Today I threw my iron ring in the garbage. After nine years of avoiding the fate experienced by countless other Canadians with engineering degrees, after dozens of airport screenings, forgetting it in my gym bag time and time again, I threw my iron ring away with the rest of my taco scraps at La Taqueria. I didn’t realize where I had misplaced it until I returned to the office, noticed it was missing, and my taco companion explained that she saw me remove it and place it on my plate next to some refried beans. Thinking nothing of it, I cleaned off my plate and dumped it into the waste – ring, beans, napkin and all. What’s crazy is I have hardly any recollection of this. Was I subliminally sending myself a message that it’s time to put the ring away given that I’m not a practicing engineer and never really have been? I’m not sure, but it feels like the best thing to do is to pass along this very sage advice to ring owners everywhere, including my soon-to-be sister-in-law (official as of two days ago – yay!): Your ring may certainly be bigger, sparklier and more meaningful than mine was but be warned – Anyone can fall victim to unintentional taco time ring disposal syndrome.

Keep your salsa-pouring hand steady and your ring finger guarded. Because he shoulda, and he put a, ring on it.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Tonight I’m far from West Pender Street. Creston, BC, to be exact. It’s in the Kootenay region, tucked away in the interior part of the province near the US border. To get here I took a flight to a town called Cranbrook which is an hour ahead of Vancouver. From there I drove 90 minutes east to Creston. Somewhere along the way, I reversed back into Pacific Daylight Time. Upon realizing what had happened, I kinda felt like Joel might have as he began listening to the cassettes of his erased memories in his car while he waited for Clementine to grab her toothbrush. Well maybe I didn’t feel exactly like that. But can you believe that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is ten years old today?

I never made in out to Montauk when I was living in Brooklyn in 2004. I should do that someday.

The pleasant life, the good life and the meaningful life

On her way out yesterday afternoon, my supervisor stopped by my office and struck up a conversation, as she does many times each workday. I can’t remember completely but I think we were discussing passion for work and how it affects one’s happiness or well-being differently, depending on the person. She told me about a core theory of positive psychology – three areas that lead to happy lives. The first is the pleasant life, or the reality tv show watching, ice cream eating, beer drinking, material goods consumer in us. The good life is about being connected with your activities, tasks and relationships in an engaged way. And the meaningful life is the altruistic volunteer within us, the one who’s inspired by the Mother Theresas, Nelson Mandelas and Ghandis of the world.

It seems like a pretty basic theory but it kind of blew me away. When you think about it, it’s not difficult to categorize most of what we do into one of these three categories. Maybe not everything (taking out the trash, doing your taxes) but still.

When I think back to some of the different things I’ve done over the years, I’ve certainly covered ground in each of my own pleasant, good and meaningful lives to varying degrees. I guess this blog is my attempt to progress along the path toward a better, meaningful life. Intrinsically that pursuit feels like the right move to achieve greater life satisfaction, and there’s even evidence to back it up.

My other reason for starting a blog is because I’ve had way too many random thoughts popping in my head before I fall asleep lately and it felt like the best thing to do was journal that shit out! The only problem was I didn’t own a laptop or tablet… until today when I checked iPad prices and saw that they’d just fallen this morning. Clearly a sign. I even dropped $18 on a domain name to show you how serious I am about sticking to this.

I also wanna connect more and better with others who take the time to document their story. So thanks for hanging out and reading this. Do you have a blog too? What is it and why’d you start one?