Here’s 5 reasons why they are better for you

This year I surprised even myself that I was actually awake when the clock struck twelve. My daughter and I were in the kitchen…she decided to make a pancake cake, which, for the uninitiated, is pancake batter, with some extra sugar and vanilla, cooked in a pan, and then stacked one on top of the other. To be fancy, you can add food colouring, and then wrap it all up in a whip cream icing. It’s surprisingly tasty.

Image for post
Image for post
Yummy. You should try it sometime

As we stood in our kitchen eating this cake, I was awash with some mixed emotions about the coming year. It felt wrong to say “Happy New Year” when I knew quite well that happiness wasn’t the guiding emotion for those around me — especially my adolescent kids. This is all hard, but being a kid during this pandemic is very challenging. We were in a fresh lockdown that will only get more strict. My prediction of in-school being cancelled for January has already come true, and while yes, I have my health and my family surrounding me, there is death and mayhem happening all around me. …

And I got out…here’s the first 3 things I had to learn

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: Oli Sansom

At first, going there was only a dream. So that became the story — about imagining being there. And then, that rare thing happened to me. Someone heard that quiet inner voice, the dream that lived deep below the surface, and responded to it. I was invited to actually go there.…to the place I was dreaming of going. Yes, of course I went, even though just getting there was one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life.

I left with huge ideas, massive ambitions, completely unrealistic timelines of how and when I could finish this next story — the story about being there. But instead of returning to productivity, instead of meeting all those ambitious goals, instead of feeling like I knew exactly what to do with this, I got lost. …

There are 10 things you really need to know

I don’t know how much you know about this last year, but it’s been a doozy…Where do I start….I’m happy to jump on a Zoom call if you want a quick catch-up on all of this.

Photo of Santa looking surprised. He’s wearing the traditional red and white cloak
Photo of Santa looking surprised. He’s wearing the traditional red and white cloak
Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

And when the small Toronto company BlueDot Global sounded the alarm

On the last day of 2019, one sole member of the BlueDot Global surveillance team was on duty working the holiday when she came across a short article in a Chinese business newspaper. It referenced an unusual pneumonia-like virus that had no known origin, which had just emerged in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

So much for pulling the quiet shift.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

The analyst got right to it and penned an internal memo to colleagues first, raising her concern….should we be concerned about this? BlueDot CEO Kamran Khan and his team quickly realized that, yes, it was concerning, and fired off an automated notice that was sent out to all BlueDot clients, followed by some sector-specific information to certain clients, all on that same day, making it the last communication for the year 2019. …

I started meditating and I’m totally surprised at the results

Photo credit: Colin Salter. Image taken on Great Mountain Lake, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Photo credit: Colin Salter. Image taken on Great Mountain Lake, Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Photo Credit: Colin Salter

A couple of months ago, a friend in Australia sent me a What’sApp message asking me to join her and a group of people I’ve never met, from across the globe, for a 21-Day Meditation Challenge.

Meditating has been an elusive thing for me.

This invite wasn’t for a birthday Zoom call, a walk in the park, or some porch drinks, so it stood out for novelty if nothing else. …

December 1st celebrates Peace and Science

It’s not a date that jumps out on everyone’s calendar. Antarctica is that cool place, really really far away, that most people haven’t been to.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: Adriana Humanes

Many think they want to go but really don’t; Or dream of going and never get there.

By some strange set of coincides, and a lot of hard work, I went there in 2018, aboard a ship that was carrying am 80-women passenger crew, all of them with a STEMM background. I was there as a podcaster-in-residence, to be part of this expedition, and then share these stories.

It was an experience of a lifetime, and it became the catalyst for me to see things just a bit differently. …

It Was So Much More Than the White Pantsuit

When Kamala confidently strode onto the glass-lined stage on Saturday night, November 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware, to deliver her acceptance speech for Vice President Elect, there was something that happened. You heard it didn’t you? You felt it, right?

It wasn’t just that she wore a confident suffragette white pantsuit, with the flouncy white satin blouse with the peek-a-boo pussy-bow tie. …

Let’s try harder to NOT talk about the pandemic.

The other day I went for a dog walk with a friend….simple enough. We hadn’t seen each other in while and it was nice to catch up. We walked through our local park on a warm fall morning, the leaves beginning to change, the air a bit misty, the morning light had a nice orange glow.

Near the end of the walk, the conversation steered into the territory that should have been off limits. I should have seen it coming.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Takahiro Sakamoto on Unsplash

I’ll tell you what’s also a pandemic, talking about the pandemic.

Gossiping, chattering, all-night-news recap…sometimes our conversation can look just like the endless doom scroll of social media. It’s basically turned many (most?) of us into pandemic porn addicts. …

Which makes living through a pandemic even worse

There’s a phrase that I keep hearing lately: “Out of an abundance of caution…” It’s a phrase used to refer an action, or a reaction, generally connected to Covid, where someone did something, which had the potential to be regarded as “extreme,” or possibly “above and beyond” what might have been the normal course of events.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Loic Leray on Unsplash

But there’s a fundamental problem. How do you measure extreme actions in a world where the unthinkable keeps getting re-upped and outdone by itself, in 2020? This makes the phrase basically redundant and worthless.

This catch phrase has gotten me thinking the opposite: How is it that I live with caution, in my everyday life? What experience can I draw from? If I buy something at Costco, I have a Member Guarantee of Quality. If I subscribe to a service, I have 30 days to change my mind for a full refund. If I buy something and take it home and change my mind, I have 14 days from the time of purchase to return for cash or store credit. If I buy a new appliance, I can fork out even more money for an Extended Warranty. If I get a new iPhone, for $249 extra I get Apple Care+ which will replace my cracked screen, inevitable within the next two years. …

Whether I deserve it or not.

This year we aren’t going to be able to watch the Tokyo Summer Olympics. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t millions of parents out there who are deserving of podium finishes. Sound the trumpets. Cue the patriotic music. We F-ing deserve it.

Yesterday morning I woke up early, as I usually do, to sit and do this. To write. In quiet, while no one was asking me for anything, or help them do something, or to be the arbiter for some inane thing that I wasn’t likely to agree to. One round for mom.

The rest of the day unfolded in an Olympic round of heats, trials, run-offs and nail-biting finishes. …


Samantha Hodder

Audio Producer, Writer | Host of This is Our Time podcast | Insta: @ThisIsOurTimePodcast | Creator of ESCAPE Your STORY, a 10Day Email Course

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store