Category Archives: Work

Brain waves

Seven days seems like a lifetime ago.

Friday was great. I got a lot done, had a fantastic plate of nachos and a hug by the ocean. Saturday was memorable, due to the fact that I took myself out for pizza and in half-hearted, half hilarious bid to change a pattern of behaviour, actually received a phone call. It didn’t work. Grandma called just to make sure I didn’t forget that her door is open should I like to visit anytime at all, and to make sure no breaking news bites had come in from the great wide world concerning my immediate circumstances or any of my immediate family members that I might care to share — seriously, Grandma, it’s not even been a full 48 since I was last in your living room. I love you, but, I’d appreciate some introvert appreciation 🙂

There’s two sides to this. On the one hand, I feel significant pressure to invent some wild, passionate, enthralling tale to tell to people with insatiable appetites for novelties and truly heart-stopping news. And on the other, I want to tell them to go take a hike, or rather, let me go take one– I swear I’d be happier than a pig in mud off-grid and out in some wilder, greener place far removed from this the city that never sleeps, or even the ‘quaint village’ as one of my big-city cousins once termed my hometown.

My days maybe are not ‘interesting’ in the usual sense, but they are certainly never dull. I get so much joy out of the work that I do, the independence that I have, the inspiration that I find in everyday places and people and actions. Little things. I have an affection and an appreciation for the little things. Like, if someone feels safe enough to say ‘hello’ or calls me by name. If faxes come through with little smiley faces on them, or a sincere ‘thank you’… Japanese tea sets. Hobbits. Attention to detail that makes a story or a song or a work of art come alive and sends chills rippling out from your core and through a crowd.

[Like this quote from the Vampire Diaries: I never answered your question, if I’d ever thought about being human. Once. I was on a track in the Andes, and a hummingbird flew up to me and just hovered there staring at me. Its tiny heart was pattering like a machine gun… And I thought, ‘What a thing, you know, to have to work that hard every day just to stay alive, to be constantly on the verge of death, and how satisfying every day must be that it survived…’ And that was the only time I thought about being human.”  — Klaus to Caroline, Season 04, Episode 7] 

The smell of the ocean. The sky. Days full of nothing but movies and meals from scratch. Sleeping when you’re tired. Running when you want to. Good jokes. Great hugs.

Today for example: It’s been awesome. My phone died (to be clear, I’m happy about that one). I woke up at 11am after a fantastic sleep. Went out, grabbed a sandwich with everything on it and watched the world go by. Changed my change for laundry, Did two loads and hung them to dry. Cleaned up. Watched ‘The Super Vet’ and had my heart broken at least three times over. Showered. Drank three glasses of orange juice, had a live bar and some frozen dessert. Journaled, blogged. Listened to tunes and moved freely about my space. Planned dinner — yet to be executed.  That is what awesome looks like. To me. And yet, some people just can’t see that. Like the guy on the scooter I smiled at while passing in the other direction at high speed with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face who scowled and said simply, “I feel sorry for you” (Whoa, dude! Sorry? I’m sorry, but — what the fuck for?) And I worry about them, I really worry. They make me think of Dementors and their origin story. They start to sway me into thinking that the world is a dark and scary and horrible place with no hope and no escape from the things that have gone so terribly wrong, and I hate it. I hope they know that they are loved, that they would be missed, and that help exists and hope is within their power to grasp.

~~~

I spend a good portion of my workday screening referrals for severe depression and other conditions. And there’s a lot of stigma still attached to mental health, a lot of barriers down an already difficult road to ask for help and begin recovery. But, try to remember that it’s all real: how you feel is real, the illness is real, there are treatments that work and people who can help you, and you are not alone.

Mental health is so important. My work environment helps drives that home every day. I never really appreciated it before, never really understood its impact on my life and the lives of countless others. But I can now say without a doubt, that I have experienced both depression and anxiety to varying, but undeniably significant degrees during high school, university and as recently as last year.

I have gone to counselling and worked to develop coping strategies. But those weeks and months of panic attacks, sleeplessness, crying every day and for lack of a better descriptor, being in the depths of despair still hurt to think about. The struggle was real. It remains real for far too many people. The measure often used is, ‘have you experienced symptoms x y and z or 1 through 10 over the past 2 weeks, and has that affected your ability to function at home or work or school significantly…? Just think about that for a minute. Two weeks, 14 days. That’s not a huge chunk of time. But it is enough time usually to notice any changes, or realize that some changes need to be made. If your arm had been hurting for 2 weeks or you hadn’t been able to see out of one eye for that amount of time, most of us would not hesitate to visit the good doctor. To investigate further, find support, ask for help, begin treatment. But people sometimes wait years to reach out for help for mental health. It has to change. We need to start taking better care of ourselves, better care of our loved-ones and better care of each other as human beings.

