This Is It

20 Kilometres

by Allison on June 9, 2014

in This Is It

Having the ever thrilling combination of depression and anxiety often makes it difficult to a.) find motivation and b.) try new things.  This weekend, I did both. I biked 20km today.  And it all happened before noon.

06-08-14 Bike Ride Map

As an extension to the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course I took this past spring, I have been instructed to ‘try new things’ (even if I don’t enjoy them).  Having depression means losing interest in previously enjoyed activities and part of my last depressive relapse has involved just that.  So the focus here is more on the success of the participation than the enjoyment level of said activity.  Following a plan instead of a mood.

With the help of my partner-in-crime, I dragged myself out of bed and prepped for a bike ride.  I grumbled.  I dragged my feet.  I complained about there being ‘no point’.  And somehow it still managed to happen.  The scale on which success is measured is so varied when depression is a factor that I hesitate to add a label.  Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t undergo any dramatic mood upswings as a result, but I did integrate a short term sense of pride into the rest of my day (!).  Ten kilometres there and ten back.  20 kilometres on a new (to me) route.  That’s something.

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Currently :: April

by Allison on April 28, 2014

in This Is It

Currently : April 2014

saving sanity wherever I am able to

reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

thinking about the now

listening to Kacey Musgraves

drinking homemade lattes

trying to make a shift

remembering fondly

writing more.. about travel, mental health, and the process

dreaming of black sand beaches

donating my time

walking even when I don’t want to

trusting when I’m unsure

craving cinnamon and nutmeg


Amanda Bridal Party 1

Amanda Bridal Party 2

Amanda Bridal Party 3

Amanda Bridal Party 4

Amanda Bridal Party 5


Messages on Wrists

by Allison on April 1, 2014

in This Is It

Messages on Wrists

Photo by Robin Hamill
Temporary tattoo (right wrist) from Firefly Creative Writing
Quote cuff from Etsy


Around Here: Tea, Snail Mail and Travel

by Allison on March 15, 2014

in This Is It

Around Here: March 15, 2014


Currently :: March

by Allison on March 5, 2014

in This Is It

It’s pretty early-on in March, but it feels like this winter has been a particularly rocky one.  I thought I had experienced all the different types of winter Toronto had to offer but this has been one that makes me desire more palm trees and less icy sidewalks.

March 2014 :: Currently

appreciating pink nail polish

stretching my brain’s capacity for change

saving pennies for adventures

reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

thinking about hula-hooping in the park once it is really spring

listening to Wes Anderson soundtracks

drinking peanut butter & banana smoothies

being my typical hermit self

quoting Steve Martin in “The Jerk

looking for the difference

trying to make my hair as big as possible

remembering another version of me


Currently :: December

by Allison on December 31, 2013

in This Is It

December 2013 :: Currently

practicing how to properly froth milk

reading Sane New World: Taming the Mind by Ruby Wax

taking baby steps

watching ‘The Price Is Right’ in waiting rooms

crunching through the snow

drinking hot cocoa

craving swimming

writing real mail to loved ones

thinking of transitioning back to work

listening to the Beatles

living large

rethinking about my health’s honesty

dreaming of gemstones and the beach

donating the extras

walking home

trusting my breathing


Currently :: November

by Allison on November 27, 2013

in This Is It

November 2013 :: Currently

soaking up whatever sunlight I can find

reading Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

appreciating being able to visit the David Bowie exhibit again before it closes

craving cinnamon

finding myself unprepared for wintertime

drinking white tea with blueberry honey

preparing for celebrating American Thanksgiving this weekend

celebrating purple Thursdays, still.

thinking about tradition

looking outside at the snow

listening to the Mighty Boosh radio series


Currently :: October

by Allison on October 23, 2013

in This Is It

October 2013 :: Currently

stretching into the morning

drinking hot cocoa

reading Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

finding the energy to write

walking the line of wellness

reminding myself of the little things

craving swimming time

researching stones healing properties

thinking about being a mermaid

listening to Valerie June‘s album “Pushin’ Against a Stone”

happy for all the recently engaged people in my life


David Bowie Is…

by Allison on October 17, 2013

in This Is It



I love David Bowie.  That isn’t exactly shocking.  A lot of people do; it isn’t a solitary love.  As for many people my age, it all started with a journey through Labyrinth.  I’ve been lucky enough to see him in concert twice (once as part of Moby’s Area2 Festival in 2002 and once for the Reality tour in 2004).  His music has been an underlying soundtrack.

The exhibition David Bowie Is originally opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England.  I had flights of fancy about making a pilgrimage to see the show but instead crossed my fingers it would tour somewhere in North America.  Low and behold, it did!  And I didn’t even have to travel – its world tour premiered right here in Toronto at the AGO on September 25th.

It features costumes, art, film, sound, and ephemera from David Bowie’s entire music career in a non-linear format.

We got the chance to visit last week and it didn’t disappoint.  There were so many different little nooks and rooms.  Some of my favorite highlights was seeing his handwritten song lyrics and the costumes (and shoes) from stage performances.  Kansai Yamamoto’s glittery great creations for the Aladdin Sane tour, the tattered Alexander McQueen Union Flag coat, his sketches as a teen…seeing these things in person was breath-taking for me.

The accompanying audio shifts as you move through the exhibit; part of my joy was seeing people start to dip their heads to the beat in their headphones in unison.  Near the end there was large projections of amazing live performances that gave me goosebumps.

Book your visit in advance; it is at the AGO until November 27th!