Go Do

A practice in celebrating and savouring the full-tilt life

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Band of Horses – The Funeral

The August corn is tall in the fields now, reshaping the landscape from a rolling long-distance view to a near-sighted maze. On a dusky drive on Adelaide I noticed the dips and curves of the road are familiar to me, but my line of sight was obscured by green stalks and waving tassels. The obscurity changed how I drove, a bit more cautiously, a bit less hurried.

I waver, on my best days, with a lot of prayer in the midst of the mess. If this is the messy middle part, the end is certainly not in sight. It’s uncomfortable and slow at times. It gets murky and dark and then all at once the sun shines brightly, only to be eclipsed again in an instant.

Reason tells me seasons change; they’re not forever. It won’t always feel this way even if circumstances remain the same. I’m not sure what exactly shifted for this to be the season I’m going through, but I’m determined to walk with grace and hope. And I’m learning to sit in it, especially grateful for friends who sit there with me in a sandwich shop and cry. You can’t know how much that helps.

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Gratitude Changes Things

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Broken Social Scene – Halfway Home

  1. A new baby in the family has us all swooning.
  2. Summer Friday Field Trips.
  3. The Lunch Club, which I was almost kicked out of because I eat too much salad, of all things. This, of course, only made me want to be there more.
  4. What will we talk about after this wedding?
  5. A visit from Victoria, and in an instant I felt like myself again.
  6. Last-minute bonfires.
  7. Cheap Tuesdays.
  8. Her very honest, very in-the-moment, vulnerable, comedy-filled calls always seem to catch me at just the right time.
  9. Mandatory family fun, aka the best mini golf.
  10. Anticipation for August.

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Bellbottoms – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

It strikes me sometimes that our parents change and grow concurrently with us over the years. This weekend my Mom commented that she regrets telling us kids to “just get over it” as often as she did. Of course, sometimes we really do need to take ourselves less seriously. But other times our disappointment, frustration, anger, and sadness weighs heavy with validity, and affirmation and acknowledgement is appropriate.

“Sometimes it just sucks,” she said to me Saturday. I tried to protest, “It’s fine, really Mom.” But she wasn’t taking it. “How about, instead, some honesty: trying to trust, trying to remember we are loved and accepted and cared for deeply; but, still sad and frustrated, still disappointed and even lonely.”

Let’s name it, sit in it, allow it to co-exist with all of the “fine” in our lives. I don’t want these feelings to overshadow all the good. They certainly don’t negate the good. But to acknowledge the ebb and flow of the good and the bad, to let that be perfectly okay, that seems more realistic than “it’s fine” all the time.

For Tuesdays Everywhere

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Tina posted this today, and it makes me want to jump up and cheer!

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Maggie Rogers – On + Off

Before I begin with this little treasures list, I want you to know I just spent a half hour researching the best option for an LED ice cube, and am heading to a mascot photo shoot. I have the weirdest job.

Brene is on the move again, people! Prepare yourselves for all the research-based feels.

Got a strong lunch salad game going on the past few weeks. My favourite addition of late has been this little quinoa method. Let the record also state that The First Mess is a totally welcome addition to my regular reads. There seems to be a little something I’ve used from each of her posts this summer.

My friends got a barbecue, and I’ve got all kinds of ideas.

Rooms and I discovered after the fact we were drooling over this shop at the same time yesterday.

This dress arrived in in a lovely package the other day, once again affirming my affection for online shopping.

Brought home what feels like a brand-spanking-new car on Monday, and I’m in love with Apple CarPlay (plus they used my car in all these photos. Here’s to helpful technology, and bring on the road trips!

Speaking of road trips, Renee and I are prepping for Boston with these tunes.

This studio apartment feels very Amerikaila.

(Image via here)

A Mid-July Note

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John Mark McMillan – Death In His Grave

I have this feeling I’m running out of summer, having wafted by it without notice. I’m not sure where this feeling came from, because reality tells a different story.

There have been barbecues, bonfires and backyard nights watching fireflies blink across the gardens. Sunglasses and breeze in my hair as I drive. Ice cream sundaes, iced coffee, iced tea and ice cold beers – all on the front porch. There was an evening at the beach, a taco dinner on the farm, and all the festivals in between. I’ve been sun burnt, had wobbly legs after bike riding, left work most days as soon as time allowed.

And, certainly, there is summer left to lean into.

I keep returning to the truth that perspective changes things, as is true certainly of gratitude. So I characteristically made a list of progress marked these past couple months, big heart changes and tough daily choices. And as I looked back I felt my posture shift to gratitude, to the present and the coming weeks before work swirls chaotically around me again. There is life to be stretched into, beauty to catch notice of, progress to be celebrated.

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Johnnyswim – Take the World

I’ve been home exactly six minutes. I left early, leaning forward in the car as if to help the distance between work and haven, eager for the silence of home. With a flourish, I peeled off what little jewelry I wear, changed clothes, left a bra on the floor, washed the day from my face. The Ontario summer air is heavy, it sticks to my skin and the floor so my feet make little sucking noises as I walk across the humid surface. In mindless reaction, the windows were closed, blinds opened, AC moaning.

Some days need a restart button.

Nobody is ever just a refugee. Nobody is ever just a single thing. And yet, in the public discourse today, we often speak of people as a single a thing. Refugee. Immigrant.

– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

More Gratitude

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Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal – There Will Be Time

  1. A precious, emotional pregnancy announcement.
  2. Tuesdays with Tenny.
  3. Celebration Spa Day with two who know how.
  4. Summer of Porching, ushered in with a donut breakfast in our pj’s.
  5. The Sandlot on the ball diamonds.
  6. “I love cheeses!”
  7. Good friends are the ones you want to debrief the weekend with.
  8. The nerve to ask for more and bigger work.
  9. A Friday morning International Donut Day field trip, Americanos included.
  10. They came, two of the three of nearest and dearest, to Tiny Apartment. I can hardly choose a favourite among the moments shared. They have such a way of showing care and kindness.

Blog Your Feelings

 

This week I’m in decision mode with my financial planner and making plans with my lawyer. If that weren’t enough adulting to make us all want to run through a sprinkler for a change, my manager asked me yesterday what my 3-5 year plan is. I looked at her blankly as she laughed. “I just don’t want you to hate your job, and I think you’ll be bored in the next couple years.” Thank the Lord for managers like her! We’ve started a working plan, to be formed by the end of the year. I’m also in the market for a car, because Volkswagen.

Basically, this is the most boring month I’ve ever blogged about, but I mention these things here because they feel right and good, and a little bit like progress.

Last night a friend and I babysat our favourite 7-month-old. He still gives me flirty smiles whenever I glance his way, and I adore him. We walked for an hour, marveling at the gardens and the sunlight and whatever else was on our minds. In fact, I’ve seen this friend every other day for about two weeks now, and this too feels right and good and a lot like progress. Everyday friends, helping other friends.

I’ve learned a bit of what it is to live fully while mostly alone. But more recently I’ve been grateful that living fully looks more like interweaving my life with multiple others. So let’s go with progress, let’s go with what feels right and good right now. Sometimes the present decisions are what matter most.