A Moment of Clarity


The end of 2012 is finally here.  I haven’t been active on the blog, so many of you aren’t aware of this year’s challenges.  Here’s a summary of the biggies:

  • fractured three toes in February
  • depression’s back in May
  • car problems in July – fun because it was during my vacation /sarcasm
  • ketoacidosis at the end of August, hospitalized for a week – Happy Birthday to me!
  • audited by Canada Revenue Service – apparently I don’t live in the arctic
  • stuck in DC during Hurricane Sandy – not terrible, but did miss my second chance to get to Banff
  • returned to Iqaluit just in time to fall and break my wrist
  • not to mention that I’ve been sick off and on all year

Anyhow, I’m not here to complain.  I’m here to say my goodbyes to 2012.  It’s been swell.  Good riddance; don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Now, most of you know I don’t do resolutions.  But I do want to make a point of discussing my hopes for the year.  I’ve got to get ready for the end of the world year party I’ll be attending in a few hours, so I’ll make it quick.

  1. Writing.  There was a good four-month period last year where most of my free time was consumed with writing.  Most of you haven’t read that stuff, and I’m completely fine with that.  But it kept me sane and it introduced me to some fantastic people in the process.  I want to get back to more writing.  I need to do it.  Some people have said that I’m good at it.  Frankly, I like to do things that I’m good at.  So I hope to feel more inspired to keep it up.
  2. Healthy living.  Before breaking my wrist at the beginning of November, I was eating healthier and exercising more.  From about March until October, I had lost about forty pounds.  That’s pretty amazing for me.  But since the accident, I haven’t been diligent about any of it.  I’d say I’ve fallen off the wagon, but that would require a lot of walking to keep up; getting on the wagon seems more conducive to a lazy lifestyle, doesn’t it?  I’ve all but stopped going to the gym and it’s tough for me to prepare what I’m wanting to eat with this gimpy wrist of mine.  But since my wrist is getting stronger, that’s going to change.  I’ve recently become a board member for Atii Fitness (the gym I’ve been a member of for over a year), and that means I also plan to get back on track with my exercising.  And I plan to continue with that healthy lifestyle.
  3. Travel.  I got a taste of travel this year, and I’d like to do more of it.  I’m a geographer, for crying out loud.  I need to see more of the world.  There are inexpensive ways to do it – I just need to find out what they are.
  4. Balance.  Sometimes I get a little too focused on others.  Sometimes I get a little too focused on myself.  This year, I desire balance.
  5. No broken bones or hospital visits.  Self explanatory.
  6. Oh, and maybe a tattoo.  😉  But we’ll see.

Thanks for coming back to this blog on the rare occasions where I see fit to grace its presence with a post.  I appreciate hearing from my blends and blikes even if it doesn’t seem like it.  I miss you guys…maybe that writing bug will bring me back here, huh?

Happy New Year everyone.  Let’s hope 2013 is a good year for everyone!

It's a new day!  Sunrise over Kimmirut, Nunavut, October 2012.

It’s a new day! Sunrise over Kimmirut, Nunavut, October 2012.

Think Before You Speak


Indian? Perhaps. Inuit? Maybe. Ignorant? Without a doubt… (Source: Shutterstock c/o Huffington Post)

Okay, so call me late to the party, if you must.  But to be honest, I wasn’t even going to comment on the recent gaffe committed by Justin Bieber regarding his aboriginal heritage.  It didn’t seem worth noting considering…it’s only Justin Bieber.

But then, a couple of things hit me today.

The first was the fact that it’s Justin Bieber.  Harmless?  Not in the least.  This young man’s influence has grown worldwide, and ignorance – no matter how innocent it may appear in an off-the-cuff response – is not bliss.

The second was reading an article in the Winnipeg Free Press by Colleen Simard, Let’s cut the Biebs some slack.  Go ahead…read it.  I’ll wait here.

While Ms. Simard does make some valid points, the fact remains that there is something seriously wrong with an eighteen year old that does not know his heritage, yet feels the need to joke about it.  I mean, that’s like converting to Judaism for the jokes, am I right?  Jerry Seinfeld would agree, I think.

Let me clarify, before anyone jumps down my throat here.  I recognize that some families do not know their full heritage.  At that point, it absolutely makes sense that an eighteen year old would not know much about their background.  However, if one is “part Indian” or “Inuit or something”, it might be prudent for said individual to perhaps do a little digging into their family history to confirm that fact.  Not only that, but last I heard, aboriginal groups didn’t always get along with each other – so which is it?  “Indian” or Inuit?

I suppose I shouldn’t complain – he didn’t use the “E” word to describe Inuit, at least.

Maybe all the “Inuit or something” folks that I’m acquainted with are pleased that Bieber has made an attempt to identify with them – but then, perhaps not.  I think I’d be happier for a better role model.

Simard states that “anyone who believes aboriginal people get a free ride isn’t very educated.”  Might I remind you, Ms. Simard, that many of Justin’s fans are young, impressionable teens?  Younger even, than he is?  And I’m just going to put it out there – I don’t think that the educational system is making it very well-known that aboriginal people aren’t getting a free ride.  There is still a great deal of people who believe this very idea.  I mean, considering the number of Tweets I see on a regular basis where the biggest concern over Nunavut from Canadian students equates to how annoying it is to colour on a map in Geography class, I hardly think his fans are concerned over knowing the truth about the myth of the aboriginal “free ride”.

