The Weekly Coastal – Changes

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What happened this week? A lot.

  • Jenn and I had our first week at FUSE. We made drop-ins free in the first week, and we had a lot of traffic through. In particular, we had a lot of independent women who are new to the Coast, which I guess isn’t surprising. We’re now in our first week of members-only, which makes me feel a bit stressed out, because WHAT IF WE DON’T GET ANY MEMBERS?! But I know that that’s not going to happen. We have a few partnerships on the go, and we’ve sold some drop-in packs, which is great for our second week in. I’m eager to get started event planning, and getting more people through the space. Jenn and I have been talking about doing regular long table dinners, and I can’t wait to get those off the ground – community plus food plus new biz vibes plus drinks plus pals is our ultimate jam.

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  • I decided to postpone the launch of CreativeMornings on the Sunshine Coast for one more month. Before FUSE came into my life, it made perfect sense to go full steam ahead for a September launch, but then putting together a new business took all of the energy and spirit that I would have poured into CM, and I would rather postpone it and release something that I’m really proud of than force it, just because I had the idea that September was the time. I’m excited to be able to turn more of my efforts to this over the next month.
  • It’s only been a week back at crossfit, and I can already feel my muscles coming back to me, which is the best feeling. My brain still wants to push my body further than it’s ready to go, but I’m feeling less and less stiffness in my muscles with every class that goes by. I was worried about joining a new gym, because you never know with crossfit what you’re going to get. Too often it can end up being someone who did a quick certification and just wants to push without really knowing enough about overall training, injury recovery etc etc. But the owner at Coastal Community Crossfit in Gibsons knows his shit, has a sense of humour, and is great. Thank GOD.
  • I forgot to mention last week that I learned to shuck oysters, and also killed a crab (Thanks for the lesson, Theunis!). The oyster part was fun, and the crab part was mildly traumatizing. You have to cut REALLY hard through their shells, which I guess is not surprising, but like, it was a lot harder than I expected even with a v sharp knife. I always said though that if I were to eat animals again from time to time that I should probably be ok with killing them, so there you have it.

 

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  • Went into the city this weekend, and hung out with pals, and made more new pals, and had a really nice time going for drinks Friday, and to a party on Saturday, and to Lighthouse Park on Sunday. Great weekend in the city, all around. Extra good weekend, because I also got a ride to the ferry, and then saw pals on the ferry and got a ride home too. Yesssssssssss. Also, I spent a bunch of money on clothes which I maybe should not have done, but also it’s been a while, so I’m letting it slide.

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  • I finally booked a driving lesson. Coast tiiiiime. It took calling the driving school like 5 times, and emailing them twice before they finally called me back today. Driving – here I come! Finally.

Back at having some structure in life because of space coverage at FUSE is weird but good. Not crazy about the packing lunch part, but I’m sure I’ll survive.

That’s all for now, BBs. Love and hugs until next week. Bye.

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The Weekly Coastal

IMG_2117Like last week, I’m still feeling scattered and unfocused as I sit down to write this post. There are so many projects and things pulling me in so many different directions at the moment, and I’m incredibly happy and thankful and excited and exhausted. I realized today that I haven’t taken an honest to goodness vacation in about 4 years. I’m talking real time off without checking my email, or a side project, or some freelance work, or a job hunt. *phew* So, putting it out there, a goal for 2018 is to take one whole week away. Not because I don’t love my work, but because even if you love something, taking time away from it and unplugging is a good thing. Amiright?

OMG. I launched a co-working space.
Today was an exciting day. After planning, and scheming, and varnishing, and so much work, Jenn McRae and I re-launched FUSE Community Work Hub today. And it felt gooooooood. The space looks amazing, and it has so much room to grow into itself and evolve. We had about 15 people through the doors of our tiny space this morning, at least a few of whom are planning to work in the space regularly, and who are new to the Coast. Jenn has been an absolutely amazing friend and business partner through this whole process so far, and I am so thankful that she came into my life. We are going to build big, exciting things together, and FUSE is just the first step.

When I moved to the Coast a few months ago, I knew that I had the intention of creating a beautiful co-working space sometime in the next year, and I never in a million years dreamed that one would just quite literally fall into my lap. Sheila and Mark Cameron, the owners of FUSE, have been so trusting and supportive with the business, and some days I actually just can’t believe this is real life. Is this real life?

