Sunday, October 14, 2012

Summer days driftin' away...

What's happened to the summer? As I see the pumpkins winking from doorsteps and the leaves drifting down, I wonder how the summer got away from me so quickly.

I did manage a few fun things, although there were no big trips. Note to self: stop working so much and start having more fun.

With that, a run-down of the fun I did have:

Sunday, September 23, 2012


There is a spotlight on the water. It is cast by the moon, smudged and hazy overhead, and yet managing to bathe the night - the theatre stage, the audience - in a white glow.

I'm sitting on an outcrop of rock by the water. I'm watching the ripples of water in the cove as they catch the moon's rays. I can hear fish surfacing to eat their evening snack. Or maybe it's just air bubbles bursting on the surface -- it's that quiet. I can hear an animal cleaning and scratching itself by the water's edge. I'm not sure how far away it is as it sounds so close. But I know the water to be easily 10 metres below me.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Do you have the answer?

I find myself wishing that someone would just tell me what to do. It would make things infinitely easier, afterall.

But would it?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

What happens when you die?

This past week, I've had the chance to think about what happens when you die.

Uplifting, I know. But I actually don't think that's so morbid. Death is the one thing we're all hurtling toward. It's just a reality: part of the circle of life.

That's not to say that I don't believe we can be sad when someone important leaves our lives. It's called missing them. We'd miss them similarly if they had decided to leave our lives in any other way. Except that this is final. No changing your mind. No seeing them accidentally on the street. No chance that they'll send you an email to prop you up when you really need it.

But it brought up the question as we sat around the table: what happens to them when they're gone?

Monday, July 02, 2012

Chicago: Diving in

Chicago River walk
Sometimes, you need to recharge.

Work and life and health and everything conspire and it's like you can't even see your way forward anymore. Stuck. In the mess of your mind.

There have been so many things happening. Changes. Pressures. Plans. Work. Scheduling and task lists. Tempers and holding it all together. Barely. Thoughts about what I'm doing. And why. And what's next.

It was all clouding my brain. I wasn't being a very good me. Not blogging or writing at all, in fact. You know things aren't good when I'm not writing.

And then -- finally -- along comes the much-anticipated IABC World Conference! I was looking forward to it. I needed to get out of the office. To open up my brain to new thoughts and ideas. Figure out my way forward. Chicago is the perfect city.

It was perfect. I got some fantastic inspiration from the speakers. Some ideas from other attendees and exhibitors. And support and general time to talk with my boss. On top of that, I got to remember that my life is important, too. I remembered how much I love adventure and exploring.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Cathy shuts up

Darth Bear helped me remember that just breathing is enough
I had known it was coming for months. I'd been looking forward to it since December.

My vocal chord surgery.

I have a virus that causes extraordinary cell growth on my vocal chords. Over the past year or more, my voice had slowly changed, becoming deeper, softer and more problematic in social situations.

I got headaches when I talked too much. I had to push to make myself heard. My neck craned at odd angles to get the sound out. I couldn't attend networking events, parties, restaurants -- because no one could hear me. It was time for a change. I was ready.

Friday, March 16, 2012

So there we were, at the top of the world...

Me and my mom at Revelstoke
It's been a week since I was on the slopes in the Rockies.  I suppose I've stopped dreaming about it now. I was just looking through a few of the photos posted and got a bit of heartache.

Vacations are always hard for me to come back from. I suffer from a bit of "but why can't I ALWAYS be on vacation?" And a bit of "why can't I run away from life? It's kind of hard."

So, when I returned from vacation feeling down, I guess I knew why. Don't get me wrong: I wished I didn't feel that way. It's so impractical, afterall. Of course you can't always be on vacation. Of course I need to have a job so that I can actually afford to go skiing. And likely, the very reason I appreciate my vacation so much is that it isn't all the time. It's special. It's called a getaway for a reason. I'm getting away from the usual, every day here.

Our family skiing vacation is pretty amazing though. How often do you hear about grown families spending an entire week together in challenging conditions (no, we don't actually go luxury), and not killing each other? Or at least having some pretty loud difference of opinion? OK, maybe we're just a little bit more quiet and inward, but we really do get along for the most part. A bit of eye rolling and deep breathing about covers the extent of our conflict.

Friday, January 27, 2012


For years I've listened to folks singing the praises of their mobile phones.

At worst, I thought them a slave to their jobs, the always-on culture of work and even forced social connectivity, sacrificing the experience of life. At best I thought them a slave to new technology, buying into the consumerist culture of new, more, better, different.

And here I sit, writing my blog on the streetcar as a thought occurs to me, as inspiration strikes.

