This Took Me Straight Back to 1991!

 

This morning, I began work on a decor project for a totally awesome National Historic Site of Canada. They provided me with all the materials I will need for the job, including the muslin you see in the photo above.

As soon as I opened this bolt of fabric, the look of it, the the feel of it, and (most notably) the smell of it, brought be straight back to my time in the costume department of Dalhousie University’s theatre department. This is the EXACT SAME muslin we used there! I’ve worked with tonnes of muslin in the two and a half decades since then, but not this muslin.  Needless to say, I’m feeling super nostalgic today.

Isn’t it wonderful how something so small can instantly transport us back to another time and place?

Getting There (Quickly)

I’ve been back on the fitness wagon for nearly 5 months. Yesterday, I hit two milestones on the same day. The first was a weight loss goal, the second was a 30 minute running distance goal. Neither were “final goals”—they were just “next goals”.

Something about meeting both of these targets on the same day made me chuckle. That something is related to a question I’ve been asking myself for weeks. Am I getting faster because I’m losing weight, or am I losing weight because I’m getting faster? I may never know the answer, but I’m sure one is responsible for the other. Of course, my new running shoes (pictured above) might also have a little to do with the faster pace. They are freaking awesome!

What’s also great—even though I hate that this matters to me—is that other people are now taking notice of my results. A customer complimented me yesterday on how good I look, and a fellow gym member recently commented (positively) on how fit I am.

Enough bragging for today? I think so. I’ll stop now.

Rollercoaster

Do you ever feel as if you’ve got a lot going on, but in reality, you’re not doing much of anything? That’s pretty much how the last week has played out. I should be crossing things off my to-do list right now, but that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m going share with you a bit about some of the stuff that’s been going on in my world. Actually, most, if not all, of what I’m about to share happened in a single day—last Monday.

Some of you have been asking about my “leap“. Well… It did not end the way I had hoped. If I had gone my way, it would have meant that I’d get a much needed 12 week escape from my current reality. When I got word that my “wish” was granted to somebody else, my first thought was that “the powers that be” made a poor choice. I know that what I just said may come off as something a sore loser would say, but that’s not how it was. I truly can’t imagine anyone being more suited for that “leap” than me. And trust me, when I—someone who has difficulty recognizing my own strengths—actually believe that nobody is better suited for something, you better damn well believe nobody is! Hours later, when it really sunk in that I’d be stuck in my same dull routine for the foreseeable future, I broke down in tears. The crying continued for hours. 

That wasn’t the only blow I suffered that day. I got slapped with bad news at the optometrists office too.  I knew I couldn’t see out of my right eye, but I didn’t know why. Some time in the last year (after I had last seen both my optometrist and my ophthalmologist) I developed cataract in the centre of my field of vision and it had grown to nearly the size of my pupil. My optometrist told me that he would write a letter to my ophthalmologist requesting that I be put on the priority list for surgery. I will be visiting my ophthalmologist this Friday afternoon. I’ll know more about what’s going to happen then.

The reason I went for my eye exam in the first place was that I was almost out of contacts. My eye doctor told me that he didn’t want to sell me contacts until I got my issue straightened out. Instead, he gave me a box of single use disposable trial lenses. At first I thought they were fantastic. With them, I could see (with my “good eye”) three more lines on the chart than I could see with the lenses I had before. In the car on the way home I still thought the lenses were fantastic. I could see abso-freaking-lutely everything! There were moments on the drive home when the clarity of road signs, birds, and litter triggered happy tears.  I fantasized about the day (after cataract surgery) when I’d be able to see that well with the other eye, and that made me cry even more. Now for the no-so-fantastic part. Those trial lenses don’t correct my astigmatism or presbyopia. When I arrived back in my town, I stopped at the bank. I had to sign a document, but I couldn’t see it.  Reading glasses would have helped with that, but I didn’t have them with me. Later that day, I discovered that reading glasses don’t help me to see my work. For that, I either need a bifocal lens or a weaker prescription. I literally haven’t gotten a damn thing done at work this week. And wouldn’t you know it, after months of having nothing to do, I suddenly have lots of things that need doing.

After giving up on trying to get anything done at work that day, I went out to blow off some steam. While I was out, a man off in the distance caught my eye. His back was toward me, and he was walking away, but there was something magnetic about the way he carried himself.  I couldn’t take my eye(s) off of him. I was bummed when he turned a corner and I lost sight of him.  A few minutes later, he reappeared. He was still a fair distance away from me—far enough away that I would never have seen his face with my old contacts, but with the trial lens I was wearing, his features were crystal clear. He was the guy I couldn’t shake from that dream I had in October!  I can’t help but conclude that crossing paths with him, on that day—a day in which I was on an emotional rollercoaster—was some sort of a sign. (If you have no idea what guy or what dream I’m talking about, you can read about it here in the last, “If we were having coffee right now,” paragraph.)