On the flip side of that, FUSE has taken up almost all of my time and energy recently, and I am seriously behind on other things in my life right now. Seriously. Very very behind. Fall is here, and I’m confident that now being in an actual workspace, and also cooler fall days will help to bring everything together.

Reunited and it feels so good
Randomly had the nicest surprise this weekend, when Lindsay Elliott was up in Gibsons shooting a wedding and gave me a last minute shout to grab a beer at Tapworks. We haven’t seen each other in years, and it was such a nice hang. Hopped over to Gramma’s Pub where the bride-to-be invited me to the dancing part of the reception, and spent the next night dancing harder than I’ve danced in a v long time. The reception was at Hopkins Landing, and biking down North Road after dark was a new and interesting experience. Late-ish night bikerides here on the Coast are at once 1) incredibly beautiful and serene, because silence, darkness, forests, and stars and 2) a tiny bit terrifying because of the desire to not startle bears. So you can’t help but look at the stars in awe, but also you are singing loudly to yourself and ringing your bike bell repeatedly to let the bears know that you’re on your way. Ryan Anderson was also at the reception, who I also haven’t seen in years and years, so it was a pretty great double old pal catch up all around. Crashed in Lindsey’s room for a few hours post reception, and then woke in the wee hours to bike home and sleep the rest of the night in my own bed.

Thick thighs save lives
I started crossfit this week, and holy hell am I in rough shape right now. I almost died doing 150 wallballs, which would have gotten me feeling awfully tired before, but would not have made it tough to walk for a few days. I knew that this was coming, but it’s never fun going through that initial period of disconnect between your brain and body, where your brain still believes that it’s fit af, and your body actually just needs time to re-awaken itself and get back into things. The strength will come back. The movements will come back. The ease will come back. Like so many things in my life right now, this is only the beginning.

<3

 

The Weekly Coastal

My writing has felt a little distracted the past few weeks.

As September draws closer, there’s less room for bloggy introspection, and more energy is being spent getting projects off the ground, or with friends, or in real life introspection. I’m also starting to write more offline again. A little more personal. A little less public facing. And there’s only so much writing energy to go around.

BUT that’s part of what a writing practice is, right? This weekly update isn’t just about my thoughts, feelings and observations moving to a small town; it’s also about cultivating a weekly practice of writing EVEN WHEN some posts feel heavy and boring to get through. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Not all writing that you do will be good.  Not every run you go on will be magical. Not every mindfulness session will be filled with stillness. And that’s ok. Sometimes, it’s just about moving through it, and coming out on the other side.

All of that being said, here are some POINT FORM notes about this past week:

