Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

When I signed up for boxing, this is not at all what I expected.

 Today's question:  who is "the glue that hold the organization together"?

  • according to my leadership course, leadership fulfills this role
  • in my marketing course, marketing fulfills this role
  • and in operations...  you guessed it, operations fulfills this role

Just made me laugh as I had all three state that within 48h of each other ;)

I'm current procrastinating Operations writing this blog post :).  I've finished the Leadership course but final grades won't be in for another week or two.

Completely unrelated -- GOLD STAR TO ME!!!   Why?  Because I managed to do a box jump on the "big" box at the gym today ;)

Just like that!

Right - except my box was not quite knee high ;).  lol but it WAS bigger than the shin-high one which is usually scary enough.  Both physically and mentally I struggle with this one.  I've never been the kid who could jump high.  Or at all ;-P.  For those of you who've been around a while -- why do you think I was so excited to be able to run up the wall?  Cause that I've got a shot at!  A long shot, admittedly, but it's vaguely possible.  (lol for the curious - adult recess was So. Much. Fun.).   Anyways - jumping is not a skill I possess; I'd much rather climb.  And mentally it just seems like a horrible idea to try to defy physics.  I've had too many run-ins with physics before and I almost always lose.

However, today it was at the second station, which means I was warmed up and hadn't actually done any exercise yet.  So I had a better shot.  AND, not only was I not the only person in the gym today - but the other person was on her first day and requiring actual instruction.  So I got to play a little more on my own, which made me braver.  Which was all awesome till 4 stations later when the whole thing was donkey kicks?!?! :(  That emoticon is insufficient for my degree of :(.   I'm already sore; I don't imagine I'll be able to move much tomorrow.   Things I never needed to know -- I can do 120 donkey kicks in 3 minutes.   Nowhere near the gym record of 298, but oh well.

Okay - back to school with me.

Who's on first?

So I chatting on IM with a colleague, we’ll call him Steve, and went away to do some stuff. 

Re-IM’d an hour or so later with a follow-up question and got the response:

“Hello Steve, Do you have a minute?”


*sigh*   I’ve been called out on not starting conversations with 'Hello' before, but Steve and I get along really well, so I was somewhat surprised by this from him.  (I'm working on it -- I have a mental list of people to always say hi and/or waste time...   Uh I mean 'relationship build' about the weather before I can get to the point – but he’s not on it).


So I said something about, ‘okay point taken.  To be fair, I was continuing a previous conversation…’


So then the conversation was very confused for a minute.  Until I get: “oh my gosh - thought I was messaging Steve T”.   Lol so his “Hello Steve” (being far more polite than I, as you may have guessed from “gosh”) was actually directed at another Steve, not a rebuke for my lack of texting manners *g*


Amused me more than it should’ve ;)   But hey, it’s a spreadsheet day, I’ll take amusement where I can get it!

Also, Google just informed me that Spreadsheet Day is actually a thing?!?!  Apparently it's Oct 17.  A shame that's on a weekend this year; I most definitely will not be celebrating it.

Meditation 101 complete - have I found myself yet?

So day 7 was about mantras.  Which started with “so hum” but which my brain heard as “so hung”.  *sigh*. Took a little bit for my adolescent self to get past that, but once I did it was reasonably effective.  Except that when my mind started to wander my brain’s reaction was to SHOUT the mantra (only in my head of course!) Lol it worked but it was all the drama and the opposite of calm.

Overall though, I suspect given some practice and a different mantra this could be a good technique for me.   Google tells me “sohum” means “I am he/she/that” in Sanskrit.  So there’s your educational moment of the day.  Have also seen it written as both one word and two -- it was definitely being pronounced as two in the session.

Definitely not my first choice of mantra

Survived 7 days!  With no breaks :). Win!  While I can sense that it’s a good thing for me to do, I don’t enjoy it at all.  I think the goal will be 3x/wk through the end of Oct and then we’ll see.   I’ll put it on the calendar - once it’s on the calendar, it’s real.  My v old school, hand written, colour coded calendar.  Lol not that I don’t have multiple electronic ones on the go too, but this is the one running my life atm ;)

Not even kidding - I'm back to being in Jr High ;)

Still the bestest puppy

Flashback to puppy Sasha

Sasha turned 9 this week.  Totally cannot believe it!  She still looks and acts about 2 ;).  The only difference is more breaks in playtime and a longer recovery after.

