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The 3rd Monday in January is the day where it all comes to a sad peak of the post-holiday blues, credit card bills, dark nights and perhaps health concerns from all the rich food.
There is definitely something to this, we think.
Everyone is excited about the summer.
Autumn is about getting ready for school, hunkering down for winter.
Winter can be beautiful with snow here in P-N-dubs. But, in the lower mainland, the snow quickly becomes an unpalatable mess of mud, salt, slushy snow and rain. Yuck!
So, we look forward to the Christmas festivities. Takes our mind off of the gross weather and on to the pleasantries of baking, shopping, wrapping, eating & partying. Of course, this year, Ommi forced us to retreat to our safe bubbles. No work parties, no Secret Sanat, no extravagant dinners with a bunch of fab friends…
Reality sets in… hence Blue Monday.
What can I do about it if it’s reality?
We’re not saying you should ignore reality. What we’re saying is that this is a good time to get reacquainted with self-care & joy.
Connect with loved ones virtually
Engage in self care
Get back to healthy eatingTry exercising – especially walks on the brighter weather days
Take your medications as prescribed (when feeling blue, it’s easy to forge
Talk to your health professional about the SAD lamp or other ways to copeKeep a regular sleeping schedule
Enjoy what you have. Be mindful.
Put your worries in a box for a few hours. Worrying all day will not help solve anything.
Talk about it or journal
Think about fun stuff to do. When was the last time you painted? Sledded? Collaged? Read a novel? Took your pups or kids out for a fun walk? Played a video game? Made a snowperson? Made a slideshow of photos? Snuggled your pet or loved one?
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of these suggestions might not even float your boat. And that’s okay. But you’ve got some other ideas in that noggin of yours. So get to steppin, you beautiful beast.
This list might be overwhelming. Pick 1 or 2 things that seem interesting and go from there.
What are Nals & Kells doing?
I’m getting back into writing this blog. Kells is still recoveringfrom Christmas cheer. & we are both doing another session of burly classes this month.
Sorry lovelies. Both Kells & I have been MIA during the past few months.
The pandemonia has affected us all greatly on a personal level. And if you’ve been working through this time, you know the precautionary measures have been stressful as well. For employees as well as for your customers, clients and gen pop.
For those folks who have lost their jobs or their businesses… it’s more than just losing income. For some, it’s losing part of their identity. Worries and uncertainty have increased. (I’m not a big fan of that B uncertainty.)
Even if you were planning to leave, the pandemic affected your choice. Choice is empowering. But some have chosen to leave out of concern. Not all job sites are following safety protocols. So though it might have been a personal choice to leave, it put a strain on household finances.
Some folks had the opportunity to work from home. This also came with relationship struggles. Kids were out of school with not a whole heck of a lot to do. Students didn’t get the education they were expecting. Graduations didn’t happen or looked radically different.
Pandemonia has challenged those folks who are retired, too. There may not be a loss of income. But there was a huge losses in social lives, activities, recreation, exercising… surgeries and healthcare were put off.
The whole reason for calling COVID-19 a pandemic is that it is highly contagious and deadly. This virus has taken a lot of lives. This virus has changed quality of lives. There is a profound loss for families, friends and communities.
I can remember a day early in the pandemic in March 2020… Trudes had already announced All Canadians must stay at home. I was walking outside on my lunch break, taking advantage of the lovely weather.
I suddenly realized there was no sound around me for those few moments. No cars, no air brakes on trucks, no buses, no people, no pups, no coffee shop lingerers. I don’t even remember chirping birds or puppy barks. That area is typically bustling at lunch. (Well the entire day, really.) The only sound I could hear was paper gently nuzzling the street in the spring wind.
It was amazingly fascinatingly surreal. How could a microscopic thing –and to boot, one that I hadn’t seen myself–impact us on an individual, municipal, federal and global scale? This thing that’s not quite living is changing our health, economy, societal structure, relationships, state of being… It was a particularly a-ha moment for me. I felt like I was viewing a slo-mo video. But nothing visual was really going on.
New virus variants, some Canadian airlines volunteered to remove sunny destinations (temporarily), masking/distancing/vaccine-ing. Living with the new normal.
Kells & I love to be positive. We love to put a smile on people’s faces. We both try to enjoy life and get inspired to write and take fun photos for y’all. This helps both K & I to be mindful of the positives that life has to offer. But it has been a struggle in the past months. So, we wanted to let y’all know that though we’ve been a bit MIA, we still love and appreciate you N&Kers. And we’re going to bring you more content. Stay tuned! xo, N&K
Looks like it’s time for the annual Nals and Kells getaway!
The global pandemic has limited life options this year. But since it’s our birthday, we decided to take off to Whistler, BC. (Coincidentally, Dr. Bonnie Henry has rolled out BC’s Restart Plan: Phase 3. )
On March 11, our boy Trudes announced that social gatherings above 250 would be cancelled. Our Spring 2020 show was scheduled for the following evening. Months of hard work, sweat and practice for this!?!