  • We got our tables. THANK THE LORD. But actually mostly huge thanks to Theunis Snyman for building us some really beautiful long tables for the new space. They are just the best, and Jenn and I could not be more grateful.
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  • We’re soft launching on September 5th! If you live on the Sunshine Coast, come and check us out for free any time in our first week! #15 – 292 Gower Point Road, Gibsons.
  • Giving into mostly cycling and not running as much as I’d like at the moment, since it’s been really hot this week, and also still bears but no anti-bear things. I never in my life, thought that I would be in a place that my main deterrent to evening runs would be bears.
  • Jenn had a party at her house this past weekend and it was just the best. Met all sorts of lovely folks from the Coast and not from the Coast. And I finally had a chance to meet her roommates, who I’ve heard so many great things about. Also, holy moly was the sky fantastic this weekend. What better way to spend a Saturday night, than on the beach with pals, watching shooting stars, and a bright orange crescent moon fall slowly into the sea? Not too shabby.
    I haven’t been one to crash at pals’ homes post-party in many many years, but such is life on the Coast sometimes. If you’re going to be drinking, you just stay the night. It’s planned for, and most people have some sort of comfortable guest sleeping arrangement. In the morning, there were swims and bfast tacos, and that was pretty nice. Likewise, if I’m in the city, I stay with friends. It’s a funny throwback to youthful times, in more grownup ways.
  • Facilitated a workshop at Brainstation last week, and it was kind of scary, but it went really well. It was tough to tell for the first hour if anyone was finding value in the info I was sharing, but then in the second half there was more discussion and questions, and at closing a bunch of participants came up to ask me questions one-on-one. One asked if I could facilitate a workshop at her work. Woo! All around good feedback, so I think that I’ll probably be doing it again. The difference with this workshop is that it was Brainstation’s content with my own experience layered on top of it, which I found a little bit less intuitive than creating the flow of the workshop myself. But all in all, it was a really great experience.
  • I’ve always known that Vancouver wasn’t a BIG city, but after the Brainstation workshop on Thursday, I walked around downtown and then went to Strathcona to stay with pals, stopping at the Union on the way to get dinner. And after living in Gibsons for three months, Vancouver FELT like a city. In a good way. It had that kind of city buzz, and there were people on the streets, and it was hot out, and I sat on a patio next to some cute strangers, and it was a strange feeling to suddenly feel like a tourist in my own town. Home but no longer home. Biked into strath, and drank wine on the porch with Amy and Ayma and then snoozed and got to see Meagan in the morning.
  • FINALLY saw Amber and Cody in real life. Yesssssss. You wouldn’t think that it would be tough to coordinate with pals who live right next door (so to speak). But when you have conflicting weekend plans, and work schedules and out of town trips, sometimes life just gets in the way. Was such a nice feeling to finally catch up with these two lovelies.
  • Hair-cutted. Marleau has been my hair dresser whenever I’ve lived in Vancouver, since I was 21. It’s one of the longest relationships in my life; she’s seen me through datings and breakups and jobs and moves. And I’ve seen her through the same. I’m not sure what to say other than that. She’s a woman I admire greatly, and getting to sit in her chair and visit is a treat.
  • Had another therapy session this week. I never know how much of this process to reveal, because even though I believe in transparency, I also think that there’s still such a stigma about therapy, and mental health issues, and sometimes it feels a little too naked to talk about these things so openly. My therapist suggested that I might actually have some PTSD from family things, and that had never occurred to me before but it totally makes sense. Emotional trauma lives in the body. It sets up shop and creeps into your bones and muscles, and it takes work to let it out. A new exercise to try if I feel anxiety in my body is to do a mental check in with my physical self and tell myself that I’m safe. It feels silly saying it, and feels weirdly childlike, but also makes complete sense. When your fight or flight kicks in for no reason, it’s important to let your body know that it’s ok.
  • The ocean is everything.

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The Weekly Coastal

IMG_2051.JPGThis week was a blur of client work, emails, co-working space prep, and some pal hangs.

I’m finding myself itching for time in a larger city, and more people, and cafes, and energy and run crews. It’s fine. I knew that this would happen. And I felt the same longing for outdoor space when I was in the city. Moving to any new place is filled with uncertainty and pangs of missing or longing for something else in the early days. Your brain rattles around with fear and doubt that you made the wrong decision. And flip flops between thinking that this was the best idea ever, and OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE. Things take time.

In the vein of things taking time, I’m looking ahead to ultras for next year, and I think that I’m going to run Fat Dog next year. Not 100% sure which distance, but I’m looking at the 50 or 70 mile. I find that no matter what else is going on, if I have a race to train for, it puts things in perspective. Fat Dog is still a year away, but with a few prep races in between, I’ll be good to go. Honestly, I have mostly not been running as much as I’d like because of bears? I know that black bears are mostly not a problem in terms of aggressiveness, but running into two to of them while on foot in one week was a lot. I tend to zone out in my own little world while running, and understandably, I’m not interested in more bear surprises. Soooo… this week I’m going to go to MEC and pick up all of the bear things that I need to feel safe on solo runs.

Other things

Work Bae and I had our first Ikea trip, and day of Ikea furniture assembly, and still came out with smiles, so that’s a pretty good sign for our working relationship style. Jenn and I have a lot of big dreams for the Coast, and it’s exciting to feel like we’re starting a journey together.

IMG_2022.JPGThe workspace is coming together, and it’s going to look so good. We’ve assembled some furniture, getting our tables in this weekend, and then final push on space details next week. Ah!

