Words to Live By

You’ll see I’ve placed a phrase square on the top of this blog (it’s on the cards for the blog too) and it will most likely stay there for the duration.  Although I could change my mind tomorrow. You never know with me.

And this is the part where you find out who you are.

I came across this thought in a wonderful store called Rubaiyat last summer, as I was heading out to meet some friends for a self-designed, ill-fated afternoon “pub crawl”.

You see, I spent two months—mid-June to mid-August–living just off a very popular street in Calgary, Alberta.  I had rented an apartment in a part of the city that is busy, boisterous, and full of restaurants and bars and other great places to sit, have a drink or a bite, and catch up with friends or simply spend some time with yourself.

Part of my transition to single life, my summer in a big duplex apartment off 17th Avenue, SW became the grounding for my first attempt at a blog.  If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link to 17x17x17 .   Read the first entry in late June (“The Quest Begins”–go to the archive on the right and choose June; the first post was on the night before summer officially began).  It will give you enough background on who I am (or at least, who I think I am) and how I got here.  Then, if you’re intrigued, please go ahead and read some of the other pieces.

midori 3
17x17x17: It proved to be more than a meal (or meals), for sure.

Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would prove to be as popular as it was, so thanks to those who have visited and thanks in advance to those who will.

Based on its success and all the positive feedback I received from old (as in long time–I think I’ll stop qualifying that now–in future, if I mean old–as in age–I’ll say so) friends and new friends, I decided to launch this blog to see what happens next, which is where we are now.

What I learned from the experience is that while the original intent was create some sort of food blog (at least I think it was–I can’t really remember why I started to put it together in the first place),  1) I am not a restaurant critic, 2) I don’t do a great job of describing the nuances of food or of specific dishes (but I do know I like it all), and 3) most importantly, it never really was a food blog—not even from the start.  It could best be described as food as a vehicle for conversation, connection and reconnection; it was the catalyst for getting out and getting together with friends I’ve made over 30+ years of living in one place.  And it was wonderful.

ANYWAY….on my way out for the ill-conceived pub crawl, I stopped in at Rubaiyat, just to see what was new as I hadn’t been there for many years. And that’s when I saw the necklace, in the box, with the statement:

50-and this is
It spoke to me

Made by a company out of Brooklyn, b.u. (or “be you”) jewelry is a collection of small-stone pieces on gold or gold-plated chains, packaged with inspirational messages.

I saw this one, and I knew I had to have it.  But when I tried it on, the chain was too short to be comfortable on my neck. (It was clearly made for my younger neck…as I’m fairly certain the jeweler’s intention was not for this to be a true choker…in every sense of the word).  So by the time I returned after making sure I had a gold chain at home that could replace the one that came with the charms, the necklace, and its box were gone.

Somebody else was busy finding out who they were.

I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I called the store and ordered one in. It arrived in early November, and I’m glad I had to wait as it made me think more, and more often, about finding out more about my grown up, individual self.

The three charms/stones—pyrite, tanzanite and a gold vermeil charm–are light enough to hang comfortably, yet they have a certain weight that reminds they are there. I leave them on all the time (except for when I get to do fun stuff like going to the hospital for a colonoscopy or an EEG—stories for another day).  I think I could even add small stones or charms to the chain too (in fact, I’m thinking about adding a Project Angel Food wing

A great way to remember an important afternoon at Project Angel Food….and the importance of doing things to help others

…gifted to me by my friend Holly on Christmas in LA–a place where I had the opportunity to volunteer for an afternoon)…but for now, I like them just the way they are.

And I love the message, its tone of empowerment.  It tells me that it’s up to me to chart my course, to figure out what I’m made of, to be me. And while it is my mantra for now,it’s only part of what I would call “words to live by”.  That said, right now, it’s a very important part to me.

So my first question to you: do you have a favorite piece of jewelry—one you never remove—and what’s its significance in your life? Do you think it silly to buy something based on a well-contrived marketing sentiment?  Or, like me, are you sorry you didn’t think it up first?

And here’s a second: do you have a personal mantra?  Is there a phrase you use or know that sums up your philosophy about life? Some words you like to try to live each and every day?

I’m curious to know.

Oh, and if you want to know what happened with the pub crawl, you’ll just have to read the 17x17x17 blog entry entitled :The World’s Slowest Pub Crawl”. (if that doesn’t give you a hint…. 🙂 )

Last thing: I’ll think I’ll start adding a PotW–a photo of the week.  I know I have some friends who are amazing photographers out there, so if you’d like me to share one of yours, please email me here–I’d be happy to show off your work!


Here’s my picture for this week, taken about two weeks ago on the Santa Monica pier. Just a reminder to most of us, who are freezing under blankets of snow this week, to stay warm and remember, winter will be over before you know it!


3 thoughts on “Words to Live By

  1. Emily A Brown

    I have two pieces of jewelry which I wear every day. One is a silver chain mail bracelet that my youngest son gave me for Christmas a few years ago. It was made by his girlfriend’s very talented mother. He had given me thoughtful gifts in the past but this one I can take with me when I go out and it reminds me of him and this special kindness. I also wear my grandmother’s diamond ring. Oddly, she was a very tiny little British lady so when my mother offered it to me, I was surprised when it slipped right on my right hand ring finger as if it were made for me. She was the only grandparent of mine alive by the time I was born, and as a genealogist, I love that I am wearing a piece of family history every day.
    As far as personal mantras, I have two:
    If you can’t make it better, don’t make it worse.
    It’ll be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end.

    Liked by 1 person


    My piercings. I have three–navel, nostril and tragus and each of these have significance (well two more than three) and I mainly don’t remove them for physiological reasons (they are hard to reinsert and would close if remained jewelry free). The first piercing I got was the navel ring sometime in my 20s when body piercing was becoming popular. I was the first amongst my peers to get one and even got mine’s, a purple niobium ring, before Madonna. My second piercing was my left nostril. I got this one about a year after my father passed away as a way of reconciling with my nose that I hate but mostly inherited from him. It is not a pretty nose and I got teased a lot for it growing up, even as an adult I get the occasional negative comment :(. I watched Michael Jackson’s nose almost fall off from too much plastic surgery so, for me, rhinoplasty was not an option. Rather I chose to adorn it. I still dislike my nose, but love my adornment. The latest piercing I got to mark my tenure and promotion milestone. It was an unnecessarily difficult process but I rewarded myself with a tragus ring not necessarily as a celebration but more of an excuse to add another piece of jewelry to my body. I just made a life-changing move from one city to another and (I’m sure) it will bring more changes. What piercing or tattoo will I get for this?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Myrna

    Favourite piece of jewellery – a few actually because, just like for you, the remind me of certain things. My Pandora bracelet and blue sparking shoe charm given to me by my sister-in-law, neice, nephew and brother on my 50th birthday in Vegas. Pretty sure the girls did the shopping. It reminds me of such happy family time and also the power I have as a woman to chose how I walk into each day. I love shoes too so it also symbolizes that and in fact many of my shoes have been bought on vacations so every time I wear them, I remember that place. Another favourite is an angel wing and essential oil bead on a silver chain given to me by one of my best friends before moving to a new province. It reminds me of her, inspires me and lifts my spirits every time I see or wear it. I love a long silver chair and crystal that was made by an artist and was a gift from my mom. It picks up the light and litterally sparkles creating beams of light that catch me by surprise every time. I have always said that Shiney thing make me happy and I wear them for me, particularly in the coldest, darkest months of winter. Thanks for asking Betty.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s