Gosh Trudes, awesome timing¹.
And the show did go on…
Audience was a bit sparser but the energy was just as awesome.
Knee-deep in Pandemic
Both Kells & I registered for classes before the pandemic precautions. We were waiting with bated breath… will the classes continue or not?
Yes the classes were still on but would be virtual.
Not sure what the final product is going to be like, or even what the format of our final show will be. But it’ll sure be interesting.
Let’s play footsie ¹We’re not making fun or light of the pandemic precautions or our provincial emergency status. The post’s title is merely to point out that our show happened day after the announcement. And it caused a bit of a fuss. ²I kept calling it Corvid because it flows better. (It totally does: covid vs corvid.) The husband corrected me. Covid-19 stands for COrona-VIrus Disease 2019. Technically, corvid isn’t incorrect… and can I point out that #corvid is used more that #covid?
Footnotes: ¹Ginger is a new instructor but has been performing for years. She’s an Aussie! ²The second instructor is Portia de Favro🔗. N&K were itching to try one of her classes but she’s only doing intermediate and advanced. After a year of burlesquing, we feel that we’re past beginner stage but not quite intermediate.³Congratulations to Cherry on Top and Ariel Helvetica on bringing 2 new tinies to the GVA!
Sept 16th 1963 changed my life. Yes, I know I wasn’t born yet, and my dad was only 10 years old. But this day changed my life. On this day, a man that I will now never meet, was killed while working for the Vancouver Police Department. He was doing traffic control for a BC Lions game and was hit by a driver and killed. Sept 16th 1963 was the day that I would never meet my dad’s dad. I would never have a grandfather because of this day. I would never know what is it like to go fishing with a grandpa, here stories of his time as a police officer, and never know the man that I have only heard few stories of. Sept 16th 1963 took away memories that I would never be able to make.
My dad was 10. I can’t imagine losing a parent at 10. And sadly, he doesn’t talk about his dad. He wasn’t allowed to, his new step father forbid it and completely cut my dad’s family off from seeing their dad’s family. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I met some of my dad’s cousins and aunts. It’s weird hearing stories of a man you never met. It’s weird hearing people say “your grandfather was so fun” or “your grandfather would have loved to meet you”. Your grandfather. I never had a grandfather. I never called anyone grandpa. (Besides my best friends grandpa, who insisted that I call him grandpa too). To this day, I will say “my dad’s dad”. (And no I never called, or referred to my dad’s step dad as grandpa, he was an awful man and we did not have a relationship with him). It’s so crazy that a man, on Sept 16th 1963, killed a man that I really wish I could have met. I have heard he was so tall and loved to laugh. I hear he was the life of the party and was pretty funny. But one man’s poor decisions took that all way. On the last Sunday of every September, there is a police memorial to honor those who have lost their lives serving. Many people, families municipalities, general public and politicians (mainly because they want to be seen on camera) come to honor those who have died. I sit there looking at the families that have lost their mom/wife, or dad/husband, and though I am sad for them, I’m jealous that they got time with their loved one. It’s heartbreaking to see them hear the name of their family member and watch the tears flow. My dad and aunts are sitting there listening for their dad’s name to be called, their hero, who went to work and never came home. It’s such an odd feeling of sadness and almost an emptiness.
And I sit there thinking, Sept 16th 1963. Sept 16th 1963, years before I was born, a day that changed my life. And I think, who is the man that killed my dad’s dad. He never went to jail. He turned himself in the next day. He was never punished (except for a hit and run, not murder). It was assumed he was drinking, but he never admitted to that. Who is this man? Is he still alive? Does he remember Sept 16th 1963? Did he go on living his life? Did he ever want to apologize to my dad’s family? Does he know what he destroyed? Does he care? Does he know the man he killed had kids and a wife? That he had family that loved him? That he would have grandkids that would sit at his memorial and wonder? Does he see the news reports of the memorial and think, I’m the reason you are having this memorial? Does he sit with his grandkids and know that there are grandkids that don’t know their grandfather because of him? I would like to talk to him. Is that weird? Not to get mad at him, or yell at him. But I want to know, does he think of these things? This year, Nals came with me to the memorial. I was with my dad’s younger sister and my mom. I go to support my family and represent the families that are impacted by the deaths of the officers that have lost their lives serving their cities and neighbourhoods. I know it’s important to my dad and his sisters that I help remember their father, a man that I would never meet. What was interesting this year, is that during the procession, when the officers walk out, they usually turn and salute the families, but this year, they walked right on by and turned to salute the Premier JH. (Like I said, they come to be on camera and this year, took away from the families). One more thing I will share…my dad’s dad was killed in an intersection I drive through 2x a day, on my way to and from work. Every day, I pass the spot that someone I would know but never meet, died. The report states the driver carried him 80ft before stopping, getting out of his car to look around, and then drove away. I drive this route. This exact spot where Sept 16th 1963 changed my life. Sept 16th 1963; A day that I won’t ever forget.