The inspiration? I love my mobile phone.

Just a few moments ago, as I stood waiting for the streetcar, my phone told me I had a meeting coming up in 10 minutes. I emailed a colleague that I was going to be late. I knew this as I had checked Where's My Streetcar? to see when my ride might arrive. It wasn't going to be soon. Now, instead of panicking or feeling guilt-ridden about wasting a colleague's time, I was able to thoughtfully let them know that I was thinking about them; that our meeting was important to me, even though I would be late.

I enjoyed my morning ride in all the more for it.

I can still read my book on the TTC. But I could decide that a professional development article was more important to catch up on. Or send that email I'd forgotten the night before. Or find out what my friends are up to on Facebook and Twitter. Or I could blog. Unless I want to look up where to go for dinner or if there are any travel deals I can jump on or book my weekend car rental.

I'll admit it. It's the future. And my life is actually the better for it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Who needs a website? I do! I do! Me too, please!

Last weeked, I visited my friend Anita so I could meet her new baby. She's the one who took the photos at my wedding like the one here (I mean Anita, not the baby).

I'm also working on her new photography website for

It's going to be a WordPress site, thank goddess, because frankly that makes it easier for everyone. She gets to update her site without worrying that she's going to wreck something. I get to help her strategize, then set her up with a site and a plan and not think about it again until she decides she's ready to do something new.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm cookin'

Cookin' in my kitchen, Jan 2009
Inspired by my friends, Evelyn and Chris, and by the fact that I actually had to increase my bra size this year (due to fat, not due to majikly increased voluptuousness), I've downloaded and signed up for MyFitnessPal.

I'm actually kind of embarassed about it because it's so quintessentially a New Year's Resolution kind of thing to do. When, in fact, it wasn't one of my resolutions (being more active was, I suppose, but this wasn't what I had in mind).

Perhaps I was also motivated by newly-diagnosed reflux condition which should limit my food volume. Honestly, in general, I've been feeling crap and I want to stop feeling like crap. This is just one among a few initiatives I'm undertaking.

Another initiative started with my 2010 list: Cook more.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Something different

Sometimes you need to do things differently
Today I will do something different.

Today I will speak publicly and it kind of terrifies me. I'm not really sure why it terrifies me. Likely because I fear that I will not be as good as I want to be. I want to be the best ever. I want to inspire people. I want to make a difference in someone's life.

So why am I doing it?

The easy answer is that someone asked me to do it. The harder answer is that I secretly wanted to do it. For all those reasons above: I want to make a difference in someone's life. Maybe what really want is to feel special. And being asked to speak did that, all by itself. But now I'm moving on to thinking about the doing. The "what I'll say" part. The "how I'll inspire" aspect. Wondering how I'll be special in my listeners' minds.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Website update: Implementing a new Blogger template

My first website from February 2002. Aww yeah.
If you read my "2011: The Year in Review" post, you know that I wanted to update my website. Because it's ugly. And I made it in 2002.

Yes, that's right, 10 years ago. It's a wee bit behind the times. (I had a website before that, but while it  used my favourite colour, it wasn't functional. That's it to the right.)

So I was sitting on the couch with my husband and my cat with my computer warming my lap and I thought I'd do some research. If you know me, that's always a bad sign. It never stops there.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2011: The year in review

cupcake clock
Cupcake clock at our NYE party
Oh, how time flies.

I could have sworn that I did nothing this year, but upon reflection, I guess there were a few things:
  • I got a new boss, a new title and two new employees
  • I launched four major projects: The MaRS refresh, MaRS Mobile, Mod Media Makers and the MaRS Commons. A bunch of smaller ones, and another major one ready to launch this month.
  • The bathroom renovation was completed (a 3-week project that turned into 6 months)
  • We fixed the heating duct that leads up to the bathroom and guest room. By "we" of course I mean my family
  • Renovated the master bedroom, moving the closet from one wall to another, changing the layout entirely, finding out the exterior bricks were "melting" and that we had rotten wood and mould. Replaced it all before putting in insulation, drywall, painting, flooring, trimwork and baseboards.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Worlds away

It's been a three weeks.

Funny to think that, this time a few weeks ago, I was floating on the ocean on an inflatable mattress. Gently rocking on the waves. Listening to the splash, the birds, the breeze, my breath.

Today, I'm cozied-up under my wool throw in my window seat with a cup of coffee nestled against my chest, my cat draped across my legs, listening to the wind and rain.

The weeks back at work has my shoulders creeping back up towards my ears. It took me days to relax enough to enjoy the waves crashing on the rocks, salt water cooling down my sun-warmed skin, as I read long-awaited books, stretched out on the sand.