Approximately half an hour after we got home

But middle age Sasha is the perfect running buddy for middle aged me!   We went out together and her preferred default trot speed pretty well matches my pathetically slow jog speed (lol as in only marginally faster than a walk).  And she’s the best pace buddy cause if I slow down, she’ll walk for a few strides, then look over her shoulder at me and try jogging a few steps.  Like “comeon’ Laur, time to start again” :).  She also allows for critical breaks by occasionally needing to stop and sniff something or play in the creek ;)

My *tired* puppy ;)

So yeah - both of us may be sore tomorrow but was a lovely fall morning run today.

First day of fall

So I didn't actually know it was the first day of fall when I wrote this and was debating about posting, but after I heard it that was just too perfect so figured I had to post.

The type of beauty that makes me love fall

Took the dogs for a walk after a relaxing afternoon of reading my book snuggling w Tucker and throwing the ball endlessly for Sasha ;).  There’s something about fall.  Esp days like this - temp in the high 20s, gorgeous cloudless blue sky.  The leaves on the trees a multitude of brilliant colours.  Walking through the woods, the trail is covered with a blanket of already lost leaves.  That perfect midpoint where the trail is covered, you can hear the crunch when you walk, but there’s still tons of leaves on the trees so no feeling of emptiness or loss.  And every strong breeze leads to a flurry of colours.    Warm days and cool nights, with occasional sweater day thrown in.   The scent of falling leaves - fall has its own scent; those who live where seasons aren’t a thing, probably never realized that, but anybody who knows would recognize it immediately.  And no, it has nothing to do w pumpkin spice!   If it weren’t for heralding the impending winter, fall would be the perfect season.

The reality that reflects how I *usually* see fall ;-P

Two for One

Last night (Day 5) I did right before bed again -- and wrote some notes on my phone, but wasn't into it enough to get up and blog.  Which means today - you get two posts together!  I'm sure you're thrilled.

So from yesterday:

Today's focus was emotions - and she starts w stress?!?!   Wtf lady - that’s the main emotion I’m trying to get rid of???   Lol so yeah - felt the physical effects of that instantly.   Which, in itself is moderately interesting.  But seriously seemed to be the opposite of what I embarked on this whole journey for.

Then she switched to gratitude, which had me slightly puzzled as it turns out I don't know the physical effects of gratitude?  But then I realized she considers love and gratitude interchangeable.  Love to me is far more powerful and thus was significantly easier to trigger a response.  Although admittedly not as easy as stress.  Hmmmm.  

So yeah - interesting for sure, but I kinda just want to go back to my clouds ;).  Acknowledge I can see how this could be very powerful and being able to switch emotions on command would certainly be a useful skill.  But yeah, certainly not the calming experience of the other ones.

Fast forward to today.

Day 6 was “intention” which I really couldn’t take seriously and started daydreaming in the middle of lol.  Ah well.  The one thing I did agree with though was at the end she said something about 'if you want more of something in your life, make a point of recognizing and tagging when you see little instances of it throughout your day'.  Want to be happier?  Identify what little things make you happier in even tiny doses.  More successful?  Acknowledge the little successes in life.  That I can actually see being effective.

Also - have to admit that while I spent most of it daydreaming instead of focusing “productively” (???) I was still calmer after the fact.  So that’s interesting.

Is definitely still hard for me to fit in though.  Not because I don't have 10 mins to spare, but because I want to use my spare 10 minutes doing other things.

Day 4 - Past the hump!

It really was a hump day -- even though it's not Wed, it's the hump of this program.   I was exhausted and disinterested, so not sure it got a fair chance.  Then on top of it, Day 4 was very similar to the ones I occasionally use to fall asleep.  Which would’ve been lovely except I was already tired so had a hard time staying awake through this one.

Basically a full body scan of finding and releasing tension - spoiler alert, my jaw and my shoulders have ALL the tension lol

I struggled to get through this one - but honestly I think just cause was end of workday and I was super tired already.

Meditation 101 - Day 3

So I LOVED tonight's meditation - and I have to admit, I *almost* missed it!  Life got in the way today -- work was insane; I had a 30 minute lunch break that I definitely spent taking Sasha for a walk.  Priorities.  And, to be fair, also super-good for my mental health.

And on that walk, I discovered it was high twenties and sunny.  So while work continued to be insane all afternoon, when it was done, I wasn't about to waste anymore time inside!   Sasha went for another walk, and then I did some reading (school related - at least I was productive) out in the sun.   Then dinner.  And after, tbh, I was simply enjoying relaxing and hanging out with my husband.  Neither of us had class tonight, so we veged in front of the TV.  Not super exciting perhaps, but nice all the same.

