Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year of Making a Difference (a new blog)

Light shimmers on the water. Day breaks unseen, the eastern sky hidden behind the concrete wall of the city claiming its space here at the edge of the sea.

I am in Vancouver. Sitting in the living room of my dear friend BA's apartment. She has graciously given us her home while she is away. I sit looking out over English Bay, night slowly ligthening to day.

And... I don't feel like writing this morning. I feel like meditating. Sitting. Contemplating the view. I feel like dancing. Like singing. Like swirling about and spinning around and falling to the ground in a heap of laughter and giggles and little girl elation.

Ain't Life Gtand!

We had lunch yesterday at The Sylvia Hotel, just down the waterfront from where we are staying, it is where C.C. and I stayed, and had planned on staying if offers of accommodation hadn't appeared from my girlfriend and from my sister and her husband -- how sweet is that? Two options. One in North Van. One in the Eastend. And, because Alexis, my daughter, lives and works just across the Burrard Street Bridge in Kitsalano, we opted for downtown.

We took the Aquabus across the Bay yesterday. Walked along the seafront, the sky dove grey above us. The rain would pour down later, but for our afternoon walk, it was misty and soft and oh so deliciously moist. After a prairie winter, my parched skin welcomes the moisture, soaking it in like sunshine.

There was a woman on the SkyTrain as we took the Canada Line from the airport downtown. She got on, sat beside me and promptly asked, "You visiting or coming home?" I think it might have been the suitcases piled in front of me that gave away the fact we were coming from the airport. "Visiting," I replied.

She sighed. "To grey skies. I just got back from Mexico. Two weeks in the sunshine. I need to spend more time there." And in the course of three SkyTrain stops we shared laughter and tidbits of our lives. Her 23 year old son suprrised her with welcoming her home to a clean house. She wanted a Golden Retriever but he wanted a German Shepherd. People are scared of them, you know? One woman even picked up her little white dog and foisted it up into a tree until she'd walked past with "Stella", the German Shepherd. The woman held her dog in the tree, pointed at Stella and said -- there's a bad dog. Don't come out of the tree until it's safe.

People are funny.

We make judgments. Decisions. Leap to conclusions all based on past experiences, things we've read or heard or been told by others.

Stella would never hurt even a flea, the woman told me. She's such a wuss.

And then her stop came and she struggled to her feet. Had a knee replacement last year she told me. It works great in Mexico but here. Man, the dampness gets to it. good luck. Have a great visit. Happy New Year! and she was gone. A brief encounter flowing away like the SkyTrain moving on to its next stop. Lives intersected. Stories exchanged. Moving on.

I am into moving on mode these days. Into moving beyond my fears and trepidations of 'what's next' into embracing all that is and all that can be when I move into this place where possibility exists far beyond my wildest imaginings.

One of the 'openings' I've stepped into is a new project that I will begin on January 1. It stems from a comment I made as I was chatting with a co-worker on my last day at the homeless shelter -- where I used to work :). "One of the gifts from this place," I told him, "is the fact that everyday, I knew, I was making a difference."

And I realized, what would I do to make a difference when I wasn't working there. How could I consciously shcoose, and keep, making a difference at the forefront of my mind.

And so.... I decided to bring making a difference into my consciousness everyday by making 2012 "A Year of Making a Difference."

I've set up a blog (I also set up the domain but can't quite figure out how to make it happen properly so will have to wait until I'm back at my laptop to figure that out -- I'm using my iPad while I'm away). Nevertheless, my blog is called, "A Year of Making a Difference." Everyday, I will post about one thing I did that day to make a difference in the world -- it could be as simple as choosing not to drive a car for a day to lessen my ecological footprint, or it could be as simple as buying a coffee for a stranger. The 'differences' I make will be me consciously choosing to live on purpose, to choose to do one thing everyday for someone else that is not about 'getting in return' and completely about giving.

Please join me on the journey -- the blog will go live on January 1. I am excited about the possibilities.

the address is: -- there's nothing there yet. I have to work on getting it properly set up -- but it will be ready to rock and roll on the first day of 2012!



Fi said...

What a fun idea, I'll definitely be popping by.

Enjoy your rest, because I just know you'll be knee deep in busyness before you know it

Anonymous said...

cool :-)

S. Etole said...

Looking forward to joining you there!

Valerie Kamikubo said...

I see very interesting and profound conversations with others in your future... very cool!

kaykuala said...

Say,you've made out a clear path for yourself for the ensuing year. Just as your 'shelter narrations' which I discovered not too long ago, I'll be following your new one. Happy New Year to you!


Maureen said...

Will look for and then subscribe to the new blog. Sounds wonderful.

Once when my son was small we took a moment at the end of dinner each day to talk about one thing we'd learned. Being able to make a difference every day is a a marvelous goal.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks everyone. Working from my iPad is a tad challenging so I apologize in advance for this 'mass' response. The cover I have for it is a soft one -- and doesn't stand up, which makes typing challenging -- note to self-- get a standup cover :)

I'm looking forward to the adventure. I really appreciate your support and looking forward to having you along on the 'a year of making a difference' adventure.

Hugs -- and Happy New Year!