I didn’t go to Washington

I didn’t go to yoga. Instead I listened to one of my favourite Sarah Harmer tunes – I didn’t go to Washington – and wrote this.

I didn’t go to Washington, instead I swept the floor.

Her sad-beautiful songs are the best of their kind. My practice is craving evolution, asking for something new. Instead of stretching on the mat, I’m stretching here, at my writing table.

The only things I’ve ever done you can’t see anymore.

The last few days have been collecting days. Reading about balancing work and life, about entrepreneurship and confidence. I started an audio book called Confidence but in the first two minutes the same simple idea was just repeated in a slightly different way over and over again. I got it the first time. This is my beef with business literature. No one in business actually wants to read a book. Give us an infographic. Besides, everything has been said.

I knew there would be magic but I turned at the last chance.

Last night the Red Tent was on television. I read the book a few years back, but had forgotten how directly it was linked to the Old Testament story of Joseph and his dreams and his brothers. And on Friday I had a lunch with an old friend who is studying divinity. She has to read the whole bible and then answer 100 multiple questions about it. Dates, lineage, geography, everything. It fascinates me that people are studying the bible and entering the ministry in 2014. In the same year that we are commercializing Google glass and discovering gravitational waves in the space-time fabric, the University of Toronto still has five different places where you can study theology. Sick Kids hospital currently employs eight religious leaders in its chaplaincy – Catholic, Presbyterian, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, whatever you are looking for. Meanwhile churches, which used to mark the very core of the community, are being sold off by the dozens and developed into high end loft apartments. How can religion be dead and alive at the same time?

These idle hands are staying scared of making any plans.

I think about prayer. Is it intention setting or is it curling up to a patient parent to get things off our chests? I think about sacraments – like baptism and communion. My friends who were brought up in The Faith (whatever it might be) are getting married by state qualified officiants in restaurants and vineyards, holding blessing ceremonies for their babies in their living rooms.

I have some opinionated relatives when it comes to this type of evolution. A few weeks back one said this:

“How is the child to know what they are and where they came from if you don’t pass it forward to them? You pass on the  traditions so they have something to build on.”

He went on to say what’s to stop them from becoming violent extremists in the absence of exposure to the proper traditions. It’s a stretch, but he raises an interesting point. Besides, are we really doing our society a favour by secularizing so profoundly? No one will turn to their I Phone in a time of crisis, but we humans have long been known to Turn to Faith. Now we have therapists. But introducing your kid to God is free.

The fire needed tending and the windows are so wide.

It’s the holiday season and we’re overly programmed with social activities. As a borderline Extrovert/Introvert on the Myers Briggs scale, I find this time of year challenging – I can’t imagine what extreme Introverts must go through. At these holiday parties, most recently over lychee martinis but sometimes an old fashioned or a glass of wine, I keep finding myself in discussions about work. People ask me, how is work?

For context, if I was wearing an outfit that represented my life, from 2008-2013 work would have been a hooded, floor length robe. I was wearing a pretty monochromatic life outfit. Family was perhaps a hat, but it fell off a lot. As I work my way along this road I’m on, work is becoming a dress, and I have a big fuzzy cardigan that is family. And a warm cowl that is singing and fanciful stockings that are yoga and fabulous boots that are this blog.

Images like that really warm up this cold Toronto winter weather!

I find myself fumbling with my answer to ‘how is work’. How is work? Depends on the day. Maybe I’m answering too honestly, with my long spiel about career growth and transitions and the value of change and the intricacies of global companies and the politics of promotion.

Sometimes I feel I’m in the world when I’m looking from inside.

But I realized today, again, between all that reading and all those conversations and all those martinis and winter clothes and biblical considerations, that there is not one answer. To anything. It is whatever it is to you, in that moment. So books are lessons and black holes are God’s lassos and weddings are beautiful whether they are in cathedrals or on cottage verandahs. Yoga can sometimes bore you but you keep practicing like it’s fanciful stockings you can’t wait to put on. That’s why they call it practicing. And family is not perfect but you keep calling, keep supporting, keep treasuring, keep pulling on your cardigan. And work is what it is. It’s constantly changing.

About Allison

Inspiring radical evolution in work and life.

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