And then it was bedtime.  Lol so yeah - meditation wasn't going to happen today.  BUT, I actually went to bed first, so I decided I'd listen to it before going to sleep.  Not exactly my target time, but at least I'd get it done on the right day.

So today's was on acknowledging thoughts and then dismissing them.  I don't know why, but I pictured lying on the graas on a summer day, staring at the cloudless sky.  Each thought that interrupted turned into a word, then the word popped and turned into a puffy white cloud that floated up to the sky.  And when the sky got full, a swipe had all the clouds erase, and it started over again.

Note this is not at all what they said to do so I’m not sure where it came from, but I loved it.   Similar to my candle one where each thought makes the candle flicker, but way more relaxing since I actually love lying outside watching the clouds irl.  Also no risk of my wayward thoughts burning down my mental house ;)

Lol I suppose I could quantify the quality of my meditation by the number of clouds...  Although that would be the opposite of what I’m supposed go be doing ;)

This was the first one where I wished it was longer.  Will definitely remember the cloud technique.  Especially as I’ve now woken myself up completely to write this.   Super happy and relaxed - just awake.  Sheesh.  But I wanted to remember the details and once it's written down, it's forever :)

This is why I actually got up to write ;)

The world lost a bright light today.

Zara Mathilde Buren: January 10, 2006- September 21, 2020

Today...   Today meditation didn't stand a chance.  Yesterday's meditation was about breath -- I get that one, even if I didn't love the way it was done.  Today's was about "feel the room".  Nope, don't get it, and honestly, too destroyed by the world to try.

Yesterday, Sabrina and her 14 year old daughter, Zara, went out for a hack.  Both accomplished riders, so what a perfect way to spend a fall evening.   They were on a path they didn't know, and Zara's horse got stuck.   Like any good horsewoman, she dismounted to give her horse a better chance at getting free.  Unfortunately, she herself ended up submerged.  They got her out and rushed to the hospital, but it was too late.  This beautiful inside and out, vivacious, friendly young girl lost her life.   In her mother's words "My darling Zara saved her horse's life and sacrificed her own.  We shall be forever proud of her selfless love for the animals in her care."

I don't claim to be close to the family.  Sabrina and I used to ride together -- more years ago than either of us would care to admit -- and I remember her being pregnant with Chloe, Zara's older sister.   We reconnected a couple years ago when Zara and I were riding at the same farm.  I got to know Zara then as an individual, rather than the continuation of her mother's story.  And she was one of those kids that you were just happy to be around.  And she was all in for the riding thing -- I guess part of me will always connect with kids like that, because I was that kid for whom any barn time is good time.  Although I was not nearly as accomplished as she was at the same age!

Somehow though the news just destroyed me.  I can't even imagine what her mom (and dad, and sister) are going through.  They say the brightest flames burn the fastest, but this... This was too fast.   How such a perfect night, turned so unbelievably horrid.  

So yeah, suffice to say, today's meditation did not go as planned.

For any interested, the family has asked that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Zara's name to the Oakville Humane Society:

7 Days of Meditation - Day 1

Right, so I'm not convinced I'll write every day, but I figured I should at least do days 1 and 7...

So Day 1…

I decided to do between work and home as a transition….  Good in theory, but it turns out when I’m done work I want to move straight into home.  I like home.  I don’t want a 12 minute delay!  Lol so I’ll rethink that approach tomorrow.  

The meditation itself was a much better pace than the one I tried last week.   I’m going to say I felt moderately calmer after, without feeling tired or lazy, so that was good.  For stress relief my noon trip to the gym to punch things was, admittedly, far more effective.  It was also more effective as an energy boost.  But for just plain stop my brain from spinning, the 12 minutes of beginner meditation did reasonably well…

I did the vast majority with my eyes closed, but I also found eyes open but focused on the leaves of the tree outside my window seemed to work.  At which point I wondered if there was a VR app that would give things to look at?  And then questioned if you need a VR app are you actually meditating or does it defeat the purpose?

lol so after my 12 mins were up, I googled.  There *is* a free VR app for my Quest and it does guided meditation only instead of eyes closed, you're immersed in a world of slowly moving shapes and colours.   I didn't actually do the whole thing, just signed in to see what it was.  May try it out after day 7.  Was more just amused that it exists.

That being said, I used a sleep one last night, and both fell asleep faster and then slept like the dead.  Not sure that wasn't a fluke, but still woke up more alive this am than I have in a long time.   To be fair, I've tried it before with less effective results, so the fluke possibility is strong.  But we shall see.  That is definitely not an every night thing.

On to Day 2...