An all-white painting by pop artist, Robert Rauschenberg – marked sold with the proverbial red dot?
Both good guesses – but you’d be wrong.
It’s White Space – AKA yesterday’s square on my calendar. And as you can see, it was completely empty.
What it meant is that there was no place I need to go and there was no one who was expecting me to show up. I could have declared it an all-day pajama day if I were so inclined. And, in fact, I did treat myself to an afternoon nap on a rainy afternoon! (more…)
Wishing You The Best Of The Season
December 30, 2021
As the calendar turns on our second year of the Covid 19 Pandemic, we know more and we’re protected some; but the virus and our understanding of it keep changing. If there was ever a time for resilience, this would be it!
With the introduction of vaccines throughout 2021, some of life’s normal activities returned. Even being able to do simple things like meeting for coffee or sharing a meal were greatly appreciated.
In our world, all but the most modest of travels were curtailed. What took on great significance for me were short visits with nearby family. I had missed them so.
In recent years, I’ve made it a practice to sum up our family’s year in photos. As you will see from the Katz Family Christmas Letter 2021 included here, we continued to find joy and pleasure in spite of the various restrictions of our times. We’re especially grateful for blessings of good health.
May this message find you well and looking forward with hope to life as it will unfold in 2022.
Warmest wishes to you all, Pat
Mining Life’s Experiences
December 10, 2021
The more attentive we are to the events of our lives, the richer the potential in mining for meaning. As I reflected on themes around my recent adventures in art, I found myself seeing more than a few of my life experiences with fresh eyes. Reflecting on some of your everyday experiences might prove rewarding for you as well.
If you’ve been following my recent posts on social media (Facebook and Instagram), you may have caught one or more of the ten brief videos vignettes in which I shared some of the experiences and inspirations that gave rise to the ‘Care For A Cuppa’ exhibition and the Café Series in general.
The series touched on all of these themes: hospitality, contribution, community, relationship, connection, contemplation, beauty and creativity.
The entire series of vignettes has now been combined into this composite video along with a selection of the paintings from the show. If you are so inclined, I invite you to grab a cuppa your favorite beverage, press play, and reflect on your own life experiences connecting with self and others over a mug of coffee or a cup of tea.
Thanksgiving has come and gone and as I took my morning walk today, I remained thankful for all kinds of things. In particular, I noted how grateful I am to have my mind and my memories.
What prompted this line of thought was the news that beloved children’s author, Robert Munsch (I’ll Love You Forever, Mortimer, Thomas’ Snowsuit, The Paperbag Princess, and so many more modern classics) has been diagnosed with dementia. This means that eventually his many memories and the stories he has created over the years will be gone to him.
This made me sad, and it made me appreciate my own memories even more. Many of my earliest recollections involve (more…)
Are You Giving Yourself Time To Play?
September 8, 2021
I could not resist! Driving home recently from a late afternoon appointment, I cruised by the kiddies’ rides in Kinsmen Park and thought to myself, “Why not?”
It was a stellar September day – sunny, calm and warm as could be – a beautiful day for a ride.
I pulled into the parking lot, bought myself tickets and hopped on a horse. When the merry go round rolled to a stop, I took to the skies on the Ferris wheel.
I ride carousels everywhere we go on our travels, and I hadn’t been on this one yet – this year!!! I’m glad I took that little detour and a timeout to play.
When I posted these photos and reflections on my experience to my Facebook page, I was struck by the dozens of responses I received. (more…)
Climbing Back Up When You’re Feeling Down – A Talk Reel Conversation
July 26, 2021
I so enjoyed this 45 minute conversation with Stephanie Staples and Barry Green recorded in early July as part of their Talk Reel series of engaging conversations.
We covered a few topics – but most especially the subject of malaise. We shared lots of info, insights, and plenty of laughs along the way.
So, when you next have a moment to put your feet up and enjoy a cup o’ java or a glass o’ vino, I invite you to tune in Talk Reel Episode #12 for a look and a listen.
I hope you find something that helps you traverse those moments of malaise that show up from time to time in your life.
