Dodging Holiday Bullets

It's been mentioned a time or two on this blog that my husband and I do not share a religion.  He's Christian, I'm...  not.  As such, Christmas is a holy day for him and his family, whereas for me it's... well, not.  Christmas, for me, is an entirely secular holiday, an excuse to not go to work, to exchange presents, and to see my family (or friends, those years I was working retail.  But I respect that it's a sacred day for many people, and as such I have never felt comfortable sending out Christmas cards, per se.

Yep, you read that right: I sent out "Happy Holiday" cards not because I'm "at war with Christmas", but because I respect it, and because I don't want to falsely represent myself as someone who observes it as a religious holiday.

This caused me to have a tiny little crisis during out first Christmas as a married couple, because- as I mentioned- Nathan is Christian, and as much as I don't want to falsely represent myself as a Christian, I don't want to falsely represent him as not.  He celebrates Christmas, his family celebrates Christmas, and they are the type of people who do not settle for a generic "happy holidays": nor should they.  They have a specific holiday, and it's theirs, and they shouldn't have to censor their greetings any more than I should be censured for saying "Happy Solstice!" (which falls on the 22nd this year, in case you were curious).

Now, let me clarify: Nathan doesn't care about holiday cards, Christmas or otherwise.  Left up to him, there would be no seasonal greetings upon card stock, let alone photos and letters, etc etc.  So he was just as happy not sending anything- which was a perfectly reasonable solution to my holiday-spirit-ual dilema.

But I was not okay not sending anything.  I like sending out cards (you should see me around Valentine's Day), and I didn't want to not do it just because we couldn't agree on the wording (and by "we", I mean my own brain).  At last, however, a solution sprang fully formed from the aether, allowing me to to make everyone happy- including, most importantly, myself.

Thus did my tradition of sending "Happy New Year!" cards begin.
This Man is Not Afraid to wish you a Merry Christmas


The Adventures of Weenie McSissyPants

After my excellent reintroduction to climbing the other evening, I was very excited to get up and go bouldering this morning.  I waltzed into the gym about an hour after they opened, found it pleasingly underpopulated, and slipped on my shoes.  Then I sauntered over to the empty bouldering area, stretched out, sat back, and considered my routes.

I shall start with a V0, I thought.  Just to get warmed up.  And then move my way up until I get tired.  No need to rush right into a V2.

No need, indeed, gentle readers, for that V0 I first tried my hand(s) at was only just barely conquered- and it was my only victory of the morning.  I was swiftly- and humbly- reminded how much freaking harder bouldering is than harness climbing, especially when most of the bouldering area seems to consist of overhangs.  Verily, my hiney was most thoroughly kicked.

And so it was I found myself taking my shoes off after about half an hour of good-faith effort, the words weenie mcsissypants floating through my head.  Fortunately, however, Older and Wiser O was able to counter those words with, "For the love of stars, you haven't bouldered in at least six years.  It is going to take time to build your muscles back up.  Not to mention your technique.  So just be pleased that you managed to complete even one problem, and then go look at the message board for someone you might want to be belay partners with."

And I did.


Stress Relief

Egads, it's December!

...but chances are you knew that already.

I am feeling good right now, the sort of sore looseness that only comes after a good workout.  It is a much needed looseness, coming as it does after the Thanksgiving holiday which, while wonderful and full of family, was also full of Stress (capital S).  Not even Thanksgiving per se (or, as I prefer to call it, Turkey Liberation Day), but the following Tuesday.  That was the day my mom and stepdad headed back home, which came on top of a couple of other (non-related) Emotional Low Blows.  As such I did not go to work that day, but instead engaged in two sure-fire stress relievers: I made lists, and I cleaned house.

That was not enough, and so last night I baked.

I was still feeling like Blah this morning, but that was okay because I knew what adventure this evening held: my brush-up climbing class at Vancouver's new rock gym.  Although to be perfectly candid, as the hour drew near I found it was adding to my stress rather than relieving it.  I started to feel really nervous, and vomitty, and all-around I-don't-want-to-go-ish (because what if I look like a fool??).  But I did go, and I had a really excellent time.  I found that I hadn't forgotten nearly as much as I'd thought I had in the three years since I last put on a harness, and moreover that it's really every bit as fun as I remembered.  After warming up on a couple of routes, I pushed myself by doing a 5.8, and although I took a fall on that one my partner (brand new to belaying) caught me and all was well (and then I finished it, which was even more well).  By the time I finished my last climb of the night (a 5.7 with the teensiest bit of overhang that my triceps are currently making much of) I'd worked up a happy, healthy sweat, and a determination to make it out there at least three times a week.  Not to mention the happy sore looseness.

And now?  Now we sleep the sleep of the (stress-free) righteous.