~~~

So, that’s all I have to serve up to the blogosphere today. I need to go build myself some coconut curry and get ready for tomorrow which I’m sure will be entertaining and I know will contain at least one California roll, a few dance moves and some friendly banter. And hopefully more sun!

 

Mental Health Links (British Columbia, Canada):

Rule #1

I’ve learned in theory, not to hold my breath waiting for the many ‘undeliverables’ of the world, as much as I want to give people the benefit of the doubt on things (myself included), sometimes the doubts outweigh the benefits.

Works pretty well in theory. In practice, I still find it hard to breathe sometimes. I plan on taking in a bit of sunshine and gulp of fresh air this weekend in every sense, and am really looking forward to it. I perpetually look forward to weekends, as you may have noticed.

I’m looking forward to sleeping like the dead, and doing Saturday and Sunday in true Sami fashion 🙂

 

 

2 cents

This owl made me laugh ❤ I feel like we could relate to one another right about now 🙂

main-article-foreign-relations-2299316_640

 

Dealing with a rather severe case of information overload.

For me, currently, time is never wasted, but energy sometimes tanks and I’m dying for the weekend. Yoga and fiddle plans in the works.

I am beyond excited that I get to sleep in on Saturday!!!

I really have grown to despise hearing the words ‘soon’ and ‘not a good time’. They feel so  excruciatingly disappointing and woefully inadequate. A straight up ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is so much cleaner.

Waste is top of mind.

And, why in an age where computers are plugged in all across the globe and spell-check is a basic function, can people still not have the capability or capacity to care enough about what they rattle off to make sure it actually is intelligible and presentable? Lord, help me!

Dance is done. Not sure how I feel about that yet. Pictures to come.

Feeling my way back to middle ground and working to stay focused on the ‘good stuff’ (ie: today’s highlights consisted of clean laundry, this post, books, tunes, chocolate and peanut butter).

Indigo was fun: Live tunes (!), some laughs, good reads, time to kill.

–Sam

 

 

 

From the heart today.

I wanted to pour my heart out today. And today I have the energy to translate in part what’s in my head, into something else. I can’t talk like this to very many people, without getting some funny looks. So, the blog it is. Truth is, I feel self-conscious a lot of the time- whether this comes across or not, I have absolutely no idea. Every situation is different. Some say I have an excellent poker face and am the personification of one self-possessed. Others say I talk too much, too fast and really should learn to relax. I’m a dreamer and a realist, I suppose.

Maybe it’s anxiety, maybe it’s trying to find that key to blending in and standing out at the right times. Maybe it’s because I feel so unknown, or the fact that there simply are so many unknowns in the universe. And believe me when I say that I try. I don’t do things half-assed, unless I’m half-dead.

Why does ‘try’ get such a bad rap? Action, it’s all about the doing, these days. Don’t try, do! (Yoda and others). Trying is action. Trying is doing. It’s the people that try and keep on trying that make things happen. Even if you do nothing, that has an impact. Now you see why I don’t quote, quote, quote, pulling words from other people’s mouths and off the world wide web. Context means a lot to me, and often, context is lost in pursuit of sharing the above impactful phrases.

I got woken up by thunder and lightening at around 6am. I had toast for breakfast. It was delicious. I went to work and didn’t look up for about 7 hours. My good friend and colleague, Alex responded to one of my numerious emails with “Yes! You are on fire, girl!” which made me laugh out loud. It’s true — I’m surprised there weren’t scorch marks on my desk and a trail of smoke up to the ceiling.

