Run away: maybe I really am a runner?

Tuesday evening I sat on the bench in my dad’s entryway to put on my running shoes to go for a run. As I sat there a few memories hit me. I’m pretty open about how I’m not really a runner (yet). I haven’t been very athletic since I hit puberty and suddenly athletics were significantly more challenging for me than they were before.

But I did run. Infrequently. As I laced up my shoes I remembered one of the first times that I did the same thing about 10 years ago. I ran for a different reason then. I ran because I was angry and didn’t know how else to deal with my anger. My parents’ divorce was becoming more imminent. I took to the back country roads to manage the boiling blood pulsing through my hormone-filled veins.


As I started walking up the road I thought of the last time I had ran this road. It was 5 years ago and I ran for a different reason. This time I had just returned home after University. I was living with my dad because of that time in job transition and I was isolated from city life and all the friends that had become so dear to me. Slowly I realized that my world was turning gray and I had to pretend to have emotions or feel anything, really.


That year I ran to restore my mental health that was slipsliding deeper in deeper into a cave of nothingness. I would run that country road until I reached the top of the hill where I was finally out of the valley and into cell phone service AKA life! and call #b or Amanda, who were my reward for getting exercise that I didn’t really care about but knew I needed (they say exercise is good for your mental health.).

It was a good moment looking back on those hard things and see how I’ve come out of them. 5 years changes a lot, 5 more years, even more. While I still struggle to say I’m a runner, maybe deep down I am? The only ways I knew how to face those crappy days head on was to run away.

imageEven if Running and I are still just getting to know each other, our first encounters have been very helpful!

The difficulty of living simply

Recently my husband and I have been thinking about living more simply. From my perspective it comes from realizing that I have too much choice in my life it’s come to stress me out. I’ve written before about decision fatigue which is something I am still learning to manage. My husband is realizing that we just keep getting more stuff, more books (which we love), more things and we have limited space in our 5 1/2 downtown Montreal. When it comes time for us to get a bigger place we want it to be because of a growing family, not because of growing stuff.

I recently leafed through Organized Simplicity by Tsh from and found it pretty refreshing. Once we get back home from living in suitcases all summer, I’d like to take some time to start giving stuff away starting with another clothes swap (and promise myself I wont take anything unless it’s a MUST).

I posted a question on Facebook to see if people had any helpful suggestions from my friends about how to manage this. In my mind it’s not just about the stuff I have, it’s also about paring down my life to fit in more of the things I want to do and require a lot less mental energy to do it.

Working full-time while being a whole person with likes and dislikes and hobbies and friends and a husband is hard even when your husband does as much work around the house as you do!

As I read some of those responses they were all mostly helpful but I realized none of them were addressing my real problem entirely. Some shared that they had anxiety over a scarcity mentality, as if if they gave away their things they could never get something like it back. I totally get that perspective. But more real is this question:

How do learn to want less? How do I learn to care less about things that are being marketed to me as important?  Why do I want ALL THE THINGS?

want-all-the-thingsI talk about changing habits often on this blog but I rarely talk about changing hearts and desires. One does not simply just change one’s own heart. I know wanting certain things isn’t bad necessarily. In this case, sometimes I think the underlying want in my life is controlling and driving my decisions which is dumb.

This essay entitled “It’s Not Me, It’s the Mall” and a few other articles (that I’ll post later) lead me to believe that this problem of the ‘tyranny of choice’ isn’t just affecting a few of us.

Practically, since I am living out of a suitcase this summer, I’ll have an easy go of it: anything left in my drawers at home by the end of the summer is gone. Anything I didn’t wear regularly this summer in my suitcases is gone. Simple? Probably not. It will likely be embarrassingly difficult. But it’s a start.

Recent Reads May 06-11


How to Consistently Write 1000 Words a Day
The Relationship of Reading and Writing
Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers
The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate our Brains


A System for Getting to Sleep Earlier
The Scientific 7-minute Workout
Living Simply Manifesto:  72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life


The Tyranny of Choice: You Choose on The Economist
11 Ways to be Unremarkably Average
I’m Still Here: Back Online A Year After Leaving The Internet

Smoothies and Secrets


These are my actual smoothies!

Today was day 10 of the smoothie challenge. So far, I’ve had good smoothies and some bad smoothies. I’m quickly realizing that it’s pretty easy to throw a smoothie together when you have an immersion blender.