Exciting things for the Coast – We did a trip to the city with the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization, to tour some different work/maker/collaborative spaces, and it’s been really exciting to dream about the possibilities for the Sunshine Coast, and to meet more people who are interested in community development.

IMG_2025.JPGAs much as I have loved summer, I am getting really excited for fall. This summer has been pretty hectic and busy for everyone that I know, so the pace of fall will actually lend more time to weekend pal visits and dinners and things. On the flip side, a lot of my personal and work projects will finally be off the ground in the fall, and I’m excited to hunker down into work mode.

Coast moment! Was biking to a pal’s house for a little party, and saw a danish walnut side table by the side of the road. Tried for a few minutes to put it on my bike handlebars, and realizing I couldn’t, hid it in a bush in the forest to be picked up the next day. Mission accomplished.

Things in the weeks to come

I need to make more space for myself to visit the city for fun and just to have a nice time and not feel rushed.

I need to make time for personal projects that I’ve been putting off for months.

I need to make a solid workout/running schedule for myself.

I need to prioritize getting a licence, and searching for a car.

Cats.

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That’s all of now friends. Until next week.

 

 

The Weekly Coastal

IMG_2009Late blog pooooost. Woops. And it wasn’t even a holiday weekend; but it was a long weekend. Also, I keep trying to think of titles for each of these things, but I can never think of a good one, and I actually hate it so much. The Weekly Coastal forever, it is.

It was another week of swimming every day, soooooo many emaaaaaails, co-working re-launch prep, writing, and workshops.

Woo!

I don’t remember much about the actual weekdays last week (what did I even do?!), but had a weekend packed with visits and work things.

Saturday, spent the day hanging out with J and Theo. We were kind of driving around aimlessly, doing a little Property Lurking, and Theo was not pleased. Then by some miracle, we happened upon Creek Daze. We’d completely forgotten that it was on that weekend, and we arrived JUST IN TIME to grab a spot by the side of the road for THEO’S FIRST PARADE. Whaaaaaaaaaaat. He was pretty non-plussed before it started, because understandably, he was like why are we standing here. But then when people in costumes, on stilts, and in fire trucks came by, all throwing candy, I think he decided that parades were pretty much the best.

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Fun fact – I actually hate parades with a fiery passion, but that’s normally because they are too corporate, and too long. The little tiny Robert’s Creek parade is exactly how you’d imagine a small town parade, in all its charm, and it was the best to witness it through they eyes of a 3 yo.

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Did a little farm visit, ocean dip, and then raced to the ferry to go hang with the Knowlton-Arnetts in Deep Cove.

Holy hell, my friends. Did you know that it takes TWO HOURS to take transit from Horseshoe Bay to Deep Cove? TWO HOURS. WHY.

But when I got there, it was all worth it. Has a great game of hide and seekish with little Oscy-bear, and then we all moseyed over to the park for take-out sushi, waterpark shenanigans and baseball field hangs. Thanks again for having me over, Nico, Daniel, and Oscar!

The next morning, we grabbed bfast at Café Orso (waffles forever!), and then I headed over for my first BC Just Write workshop, co-hosted with Jess Robson. Not gonna’ lie, I was super nervous, as I always am before any workshop or event that I host. What if I’m the worst?! What if they hate me?! What if I freeze and have no choice but to just sprint from the venue, and leave my things behind?! None of those things happened. What did happen was a super lovely afternoon, filled with conversation about writing and creative blocks, writing, yoga, and a little bit of therapeutic yelling at the end. Can’t wait to do more of these.

Jess and her fella gave me a ride downtown so that I could avoid the horrendous bus ride from North Van on a Sunday. BUT the driver of the express bus to horseshoe bay was ten minutes late; I missed my ferry by 5 minutes, and had to wait another two hours the next ferry. This would totally have not been a problem, because Horseshoe Bay is pretty nice, but I hadn’t done my daily swim yet… dun dun DUN. So by the time I got off the ferry, it was pitch black, and I had to take a terrifying late night dip off of Grantham’s with the fear of dock monsters in my heart. But I did it!

