KICKING THE HABIT

It’s easy to fall into bad habits. Coffee, shopping, men, late-night TV, nail biting, smoking, impulsive spending, littering and general laziness. I’m sure we could build a huge list together if we tried. We’ve all got our bad habits and our vices, and falling into that rabbit hole seems to take no effort whatsoever.

My bad habits? I have had a daily Starbucks habit of one grande americano and one muffin. It dinged my bank account of $4.57 each morning, which to me seemed like pocket change.

Consumerist Indulgence
Photo: KnownColour on Flickr

So I added it up…

$4.57 x 5 days/week = $22.85/week

$22.85/week x 4 weeks/month = $91.40/month

I was spending almost $100 every month on java beans, water and (fattening) muffins. Not only that, most days out of the week I was buying my lunch, so at about $6 per day and 3 days per week, that’s close to another $100 a month.

Laziness is an all-consuming slippery slope. Why get up 10 minutes early in the morning to make my lunch when I can sleep for those extra 10 minutes?

I made a choice to make an effort to change that pattern. If bad habits are so easy to fall into, shouldn’t good habits be just as simple?

Bringing lunches to work, getting to the gym on a regular schedule, drinking tea at the office instead of hitting up Starbucks, making concious decisions about what I need to buy and being honest with myself about what I don’t really need… shouldn’t I be able to implement these habits with just as much simplicity? Shouldn’t what’s smart be just as easy to make routine?

I’ve cut back to one Starbucks trip per week (plus my trainer told me that cutting out caffeine will help me lean out even more) and limit myself to buying my lunch only on Fridays. The best part? I don’t sweat about the number in my bank account anymore because it’s not getting dinged on a daily basis.

Your say: What are some of your bad habits that you’d like to curb into good habits? How would you make those changes in your life?

THE LUCKIEST GIRL IN THE WORLD

My aunt recently purchased a slide and negative scanner, so my family has been skipping down memory and returning to our roots.

This is where I came from.

My great-grandmother in Poland – rear right.

My Oma in Poland – rear row, third from the left.

My Opa in Czechoslovakia – far right.

My Opa in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – early 1950s.

My mother in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – early 1960s.

My aunt and mother on Easter Sunday in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – early 1960s.

My aunt, Oma and mother in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – early 1960s.

Family Christmas in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – early 1960s.

Uncle Alfons, Oma and Opa on Christmas – 1960s.

My Opa in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

Aunt, Oma and mother – mid 1960s.

Aunt, Opa and mother – mid 1960s. My Opa was a ridiculously handsome man.

Mom, Opa and Oma – mid 1960s.

Mom, Oma and aunt on Easter Sunday – early 1960s.

My beautiful Oma – it was always important to her to look poised, refined and elegant.

My Aunt Anne in the Comox Valley – early 1970s.

My Opa, always humourous (check out the flower) in the Comox Valley – early 1970s.

My father, mother and I soon after my birth, Comox Valley – 1980.

My brother and father – mid 1980s.

My brother stole my Red Sprite.

I was a pretty proud sister (note the Billy Madison-esque expression on my face), 1984.

My Opa, brother and father in the Comox Valley – late 1980s.

My father and brother at the Comox Valley Tri-K, 1990.

My father and I in the Comox Valley – early 1980s.

I was my Opa’s special little girl.

Our relationship was truly like no other I’ve ever had or will ever have again.

Making each other laugh was our favourite thing to do together.

My baby brother and I were little cuddlebugs.

Camping on Hornby Island (check out my schweet rat tail – clearly this was in the NKOTB era).

Sippy-sippy.

I love my family with my whole heart. I could not ask for a single thing better.

SHRED IT TO ME, BABY

Whether you did a little snow dance, wished upon a snowy star or prayed to the snow gods, something has worked. I’m insanely jealous of the Island’s high school kids who are, as I type this, ripping through fresh powder on Mount Washington during the annual Spring Break SnoJam. The resort has received a ton of new snow over the past 48 hours and have a base hovering around 200cm.

Hawk Chair
Photo: Mount Washington Alpine Resort

It would seem that the luck ‘o the Irish has fallen on Mt. Washington’s skiers and snowboarders – rather appropriately – as the mountain just announced that the season will be extended past April 13 to open on weekends until the end of April!

If the fantastic Spring conditions aren’t enough to entice you, the mountain will also be taking advantage of daylight savings with extended operating hours as well as some other special surprises. I’ll keep you updated as soon as I know!

(P.S. Don’t forget to make your way up there on April 12 for the annual Barq’s Root Beer Slush Cup! Check out this video from 2007.)

jenny♥

There aren’t enough hours in my day to list everything I love about this photo.

jenny♥
From here.

How is she even possible?

I NEED YOU

When I was 11 years old, my dad took me to my first concert. U2’s Zoo TV tour stopped off at BC Place for two chilly nights in early November that year. I remember the incredible flutter of nervousness in my stomach as we stepped off the Skytrain and made our way to the gates.

For longer than I can remember, U2’s music has had a profound, lasting and remarkable impact on my life. Somehow the majority of my key formative memories include their music, so it should come as no surprise to know that their records account for a significant chunk of my record collection.

I can’t stress how personally poetic it is that the band released their 12th studio album, No Line On the Horizon, on the day I began to pack up the last five years of my life. And believe me, the irony in the record’s title is not lost on me either. This record will be my soundtrack for 2009.

Living Space

The packing process will be swift and efficient. I plan on tossing a lot of the old to make room for what’s new (including this, this or this). That being said, here’s where I need a few good men… and women too.

On Monday, March 30th, all of my belongings need to be brought to my apartment’s basement to be stored for two nights. On Wednesday, April 1st, the lovely and gracious Rebecca has rented a big, badass pick-up truck to haul the few loads across to the other side of town. It would be superb to have two strong people help me on Monday evening and two more people to assist Rebecca and I on Wednesday afternoon. Can I lure you with the promise of delicious cookies and milk on Monday or beer and pizza on Wednesday?

The eyes have it.
C’mon… you’re not gonna let these two superbabes carry a big heavy bed all by their lonesome, are you? (Photo: Duane Storey on Flickr)

If you’re my friend and you know me and you want to help, pop me an e-mail. If I don’t know you, well, it would just be weird having a stranger help me move. And if you do know me and just don’t want to help, that’s actually okay because I know how much moving sucks, so I won’t take it personally. But I have cookies. And pizza. And beer.