A friend asked me today if I feel better after having daily smoothies. I don’t really notice a difference, but maybe that’s because I also haven’t stopped eating chips? Probably has something to do with it. BUT I’m getting more good stuff in my body at the same time. Some days the only veggies I’m getting is red pepper on the pizza I’m eating, which we all know is BAD. So for the last 9 days, I’ve been getting my fruit and veggies in liquid form and that feels good.

On the other hand, I haven’t ran once this week which doesn’t feel as good. Also, the Habs lost that series. Boo.

So far I have two favourite recipes. The first one was on the first day that I put together:

Tropical Lagoon

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1c chopped spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1c coconut milk
  • ~1/2 can  chopped pineapple + juice
  • 1T flax seed

The second one I found from the Health Is Happiness blog. SO SO YUM. Definitely the top favourite. It’s a must try.

Sun Kiss Smoothiefav-smoothie

  • 1 orange
  • 1 mango
  • juice of 1 lemon (about a 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cashews, soaked for 30 mins
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water

Am I a freak that I have a hard time eating my veggies? Are there other people out there like me? Comment and let me know!

How I developed the habit of writing regularly

A little while ago I wrote a celebratory post on how I’ve began writing regularly. This, along with reading regularly have been wonderful additions to my life. It’s weird but reading and writing regularly make me happier and better. I’m less cranky, more hopeful, always thinking and processing things. I used to have terrible success in doing things regularly that I didn’t need to. Writing my second novel (which I didn’t finish) happened because I needed to write it in a different sense. I had to get the images that were in my head, those scenes that described my life through this other character needed to get on paper as a sort of pensieve of that time in my life.


A friend left a question in response to that post that I want to reply to.


This is a good question. It was probably four years ago that I decided to take this desire to write seriously, even though I felt like I had nothing worth saying to anyone.

  1. I acknowledged that I would never make time for anything I didn’t feel like was a priority. There are lots of good things in life and many great things. It’s a personal decision what you prioritize. Just over a year ago I decided to prioritize some things that involved writing because I wanted to grow in these areas.
  2. Try Nanowrimo. Writing a novela in a month is a great way to develop the habit. It forces you to say no to certain things in order to say yes to writing. It’s thrilling. It’s hard. It’s a lot of fun. At the end of the month you’ve accomplished something that you might never look at again, or could be a good framework for an actual novel you continue to develop. I doubt you’ll finish the month thinking it was a total waste of time if you take it seriously.
  3. Find a project/venue to write. For years (read: since 2001) I’ve blogged. This was always a writing outlet. I’m quite confident it’s the reason I can put an idea on paper so quickly. Having a blog or a writing project with goals helps tremendously. “Who would read my blog?” Who cares? Don’t write for other people, write for yourself. Write about what you care about, develop your voice. If you want to write fiction, give yourself a project and a deadline and a friend to keep you accountable. It’s just like any other goal you’d have. One of the projects I started writing this year was really just a project for me to think through certain things. As it was developing, I realized it might be a helpful resource to people eventually. So I kept going and am working on editing it.
  4. It’s life giving to me. It’s hard to stop doing something that’s life-giving and that people give such positive feedback on. I now notice that when I don’t feel inspired to write or don’t feel like I have time to write, it’s because my life is slowly getting out of sorts. It’s a helpful compass.
  5. [edit] Track it. I forgot to add this one at first. I’ve noticed that paying attention to when I write helps. One of my habits that I’m tracking on Lift is “Write for 30 minutes.” If I can do that every day, I’m doing awesome. Even if I do that a few times a week, it’s a good week. Having that reminder on my app every day helps me plan to make time to write.

If you’ve ever wanted to write go open up a wordprocessor this weekend or the next evening you have free and start. No one has to see it. No one has to know. Do it for you because you want to and it is (if you acknowledge what’s going on deep down inside of you) important to you. Work on it for 15 or 30 minutes another day. Have a notebook or notepad app with you to jot down your ideas when they come. Keep plugging away at it. Soon you’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished!

Have anything else to add? Have you developed the habit of writing regularly? How did you develop it? 

“Keep Your Goals To Yourself”

“What are your goals for your summer?” a group of us were asked with regards to this summer. A coworker replied, “I’m not telling,” and shared this video. I wanted to share it with you for the sake of discussion.

While I see where he’s coming from (research and science do have sway, that’s for sure), I’m naive enough to believe that I’ve averted this problem by sharing extensively about the journey of getting to my goals. I can see how this is probably true for a lot of people, though.

What did you think? I’d love to hear if you agree, mostly agree, disagree and why. Share in the comments.

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