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Magic at a stoplight

Sometimes when I’m driving and have hit a stoplight, I get this strange feeling. There is no moment we can go back and recapture, but sometimes sitting with the red light shining above me, this seems especially clear.

It’s a moment like no other, me sitting in my car and the others waiting at the light with me, both beside and around me and across the intersection, their lights blending into mine.

Tonight on my way in to work it seemed especially magical. I stopped at the red light and watched a weathered man take his turn to cross. He carried two heavy plastic bags and seemed as if he’d been fighting for a while. My heart ached for him.

Crossing the other way was a young woman, maybe a student, crossing the street with her phone to her ear. Her pace was somewhere between a wander and a stride. I wondered if she had anywhere to be that night. It didn’t seem like it.

A cyclist crossed quickly, from my left to my right, toque on his head. The risks of cycling on the road flashed around me and I hoped for his safety.

Then the light changed, and the vehicles across the intersection moved forward and past us, while those of us waiting at the light moved forward ourselves. The moment was gone; the magic was over. .

Sometimes when I’m waiting at a stoplight, my imagination runs wild.


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How do you know what you want?

I read a lot of articles about productivity and work and finding the right niche for yourself. Today I read two articles that both told me in no uncertain terms that I had to know what I want in order to get it. And I need to get specific about it.

This makes sense. How can you reach a destination without knowing where you’re headed? The problem is, for years I’ve struggled to know what it is I want. The things I know I want are a little more abstract: I want the freedom to visit my family and friends, I want to be free from worrying about money, I want to be able to stay in shape and eat tasty food and be creative.

But – who do I want to visit, and how often? How much money is enough to keep from worrying? Do I want a trainer or a variety of sports/activities? Would I prefer to be creative in my work or on the side? How do you figure this stuff out? I don’t even know which department I want to work in, much less exactly where I want to be living in five years.

How do people figure this stuff out?

Tips are welcome.

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A month of new recipes

I’m so excited! It’s been a tough summer for cooking with my job, so when it’s done it’s time for a new challenge: a month of never cooking the same thing twice. That’s right, it’s going to be a month of new recipes!

This challenge was inspired by my friend Chris, who came over once with a delicious butter chicken meal to share with me. As I was commenting on how tasty it was, he mentioned that it was a new recipe – and in fact he had never cooked the same meal twice.

I’m not ready for that type of lifelong commitment, but I’m pumped for this because:

  1. I get to cook again! It feels like it’s been so long
  2. Great way to get out of the always-make-the-same-thing rut
  3. Perfect opportunity to try all the new recipes I save from everywhere but never seem to get around to trying

Not sure yet whether this will apply to all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) or if it’ll be a dinner-only challenge – but I do know leftovers will be permitted! I doubt I’ll be cooking 3 meals a day for the entire month.

And since I’m so excited, I’m going to begin gathering all the recipes I’ve collected. There will be a paper pile of scribbled recipes but here’s my online list: