Monday, February 7, 2011

Top 50 over 50

Yesterday I took advantage of fresh powder here in the Rockies and skied for 3 hours with some friends. One of them is Martha. Martha is a "femme d'un certain age" as they say in French. Like me, she's tall, blonde and over 50. What a remarkable woman! She's been a wildlife biologist, an irridologist, and ran a successful restaurant in Canmore for 3 years. She's published scientific papers, climbed tall peaks, and traveled all over the world. She currently makes her living as a hiking guide, and a yoga and meditation teacher. She gets paid to take folks heli-yoga or heli-snowshoe trips! She's helped vets overcome PTSD while working with Outward Bound. She's a fantastic skier! She blew down a long mogul field covered with 5cm of fresh powder without stopping to catch her breath!

Later this week, Martha's off to guide a mindful meditation trip into the Grand Canyon, and she's been cooking and drying the food to get ready. In March, she's heading to Morocco to be tech support for an extreme race. Later this year, she'll guide a trip to the West Coast Trail. How is that for crafting an original life? Oh, and she's also the mother of 2 teenagers who has managed to parent with a light but effective hand so that her kids don't just respect her, they LIKE her.

Yesterday, I told her that she's like the woman I always wanted to become. She's an adventurer who has crafted a life that perfectly suits her. She's compassionate, overflowing with love, welcoming and kind. She's full of life, humour, gratitude, forgiveness and patience. What a woman! She's living proof that you can be yourself and thrive. I am blessed to know her, and curious to know more about her journey from there to here so that I might share some learning with you, and learn more myself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

300 year plan

In business we plan in 3 month, 12 month and 36 month cycles. Personally I have a few 10 year plan items. Today, my friend Jean and I were talking about the Notre Dame cathedral and remarking that it was part of a 300-year project plan! "What is there these days with a 300 year plan?" we wondered.
Since we couldn't think of a single thing, we wondered, "What's changed?"

It actually took over 200 years to design and build the cathedral, I was off by a mere century. 1160 to 1345 A.D. and still standing almost 7 centuries later. But it meant that if you were the gargoyle carver, you might never see your carvings in situ. You'd carve over 30-40 years only to have your work taken over by an apprentice. I guess in that way, continuity was preserved. Most of what we tend to today has such a short horizon. I wonder if that disconnects us from our impact, awareness and acceptance of our role in the long range?

Canmore, Alberta

I live in the most amazing town! In one week's span I can:
-take a workshop on book binding and creation given by the endlessly creative Dea Fischer. Find her blog here 
-learn about permaculture and help to design a community garden Visual Meeting Notes on Prezi
-hear live music at any number of venues--including my home. We've got Cosy Sheridan and TR Ritchie coming on Wednesday
-sample excellent wines at the Canmore Wine Merchants
-hike up Cougar Creek through a canyon to a milky blue cascade of ice. Thanks Denny Pratt for photo
-eat hand made truffles at Le Chocolatier or drink coffee flavoured stout at the Grizzly Paw
-skate on the outdoor pond with heated benches
-ski along wooded trails at the Nordic Centre  or even ski to Banff on Goat Creek trail
-eat a fabulous meal at innumerable eateries
-see mountain culture films like Mi Chacra at the Banff Centre
-watch the AJHL Eagles battle the Olds Grizzlys
-walk little white fluffy dogs along a frozen river
-get an energy treatment from Rose Reeder that'll clear out the emotional ghosts that haunt you
-massage out body tightness with Lu Duce at Wilflower--she's remarkable, or extremely knowledgeable Lisa Rummel--yes related to the famous Lizzy Rummel!
-oh, and did I mention dancing freely at the Canmore Hotel to the blues legend Sonny Rhoads?!
-or hanging with friends, doing charades or playing Monopoly
-or just renting a movie and snuggling on the couch
If you are an ice climber, good on you. There's that too. And knitting circles/clubs, avalanche training, wilderness first aid, and comparative religions courses. It's hard to choose.

It's an incredible place my Canmore.