning because M ends up having to work at the movie theatre that Friday night. I am too restless to fall back asleep once we arrive, so after the inaugural tour we make peanut butter and jam sandwiches with thick slices of French bread and head down to the dock to suntan and “study.”
After lunch, we take the canoe out for a long afternoon paddle. I marvel at how quickly our boat is skimming along – that is, of course, until I take a brief rest and realize we haven’t slowed down at all.
M just laughs at me. I laugh too.
The weather is so hot I want to take off my clothes and dive right into the water. Instead, I dip my fingers into blue-green depths one at a time, and let the droplets run down my forearms and drip off of my elbows.
That night, against our better judgement, we light a fire and roast ourselves silly as we eat our dinner and grow tipsy off of red wine and Cat Stevens.
I remember thinking how I never wanted our dance to end.
2. New Years, 2006. M and I invite eight of our closest friends up to the Coast for a New Years raclette feast. We eat (what seems like) pounds of the delicious Swiss cheese, drink good wine, and laugh ourselves crazy playing charades, dancing to Boney M, and lighting sparklers and banging on all the pots and pans we can find when the hour strikes twelve.
The next day we set out for a brisk, first-day-of-the-new-year-hike, letting the gale-force winds blow right through us – it sends the last year packing, and makes sure we are fresh and clean for all that awaits us in the coming months.
As we round the corner at the end of the trail, the winds are so strong that my ear muffs are blown from my head, and the only thing that saves them from an ocean swim is the lone, bare-faced tree, clinging for dear life on the cliff edge, twenty meters on my right.
M gallantly saves them, but in the process, almost gives up his place on earth in exchange.
Next time, I tell him, just let them go.
When we arrive back at the house, the power goes out. We spend the rest of the evening cooking chilli and garlic bread on the wood burning stove, and playing balderdash by candlelight.
I know I still have abdominal muscles from laughing so hard that night – believe me, they’re in there somewhere, I just need to find them.
3. August 2010. Having defended my master’s thesis in May of that year, for the first time in (what seems like) my entire life, I am not stressing over, or thinking about school.
Mother Nature’s summer-stat has been set on full blast, and every day looks like a photo-still from a Richard Attenborough documentary. Everything looks as though it has been kissed by magic.
Each morning I wake up and run a 10km loop that winds from the house to the local provincial park and back. Each morning upon my return I race down to the dock where I strip down to my underwear before jumping into the drink for a refreshing post-run swim.
I am sure the neighbours think I’m bloody bonkers, but I don’t care.
I feel light. I feel fabulous.
I feel love.
When we arrived at the house on Friday night, the place was pretty darn freezing. No word of a lie, I am fairly sure that I lost the feeling in the bottoms of my feet within the first fifteen minutes of our arrival.
Thank goodness I am married to a mountain man who managed to quickly get a roaring fire going – but for a little lass such as I, with very poor circulation, I was hard pressed to get out of my winter coat until the place reached sauna status.
After that though, I was fine. After that I was on fire!
Over the weekend, in preparation for Christmas, M and I decided that we would whip ourselves up in a baking tizzy. Initially it was pretty difficult deciding on what we wanted to accomplish, but eventually we managed to cull the original list of must-dos down to three choice items: cheese sticks, sugar cookies (reprised from my culinary adventure from the other night) and cinnamon stars.
The cheese sticks and the sugar cookies were by far the more successful undertakings. I not sure how many of those cheesy delights I’ve scarfed down since M removed them from the oven – but it’s safe to say that we will definitely be making a few more trays of those before the holiday season is over.
Also, I think I will just become a sugar cookie making machine, in so far as they are super easy to make and way fun to decorate.
At first M and I were all, “ERM..?” because he inadvertently purchased the neon food colouring, but we’ve come to understand that if psychedelic Santa doesn’t say HO HO HO, that we don’t know what does.
(Don’t tell us.)
The cinnamon stars weren’t so much a failure as they were a reinterpretation of the definition of star. (I mean, cupcakes aren’t too far off, right?)
We topped off the night with a sunset down at the dock, stellar homemade pasta, and a crisp prosecco that danced on our tongues, although our feet did the actually jigging as we boogied down to Rod Stewart, Neil Diamond and the Rolling Stones.
Seriously, guys, if you start us up – if you start us up, we’ll never stop.
Seeing as though I got my rant on yesterday (and get it on did I ever), I am trying to look at the bright side of things on this rainy December day.
I feel really fortunate to have so many solid individuals in my life whom I can count on to comfort (or at least abide) me when I am at my utmost dejected. Without them, I would probably slink off the forest and live out my days in obscurity, becoming feral and losing my ability to speak and maintain healthy (if any) human relationships. I would either end up in the National Enquirer, or have Jodi Foster play me in some Oscar-winning biopic, scored by Howard Shore.
So thank you my friends. Thank you for your support and for helping me rebuild my humpty-dumpty confidence in humanity (or at least chose to stay in society for a little while longer.)
(Man, speaking of that nursery rhyme – what the heck were all the King’s horses going to accomplish? THEY ARE HORSES. If anything, they were probably responsible for further smashing up Mr. Egg Wall-sitter’s remains.)
Anywho, yesterday night I met up with my Little Sister (I’ve worked with Big Sisters for the past three years) and hanging out with that little firecracker of genius was exactly what I needed to regroup and refocus.
Working with my Little has been life changing in many different ways, and knowing that as much as she has transformed my life, I have had a positive impact on hers, is something I very much cherish. When I am overwhelmed to the point of tears by what I see to be insurmountable, soul-crushing obstacles, I have to remember that little by little, constructive actions are capable of chipping away at the our society’s monolithic, and firmly-rooted ills.
So remember kids: Only you can prevent further reinforcement of institutionalized, overarching destructive norms!
That, and you know, forest fires.
As they say, baby steps.
Either way, today I am focusing on the positive!
Case in point, a couple of nights ago I was invited to a friend’s house to bake sugar cookies and watch The Muppet
Christmas Carol. It was a gas and a half: munching on junk food, laughing at Gonzo (playing Charles Dickens, of course), loving Michael Caine as Scrooge, sharing the bizarre and equally funny parts of our day.
Sometimes you cannot get any better than that.
Of course, our first batch of cookies wasn’t hugely successful. We tried to fit two sheets on one rack at the same time. It wasn’t until I started to see smoke seeping out from the top of the door that we decided we might have to exercise some restraint and only do one batch at a time.
(This worked to varying degrees, as the more we talked – and the more we laughed – the harder it seemed to be to actually make sure we timed the baking process properly.)
Now, I am not by nature a very visually artistic individual, but years of dedication to cookie decoration has left me with a particular prowess in this department that I am not afraid to talk up.
Back home in Halifax my mother goes absolutely bonkers in the kitchen every Christmas, whipping up batches of (sometimes) up to two hundred ginger bread men. I will spend hours hunched over the kitchen table, painstakingly decorating cookie after cookie, to the point where it is almost a little heartbreaking to watch people cart them off, or even worse, scarf them down without properly admiring their long-endured edible beautification process!
Yeah. That’s definitely a little sad on my part.
But I don’t care! Love live the cookie decorator! PEACE, LAND, BREAD!
I mean: ICING, SPRINKLES, SMARTIES!
I hope you all have a wonderful, rage-out-free weekend.
And if not, I’ll do my darndest to put you back together again.