And just when I thought more “stuff” couldn’t possibly happen on that day, the hourly notifications to remind me to get off my ass stopped working on my Fitbit! I fixed that issue today! I think that’s a sign too—a sign that everything else is going to be fine in the end. 

“Good” Friday (?)

In a moment of insanity, at last month’s community garden meeting, I (along with one other woman) volunteered to spend this morning teaching 150+ small children how to plant Easter Bunny food—AKA lettuce—in pots made of newspaper.

When my alarm went off at 7:00 this morning—Good Friday—my first thought was, “I’d rather be nailed to a cross than do what I’m about to do.” Somehow, I mustered up the courage to get myself out of bed, shower, and drag my arse to the event.

While we were setting up, two teenagers (air cadets) offered to help us with our lesson. Later a couple more teens joined them. Thank goodness they did! Even with the extra help, we were barely able to keep the assembly line we’d set up moving efficiently.

Someone “lost her shit” at the event, and the shocking part was that it wasn’t me. Someone stuck a phone/camera in my face, I reflexively jumped back, and said that I didn’t want to be in the photo. She then asked if she could take one from the side. My answer was, “no.” She did not take kindly to that. In the end, she stomped off like a spoiled child.

Coincidentally, on the table between Camera Lady and me was a stack of photo release papers. Nobody signed them, so, out of respect, we didn’t take a single photo at the event. Yes, I am aware that nobody needs permission to photograph anyone in a public place, but holy hell, it pisses me off when people do it without any consideration of the feelings of person being photographed!

Aside from that one incident, I think everything went relatively well. Will I do next year? Ummm… not if I can convince someone else to take my place. I really am not someone who should be educating anyone’s child.

Tumblr Trial

On Friday, after mocking my English friend, Jonathan, for his fondness of a certain social media/microblogging platform, he replied with the words, “I think you might like Tumblr.”

I’ve stayed away from Tumblr all these years because there seems to be a gross shortage of original content. The platform is heavy on regurgitated material. I HATE that! However, when Jonathan assured me that there are people there who don’t reblog, and that Tumblr people are “really friendly”, I reluctantly agreed to signup and check it out.

To get started, I visited the Tumblr blogs of all the people Jonathan follows. I couldn’t help but wonder if, “I think you might like Tumblr” was some kind of joke. I was also very confused. We like a lot of the same stuff on WordPress. How could he have such lousy taste on Tumblr?

I did manage to find a few people on Jonathan’s list who seemed interesting enough to follow, and, as I type this, he’s off compiling a list of people he thinks I will enjoy. I suspect his efforts are an attempt restore my faith in his judgement, but I do hope he comes back with some good suggestions. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I will give the people of Tumblr a fair chance to make a good impression on me.

The one thing I am certain of when it comes to Tumblr is that, if I stay, all (or nearly all) of what I post will be original content.

Leap

Leap and the net will appear. —John Burroughs

Sorry, John Burroughs, I don’t buy what you’re selling.  The truth is something more like, leap and the net might appear. It’s why so many of us refuse to take the plunge—we are scared shitless that the landing may break us.

More often than I care to admit, I fantasize about walking away from everything familiar so that I can start my adult life over. I’m living state of perpetual meh—I crave an infusion of yay!  Yet, In all the years I’ve spent pining for change, I’ve not, until this morning, had the guts to take action. Today, I was brave. Today I took a leap. The net might appear. It might not. Does it matter? Hell no! The landing won’t kill me. Besides, anything is better than meh at this point. I’m willing to leap again, regardless of what happens this time. 

 

 

 

 

 

Eery

Before I get out of bed each morning, I like to hop on the internet to see what’s happening in the world. This morning, I began my online investigation with Facebook. There, I learned that “Live bunnies are not Easter gifts!” A few posts later, I saw that someone is selling baby bunnies for $30 each. Sooooooo cute! And, just in time for Easter! Below that was a PSA, “Life is Better in Flip Flops!” Well duh! That’s why I wear them all year long. After a little more scrolling, I stumbled upon what may just be the most eggseptional thing I’ve ever seen on Facebook. A hen in Ontario laid an egg the weight of a baseball! Wow! Also on the subject eggs… a friend shared a photo in which Easter egg decals adhered to a sun exposed window projected colourful dots onto a tabby cat. Now there’s a photography tip I must remember! On that note, I logged out of Facebook.

