The Bear Who Let It Alone – James Thurber

In the woods of the Far West there once lived a brown bear who could take it or let it alone. He would go into a bar where they sold mead, a fermented drink made of honey, and he would have just two drinks. Then he would put some money on the bar and say, “See what the bears in the back room will have,” and he would go home. But finally he took to drinking by himself most of the day.

He would reel home at night, kick over the umbrella stand, knock down the bridge lamps, and ram his elbows through the windows. Then he would collapse on the floor and lie there until he went to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.

At length the bear saw the error of his ways and began to reform. In the end he became a famous teetotaler and a persistent temperance lecturer. He would tell everybody that came to his house about the awful effects of drink, and he would boast about how strong and well he had become since he gave up touching the stuff. To demonstrate this, he would stand on his head and on his hands and he would turn cartwheels in the house, kicking over the umbrella stand, knocking down the bridge lamps, and ramming his elbows through the windows.

Then he would lie down on the floor, tired by his healthful exercise, and go to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed and his children were very frightened.

—— My dad showed me this little story one day and I find it a nice reminder to avoid the extremes that are forced upon us everyday. Whether its working out for hours on end to have the 6 pack you’ve always dreamed of, or eating only locally grown, organically fed, paleo friendly, uber healthy fancy food because you will feel so much better if you do, it’s two extremes that create unrealistic expectations. Yes, eating healthy and exercising regularly are important, but we are human and should be allowed to enjoy ourselves without feeling guilty. Go to the gym for an hour, have that glass of wine, but maybe don’t live at the gym or drink the whole bottle of wine. We all have our own happy medium of healthy, and just because mine doesn’t include 150lbs dead-lifts or a strictly organic diet, doesn’t mean its not healthy, its just realistic for my lifestyle.

So next time the internet tells you to join the raw food movement, or guilts you into going to the gym, just think of the bear who let it alone and stick with your happy medium. Also, try not to knock over any umbrella stands in the process.

 

HT

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Home sweet home?

I’ve been in Kamloops just over a month now and when I first got here I found myself missing the comforts of home. When I say home I don’t just mean Penticton, where I grew up, but also Toronto, and Calgary. I lived in both of these cities long enough to make them feel like home as well and that made me wonder what it will take to consider Kamloops home too.

Penticton will always be home because it is where I grew up and where my family still lives, but Toronto is another of my homes where I learned how to be independent and a (somewhat) functioning adult. Calgary is a different kind of home because I only lived there a year, but in that time I met some amazing people who changed the way I look at the world and I worked in a place that gave me skills I will use for the rest of my life. Kamloops is  my new ‘home’, although it doesn’t feel like it yet. With that in mind I have come up with some things I’ve noticed about Kamloops that could become part of why I might soon consider it home.

1. The landscape: Every time I park my car in Lot U or K (the ones behind the New Residence Building) I am taken in by the view of the valley, with the river winding into the distance and the mountains towering above. Cities don’t have views like that and I think its something we take for granted living in a place this picturesque.

2. Motivo/Zack’s Coffee: as an avid coffee drinking one of the most important things to make me feel at home is finding a coffee shop that makes my coffee just the way I like it and has an atmosphere conducive to reading. Motivo makes a wicked latte and has some delicious food, and its the perfect weekend study spot downtown on Victoria Street. Zack’s coffee also knows how I like my coffee and with a location near campus I can get my coffee fix between classes!

3. The Squirrels: the squirrels at TRU are some of the most adorable little creatures I have ever seen. City squirrels do not compare to these disney-like munchkins scurrying around campus. The city variety are black and scraggly, and usually mean and aggressive. For context here is a picture of a creepy city squirrel.

Image

4. Proximity to Penticton (without having to live in Penticton):  I haven’t lived this close to my family in 7 years and it is really comforting to be able to drive down and visit them in just a few short hours. This coming weekend will be my first Thanksgiving at home in the same amount of time and I couldn’t be more excited! A small town like Penticton doesn’t change much from year to year, so I always find in comforting to be able to go back and it will still be the same as I left it from my last visit.

Now I know these aren’t ground breaking discoveries, but I think the little things are what make the difference in the long run. The places I have lived may have helped shape me into the person I am today, but that’s not what I think of when I think of home. I think of my favorite little coffee shop in Calgary and the best all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant in Toronto and most of all I think of the people I shared those places with.

I can’t guarantee that I will put my roots down in Kamloops when I finish my program, but I hope that if and when I do leave, it will become a city I can add to my list of homes along with a list of people that made it feel that way.

That’s it for me,

HT

p.s. Please comment if you have any Kamloops gems I haven’t discovered!

She once was a what?

Allow me to explain myself:

I am 24 years young and moved to Kamloops from Calgary where I lived for a year working in a restaurant and trying to sort it all out (‘it’ being my life). When I was accepted to the Respiratory Therapy program my parents were just relieved that I wasn’t going to end up working in a truck stop diner waiting tables for the rest of my life! But before any of this is I was a Blue.

When I graduated from high school back in 2007, I had no idea who or what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I did know that I loved Field Hockey and I needed an education.  One of my goals throughout high school was to pursue the sport at the highest level I was capable of, so I found a University that had a good reputation both on and off the field. That search led me to the University of Toronto. My time there was remarkable, I made life-long friends, learned so much, and developed an identity centered around being a field hockey player for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. I was team captain for 3 years and we won 2 National Championships during my 5 years playing for the team. Graduating was very bittersweet, I loved being a Varsity Blue and all that came with it, but I also knew it was time for me to move on to the next chapter.

Flash forward to week one at TRU and having to introduce yourself in 100 words or less. I used to find it so easy to introduce myself to a group of new people because I was a Varsity Blues Field Hockey player. With all these formal introductions I’ve had a bit of an identity crisis. I can’t decide what version of myself I want to present, because the one I was most proud of is in the past.

Now that’s all cleared up, I think I have managed to establish the theme of this blog – me, finding my new identity starting in year one of Respiratory Therapy.

But deep down, I will always be a Blue.

HT