Friday, April 23, 2010

Living Alone

Well, I've been living on my own for six months now, and although I should feel pleased about being halfway to my goal of doing my own thing for a year, it's not all it's cracked up to be.

I've decided I just don't like being alone this much. There are definitely advantages, like eating what I want, when I want, and turning up the stereo at midnight, if I happen to feel like it, but really, I prefer to have people around. It's nice to have someone to come home to, even if it's just a roommate. I have fond memories of the Pineapple and my New West peeps.

It doesn't help to avoid thoughts of eternal solitude when the view from my kitchen window is of a funeral home across the street that reminds me every morning of my inevitable demise, and stark truth of my soul's essential solitude. "In the end, we're all alone," is what that funeral home tells me while I stand at the window drinking my smoothie. To which I reply, "Thanks. Have a nice day." And then I go to work.

I think having a cat would make a big difference. Hell, having a couch would make a big difference. Maybe that's the real issue. My apartment is stoically furnished. And my house plant, the well-loved Jennifer Gray, finally gave up the ghost this week, leaving me the sole life form to inhabit my home (unless you count the bacteria quietly taking over the dark corners under the sink I don't see when I do get round to cleaning). I need more than that.

Six months to go to fulfill my goal of being alone and learning to be okay with the idea. I'll see if I can learn to be zen about it, but some days I just wish I had crazy roommates to make me wish I had my own place.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

10 km

Every time I think about going for a run I think, "No. I don't even want to go outside right now. It's cold, and windy, and I'm tired."

But then I put on my shoes and pop in my contacts and throw on a hoodie and go and I think, "Holy Crap, this is worse than I thought: it's REALLY windy and my feet hurt. Why am I doing this, it sucks."

But then after about 10 minutes of griping I inevitably start to feel okay because I get into a rhythm, and warm up and I notice things like birds and other elements of nature that people write epic poems about, and I start to feel good. And then, almost always, that feeling rises to a crescendo that honestly makes me want to weep with joy and I feel gratitude wash over me, and it's awesome.

Not always, of course. Sometimes running only feels good once it stops. But most of the time I feel on top of the world.

Still, it doesn't hurt to have a concrete goal to work towards just in case that motivation is forgotten and I go off track. So today I registered for the Abbotsford Run for Water 10 km, May 30. The last time I ran more than 7 km km was in 2007, when I did the Sun Run. I think my time was 1:13 but I had to stop and wait in a port-a-potty lineup, so I think I can shave about five minutes off that time and say I did it in 1:08.

My goal is to run the 10 km next month in under one hour. Today I ran for 40 minutes (probably about 6 km) and enjoyed the endorphins or whatever else causes what I can only assume is my experience of "runner's high," so I think that goal is reasonable. It's always easier to run faster during a race than at normal training speed, anyway.

Bring it on.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

#30 - Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is aptly named, and I have now seen it, up close and personal. I wasn't surprised by the depth of the Canyon because I've seen a million pictures of it. What did surprise me was how cold it was at the south rim. Of course, it was March, and not July, but there were patches of snow still on the ground! I naively thought the Mojave desert would be full of hot dry sand and nothing else, but it was full of gently rolling hills covered in short scrubby trees. I saw a Joshua tree, which was kind of cool. Made me think of U2.

My great friend Lindsay and I went to Vegas for four days, and one of those days was spent getting to the Canyon on a tour bus. That was definitely the highlight of the trip. The Canyon is flippin' huge, and we were only there for about two hours. It goes down in giant steps, and you can't even see into the deepest part where the Colorado River flows. The rock faces are strangley layered colours: red, orange, sandstone and a kind of muted green. It's very beautiful and awe-inspiring and I need to go back and spend more time there. I want to take a mule trek down to the bottom, or hike down and raft on the river. Tours are all well and good when you don't have much time, but really, for the Canyon you need more time. It's just so big.

Vegas, on the other hand, was less than awe-inspiring. Frankly, I thought it was tacky and depressing. I spent a total of $6 gambling and I think I had a total of three drinks. Got to admit it was a novelty to drink Budweiser on the street and not be hassled for it, but on the other hand, the place is just another big hole. Unlike the Canyon, which fills the soul (or some other poetic description that eludes me right now) the Strip just leaves me feeling emotionally void.

Very glad to have seen the Grand Canyon. That was really just a taste though. One day I will go back for the whole thing.

Posts related to Grand Canyon:
(March 6, 2010)
Baby Steps