Monthly Archives: April 2014

The List

Today I was going to: attempt a long run, a full 10KM around Burnaby Lake Park. I did it quite by accident a few weeks ago and I want to do it again, with a snack in my pocket this time.

Today I was going to: finish the second draft of this story I’m working on, once and for all. It might even be a fourth draft by now. It’s taking forever. I want to set it on fire but I feel obligated to the man in the story to get it done, since he has spent nearly two years trapped in the damn thing.

Today I was going to: make granola
donate $50 to charity
tally the receipts from the month of March and move money from our savings accounts to our chequing account wrap a gift
get some groceries
go to the library
and plant some herbs in pots.

Today I:
woke up feeling like I had a cold, because I do
watched Friday Night Lights (Season One final episode, they went to State!) and ate nachos (at 9:45 in the morning)
had a long shower
tried to register for a 5K race in May but the receptionist was on her lunch break
thought about granola
went to the library
got some groceries
and some beer
and drank tea.

I realized pretty quickly this morning that my list was ambitious for someone feeling under the weather, so I let it go and told myself to have a sick day.

I haven’t had a sick day in a long time. I haven’t been sick in a while, so that’s good, but the last time I was, I went to work anyway (I wasn’t sick enough to warrant a day off, plus I only work part time and taking one of two work days off feels really pathetic) and the other days were spent doing other stuff, plowing through, keeping commitments.

Since I started working, I plan my days off carefully. I’ve had days where I lose hours to wandering in and out of stores or reading on the Internet and then it’s time to get the kids from school and I don’t feel like I had a break, even though I had a whole day. I like to avoid that feeling. It sucks. So I pace myself, no dilly dallying.

The relief I felt today, though, when I would think what is the next thing I need to do and then remember nothing, because you’re sick makes me wonder if maybe I have over structured myself, in the hope that all the structure will lead to — what, a day that can stand up by itself? I don’t know.

I felt so relieved to let myself off the hook, that same hook that I had put myself on. Relieved like a kid whose mother says he can watch until the end of the episode instead of going right to bed. Relieved like someone who has been holding her breath for too long. And now it is the end of the day and my butt hurts from sitting, but this day was good, it was OK, it was what I needed.


April 1

Yesterday I had this conversation with a crow outside my window.

Me: Yeah I get you. It’s nesting season. That cat is down there. Your lady friend is trying to build a nest over in that tree. I see her. I think she might have some of my hair in her beak, from the dryer vent…
Crow: *fixes his eyes on me through the window*
Me: You know, the day we moved into this place, I was as mad and stressed out as you are right now.
Me: I’ll cut you off there. I know it’s worse to be a crow; after all, you’re a bird. Smart bird, but still a bird. Your choices for shelter are not as varied as mine. I went from an apartment to a townhouse; yes, it was stressful but not as stressful as building a nest out of threads in a tree —
Crow: CAW
Me: Right. But in HUMAN terms. In human terms, we’d just bought our first place. I was six months pregnant with our first child. We moved to a new city entirely. It would be like if you…moved to the middle of downtown Vancouver and tried to find a tree there–
Me: Exactly. You can’t even. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. Everything was an omen. We bought the place on my birthday. That was good. Our movers were flakes and we had to fire them a week before the move. That was bad. When we arrived to move in, the previous occupant was still here…
Crow: CAW?
Me: Seriously.
Me: I know. That’s what I said, but, you know, in English. It didn’t look good for a few hours there. It looked very bad. I didn’t think this was the right place to make a nest at all.
Crow: CAW
Me: Well there was another tree outside our window at the time. There have always been trees…
Me: Anyway. It turned out OK. See? I’m here. The kids are at school. The sun is shining. That cat is too stupid to get you.
Crow: CAW
Me: I know, you have to crow anyway. But — it’s going to be okay.


Eight years ago today, we moved into the townhouse where we still live. The walls are no longer as white as they were. They are peeling in places and scribbled on in others. The floors are a perpetual swirl of tiny elastic bands, the heads of LEGO minifigures, hair, toast crumbs, and good old human dust. Our little porch is a nice place to sit and drink coffee on a chilly spring morning. We know our neighbours and our neighbour’s pets, and the birds we see on the walk to school.

I mentioned the anniversary to the children as we walked from school to trampoline class at the nearby park/arena and Eli said, “Wow! Let’s celebrate with cake!”

(I might need to start a cake company so that can be the slogan.)

I do so love our nest. Caw.