Cold Hands, Warm Heart.

I feel cold most of the time.  This has worsened as I get older, and now it seems that I get a chill in October and it does not lift until May.  The irony is not lost on me; I grew up in rural Alberta, where the average Winter temperature is more than 5C lower than where I currently live in Southern Ontario.  I am Canadian, I am outdoorsy, and yet I cannot shake the absorption of cold into my bones.

But I’ve learned to cope quite well: I sleep with a heater beside my bed and I wear merino wool socks at night.  My husband teases me because I leave my parka on to unpack the groceries and my mitts on in the car.  I drink tea by the gallon and fill my water bottles with warm water, and I’ve just discovered that running tights work perfectly as an extra layer beneath jeans.

Alongside my recent layered running tights discovery, the other factor that’s really changed my attitude towards the cold is ‘Project Winter‘ that my family embarked upon last year.  Project Winter was my undertaking to try to embrace rather than dread Canada’s longest season and so far it’s been a big success.  Last year, my husband and I invested in ski equipment for ourselves and rented equipment for the kids; we skied a handful of times as a family and loved it.  This year we’ve upped the ante, complete with weekly ski lessons at Glen Eden (thus making Tuesday night my favorite of the week), and I can honestly say that a snowy forecast now makes me happy.

As a born-and-raised Albertan, I was lucky enough to ski regularly in the Rocky Mountains but, truth be told, it was never my passion.  I enjoyed the mountains themselves and the fresh air and the exercise, but the actual skiing part was always secondary.  All that’s changed now that my kids are old enough to be involved.  I have loved seeing their evolution from nervous and off-balance to confident and capable; my four-year-old skied her first black diamond run last Friday.  My heart swells with pride and they’re sick of hearing me say “well, this has been the best day.”

Winter is still not my favorite, but I’m shifting my attitude.  I’m still cold, but I’ve changed my perception.  And if that isn’t a life lesson, then it’s not a blog day at www.drworobec.com.

So, to my first patient of the day, whom gets my ice-cold cold hands, I’m sorry.  Please know that I come by it honestly, and I’ve likely just spent ten minutes cuddling with the hydrocollator heat packs to no avail.

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Passion

I talk (write) a lot about passion.  I’m an emotional person, so I think it stands to reason that I have many passions for many things.  That’s always been the essence of my blog; passion.  Authenticity.  Genuineness.  Transparency.

When I started this blog in May 2012 (234 posts ago!) my reasoning was that I wanted patients to learn about the real me.  As a chiropractor, my profession is very much based on trust, and I want my patient base to understand who I am as a person, which will hopefully help them to understand who I am as a practitioner.  I think I’ve done that.  I’ve bared my soul here, week upon week, Tuesday upon Tuesday, draft upon draft, post upon post.  My audience has grown exponentially, and I now have several hundred of you following along weekly, liking (or not liking), sharing, discussing, and helping to spread my words through the tangled mess of the internet.  WordPress, the host of this site, regularly sends me readership data, and many Tuesdays I get a notification that says “your stats are booming.”  These alerts are satisfying, because they mean that I’m engaging my audience and making people think.  And the fact that you’re thinking about topics that come from my passion is the whole point.

But I’ve decided to take a step back.

You see, I’m noticing that words are becoming harder for me to find.  My posts are not writing themselves, in my dreams and on my runs and on my yoga mat, as they once did.  I feel like my passion on this blog is being diluted and that defeats my entire purpose.  My purpose here is passion.

So my posts are going to shift slightly, ever so slightly, to maintain that high degree of passion that’s so very important to me.  This isn’t meant to be just another blog, not just another health-tips site, not just another social media tool.  Not to me, anyway.  This is meant to be me, online.  I’m not here to drum up business, I’m not here to grow my Facebook Page, I’m not here to grab page views and link clicks.  I’ve built this online platform as much for me as I have for you, and so I must keep my standards high.  I want to be proud of each and every post and make my honesty and authenticity and yes, passion, glaringly apparent through your screens.  “I love your blogs,” someone said to me this weekend, and I hope she meant “I love your passion,” because that’s my end-game.

For now, instead of a new post every Tuesday, you’re going to get one every second Tuesday.  Not a big shift, perhaps, but a big shift for me, and a recognition that taking a small step back doesn’t mean failure or quitting, labels I’d previously imposed upon myself; it simply means adaptability and not-going-to-settle and hopefully, excellence.

Today you get post #235.  I hope you like it, and I hope you understand my reasoning.  Thank you for your support thus far, and I plan to keep writing with passion well into the years ahead.

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***And if you’ve missed some of my passion over the years, here are my favourites:

Come With Me.

She was there.

Make the trade.

Blizzards and Accomplishments

What they Wish they Would’ve Done

April, May, June

The Search for Skinny

Break the Silence

Sarah Happened

I am a Chiropractor.

 


A Happy Life

I’m still trying to figure out the nuances of me.  I know that sounds strange.

But in fact, just the other day, I discovered that I can focus much better in complete silence.  It’s not that I didn’t already know this about myself; after all, I spent eight years of post-Secondary education in quiet libraries, but I’ve just recently learned to articulate this fact.  No wonder my study days in Mt. Pleasant’s Second Cup required earplugs.  How unusual that I never noticed this quiet=focus effect on myself.

I’m emotional.  I’m sensitive.  I see colours when I read words, especially people’s names.  I am a homebody.  I love to travel, often, but for short periods of time.  I have a semi-photographic memory, especially for the written word.  I am interested in real estate and architecture.  I have a spatial mind.  I communicate best through writing.  I only like camping if someone else is doing the work.  I love yoga and spirituality and self-reflection.  I need fresh air and an elevated heart rate daily.

These are all revelations that I’ve had in my adult life.  I’m 36 years old and I’m still figuring out me.  And the reason I’m telling you this?

  1. My blog is an extension of my professional self.  The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust and this outlet is how you can get to know me. (This is Me.)
  2. These revelations have affected my parenting, and hey, I like to write about parenting.

How has it affected my parenting, you ask?  Well, thank you for asking, you’re playing along nicely.  You see, as a teen I often overheard people talk about “figuring out who they are” and I didn’t quite understand what that meant.  I heard people talk about “figuring out who they are” at University, “figuring out who they are” through travel, “figuring out who they are” through sport.  I did all of those things, and yet I still couldn’t define myself, my role, my reason.  These revelations seem to have come to me later in life than most of my peers, or perhaps I’m just late in learning the vocabulary associated with soul-searching and self-contemplation.

As such, lately I’ve been talking to my children about “who they are.”  We’ve been chatting about things they like, things they don’t, things that are/aren’t important to them, and their hopes and dreams.  I’ve been trying to give them the verbiage of introspection, to open up their childhood minds to the language of what characterizes them, and makes them proud to be unique and special.  To be themselves, whomever those selves may be.

For now, my job is to give them opportunities to learn.  I see each exposure to something new as a chance for personal growth.  That’s why we spend our Summers traipsing around Southern Ontario and our Winters at every event within an hour’s drive.  We go to see monster trucks and rodeos and conservation areas and waterfalls and baseball games and theatres and ceramic studios and Teen Tour Band concerts and beaches and outdoor rinks.  We show them the world and try to help them figure out their role in this wonderful community of life.

I posted this on my Facebook Page a few days ago: “I really think a happy life is about balancing all of your favourite things.  Lower the stressors you have control over and prioritize the things that you love.”  And how are they to know the things that they love if I don’t give them the tools to discover that?

“Happiness results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good.”

And it seems to me that if you figure out your good, you will figure out your happy.

 

happiness