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sorting and labeling – a post too good not to share

The content below is not my own.  It was written by Seth Godin.  As I said in the title, the content is too good and too wise, not to share and pass along.  I hope it inspires you to do the often challenging and important work he writes about.


“We sort people all the time. Society prefers easy, useless ones. Sorts like: Skin color. Gender. Disability status. Nationality. Religious background. Height.

While these are easy to do and the result of long, long traditions, they’re useless.

The alternatives? Kindness. Expertise. Attitude. Skill. Emotional intelligence. Honesty. Generous persistence. Willingness to take risks. Loyalty. Perceptivity. Attention span. Care. Self awareness…

It’s a daily battle, an uphill climb to intentionally ignore the bad sorts we were likely taught as kids. This might be the most important work we do today, and every day. The people we care about deserve it..”


the “Loo” in the woods

Last week on Thursday and Friday we hiked.  The weather was perfect for hiking, not too hot, no rain, and on Thursday no mosquitoes.

We did a couple of relatively short days (about 10 km each), in order to avoid a very long day, as the next section of trail does not have a parking spot for a 14 km stretch.

The highlight of these days was the “loo” in the woods.  We came up a slight hill and around a curve to see the sign that says “loo” pointing towards a box-like thing a few feet off the trail.  When I lifted the lid, the box had a toilet seat and was a open outhouse type option.  It was great! And of course I used it.  If someone is going to build a “loo” middle of the woods, I will use it.  It was a much better option that ‘holding it for hours”, trying to find the right slope to avoid the pee running towards my boots, and/or loosing ones’ balance and almost falling during the squat.  Here are some pictures:

Other things from these 2 days of hiking include:

  • the man on his bike – we aren’t sure if he was hiking, biking or someone combination of the 2.  Either way, the hills were too much for him and his bike
  • the deer (likely the same deer on both days)
  • Walter’s Falls – which included a great place to enjoy our picnic lunch, the odd large crowd watching a guy paint on a random Thursday, and the Blundstone truck
  • the guy who was obviously hiking and camping out
  • the wonderful happy surprise when the place we had dinner in Owen Sound had Strongbow cider on tap!
  • the moment of poor communication that all worked out okay.

Here are a few more photos from those days of hiking.


It’s hard to not feel a bit better when you smile.

When I am running and don’t want to go another step – I smile and keep going.

When I’m feeling a bit negative about a situation and I tell myself to smile – it can help change my thought pattern.

I don’t know what happens between our muscles and our brains when we smile, but there is something.

And I know that smiling can’t entirely fix something and it can’t make everything suddenly easier.  But I have found that it doesn’t make things worse.

Maybe when we least feel like smiling, is exactly the moments we need to.

So smile. It can’t hurt.

Internal vs External – where does the solution lie?

I feel like there is a lot of talk these days about “fit”.  Finding employees that are the right fit for an organization/company.  Being part of a faith community that is the right fit for you and/or your family.   Choosing a neighbourhood or community that is a good fit.  In these examples, “fit” is all about the external environment.

This is interesting.

This is interesting because many people I know have, to a greater or lessor extent, spent a fair amount of time trying to find ways to change the themselves in response to being in an environment that isn’t working for them.  These people work hard to modify their behaviour and find an internal solution to whatever the problem might be.

At what point should you stop trying internal solutions/strategies and instead just change your environment?  Maybe it’s not that you aren’t a fit for the environment; but that the environment isn’t a fit for you.

we finished the Beaver Valley Section

According to the latest Bruce Trail information, the Beaver Valley section of the Bruce Trail is 114 km long.  We first started this section in June of 2016, yesterday we finished.  The Beaver Valley section is the V you see between Collingwood and Meaford on the Bruce Trail map.

The V pattern route means we have spent a lot of time (and nights) in the same places.  The route to Flesherton area has now very familiar.  And while it will be a bit sad to leave this predictability and familiarity behind, it’s wonderful to have completed another section of the trail (FYI – we have now completed 4 of the 9 sections; and a total of over 400 km).

On a cold, windy, wet June Monday, we high fived each other as we stepped from the Beaver Valley section into the Sydenham section.  The Beaver Valley section includes beautiful vistas, ski hills, waterfalls, and moments where you find yourself standing high on the top of the Niagara Escarpment.  The part we hiked the past couple of days was wonderful hiking terrain (or at least according to our preferences); not too much up and down; nothing too steep; some rocks, but not too many; cervices to look at but not fall into; and tall leafy trees to keep out the rain (I’m working to forget the less than ideal tall wet weeds we encountered from time to time).  However, the perfect apple eating terrain was in the Sydenham section.

With Monday’s hike through less than ideal conditions, we feel may have increased “outdoorsyness” and hiking credibility.  But we were super glad to be done, to have dry pants and dry socks and heated seats for the drive home.

Decision Fatigue

While listening to a podcast last week, I was introduced to the term “decision fatigue”.  This was a new term for me, and it immediately was something I could relate to.

There are times when I am just so exhausted from making decisions, that I get to the point, where I just don’t want, or on same days, can’t make any more decisions.  This is generally not connected to large decisions, but all the millions of tiny decisions that are and need to be made each day.  Decisions like which task to do next, which request is most urgent/important, who to make happy, to say “yes” or not to say “yes” to whatever request has come my way.  The list goes on and on.  And when it comes time to decide what to eat for dinner, I have reached my decision making quota for the day and no longer want to make that decision.  I am experiencing “decision fatigue”.

The podcast was focused on a specific topic, the idea of establishing a standardized vacation.  In this case, the standardized vacation idea included going on vacation the same dates each year, going to the same place, having a recurring plan on who does what, who prepares what, who picks what, maybe even eating the same meals (if you are camping or going to a cottage for example), etc…  This idea was routed in the idea, that when something involves a lot of decisions, sometimes we just don’t do it.  In addition, having a standardized vacation plan can also provide you with a break (aka vacation) from making decisions for a few days.

Whether the concept of a standardized vacation in particular resonates with you or not, the concept and ideas are worth considering if you are someone who experiences decision fatigue.  What parts of your life could you standardized to reduce the number of decisions that need to be made each day, week or month (e.g., making a weekly menu plan).  Are there parts of your life could you make routine to reduce the logistics type decisions and texts/emails (e.g., a partially standardized vacation, committing to seeing friends every other Friday night)?

What other ideas or examples do you have of ways you do or could reduce the risk of decision fatigue?

Do you value your time like you value your money?

There is a key difference between time and money.  But I’m not sure we always realize this.

The difference is that you can’t save up time.  You can’t refuse to spent it.  You can’t set time aside for a rainy day.

Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking about time like we think about money.  We think that it’s possible to save it up for something special.  That if we use it wisely there will be more of it in the long run.

That is not the case.  We do need to use our time wisely and we do need to take efforts to ensure that how we use our time reflects our values (just like we need to take efforts to ensure that how we use our money reflects our values and that we are spending our money wisely).  But time is not the same as money.  Once it’s gone it’s gone, and unlike money there is no way of making more or of dipping into a saving account.  So value your time and think about whether you are spending your time or if your time is spending you.