The text looks different today? Why is that? IDK.

Went grocery shopping after work, stuffed my bag full of fruits and veggies and hauled it home to put on my chef’s hat prepping for the next 3 days of travel and dance. I did a load of laundry, watched a stupid video of a crazy bird screaming in ecstasy over the arrive home of a beloved family member, blogged, listened to my *Casual playlist some tunes.

I feel equally enthusiastic about bouncing off the walls or lying out cold on my bed. You know that feeling that the world is on fast-forward and it’s a push to keep up? I feel rather that lately, I am the one that is on fast-forward, and the world just isn’t fast enough. I look down and my toes are curled of their own accord as tight as they can go, my whole body primed for giant leap forward that nine times out of ten can only be accomplished in a series of small hops, bites and pieces, stolen moments.

I’m motivated. So totally motivated. I’ve been giving 110% percent across the board, because I want to, because I can, because it feels good. I’ve realized that for me, time is really not of any consequence. But energy is. Anything, everything, people, places, things, they should fill you up, inspire you to do more, be better, not tear you down. Generally, I’m pretty good at keeping this energy in balance for the greater good 🙂 But there is still room for improvement. Honestly. I’m motivated. So totally motivated.

Affirmations: I can do this. It will be alright. Don’t worry. Take care of yourself. Eat, Sleep. Laugh, Cry. Have fun. Do your very best. I will.

Be kind to yourselves,

–Sam

Let’s recap

It’s the start of the last big push, I hope.

The last 2 weeks, and the next 2 are make or break for me. Literally. There’s been so much activity, it’s making my head spin.

Jet-lag, maybe not so much… Ferry-fatigue, though, could be a new thing certainly. Seabus, Ferry, Seabus, Seabus, Ferry, Seabus! I’ve not been standing still much lately. Back and forth to town for dance, to the coast for festivities, family, friends and craft beer, the best ice-cream and some seriously delicious birthday cake 😀

There is so much good in the world, fantastic foods, good friends, great tunes, and reasons to be humbled by humanity.

Work is not slowing down. It is ridiculously busy. As Rube would say, “We’re all over the fence.” That made me laugh so hard. And dance has been a lot of hard work that is about to pay off as we prep for our show(s) this Thursday-Friday (www.allbodiesdance.ca).

So, after everything, I did nothing today, and it was FABULOUS! I got up, showered, dressed, had breakfast, a nap, watched some tv, read some, sang some, danced some. Basically had that on repeat all day. Stayed reasonably cool as the temp climbed into the 20s. Made lazy-man’s pizza with the bottom of the barrel that is personifying my life lately, in an affirming, laughable, good but slightly exasperating way.

Freaked out today when Mom yelled up to my window… Call = “Sami!” Response = “YES?!?!?!!!” Got a ‘dad hug’ and peanut-butter refill which provided a significant boost in morale. Watched the Batkid Begins documentary on Netflix, which was pretty awesome. Brought back memories of growing up running around taking turns pairing off dressed as Batman and Robin (the trouble with being one of 3 siblings and fans of the dynamic duo…only 2 costumes) Cops and robbers worked much better…dreaming of saving the world from the bad guys –and learning the secret ‘Batman grip’.

The summer is just getting started, so I’m still hopeful that if I can’t be Batman for a day, I can at least spend one unhurried afternoon on a sunny patio with friends and food.

More later,

–Sam

Good things

Made vegan rice pudding, a new veggie dish, lazy-man’s eggnog, which all turned out great! ❤ Amazing what you can do with so little.

Andy, on his way out on Tuesday, said ‘See you Monday’ and cheerfully wished me a good weekend before realizing it was only Tuesday and that we would see each other again on Wednesday 😀 We cracked up! And I thought I was a keener for weekends (this one being no exception).

Similarly, I have a tendency to respond in kind when someone wishes me a happy birthday, with a genuine “Thanks! Happy Birthday to you, too!” which always results in some good laughs and a few funny looks.