After leaving Facebook, I went to Environment Canada’s website to check the weather forecast. It’s not something I do every morning, but today, a little voice in my head told me to take a peek. Would you believe there is another f***ing snowfall warning and blowing snow advisory for where I live?! The mess begins this afternoon and it isn’t expected to move out until Friday. Believe me when I say that you can’t possibly imagine how sick I am of this winter.

Since it’s looking as if I’m going to be snowed in until the weekend, I thought it would be wise to lock up my shop and leave a “back in 10 minutes” notice on the door so that I could scoot to the post office to pick up my mail.

The moment I stepped out the door, I was greeted by an eery calm. The absence of sound was disturbing. It freaked me out enough to make me go back inside to grab my phone (so that I wouldn’t  be “alone”). When I returned outdoors, the silence had been broken by seagulls screeching over the lake out front, and then by sirens off in the distance. Neither sound provided any more comfort than the creepy silence.

When I arrived in “town”, I couldn’t find a place to park anywhere near the post office, which was bizarre. I parked in a lot down the street and walked to get my mail. I didn’t cross paths with anyone, not by car nor by foot!  Also bizarre! Where were all the people who traveled in all the cars parked along the street?

Then, another odd thing got my attention—the aroma! The smell of foods, the likes of which I haven’t consumed in over two decades, hung heavy the air.  Perhaps everyone in this town, except for me, was out to a greasy lunch? Did I miss the memo on my morning Facebook rounds?

It’s now late afternoon. The snow is falling, and my cat is behaving like the psychotic monster he becomes every time it storms.  It’s going to be a loooong couple of days.

 

 

Share Your World—March 20th, 2017

Today, the first day of spring, happens to be a winter-y storm day where I live.  In protest, I refuse to go outside. To entertain myself at home, I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before—I’m going to take part in “Share Your World“.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with “Share Your World”, it’s a weekly feature on Cee Neuner’s blog, in which, she asks her readers to respond to 4 questions.

Cee’s questions and my answers.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

The first age that popped into my head was 27. That’s how old I tell my nephew I am. He stopped believing my fake age after I turned “25”, but I continue to stick to that story.

Truth be told, I don’t feel like I’m 27. I feel a like I’m 32. Coincidentally, I often feel as if my life has been one step forward two steps back since I was that age—12 years ago. If I could choose any age to go back to and start over from, it would be 32.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?

I don’t often use an umbrella. I drive everywhere, and I can easily sprint to and from the car without getting too wet. On rare occasions when I decide to use one, I know exactly where to find it. In fact, I know exactly where to find everything I own. I’m the most organized person I know.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone?

I recharge my energy by spending quiet time alone.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend  to have in common.

I don’t have a spouse, or a partner, and can’t claim to have a best friend either. I have “friends”, but as I’ve written about somewhat recently, I’m not super close with any of them, and it’s, in large part, because we have so little in common.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful that the first of this year’s garden seeds have sprouted (indoors) last week, and I’m looking forward to caring for my new plants and watching them grow bigger this week.

Comforting Quirk

It’s said that nothing great can happen inside of one’s comfort zone. I agree. I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that I grow only when I step into a state of slightly elevated anxiety.  But, there’s a problem with that. Who the hell wants to live in a state of slightly elevated anxiety all the time? Not me! Which is why, when I’m not paying close attention, I tend to allow silly soothing rituals and routines to completely to take over my life. Then, soon after, I end up feeling as if I’m stuck in a rut. That’s exactly where I am now—stuck in a rut. I want out!

One of the most common pieces of advice for getting out of one’s comfort zone is to do everyday things differently. For example… try new things, do the things you already do at different times of the day,  take different routes, talk to new people… You get the idea.

In the process of examining my habits, (so that I can decide what I’m going to shake up) it suddenly struck me how ridiculous one particular quirk of mine is. It’s not something I intend to change, but I feel as if I must tell you about it, because, holy crap, it’s bizarre!

For years now, I’ve been listening to the same song, Bryan Adams—One Night Love Affair at the beginning of every running session. It was only last night that I decided to question myself as to why. The best answer I could come up with was that the song has become a friend I depend for moral support. For me, the first 3-4 minutes of cardio is always the most challenging. I play One Night Love Affair at the start of each run, and I typically fall into my groove right before it ends. How and why I chose that song, I have absolutely no clue, but it really has become a crutch I depend on. The rest of the music on my running playlist is an ever changing assortment of new and old hits. One Night Love Affair is the only running song I’ve ever been faithful to.