There it is again…

I’m not really the type of person who looks for signs or stuff like that.  But I do try to listen to what the universe seems to be telling me.  Since I believe that we, as people, are interconnected in numerous ways, I do subscribe to the idea that synchronicity exists and is at work in our lives.  I’ve written about that before.  When things aren’t going all that great, it’s easy forget that these connections exist so sometimes we need a kick in the butt to get us paying attention again…

January/February is not my favourite time of the year.  In addition to the polar vortices (anyone else getting completely sick of the overuse of that particular hysterical buzz term, or is it just me?) of biblical proportions (it’s freakin’ cold out there again today) and a distinct lack of sunlight, I find that my brain tends to slow into hibernation mode- and likewise isn’t up for much in the way of social interaction or, to be frank, productivity.

Winter blahs to the nth degree.

So, given the usual late-January ick factor, yesterday was an unusual day.  I was productive at work- despite the fact that I needed those fingerless gloves (think Bob Cratchit at work in any theatrical/filmed version of A Christmas Carol) to effectively type the regular daily correspondence (wearing them today, too.  Polar vortex, you suuuuuuck) and feeling like was I getting somewhere with a few things on the new job-search front, so the fact that I have been feeling a little less-than-myself, and not particularly inclined to write stuff lately, was less wearing and seasonal-affective-disorder-triggering than it has been.

Before I left work I got an email from a dear friend regarding an in-the-works CBC radio story on a topic close to my heart.  The one I wrote about here.  This friend gave the producer my name to possibly have a chat about my experience with and perspective on the whole thing.  Interesting, indeed.

I headed home on the TTC, grabbing the first bus that showed up so as to not have to stand in the cold for long.  Mistake there.  That first bus took me not to a nice, warm subway station where I could get on a nice, warm subway, but to a streetcar line.  Which would be fine.  In reasonable weather.  But it seems as though the streetcar lines don’t play nicely with polar vortices, so the connecting streetcar (which was there right when I got off the bus- THAT never happens) was going nowhere.  Which also meant that all the streetcars that showed up after it were also going nowhere (given that they all use the same tracks).  There were lots and lots and lots of people exiting streetcars with nowhere really to go.  Instead of waiting around for shuttle buses to start arriving, I started walking.

Toronto is a great town for walking.  Normally.  The downtown wind tunnels when the wind chill is making it feel like -30+ degrees Celsius?  Nope.  Not fun.  Not great at ALL.

But, once I was committed, I walked.  The rest of the way home.  After a few blocks I could have hopped a subway but I have this stupid stubborn streak that, MetroPass notwithstanding, makes me feel lazy or something if I take public transportation for a minimal distance.  One subway stop?  Silly.  In January with brutal wind chill?  That might have been the more prudent option, actually.

Point of all this?  I was walking past things I wouldn’t normally be walking past- if I’d taken a more sensible route from here to there/there to here.  I stopped in for a coffee partway- it warmed my hands, even if it burned my tongue- that helped make the last few long city blocks survivable.  Liquid warmth clutched in mittened hands, I cut through the courtyards between buildings and found myself beside the venerable CBC MotherShip itself. 

Just as this song came on the Shuffle Daemon:

Followed by:

and then:

Once home and (somewhat) thawed out, I got to thinking about the opportunity to share my two cents (which is what I do hereabouts, after all), having my voice heard by some who might not otherwise hear it, and the potential positive outcomes that such an opportunity might bring.  I’m certainly not counting chickens- opportunities aren’t always realized, after all- but there seem to be some things moving in my little section of the universe.  And even the barest hint of a whisper can sometimes, if properly nurtured, lead to the necessary volume required to affect change.

I also realized that it was six years ago this week that I defended the thesis that earned me the title of PhD.  Achieving that designation has taken me down a number of paths- and none of them are the one on which I thought I’d be traveling.  This, I realized, is okay.  Knowledge and experiences are never wasteful- and should never be wasted.

Even with the lassitude that winter always seems to instill in me, I’ve started 2014 with the intent to bring about change.  For myself in my own life, and in matters that will contribute to changes in my wider community and world.  I’m still working out strategies.


I’m on my way to City Hall tonight to attend a ‘how to become a candidate’ meeting in the Council Chamber (yes, that famous site of so much of the recent press attention our ‘mayor’ has brought upon us.  I can’t even think about the latest escapade.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be ready to talk about it.  Although I’m sure it will be well-covered by Jon Stewart, so not sure I should bother).  Not because I’m thinking of running- at this time, anyway- but because I’m genuinely interested in learning about how the process works and the steps required to declare and then pursue candidacy for municipal office.

Basically, I’m doing things and looking forward.  Which, when it’s cold and dark and the News keeps getting on my nerves (there was that speech the PM gave in Israel too.  Was going to write about that… We’ll see.), is nothing to sneeze at (there is more than enough sneezing going around here, surrounded, as I am, by people who SHOULD be at home, in bed, with the flu).

Well, my soul checked out missing as I sat listening

To the hours and minutes tickin’ away

Yeah, just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin

While it was all just slippin’ away

Well I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come

Or that train to come roarin’ ’round the bend…

There WILL be better days.  I’m doing what I can to expand the reach of my small voice.

Have to keep that in mind.

17 comments on “There it is again…

  1. bethbyrnes says:

    Talk about synchronicity, I have written a post that will materialise shortly, in a similar vein (well, I am much crankier, I admit it) that strikes me as I read yours as being somewhat related. BTW, my PhD has been largely superfluous, I have come to discover. I should have been an optometrist instead. Good for you, getting involved and making the changes happen, hopefully. I see Mayor Ford is incoherent again. Wow, he gives Chris Christie a run for the money.