I had movie quotes running through my head all evening, which was very entertaining #Hidalgo #HarryPotter #LOTR #CityOfAngels #PetesDragon #Outlander #Bones and #ChristmasVacation… Had an excellent dinner and sleep. Woke up to a relatively rain-free city.

The ground was dry today, which was good. It meant I didn’t have to contemplate the gut-wrenching, shoulder-crunching possibility of a tumble down the hill while running pell-mell to work this morning.

Alien abduction was beginning to sound like a very plausible explanation for the missing piece, but thankfully after a bit of detective work, kind Earthlings were able to return it to safe hands 🙂 I powered down on pile after pile of paper, called people too numerous to count and got a brownie into the bargain.

Got home. Got a few more ducks in a row. Caught a call from Forrest and had cozy little visit and sushi dinner. I feel pretty damn close to my true self with my brother. We decided when we are rich and famous to make the best of both worlds, having horses, dogs, chickens and bikes on a tidy little ranch somewhere 🙂

I can’t see it getting much better than I have it right now. I feel fulfilled and joyful. I am home. Forrest pointed out that a big dog is still missing from my life (true!). So, there’s that. Aside from a canine companion, however, I really don’t think anything could be significantly improved as my current situation stands. Seriously.

Danced off dinner, listened to some great tunes. Blogged and now bed. Tomorrow should be good!

That’s all,

–Sam

 

Wash, rinse, repeat

So today was soggy and slimey and I was the idiot standing at the bus stop in the rain wearing nothing but cotton,… Weather was not on my side today.

I was distracted at work. Things just felt ‘off’. Of course everyone blamed the weather. I could have subbed in for a wack-a-mole mole. The flow of people was minimal, thank goodness!

Went to Grandma’s for dinner. Had a really nice time after I was reclothed in fleece and fuzzy socks, feeling less like a drowned rat and more like a human being. Ice cream and strawberries for dessert — so good! It’s nice to feel welcome and warm!

Got soaked again going home. Stopped at the library and read a few pages of How they Croaked: the awful ends of the awfully famous, which was rather unexpectedly humourous and informative! Home, stripped, showered, pjs, Blog. Bed. Done.

–Sam

Annoyed

From a few weeks ago:

I’m most annoyed today. I just want to be left alone. I need to do some research. Some reading and some yoga. Sometimes, like today, I feel like I’ve lost communication with the mothership, except today I really don’t care. Seriously, I’m sitting listening to the same song on repeat for the last hour on my headphones, and eating pie, in sweatpants. I’m just flabbergasted sometimes how inept some people can be at some things!

Introvert awareness

I had a really great party of one this weekend 🙂

Stir-fry for dinner was awesome, and so were the leftovers. I stayed up late reading and watching movies with headphones.

I did laundry and cleaned house, swapped parts on my Stix, went to dance and wandered around town, enjoyed plenty of sunshine, had some ice-cream and visited with mom, watched a TEDTalk on introverts by an introvert (the irony) and rearranged my bookshelf to be more accessible and enjoyable (previously enjoyed on the right, still to be discovered on the left, big tomes on the bottom, lesser tomes on top).

The week was full of surprises, which set me hopping like a flea as various well-meaning,  much-loved ninjas came calling 🙂 Startle-reflex status: excellent.

I’m still adjusting to the fact that it now doesn’t get dark-dark until about well, IDK. Not at the time of this writing, and not at 4 anymore, like when what seems like last week when we were in the grip of winter. Time flies.

I’m gearing up for what I anticipate to be a challenging week, and I’m glad I’ve had enough time to recharge that I feel prepared enough to say ‘bring it’  rather than ‘Please, don’t eat me!’ Though that doesn’t hold true 365 days a year, 24/7, I usually manage to find enough fuel to keep that inner fire burning bright.

Last Wednesday I posted this:

Because at the best and worst of times, and any time in-between, apparently I am comforted by making lists…

Giving thanks for:

Friends who know what I’m all about
Chocolate/Peanut butter/Good tunes
Good food /Good books/Starry nights
The written word/Sunshine/Rain
Quiet/Hugs/Laughter
Water/Dance/Time to breathe

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Sincerely,

Sam