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Showing posts from January, 2013

Reading in 2013: Quiet

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talkingby Susan Cain was my second non-fiction read for 2013.

A hugely popular book last year, this examines both our cultural bias towards extroversion as well as the physiological commonalities shared by "introverts."

I found it encouraging and validating, as a self-professing introvert - albeit one who often functions as an extrovert. WHICH is a thing this book discusses. On many pages, I found myself wanting to shout, "THIS IS ME!" to whomever was closest at the moment, or to compile all the anecdotes and walk around handing them out to those whose lives most intersect with my own.

There is a chapter on introversion & Asian culture, which tends to value it more highly than our North American culture does, and another chapter on parenting introverted children... (for those to whom either is applicable, I highly recommend these chapters)

I am not keen to be prescriptive in how we label ourselves, a…

Quirkyalone (What Relationship Label Will I Accept?)

A new word for today: quirkyalone*. It's a neologism that wikipedia says refers to someone "who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of it."

That is me.

Here's the thing, though. I don't really like the phrase. It's a compound of two words that I don't think accurately describe me - or at least don't flatter me.

First off, quirky. Sure, maybe I'm quirky. Everyone is a little bit strange in their own special (and sometime endearing) way. We all have little idiosyncrasies that mark as our own individual selves. But frankly, I don't think my contentedness and purposeful approach to dating is quirky, and I don't want that label attached to it.

And then, alone. If there is one thing I've internalized in the past three years of my life, it is that I am not alone. I have a plentiful network of friends and family who care for me deeply. I know peop…


Hey friends,

I'm going back to captchas. I know a few of you were keen to have them gone, but I'm getting upwards of 20 spam comments on each new post plus 5 spam on old posts every day. It's bonkers.

Hopefully this won't deter y'all from engaging with my oh-so-riveting posts... (I think I'm about due for one, aren't I?)

Toes. And Nails.

I’m anxiously anticipating the loss of a toenail, and it is making me nostalgic.

A year and a half ago (where does that time go), Kirsten and I spent three weeks walking across northern Spain. Most of you know this. Most of you also know that Kirsten was plagued by foot troubles. Intense blisters that doubled the size of her pinky toe, a strange and inexplicably fiery rash, and then a blister UNDERNEATH her toenail.

I was sympathetic. Deeply sympathetic; in contrast, I merely broke/sprained one toe, in a non-hiking accident one rainy evening. Taped to its neighbouring toe and with solid shoe support, I wasn’t so badly off.
We persevered, of course. Kirsten’s endless will and pain tolerance amazed me, we laughed often, we cried (only a little), and we ate a lot of lemon yogurt.

A few weeks after we returned home, she told me that her toenail was gone. It was sad and gross to hear. I had seen her feet at their worst, but I was relieved not to see a nail-less toe. It is a weird thought …

"The Music Keeps Getting Faster and Louder and Younger"

Reading in 2013: The Authenticity Hoax

My first non-fiction read of the year was The Authenticity Hoax. It is, in short, a book about the meaning of life and our search for significance.

These two quotes essentially summarize the main argument (although tracing the history and trajectory of our culture’s status competitions is, I think, worth the read):

“The quest for authenticity is about searching for meaning when all the traditional sources no longer have any sound, rational justification.* This book is an exploration of the quintessentially modern attempt at replacing these sources with something more acceptable in a world that is not just disenchanted but also socially flattened, cosmopolitan, individualistic, and commercialized…Absent from our lives is any sense of the world as a place of intrinsic value, within which each of us can lead a purposeful existence. And so we seek the authentic in a multitude of ways, looking for a connection to something deeper in the jeans we buy, the food we eat, the vacations we take,…


The first time my birthday has felt like "aging" and not "growing up." Kind of a weird transition point, for someone who spent the majority of their youth trying & wanting to be older than they actually are.

It was a lovely low-key day and now it is over and we're on to the next birthday (Roommate of Awesomeness, Ms Karen is celebrating today) and next weekend I am in a wedding and then it's pretty much February and before you know it, 2013 will be over.

Ok, but seriously. Time doesn't stop and these next few months will likely (hopefully) have a few big shifts and it is exciting and scary as always.

The sound of it is growing on me.
I think it will be good.

Hello, 2013.

I started the new year like a champ: that is, without a voice, hacking and coughing and wheezing into the air, contaminating loved ones with my presence.
So on the 2nd, as I lay in bed rather than sitting at work, I took some of my awake-time to think about New Year's Resolutions and how I dislike the word "intentions."

With my birthday next week (!), the new year is a natural time for me to think about the things I want and where I'm headed. And as I mulled it over, this is what came out:

What I want is
     always the same:
          to know and be known.
          to love and be loved.
          to give grace and receive it well.I want to know
     this one little life
     is making a difference
to some other little lives
     and that together,
our lives are more
     than they are alone. I want feet on solid ground
     and a head full of dreams. I want to believe
     that Jesus loves me
     and that his love matters
           more than I currently believe. I want to slee…