IMG_1974.JPGKicked off the week with a few maybe new clients, and also… therapy! Woooooooo. In BC, if you’ve been affected by alcoholism (dad, brother, ex-husband) or been affected by abusive relationships (every person in my immediate family), you may qualify for free therapy. As it happens, I do, which is just the best. I’m not going through anything major or earth-shattering right now, but let’s face it, therapy is the best. I’ve still got some fam issues to work through, and now I don’t have to do it on my own. I’ve gone to therapy a few times in the past, and it’s always been immensely helpful. If you’re able to pull it off, I’d actually recommend it for anyone, even for a little bit.

The other thing that happened this week – the smoke finally cleared from Gibsons. Holy moly has it ever been nice to see blue skies again.

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On the flip side, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the garbage storm that’s happening in the US, and more subtly here in Canada, right now. I’m feeling so overwhelmed, and horrified, and I just want to cry about it. I cannot even begin to imagine how POC in America are feeling. I am so sorry that white people are the fucking worst. Even as someone who’s relatively informed, educated, v aware of my privilege, and who regularly confronts other people about theirs, I still have so much work to do. We all do. Things are only going to get worse before they get better, and it’s our job to not be complicit and complacent in our whiteness.

Here are a few resources and articles to check out if you’ve felt as helpless/flabbergasted at what to do next as I have:

See you next week, y’all.

The Weekly Coastal – bullet points forever

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Life continues to grow and evolve on the Coast. August is in full swing. This is going to be a point form update. I haven’t been sleeping that well lately, and there’s just too much happening at the moment to put together an eloquently written life update for the week. So HERE GOES.

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  • Running my first BC Just Write workshop at Distrikt Movement with Jess Robson this weekend. Jess is such a wonderful, smart, awesome human, and Distrikt is such a great space, and I can’t wait to put these things together. If you’re in the Vancouver area, and still have some internal doubts over starting your next writing project, we still have a few spots, and I promise you’ll leave with the confidence to begin.
  • I’m well into my 30 Sea Days Challenge, and even though some days it’s kind of a pain, it also always makes me feel good about life. If I’m stressed or happy or whatever, biking or running to the ocean and taking a dip in the sea always makes me feel better, and also inspires a little bit of awe for the place that I live. Whether it’s cloudy or hot or morning or late, the daily time I spend in the ocean is ALWAYS an exercise in appreciating the beauty of my homeland. And it’s been really nice to have people join in either in person, or from afar, with their own daily dips. I’m thinking of going for another 30 days when the first 30 are done, but we’ll see about that.
  • I’m coming up on three months on the Coast. Holy moly. I actually can’t even believe it. It continues to be an adventure and an up and down roller coaster of days that are magical and inspiring and wonderful, and other days that are lonely and stressful and challenging. Such is any new undertaking in life where you’re working to stretch yourself and grow, amiright?
  • I think that I might have found the first speaker for CreativeMornings Sunshine Coast, which is so exciting. I’ll know more next week. But it feels good to be checking things off my list of prep for our first event. I am so nervous and excited for CM to come to this community and I can’t wait to see how it grows and evolves over the upcoming year.
  • I’ve been running more, which is so wonderful and makes me so happy. I still have a long way to go to get back to where I was, but the fact that I am able to run a few times a week is just the best. I actually feel like I can start to push myself again, which is SUCH A RELIEF after a year of on again off again injury. A lot of my runs lately have been a part of the daily dips, so they often part run, part hike up a steep hill, but I’m working on it one step at a time.
  • Jenn McRae and I checked out Coastal Community Crossfit and it was pretty great. I’m always nervous about checking out new workout spaces, because I am super picky about the trainers whose classes I take, but I have a good feeling about this one. So happy to be getting back into some strength-training.
  • Jenn McRae and I have also become managing partners at the co-working space in Gibsons – FUSE workhub – that is set to re-open in September. We have a lot of work to do in terms of the space itself, website, social media, etc etc etc between now and then. More on that in the weeks to come.
  • FINALLY made it to a CreativeMornings Vancouver event; I hadn’t been since coming back to the West Coast. It’s about time! Had a really great morning, despite having to wake up at 5am to catch the ferry, and shut the venue down having a really great conversation with a few people I met at the event. Pretty much exactly why I love CreativeMornings so much. Thanks for the best time, CMVan crew!
  • My friend Stevan was visiting from Toronto, and invited me to a really lovely pal dinner all the way up in Halfmoon Bay, and thankfully I was able to hitch a ride with his partner’s sister who also lives in Gibsons. Met some lovely further up the Coast, part-time Coasters, and re-meet some folks who I know “from around” in my youth. More people moving to the Coast all the time, and I love it!
  • OH MY GOD. Also, I got a roommate! Welcome to the Coast, Hana MacDonald! While there are definitely things that I love about living alone, I am so pumped to be sharing my space with another human again. So far, we seem to get along really well, and my giant apartment is already feeling a lot cozier and more like home.
  • I’m sure that other things happened, but it’s 1am, and I’m sleepy, and my brain is buzzing with everything else that I have to get done that is not my weekly blog post.

