celebration · fitness

#ThreeGoodThings, the workplace fitness edition

① Campus Mile: This week, I got to walk with co-workers in the College of Arts Deans office. We did the Campus Mile. It’s the kick off event for Workplace Wellness Month. Here we are with Gryph, the university mascot. I’m on the Workplace Wellness committee at U of G but for the past few years I haven’t done the campus mile because of my knee. This year was perfect. My knees were fine. The weather was lovely. And it was great seeing so many people from across campus out walking together.

College of Arts Dean’s office staff

② Walking home from work: This week was also my first time walking home from work since my second knee surgery. I often walk that far with Cheddar. Here he is below visiting me on campus for lunch at Bob’s Dogs. But it’s more challenging walking home because it’s downhill and I’ve got my briefcase. This week, I did it. That bodes well for winter walks to work if it’s too snowy or icy to ride.

③ Parts of my job that I missed: House Calls and Convocation are both parts of my job that I really enjoy. House Calls is a program where we visit all the first year students in residence and see how their semester is going. I’m always impressed with how forthcoming the students are, sharing their successes and their struggles. For years, I’ve asked to go to residences where there isn’t much walking. But this year I didn’t and I got south.

South residence

I also learned a lot about our South residence. It’s another brutalist landmark, designed by the same Australian architect who designed the CN Tower. It houses 1800 students. So many stairs!

“Designed by Australian architect John Andrews, each hall has four wings, with each wing comprised of three six-storey vertical sections called houses. The small alcoves and numerous lounges foster tight-knit communities where students develop close friendships.

South Residence is the U of G’s largest residence, accommodating 1800+ students and is sub-divided into Mountain, Prairie, and Maritime Halls
The buildings are a unique architectural design, with each hall laid out as identical backward “F”‘s
Each hall is further sub-divided into four wings for a total of 12 wings across South
Each wing is divided into “towers,” which are numbered. Example: “Woodlands 3” refers to the Woodlands Wing (in Mountain) and Tower #3
A common floor called “street level” runs across the entire residence, and each tower is situated both above and below street level
Each tower is made up of a series of stacked levels that have students living in groupings of 4 – 10 people in a mix of alcove and long hallway style sections.”

Oh, and last but not least, I get to go to my other favorite event this week, University Convocation. From first year students at House Calls to graduating students at Convocation. Both are feel good events for me and I’ve missed them with my busted and now my recovering knees. I’m really looking forward to Convocation.

fitness · habits

Three Good Things About #ThreeGoodThings

Three Good Dogs in the backseat of the car–My mum’s hand is on Chase. In the middle, there’s Charlie, and then there’s Cheddar.

I’ve been tracking good things in my life for awhile now. For years, it was just a November gratitude practice to help with November, because you know, it’s November. (I’ve blogged a lot about November!)

And then I started in with #ThreeGoodThings, during the whole knee replacement year, because I needed to be reminded of Good Things. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep it going but the thing is, I enjoy it.

Some of my friends find it corny, possibly annoying, but I honestly find it helps my mood. I’ve been wondering why and today, while out walking Cheddar (he makes a frequent appearance in these lists) I came up with three ways it helps and I thought I’d share them.

🐶 I often draft the lists at night and then share them in the morning. I enjoy the process of reflecting on my day and thinking about the good it contained. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the basics. I have family and friends who love me. I have a roof over my head and good food to eat. It gives me a moment to note and appreciate the baseline goods in my life, the goods that make other goods possible.

🐶 Other days, I can look at events that weren’t good overall but have good elements and appreciate the good bits. Today was Homecoming at my university, and there are lots of student parties. I have a bit of a thing about drunk people. I don’t like them. I can be a grump about loud drunken parties. But early in the day, before the serious drinking commences, they’re out there having fun and happy to see Cheddar. He gets lots of love and attention. That was a good thing. Ditto making a mistake at work that was serious, and I felt bad about it. But I realized that I worked at a sensible place with reasonable people who allowed me to fix my mistake. Keeping track makes me think about the good elements in things I otherwise don’t like, drunks and making mistakes are high on my list.

🐶 The third way keeping track helps is sometimes, midway through a tough day, I’ll think about drafting my list at night and realize ‘Hey, if I keep this up it will be another night of being thankful for food and shelter. Maybe it’s not too late to save the day. Maybe I can add something good to it now. I can go for a walk. I can get a fancy coffee and a pumpkin muffin.’ I also browse Facebook for friends’ good news. I really do enjoy my friends’ adventures. I see three of us took lengthy, pretty walks today, for example. I love your travels and your bike rides and your children’s first days of school. I always love your pet photos. Sometimes, your good thing becomes my good thing. I hope that works vice-versa, too.

Three apples