Transitions Can Be Challenging
March 5, 2021
Transitions can be challenging.
Last week marked ten years since my parents left the farm that they had lived on all their lives to take up residence in a condo in the city.
It was a massive transition that had its pros and cons. (more…)
PAUSE – All Good Things Come To An End
January 7, 2021
A Delicate Balance
Note To Readers: Welcome to all the new Pause Blog subscribers. If you are one of those fine folks, you will have already read this message in the January 6th Pause e-zine.
I just realized that in my excitement at announcing the end of an era, that I neglected to post that final Pause message here on my blog as I usually do. So for the rest of you regular Blog subscribers, here it is. I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you through this blog in the days ahead.
“It’s not the time you put in, but what you put in the time.” This observation, known as Burg’s Philosophy, was the quote I featured in the very first Pause ezine published in 2001.
Looking back, I’m amazed at how many quotes and concepts I’ve shared over the last twenty years of messages. It’s been a creative challenge to partner the nub of an idea with reflection and research to craft messages that would help us all live with greater ease, meaning and joy.
I’ve especially appreciated my interactions with you, my readers.
Sometimes you confirmed my thinking.
Sometimes you challenged it.
And often you pointed me in the direction of new ideas to explore. It’s been a great adventure and I’m grateful for it all.
As you may already have guessed from the tone of this message, after a run of two decades, I have decided to bring the era of the regular Pause ezine to a close.
That doesn’t mean I will stop noticing, thinking or writing. It does mean that I’m stepping away from a committed publication schedule and ezine format to embrace more freedom in form, topic, and timing. (more…)
PAUSE – 20.12 – Are You Searching For Glimmers Of Hope?
December 1, 2020
Reflection: Those of you who have been Pause followers for some time may remember that from 2004 through 2007, I ended each year’s messages with a set of reflections on one of the four jewels in the season of advent: peace, joy, love and hope.
If there was ever a year that we needed hope, 2020 – the year of the pandemic – would be it. And so I dug back into my files and pulled out that earlier message about hope.
I thought you might find it helpful as we wind down this year and look to the new year that is just around the corner.
For 2021, may we dare to hope for a reduction in the spread of Covid, the speedy delivery of an effective vaccine, and the return of those valued things we have set aside in our attempts to keep ourselves and others as healthy as possible.
Here’s that 2007 message on hope, one more time:
I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two about hope over the years. You’ve probably hoped for positive test results on an exam (medical or academic), for a soulmate with whom you can share life’s joys and worries, and (from the sublime to the very practical) for a primo parking spot when you’re late for an appointment.
We know a lot about hope where I live here in Saskatchewan.
Farmers seed the land every spring in the hopes of a bumper crop.
Mining companies prospect and drill deep in hopes of finding oil, potash, diamonds and uranium.
Roughrider fans hope every year for their team to make and take the Grey Cup.
Sometimes those hopes and dreams come true, and sometimes they don’t.
Here are some of my favorite quotes on the powerful uplifting life force that is hope. Tuck some of these words in your pocket so they may lift your spirits in the days ahead. (more…)
PAUSE – 20.11 – Order From Chaos Revisited
November 4, 2020
Reflection: When I first launched my business – almost 35 years ago – I was focused on improving the lives of women working outside the home. Many of us were juggling career and family responsibilities and struggling mightily.
‘Order From Chaos’ was one of my most popular seminars. It zeroed in on dejunking and organizing the physical clutter of life and creating systems to manage endless responsibilities. There was something very satisfying about finding ways to feel more in control of all that was coming at us from every direction.
In the midst of a global resurgence of Covid cases, we face the prospect of a long winter of restricted movement and limits on activities for our selves and our families. Toss on top of our virus anxieties a list of ongoing concerns about economic uncertainty, rascism, social inequities, and a host of other issues. Once again – or perhaps still – many parts of our lives feel chaotic and beyond our control.
In the midst of it all, it may be time to resurrect some of those ‘order from chaos’ practices that helped us through earlier times. (more…)