Thinking Out Loud Thursday #117!

I feel like my mind is going in about 83 different directions right now which either means I am completely ready for a ‘thinking out loud thursday’ post or this is going to be the most incomprehensible rambling. Either way, I’m joining Amanda at Running with Spoons today.

All of Canada was hit pretty hard this week with the news that Gord Downie had passed. I didn’t live and breathe Tragically Hip music. Truthfully, I knew many songs just because, well… it’s hard to be a Canadian kid growing up with parents who played the music and not wind up knowing a lot of it… but given my field of work and passion I was tremendously inspired by his passionate activism for Indigenous rights and reconciliation. He created a space in our country where all could see how important reconciliation was for non-Indigenous peoples. His work truly touched all peoples on this land, evident by the outpouring of remembrance from Indigenous leaders this week. He truly exemplified what it means to be an ally. I really like what Indigenous artist Tanya Tagaq said last year in reference to the risk of being regarded as a white saviour, the notion that it takes a popular, non-Indigenous singer to get people to tune into the problem,

“When you have someone with that fortitude and passion to speak out on our behalf it’s this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness because he can touch different audiences that we can’t.”

It was who he was and how he did what he did that made him special. Not many non-Indigenous people have stood in that place, humbled and vulnerable, passionate and strong, and had the courage to speak out the way he did.

I am currently taking an online course with colleagues called “Storytelling for Change.” The course is about understanding your story and how you can use storytelling in presentations and getting comfortable with sharing. An incredible colleague used the term ’emotional transportation’ once and it stuck with me. How can you emotionally transport people through story to understand a project or decision from the heart and not always from quantitative data sets?

The first assignment is a life map. The idea is to draw out, however artistically or chronologically you would like, your life map. Where you’ve been and how you reached the place you are today – who influenced you, what inspired you, how did you end up on this path – as well as where your life is going. I glanced at it and thought, ‘Hm, sounds pretty fun.” LITTLE DID I KNOW. It has turned into a completely self-reflective project. Just take one of those points – what has inspired me? To think of where I am today as a series of choices based on inspirations is really interesting. I am not a victim of circumstance, I made deliberate decisions to reach to place I am today – inspired by what? To get to where? To achieve or align with what? It’s a really neat assignment and one that I think is an interesting exercise for everyone to do.

Yesterday at work I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to connect to the colour printer. I have been moved to different floors two times in the last two months, so I would like to think I’m getting better and more efficient at printer set-up, IT changes, and desk minimalism… but, it was disastrous. I had to ask the admin to help me and she couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working and we both tried multiple times to no avail. She had to send in a service request to ask someone from IT to come help me by the end of this week. At a meeting in the afternoon I brought a black and white document and couldn’t keep track of which parts were supposed to be coloured red, yellow or grey.

I am currently reading “The Ripple Effect” by Greg Wells. It is a great quick read about how to understand your own holistic health – how to sleep better, eat better, move better, and think better. It’s great to have one healthy part of your life, but it won’t really mean anything unless you pay attention to the others as well. You can exercise but if you don’t eat well, it won’t be a huge contribution to a health life. All healthy habits are synergistic. Wells talks about ways to leave work at the office or dissipate stress before you get home. I have experienced how important and beneficial this can be. I am grateful for my walks to and from work to decompress and not have to think about work by the time I’m home. I walked home with a friend (and colleague) yesterday and we were able to vent for a solid fifteen minutes when we left work and then I felt freed to have a relaxing evening. You can vent everything you were consumed with leaving work… every thought you had…

… and then feel better that you got it out there and have a clear mind. It allowed me to go for a lovely evening run and listen to nonsense podcasts and sports radio for eight miles as the sun was setting.

Veeps gifs speak to my work life right now. My work days are a series of Veep moments. I highly recommend the show if you haven’t seen it. I used to work, literally, in a Parks and Recreation department of a municipal government and therefore found the show Parks & Rec about 147% funnier than everyone else because while it was a satirical look at a municipal government, it was far too real.

On a super fun note, I am going to the film screening of ‘Where Dreams Go to Die‘ tomorrow night at the Old Royal Alberta Museum. Where Dreams Go to Die is a documentary by Ethan Newberry (the Ginger Runner) featuring Gary Robbins and his two attempts at the Barkley Marathons. I absolutely love the films created by Ethan and I’m stoked to see this one at a screening!

That should be enough rambling. And this was me trying to pull comprehensive thoughts from my brain and put them into complete sentences. Phew.