Officially, today, my 23 years, 9 months, 26 days in Oakville, Ontario has come to an end.
It’s true that saying “Don’t be afraid to start over. This time you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.” I hope my experience holds me in good stead as I start fresh and new, again.
As sad as I am to leave my home of the last couple of decades, I’m excited to start my new life a few hours north on the sandy shores of Lake Huron in Southampton, my no-safety-net next chapter. I’m certainly bringing to it a lot of experience.
After living in 12 different cities, the bulk of my life has been spent in Oakville, a swanky suburb of Toronto, doing what we do in our prime – raise kids. My experience in “the Bubble” included: five household moves; the addition of two babies bringing the total to four kids in four years; one Bouvier and two labradoodles; countless volunteer opportunities (via community, school, and sports); fourteen vehicles; one marriage, and the inevitable divorce; two preschools; five elementary schools; one middle/high school (for eleven years); twenty hockey teams, two soccer teams, thirty-two baseball and softball teams, three lacrosse teams, nine rugby teams, two volleyball organizations; one jiu jitsu dojo; eight theatre groups; two choirs; guitar, keyboard, flute, percussion (particularly timpani), bass clarinet; swimming, tennis, fencing and vocal lessons; certifications in babysitting, first aid and cpr; G1, G2 and Drive Wise driver training x4; four surgeries, dozens of x-rays and ultrasounds, countless stitches and crutches; one near-drowning and resulting rehab; wisdom tooth extraction and accompanying videos; volunteer trips and summer trips for extra credit, four high school graduations and two university; planned a wedding and lost a fiancé; opened and closed three businesses; made countless acquaintances and curated a handful or two of close friends.
What precipitated my move is simple: if you do what you did you’ll get what you got, and it is past time for me to find something else.
And then … the pivot.
Today, and for the next up-to-nine-months-or-longer, I find myself living in downtown Toronto while Caden receives treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at the Princess Margaret. My one big move and renovation turned into two big and very different moves and one big renovation. It’s a good thing I’m adept with logistics (and navigating the health care system after having to do so with Bill last year). I’ve also evolved enough, personally, to roll with the changes life throws – there is no need to rail at the wind, what good would that do? Even though I grew up in mid-town Toronto, this is a true change of pace from our suburban existence as we now live 42 storeys in the air, taking the dogs out is a bigger chore than simply opening a door to let them out.
Covid-19 and the inconsistent provincial restrictions have delayed the renovations of the new house so I’m choosing to look on the bright side. (Shit into sunshine, always.) By the time the weather warms up and spring appears, we will spend our weeks here for treatment and weekends up at the beach. I can only hope that by Labour Day we can be fully moved into the new house with only the occasional visit to the hospital necessary.