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:
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.