Some career opportunities have come up and so a rehaul was due.
A few years ago, I made a huge change. I left the comfort of my full-time job in mental health, to go to a part-time job in the medical field. I needed to switch gears. And the leftover time would allow me to pursue my business idea and some extras.
This was a brilliant move!
Then things started to feel a little stale. Burlesque, getaways and fitness made things a bit exciting and now we’re back to a feeling a bit stagnant.
So, I took a leap of faith on some opportunities that happened to come my way. And, it’s official: I’m back full-time in mental health!
Overall, this is a good move for me and my future. Then why do I feel this anxiety, which is overwhelming at times?
Did you know that stress is multidimensional?
It affects our cognitive, physical, behavioural and social dimensions.
have a positive (eustress) and/or negative (distress) nature,
have a time frame: acute or chronic (or even acute on chronic),
be planned or unexpected.
There are pros and cons to everything. And that’s okay. It’s in how you process it and to find appropriate supports.
For me, the CBT approach works best. I know that I ruminate in my feelings like a dog rolls around in a rotting carcass**. My previous negative experiences roll into it. And all these feelings become overwhelming. They overwhelm my logic and I sink farther into the well. I also have a tendency to bottle it all up°.
What works for me
I recognize there’s a problem°°,
I label my feelings and thought distortions,
I use logic to break my thought cycles,
I talk it out with a trusted support person.
If you are new to CBT or its tenets don’t quite resonate, N&K encourage you to research different techniques. And then to get appropriate support.
Here is a list of clickable resources to get you N&Kers started:
Footnotes: *Winning a competition can be positive. But, there can be negatives too such as feeling more pressure to win the next comp and feeling like the need to train harder. But maybe you don’t have the resources or social support for this. *An example of acute on chronic is: having a large distressing debt and then all of a sudden, my car breaks down. I don’t have the money to fix it but I need my car to get to work to help pay down the debt. **Except I don’t want to roll around in it. °Not sure why I bottled shit up. It’s probably rooted in not being able to trust. But I’ve learned that I have lots of supportive people around, and I can trust them. °°It took me a long time to realize that feelings are not fact. Feelings can be overwhelming. There are a lot of tools to help me manage. And I know I can manage when I recognize there’s an issue.
Well it started off in the 80s in France with a french dude who wanted to host an elegant outdoor dinner. He asked his buddies to meet at the park but dressed in white, to be easily identifiable.
Then… His son started the tradition in Montreal 30 years later. It trickled into Le Grand Pomme… And now it’s in like 80 cities, worldwide.
The Registration Process.
You put your name down for Vancouver’s DeB waiting list. (We did this in Winter 2018),
You’ll be emailed 3 more times with VIP RSVP dates (different invitation levels May-July),
Once you get to level 3, you choose your Table/Team Leads, meeting location and if you’d like: booze and nibbles.
We ordered our wine and food.
The Day-Of Travel
When we registered, I didn’t know if Kells was working so I figured the best thing to do was to choose Skytrain option. (We both live near-ish to stops.) But it was evening rush hour and we got some snarkerton looks**. Some peeps smiled and asked if we were going to “that white party”.
Not gonna lie, N&K’ers: travel was onerous. But, we’ve got some workarounds for next year.
L e E v e n t
We brought our own tables. But, since they were all the same shape/size with the white dressings, the whole thing looked like one seemless En Blanc party. And if there’s one thing Nals enjoys, it’s symmetry.¶
Once all folks were set up, we started off with the napkin wave. Then we tucked in.
When I was in Home Economics in highschool, I loved the din at the end of the class when we’d sit, eat and talk. It was warm, enveloping and cozy. The low conversational murmur, infectious laughter occasionally breaking through, soft clinks of cutlery and glass… That’s exactly what DeB reminded me of.
Because the N&K Team & Table Leaders were organized, we were set up in great time. We chatted with our lovely teammates.
We had a special guest that evening: DeB royalty Francois and his wife. It was her birthday and Francois serenaded her. He was probably a bit tipsy, and the singing was a bit off-key but it was the ballsy thought that counts.
When it was dark enough, we ended off with a magical moment: the signature group sparklers.
When it was dark enough, we ended off with a magical moment: the signature group sparklers.
DeB criticisms include pretentious,classist, overpriced, not family friendly and lost the original intent. Kids are not allowed on-site due to alcohol. But other than that, we found that there were a variety of folks there. Some were dressed in simple whites and other tables had lavish lights and overhead deco.
N&K can tell you is that it was a fun, friendly, magical evening. We will definitely be doing it again next year.
Footnotes *Bring Your Own Everything like food, real cutlery, tables, chairs, table linens and centrepieces. Note that alcohol can only be purchased through DeB. **Not because we had so much stuff but because we looked so cultishly regal in our blanc ensembles. ¶ This could be because I like to organize things or maybe it’s a facet of biology.