In the year 2016…

Bridge over the Humber River in winterWhat is it about a new year that makes us reflective? Endings, whether real or imagined, help us make sense of what came before, neatly tidying the inherent randomness of life into coherent wholes. Smarter people than I have written about this elsewhere. Endings force us to look where we stand and to reflect on the path that brought us here. Through the lens of an end, we can evaluate the success of our actions and commit to do better, if we’re not happy.

In the early days of 2015, in the interest of making myself more accountable, I used this space to pledge personal goals around being active, creating, reading, and writing. And accountable I shall be, for it’s with a sense of 2015’s end that I can begin 2016 with a better sense of myself. Continue reading


In the year 2015…

They say that the surest way to keep resolutions is to hold yourself accountable by sharing your goals with a friend. Rather than burden any one friend with my list, I’m sharing it here.

This year:

  • I plan to read and to write more, even when I think I’m too exhausted. Reading at least one chapter and writing at least one full paragraph (here or elsewhere) each week should be entirely achievable, regardless of my work schedule.
  • I plan to get back into my running routine. I miss it.
  • I’d like to expand my arsenal of knitting skills so I can finally tackle some of the more involved projects I’ve been eyeing. Like this cloche here.
  • I’d like to take a few day-long hiking trips in the GTA. The Escarpment is virtually at my doorstep, and yet I haven’t taken proper advantage of my location. I think I do a good job of being a tourist in my own city, but it’s time to extend my field of adventure.

Here’s to the start of a creative and stimulating new year!

Terse Tuesday 9

The thing about genealogy is that the more you learn, the more questions you have. What lead my great-grandparents to leave Ireland? How did they scrape together the money for passage? How did they reconcile leaving so much, and so many, behind?

Or today’s question: were any of my great grand aunts, uncles, or cousins involved with the Rising’s Ulster front? How so? As I read how Ireland prepares to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, I can’t help but wonder…

For those with Ulster roots who want to do some wondering of their own, this great RTE podcast, first broadcast over radio in 1964, is a great place to start: “1916 in Ulster.”