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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thinking about slow

I've been reading (in fits and starts) Carl Honoré's In Praise of Slow (when I get the chance, and, er, yes, I know how ironic that is). I'm still quite early in the book, but it's quite readable and it's stoking a fire in my belly.

The chapter I'm in right now is about the Slow Food Movement, and how timely it is. I've struggled for years with eating for convenience or compulsion, and increasingly I've realized (when I have lucid moments) how little I'm actually enjoying food. How little thought I put into what I'm snarfing. How terribly rushed it all is.

Since moving to Montréal almost three years ago, I've been exposed to a somewhat different approach to gastronomy than I ever experienced in Toronto or anywhere I lived in British Columbia. There's a definite sense of discernment and a pride in the quality of good food and wine—which is absolutely necessary in a city that has such an abundance of restaurants.

Happily, we live within a few blocks of Jean-Talon Market , which is an open-air farmer's market in Little Italy. Warren and I have grown in appreciation of better fruits, vegetables and cheese to the point where we have an actual aversion to purchasing these items at a large supermarket.

To be completely honest, this market is my absolute favorite things about living in Montréal. Seriously. It has, in fact, influenced me when I've thought about whether or not I can really live here forever. I may feel at times (usually in the winter) that I want to move back to the west coast (for the mild weather, proximity to the ocean, and the lack of language politics), but...leave the JT Market? It honestly gives me pause. I mean, come on. I just cannot eat Black Diamond cheese anymore. I have to get the 2 year-old Cheddar from the Fromagerie down the street (Lah-de-dah, you say!).

Anyways, I do have more that I wish to say about this topic, but, alas, it's getting on in the morning, and I must get myself and the kids ready to leave for school. I think I'll have some poached free-range eggs and a red, red tomato, sliced just...so.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gratitude can't hurt

I've been having an especially hard time with anxiety over the last number of months. With the impending glorious entry into my Forties (6 weeks from now? Already?) I'm determined not let that demon creep into what I consider to be power years and hang around like a bad smell (I'm not talking about normal fears and worries that all of us deal with. I'm talking about debilitating anxiety that interferes with work, school, relationships and health).

(Fear is the mind-killer...
)

The things that scare me the most (illness, loss, kids coming to harm, planet implosion, the evil that humans do, etc.) simply will not be staved off with a glib statement of "oh, that probably won't happen me/someone I love". Maybe it will, or maybe it won't. Maybe whether or not it happens is besides the point.

Either way, there's something really counterproductive about thinking obsessively on the Maybe. Daily. Repetitively. Intrusively.

The only worthwhile answer I can think of is to find gratitude in what good I experience daily.

Now.

I think I'll start with, as an act of the will, being grateful for how my anxiety forces me to grow and to seek out answers.