I’m a bit scattered this week, feeling on edge for no particular reason, having a hard time focusing long enough to write something sustained or even reason my way through work-related problems. I’m irrationally annoyed, feeling thwarted in the workplace, and in general like I am not doing enough, achieving as much as I would like to be. None of which make sense except in the context of my sometimes appearing issues with depression which I suspect these are symptoms of. A warning, really, that instead of ratcheting up the intensity of my life, I should go a little easier on myself for the next few days. It feels debilitating to acknowledge this, but if I don’t – my all too predictable pattern is to push harder until I crash and turn weepy and hermit-like, wondering why I keep driving into the same wall.
Having said that, I’m not *in* a depressive funk just yet…. and I’m pretty sure I know how to forestall one at this stage in my life (ah – the wisdom of age). It truly is about reading the signs and responding to them appropriately. For me that means a combination of doing good things for my body, spending time with people who nurture, and giving myself lots of time for rest and reading. It also means working on gratitude, appreciating myself and the people around me. Fortunately, I have a lot to be grateful for so all I have to do is bring my attention down to what really matters.
Last night, we had a wonderful dinner (two salads, three homemade pizzas, and fondue for dessert) at Sam and Caelie’s house. Not only was the food awesome, but the conversation was interesting and enjoyable too. I’ve got a couple blog post ideas related to those who profited from japanese internment, and separation through specialized language bouncing around in my head as a result. This is precisely why it’s so important to get out and hang with different folks…. it’s a whole show of different ideas all the time! Equally, I am looking forward to a dinner party on Friday at our house involving a whole different crew of writers and activists. These are some of the things (inspiring, interesting people) I am really very glad to have in my life.
I’m also really excited about the city’s proposed 10-year cycling master plan going to council for discussion tomorrow. Not only are they advancing trials on more separated bike lanes, but completing greenways started as far back as 1995 which will allow for more off-road cycling from the city way out to the burbs. It looks like at least one of the proposals will allow me to ride from home to work on either a bikeway or in a separated (hopefully buffered) lane. The report to council is available for reading online, and I plan to write a letter to at least one of the local newspapers in support of this proposal. It’s only a matter of time before the drivers start whining “what about me?” as though we don’t already invest millions of tax dollars into road infrastructure for drivers! Juding from some of the comments on the Vancouver Sun story last weekend, some people out there seem to be labouring under the delusion that their ICBC insurance payments and their driver’s licence fee somehow go to pay for roads in the city and elsewhere. Wrong, people. General revenue from taxation pays for those things, and cyclists and pedestrians pay the same taxers that drivers do. The only additional taxes paid by drivers is at the gas pump and that is a general-revenue tax that goes into the common pot. No fair? Well, if you think taxes on purchases are generally unfair I suppose you’ve got a point. But if you agree that cigarettes and alcohol be taxed at a higher rate because of their cost to society? Gasoline kinda fits that bill too. In any case, no amount of licensing cyclists, or having them buy insurance (which people seem to suggest everytime a new proposal for bike lanes is put down) is going to pay for cycling infrastructure. Those are programs which simply pay for themselves.
And for my third and final thing to get excited about – I think we might be putting together a guerilla gardening posse to tackle a fairly large site in Hastings-Sunrise – going tonight to scope out the site which is about twenty blocks from us but promises the potential to do an LA-Farm type thing in our general hood. I’m not sure about it yet, but it could present a wonderful opportunity to both engage with other people as well as gain some more growing space (and maybe even room for chickens in the future!). I’ll know after tonight if we’re going to start recruiting people to this crazy plan, and for sure I’ll post that here.