Panarchy and other things

August 17 2013

I can’t take credit for most of what I’m about to share with you. I’m just passing along borrowed "words of wisdom" that I've received and keep coming back to. Hopefully they will mean something to some of you too.

1) Read Panarchy by Lance Gunderson and C.S. Holling. I have to admit I haven’t read the entire book, but the premise itself is worth sharing. To me the book is about our innate fear/inability to deal with change. The idea is that in nature, as well as in our day-to-day life, things are in a constant state of flux - growth and decline. This happens for a lot of predictable and unpredictable reasons. But nature deals with change much more gracefully than humans do and we can learn a lot from natural systems. The book applies to every aspect of human life from relationships, to running a company, to planning a city, the list goes on. What I’ve taken from the book (these are my words, not the authors’) is that we have to expect that things won’t always be going well, stable or growing. We have to expect periods of decline and disorder (think of things moving along a figure 8). If we expect it we might become better at dealing with it. The book is out of print but available on Amazon. I guess the book stuck with me because it changed my perspective on a lot of things.

2) Food advice: Google “Glory Bowl.” I recommend making it with grated zucchini and broccoli and replacing the tofu and rice with black beans and quinoa. You can thank me later :-)

3) On quarter-life crises: I’ve struggled a lot with the desire to travel and live in new places versus settling down in one place and starting my career. Though I don’t think there is a right answer, many good friends have reminded me that as wonderful as it is to move and travel and to keep a bucket list, at the end of the day it is important to “create yourself” and to focus on the relationships that matter. People are more important than places. I’m at a point where I’m feeling really lucky to have crossed paths with so many inspiring and courageous people and to be doing something I enjoy near the people that matter to me most.

Now I’m going to try to do something creative, bear with me.

I’m currently studying urban planning in Toronto, Canada. With that said I would really love for you to e-mail me a photo of one of your favourite places in the city/town you live in and a sentence or two about what you love most about where you live. My goal is to eventually collate everything and create something to share with you.

Don’t forget to laugh and indulge in a little chocolate and/or wine every day.

Much love,

Sarah Marchionda
[email protected]
Toronto, Canada

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