To say that I have been busy over the last few years would be a huge understatement.
Buying a house, selling a house, packing, moving, unpacking, tying up loose ends before retiring, all while a worldwide pandemic was raging was tough.
When I retired, the first few months were spent clearing what I call “the backlog of backlogs”, tending to appointments and in-person shopping that I could not complete during the pandemic restrictions.
It was only after rejigging my retirement routine a few dozen times that I finally found time to catch my breath. That was when clarity started setting in.
I started noticing the finer details of the flora and fauna around our rural property. I found that my ability to remember names, dates and details was improving. Ideas for my writing would actually stick around for a while and not go “poof” if I didn’t write them down immediately.
But one day, after my morning shower, as I was applying my anti-perspirant, my new-found clarity turned to horror when I noticed the tissue in the triceps area flopping around. When did that happen? Continue reading
After an Ottawa winter that seemingly never ended, there is no greater pleasure than the feeling of the sun’s warmth against our skin. But as some experts tell us, we can enjoy that feeling but we should be protecting that skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
I am no stranger to sunscreen. I have been wearing it pretty faithfully over the years, and stepping up the SPF number at the urging of my dermatologist. Because I am pretty fair-skinned and can burn pretty easily, it makes sense.
But much like I have described in other blog posts, shopping for a sunscreen is another never ending episode of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.
A few years ago, I was introduced to a brand of sunscreen that I considered “just right”. It had a nice light fragrance, it didn’t feel sticky, and it held up well when I was out running. Basically, it felt like I wasn’t wearing sunscreen when I had it on. I could even reapply it throughout the day and not feel like an oil slick. To me, that was the gold standard.
But I wonder if they changed the recipe because it doesn’t feel “just right” anymore. By my schnoz, the pleasant scent now seems to present notes of chemicals (which makes me a little apprehensive about meetings in small boardrooms) and the texture seems stickier than before.
Even if I wrote to the company with my questions, would it change anything? Probably not. And there is a chance that it could be my body chemistry changing, as opposed to the product. Some colognes I wore a decade or two ago smell very differently on me now, so I wouldn’t rule out that a sunscreen that was once perfect, might not behave the same on my approaching-geriatric skin.
And so began the auditions for a new sunscreen. Continue reading
Perhaps you may think that athletes are a pretty superstitious bunch: a lucky golf shirt, hockey socks that don’t get washed for months, putting on one’s shoes or pant legs in a specific order, tapping the goal posts before a game. Everyone has their ritual and it isn’t always logic that rules such behaviours.
Even in my journey as a runner, I have had an inside view of all kinds of pre-race rituals including lucky running shirts, lucky socks, lucky shoes, anti-chafing products, anti-blister products, special meals, a prescribed series of stretches, a perfect playlist of music in a specific range of beats-per-minute, taping one’s nipples so that they do not bleed, and icing body parts to fend off inflammation, to name a few. To an insider they all make sense, but out of context, some might be perceived as downright weird. At the end of the day, whatever it takes to keep someone happy, engaged, comfortable and injury-free in order to go the distance and meet their goals, seems generally well-accepted.
The writing world is very much the same as some successful authors throughout history have been known to have their unique methods to achieve peak performance:
– Mark Twain and Truman Capote were reported to have written several works in bed, specifically in the horizontal position.
– Agatha Christie and Edmond Rostand were known to write in the bathtub in an effort to fend off interruptions.
– Ernest Hemingway and Albert Camus are reported to have written standing up.
– Several writers are known to have done their best work in the nude, including Victor Hugo and Benjamin Franklin.
If you have a look on the web, there is a segment of the writing world that refers to itself as “car writers”, people who seek the privacy and seclusion of their car in order to concentrate and produce their best work. Continue reading