So that’s it for now! Sending love from the Best Coast.

The Weekly Coastal – Daily Dips and the Wishbone Classic

IMG_1435.JPGAugust is here!

And I’m a day late on my blog post. I blame Rosemary, who decided this weekend that the outdoors are a great place to explore for a tiny city cat, so she is now that cat that darts for the door and runs for the bushes every chance she gets. Whyyyyyyyy? I have often debated if I would let Rosemary and Thomas be sometimes outdoor cats if I moved to the country. I know that obviously their chance of death would be a million times higher, because let’s be real, they have no survival skills. But I know that Rosemary in particular would be SO MUCH HAPPIER with the opportunity to adventure. What to do?

For now, I just went and spent a bunch of money on new toys and cat grass and things in an effort to make the indoors a teeny tiny bit more appealing. Caaaaaaats.

What else?

This week has been a lot of meetings. Meetings about projects that aren’t public yet, but that I’ll be able to share publicly very soon. Projects that will take me deeper into the Sunshine Coast community, and that I am so incredibly excited to get off the ground.

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Week two of daily dips was great, but also more challenging. Not because I’m not into ocean time every day, but because there have been a few days that I’ve wanted to go for a run that didn’t involve the trek back up from the beach, or a hike away from the water, and I don’t really have time to do both. What I am super loving is getting to know all of the different beaches in and around Gibsons. You wouldn’t think that there would be so many in such a small town, but so far I’ve been to 7. I’m starting to feel more comfortable just jumping into the water, and also just feeling incredibly lucky and blown away every single day that I am living in such a beautiful place. Like I actually can’t believe sometimes that I am living a ten minute bike ride from some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to, with the clearest water, just nestled into a landscape filled with mountains and forests. NOT BAD. The other thing that I’ve noticed that’s a nice little touch is that most of the beach access points have a single bike rack. Thanks, SCRD!

Attended a team meeting of volunteers with Evening Rounds, and it was nice to hear everyone’s vision and thoughts on speakers that we could have in the year ahead. Health cooooomms. Most people there were from a strict clinical or research background, so I’m excited to bring a bit of a different skillset to the table, and to work to bring in people from outside of traditional healthcare groups. Designer/writer/tech/etc pals! What topics would interest you in healthcare? What could get you excited about collaborating with a clinic or health research team?

More things. This weekend was the first Annual Wishbone Classic. Ian and Miranda, along with Brett and Ash, hosted a huge coastal jam that included a pig roast, lawnmower races, and a slip and slide/pool carved out of dirt and a tarp. It was an epically wonderful day, which gets a little fuzzy around sundown and ended in a 3am bikeride home with my pal and party dad Matt Milligan, who was visiting from the city.

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Late Sunday morning we went to Molly’s Reach for hangover bfast which apparently ends at 11am *cry*. I got a veggie burger, and Matt ordered tacos, which actually came on small pitas *double cry*. Lesson learned! Lunch was followed by an afternoon beach hang with swims and ciders before Matt hit the ferry home.

As much as I’m into my summer of cycling in a small town, hot damn am I getting eager to get a car. I would still rather not, but when it’s the difference between taking an hour and a half to get to a meeting, and 20 minutes to get there, that’s a lot of time. Not having a car also makes it tricky when pals who aren’t cycling visit, because then the only option is to spend a million years walking everywhere. Plus, recycling has to be dropped off at a depot, not picked up, so hot damn do I have a lot of recycling in my apartment at the moment. Car times soon. Licence times soon.

Until next week!