Happy birthday, dad!

Happy birthday, dad! Thank you blood donors!Today is my dad’s birthday. A birthday he likely wouldn’t be celebrating without the generosity of blood donors.

Last spring, my dad had a health incident which required extraordinary life-saving measures, including multiple blood transfusions. He received exceptional medical care, but probably wouldn’t have survived without replacing at least some of the blood that he lost.

My dad was a blood (and platelet) donor for decades before health complications made him ineligible and there was something poetic about the system he’d supported for so many years paying him back in kind. Even more poetically, there’s the slight possibility that my husband’s blood made it to my dad. My father and husband share a blood type and we donated blood just a few days prior to my dad’s hospitalization.

Be nice to me - I gave blood today!
My sticker from donating blood last week

If you are eligible to donate blood (and not terrified of needles!), I urge you to do it. It takes about an hour, it’s relatively painless (although not entirely, I can’t lie about that), they give you cookies and lots of ‘thank yous’, and it’s the easiest way I know to directly help save a life.

The basic requirements to donate blood in Canada are being over 17 and in good health. (There are more eligibility restrictions on the Canadian Blood Services website, which don’t apply to most people, but sadly mean that gay men can’t donate.) It’s easy to find a nearby clinic through the Canadian Blood Services website and use their 1-800 number to book an appointment.

I am so appreciative of all the donors who gave of themselves (literally!) to help save my dad’s life. Several months after his health scare, my dad is doing really well, but I shudder to think of what would have happened if my dad had been unable to receive those transfusions.

If you can donate blood, please do! 

Celebrate with ice cream

Mint chocolate ice cream cake

One of my favourite ways to celebrate someone is by making them an ice cream cake. In honour of one of my favourite person’s birthdays today and because I no longer have a springform pan, I thought I’d share… and maybe inspire an ice cream celebration!

The process of creating an ice cream cake is easy – all it takes is smoothing layers of softened ice cream into a springform pan – it’s just time-consuming. Often the hardest part involves standing in the ice cream aisle at the grocery store deliberating which flavours would go best together, taking into account which brands are on sale and the preferences of the cake recipient.

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Birthday cookie recipe

A stack of chocolate spice cookies

I really enjoyed teaching on my birthday yesterday. There’s nothing like lovely, appreciative students to make this birthday girl feel valued 🙂

It was great leading the class through some of my favourite yin postures while listening to some of my favourite yoga music (the playlist was heavy on Wah!, Snatum Kaur, and Deva Premal) and even more wonderful to chat with students over cookies afterwards.

As requested, here’s the chocolate spice cookies recipe.

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It’s my birthday & I’ll teach if I want to

Laura wearing a birthday hat with a cakeToday is my birthday and part of my celebrations include teaching my regular yin yoga class at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre. Class starts at 6:30pm and will feature some of my favourite poses (like supported fish – which might be one of your favourites, too!), a playlist of yin-appropriate music I love, and homemade cookies afterwards.

Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini yoga to the West and founded 3HO, encouraged his students to bring sweet treats to class on their birthdays to share the celebration of with others. The Kundalini tradition holds that what you do on your birthday sets the tone for the year ahead.

Teaching yoga and sharing cookies sounds like a great beginning to my next year.

Happy birthday to me!

 

p.s. Apologies to Lesley Gore for ripping off the title of this post from her iconic song: It’s My Party.

The end of June celebrations

Today is the end of my birthday month, which I suppose means that I need to stop celebrating turning 33.

Turning 33 is a big deal for me, because I’ve kinda been 32 since I was 26. When I was in the corporate world and people would ask how old I was, I said 32 – settling on that as the age where others would stop thinking of me as ‘too young’ to do my job. Of course, these people were uncouth enough to ask my age, so maybe they were ‘too shallow’ for me to worry what they thought.

It’s easy to do a life assessment around birthdays and I enjoy thinking about how much I’ve changed in a year.

I turned 32 still working in the corporate world. Dealing with the fallout from overextending myself in a job that I didn’t like with an organization whose values don’t align with mine. Worried about myriad things beyond my control, but unable to restrain my A-type self enough to let go.

I turned 33 pursuing being a full-time yoga teacher. There’s a different kind of stress there (will students like my classes? how will I ever get paid enough to make this worth it?), but teaching through four fabulous studios (Bound Lotus, Vancouver CorporateBody Harmony, and Om Prem – check my schedule for when and where I’m teaching) means interacting with wonderful students and sharing my enjoyment for teaching and practicing yoga.

33 feels like a year of moving forward. Who knows what turning 34 will be like? I am getting better at letting life evolve and find myself hearing the words of a former prof from library school….

All will be revealed in the fullness of time.