    • colemining says:

      Beth- I’m (partly) attempting to shake off the crankies, TBH. Ah yes, Robbie and Chris Christie seem to be cut from the same (quite sizable) cloth.
      I choose not to see the PhD as superfluous- between the things I learned (about my topic and life in general), the friends I made, the mentors I had the privilege to work with, the students who have become friends… overall it was worth every little bit of trouble. And the designation itself means a great deal to ME- even if it means little to anyone else. It’s an external recognition (we all need those sometimes) that I can set and meet goals that are out of the ordinary, challenging and something that not everyone can do. Perhaps I would have learned those things without the PhD- but that piece of paper- and the journey to receive it- expedited my arrival at an awareness that I have every reason to be proud of my accomplishments. As you should be. If it were easy, everyone would have a PhD. Trite, but true.

      • bethbyrnes says:

        I cannot disagree with what you say about the value of that degree. The kinds of discipline and rigor I developed in order to accomplish it are lifelong tools, and the personal praise I received from certain professionals in my field really did and do validate my abilities. No one in my environment in California cares the slightest about it, and not one person in my SO’s family have asked what I did, in the 20+ years I have known them, and they me. Only money or youth and beauty matter here.

      • colemining says:

        Beth- this whole issue is very much at the forefront of my current thinking right now, for a number of reasons (more on that to come if I get a space of time). My experience has been the same- when people hear (often-second hand or because of something said in passing) that I have a doctorate, they are often quite surprised- and sometimes borderline dismissive.

        Money seems to be the force driving all aspects of our society- to its severe detriment- and those things of value- like education for its own sake and the abilities to read and think and respond critically to the information overload that is out there- are being dismissed as ‘unnecessary in the real world’.

        WE know what it took to earn the degree, and WE know that the skills do carry over into all aspects of our lives- personal and professional. Cold comfort, perhaps, but I’m not about to let anyone take away the significance of my accomplishment due to their narrowness of understanding.

  2. quiall says:

    hahaha I’m tucked up nice and warm in my Oakville apartment and enjoying reading.
    your post.

    • colemining says:

      I’m about to hit the TTC again. And then City Hall. Which I’m sure will be FULL of journos jockeying to see if he has something else to add to his decline.
      Thanks for reading- glad someone is warm in this here neck o’ the woods!

  3. Synchronicity is one of my favorite things. I admit to just skimming this and I’ll be back for a thorough read, but for now, just to stretch the synchronicity probably further than it truly does extend, after I published a post on Saturday, I had a “sense” that I should add a song (which I did because the sense was nagging me). It is a song by Dar Williams, who also covered “Better Things” on the same album (End of the Summer). Her version is the one I’m most familiar with.

    Good luck!

    • colemining says:

      HC- sounds like synchronicity to me! Thanks for the luck- I have few irons in a few fires right now, so I’m hoping that something might take shape.
      Thanks for reading- I’ll have to look for that version- one of my fave songs (as indicated by the fact it’s been used or mentioned in three posts already…).

  4. yakinamac says:

    Hope the “how to be a candidate” meeting was useful. Over the years that I’ve worked with British politicians – primarily in Westminster, though also at local levels – I’ve concluded that there’s something genuinely different about those who seek election. I think it boils down to not only the belief that you’re the person who’s going to do the best possible job of running things, but being prepared to go out and try and convince your fellow citizens that’s the case. As long as that self-belief doesn’t turn into a reluctance – or downright inability – to consider all the evidence when you’re reaching decisions (and not just that which supports your own prejudices) it’s a powerful quality. Because no matter how much civil servants like me want to believe we’re supporting good government, ultimately it is the politicians who have the power to drive real change.

    I hope you do decide to throw your hat into the ring one day. The world needs more thoughtful people prepared to do that.

    • colemining says:

      I thank you greatly for your support- and your perspective. I will be writing about the candidate info session- it was eye-opening in a number of ways. I completely agree with your perspective- drawn from your experience- about politicians, and I do think that we seem to be suffering from a complete lack of people who are willing to consider all the evidence before decisions get made. My personal struggle re. throwing my hat in the ring lies in the realm of persuasion– I’m not sure I’m interested in- or would be all that good at- bringing people around to my way of thinking.

      Of late, this whole concept of returning to the dialectic- rather than polarizing debate- is what is driving me. And that means of approaching issues has become antithetical in the political realm hereabouts. I’m working on a few things to open up discussion on shifting that paradigm- I have a proposal to finish, which is one of the things keeping me from the blogging lately- in attempt to change this ‘us vs. them’ mentality that is so pervasive- in politics and society as a whole.

      I always appreciate hearing from you- thank you for reading and for you insights.

      • yakinamac says:

        Well, good luck with whatever you decide to do. And look forward to hearing about the candidate meeting!

      • colemining says:

        Thank you, as always, for the support. Have a few things on the go- which I will write about soon (along with my thoughts about the candidates’ meeting- it was interesting for sure!).

  5. […] from outrage, that we HAVE to be looking for dialectic rather than debate.  And about the whole synchronicity element- and winds of change seemingly headed in my general […]

  6. […] – There it is again – is one of my favourite posts. There are many more… although I often forget to press […]

  7. […] written before (a lot) about synchronicity and connections.  I believe in these things as manifestations of the reality that we all go […]

  8. […] love my hometown. I talk about it quite a lot. Here, for instance. […]

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