Back in February, I wrote a post inspired by Modern Mrs. Darcy, it got me thinking of the things – big and small – that were saving my life at the time. Six months later I was curious to see if there were any shifts, so here is my 6-month check-in.
Mid-summer in Southern Ontario is as challenging as mid-winter but now we’re dealing with stinking hot weather, crazy humidity and a remarkable number of bugs.
KIDS ARE HOME UNTIL THEY’RE NOT |
Well, the kids who don’t have homes in Toronto full time – though they do visit occasionally, never often enough. Chloé is back from Edinburgh, working as a nanny and camp counselor and Caden is hanging out with friends and preparing for his first year of Uni. Though things are not the same, it’s nice to have them around. They breeze in, breeze out and I consistently have either too much food or too little. I’m just keeping the fridge stocked with vitamin water. I’m already planning the Off to Uni party for both Caden and Spencer. Summer went far too quickly!
BACKYARD OASIS IS COMPLETE |
The new space is, in a word: spectacular. So much more than I imagined. It is truly my cottage in the back yard – I just don’t have the 3+ hour commute or extra beds or another kitchen to clean! My boys will have to show me how to make the wood fire pit work but other than that the couches are comfortable, the fan keeps the bugs away and the ‘bubbler’ makes it sound like I have a stream flowing through my yard. So far I’ve been reading books, drinking wine, lounging with the dogs. Perfect. I’m hoping for a long few months before the snow flies so that I can get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
PUPS ARE TRAINED |
During the backyard construction, I took advantage and sent both Tucker and Finn to train with Jen at High Fives for K9s for a couple of weeks. They returned different dogs – their personalities remained but now they are far better behaved. They walk well and even though I haven’t kept up with the training as well I could have, they are exactly how I need them to be. They don’t jump, they know “yes” and “no” and “heal” and “good dog” and “let’s go”. They’ve completely forgotten “place” though I don’t know that they knew that command very well to start. They were pretty good before, now they’re fabulous.
FINGER SURGERY SUCCESS |
At the end of June, just before Caden’s graduated, I had my left pinky operated on. The surgery was successful and now I head up to the Hand Clinic at the new hospital once a week for therapy. After years of not being able to, I can now reach the “A” key which makes typing far easier! A definite necessity when writing a novel.
CANADIAN LITERATURE BEING ENJOYED |
I discovered I am woefully under-exposed when it comes to Canadian Literature so I set up my own personal challenge for myself (as well as signed up for In Conversation With … and The By The Lake Book Club) to encourage a more literate understanding of Canadian authors and themes. Then, following the advice received from the brilliant Diane Terrana at my Editing Essentials course: read what I want to write, I’ve added a few commercial fiction works (aka Beach Reads) to shake things up.
PARING BACK |
I’m already receiving notifications for this course and that course, this retreat and that retreat – September brings with it the usual options and opportunities to do things. I am a creative magpie and regularly sign up for more than I can possibly manage. This year there is the usual frenzy and instead of fretting over missing something I’m not taking any course that does not bring something to expand my knowledge base or challenge me to learn more. I think simplifying might be a theme going forward and this resonates completely with the direction I’m looking to go. The ONE thing I have signed up to take is the UofT Continuing Studies Certificate in Creative Writing.
ONTARIO NECTARINES |
My sweet and sticky annual delight. For a couple of weeks every summer we are treated to the most juicy and delicious nectarines. I eat so many I can’t imagine eating any through the year!
TRAVEL PLANS |
I’m doing my best to create a life where I always have something to look forward to – specifically travel and spending time with friends and family. I’m off to Oraclepalooza with my woo friends, then to Scotland with my sister to visit Chloé and see the sites, followed by a writing retreat in Jackson’s Point with fellow writers, then winter holidays with my kids in the West Indies. I’d like to fit in a few other adventures before the new year.
What’s saving your life right now?