From what I recall of being eighteen, and forgive me because it was quite some time ago, there were a lot of expectations put on those of us on the cusp of adulthood.  I was in the final years of high school, ready to step out into the world to make something of myself.  In a short time, I would be going off to university, making my own mistakes, my own decisions and my own choices.  Perhaps I didn’t always make the right ones, but I also didn’t have millions of fans around the world hanging on to my every word.  If that were the case, I think I’d have ensured that I did my homework before making statements to major media outlets.

“C’mon, cut the Biebs some slack. He is, after all, just a kid,” insists Simard.

Here’s the thing…he’s not just a kid.  He’s eighteen now – in the eyes of the law, he can be tried as an adult for any crime he might decide to commit.  He can buy lottery tickets (not that he needs to).  He can vote.  I’d say that the “just a kid” excuse won’t fly.  And considering just how worldly he is in comparison to others his age, I’d say the excuse is even less valid.

Hannah Taylor founded the Ladybug Foundation to teach others about the plight of the homeless at the age of eight.  Craig Kielburger founded Free the Children after learning of child labour around the world at the age of twelve.

Just a kid, indeed.

Perhaps this is the reason I can’t stomach ignorance from an eighteen year old – particularly one who has such influence.  Perhaps looking to a pop star to be a role model for intelligence is asking a little too much, but I’d have much more respect for Bieber if he’d own up to his ignorance and set the record straight…not just for the aboriginal groups that he painted with such a wide brush, but for himself.

Closer to Fine


Goals.  Accomplishments.

You know what I’m talking about. It’s the shit that your high school counsellor told you about.

That you should come up with a list of things you want to accomplish in life and use it to frame how you live.

Yeah. Whatever.

To me, goals sometimes equal unattainable dreams. Not always…and not for everyone. But let’s face it. There are certain goals that you set for yourself that may not always be realistic.

That said, today I reached a goal.

I have lost ten percent of my body weight since February. I hadn’t been actively pursuing it until somewhere around April, but now that I am, it feels good to have achieved such a feat. I am not a small woman. I have never been a small girl. I have a large frame, and confirmed that I just look terrible at certain weights – weights that the whole BMI thing recommends that I should be. BMI can only take you so far. Common sense needs to take you the rest of the way. Regardless…for someone like me who has struggled with maintaining a healthy weight for almost all of my adult life, twenty-one pounds is a hell of an accomplishment.

But aside from weight and all that junk, I feel healthier. I don’t hesitate to scurry up the stairs to my 4th floor apartment like I used to. I’m at the gym two to three times a week. I’m now craving fruit more often than candy (not that I didn’t crave fruit before…and not that I don’t still crave candy). It takes time for these changes to happen. A friend once told me that it takes 28 days to make a habit and 28 days to break a habit. I’m seeing the results of that statement now.

I’m not trying to define my life by how much I weigh…or what I look like.  It’s more important to me that I feel good about myself.  And I haven’t…not for awhile.  For various reasons.  But this is starting to help.  It’s not that I’ve lost weight…it’s that I’m set myself a goal.  It’s that I’m accomplished something.  It’s that I’ve actually stuck to something.  Sometimes it’s these small victories that we need to latch on to in order to get through the day.

I realize it’s been some time since I last wrote anything on this blog.  I’m hoping to change that.  I’ve missed all of you guys out there…all my blends!  But let’s face it…sometimes routine is a killer.

I can’t promise you I’m back…but I promise you that I’m still alive and thinking about you guys…

It Ain’t Me, Babe


I keep getting e-mails from WordPress.

You’ve got new a new blog follower, Suzanne.  Wouldn’t you like to welcome them?

Yes, WordPress.  I would like to do that.  But I seem to have a severe case of “I don’t know what the $#@% to write about.

And also, I really don’t think I’m the person they’re looking for.  It’s not me.  They’re looking for someone else.

But, but there’s another new follower, Suzanne.  You should probably say something.

Really?  I mean, I really don’t know what to talk about.  There’s lots of stuff going on in my life, but hmm…is any of it really noteworthy?  I mean, I suppose some of my readers don’t know that my laptop died awhile back.  And it was just really frustrating writing on my desktop as it sits on a high microwave cart.  But luckily I just recently got a new laptop.

Course, I also got Skyrim, so there goes any motivation to do any writing.  There’s dragons falling out of the sky on my character to fight.  I don’t have time to write anything on my blog.

But Suzanne, you have yet another follower.  I really think you should do something about this.

Sigh.

Yes.  Yes, I should.

And one more thing, Suzanne.  You have received an award from a fellow blogger.  Perhaps you should consider thanking him.  And accepting the award.

Yes, I know I should.  And I will.

But for now, I will take a moment to say thanks to my new subscribers.  And thanks to my old subscribers.  And thanks for the award.  And perhaps I should take yet another four month hiatus to see what else will come my way…?

No.  No no, I promise that I will be back writing again.  After all…New Year’s resolution time is coming up.  What better resolution to break make than to write more blog posts?

Things My Father Said


It was eight years ago today that my dad passed.

I guess I’m not really certain if I’ve done things the right way since he died.  I mean, how do you know if you’re giving someone the right amount of thought.  Should I think of him more?  Or is the amount of time I reflect on him and what he meant to me enough?

I won’t ever forget the day when my mom told me.  It’s something you don’t expect to hear after a long day of grading labs or papers – that your father in his mid-fifties passed away early that morning.  How can a person even react to that?

People to this day still say “I’m sorry” when they hear about it.  There’s no need to feel sorry.  I’ve come to grips with his death.  But I know it’s hard to pick something else to say.

My dad and I didn’t always have the best relationship, but he was my father and I loved him no matter what he did…just as he’d have done the same for me.

There’s so many things that I could have said…perhaps even wished I’d said.

But for now, I’ll leave it at this.

Dad, I love you.  I miss you.