jennasday

Health, fitness, communications, and everything in between!


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Thoughts are sometimes heavy

I was setting my phone up in the hands-free holder as this man walked toward me. He was clearly homeless or living in poverty, and he was bigger than me and I was alone.

He walked almost in front of the car – was he blocking me in? – then made his way to my open window. Two feet from me, and no one was around.

“Do you harrr amm hmm?”

I couldn’t understand him, but it was clear what he was looking for.

“I’m sorry,” I told him. “I don’t have anything on me.”

I lied.

I did have money on me, including a reasonable amount of cash. I could have given him change.

But fear for my own safety mixed with worry about giving him money he could use for further self-harm, and I didn’t.

As he walked away, I thought again about how life isn’t fair. It’s a thought that comes to me often. I don’t have to fight against racism or generations of addition and abuse. He probably does, and based on our interaction today, right now it looks like he’s losing.

As he walked away, I felt a lot of things. Guilt for being afraid. Confusion about how the world can be so breathtakingly gorgeous but still hold so much pain. And a lot of sadness because things are hard for him, and even though I care, I didn’t help.

I know there are a lot of layers to homelessness, poverty, and addictions. There’s way more to it than I understand. But people are still people, and I need to do more. WE need to do more.

*I posted this on my Facebook a few days ago. Several people commented on it saying I shouldn’t feel guilty for putting safety first, and I don’t really. It’s just one of a number of feelings this encounter up for me. And I do think we should do more. 


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Lightening review: My Side of the Mountain

It’s always a pleasure to revisit an old favourite, and this is exactly what I did when I reread My Side of the Mountain by Jean George. It was one of my favourites as a kid; I read it many times, so it was nice to go back.

The story follows Sam, young teen from New York City, who has decided he will run away from home and live off the land. He makes his way to his great-grandfather’s land in the Catskill Mountains, determined to survive free of dependence on electricity and machines. Throughout the book he comes a long way from the first night – when he can’t get a fire started and is convinced he will freeze and starve – to making a home for himself, finding a plethora of food sources, and even making new clothes.

My Side of the Mountain is an interesting examination of survival and solitude. It was a fairly short read (I finished it in less than a day) but it’s well-crafted, interesting, and different from what I’ve been reading lately. Still holds up, all these years after publication (1959). Recommended for all from children to adults.


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Production Designer: High School Tough Guys

It was a great pleasure to work on this project. The tasks were varied, the cast and crew were fantastic, and I got to try something new! But as it always does, it really came together in the editing suite. It was so exciting to see the final product:

I literally jumped around and couldn’t stop smiling when I found my name in the credits. That’s me, for real, right there in the credits. Production designer. I designed stuff. For the production. Because I was the production designer. Truly exciting.