Tag Archives: going slow

The Move, The Life, The Update

A brief recap of my recent life.

Holland Point Beach, about 5-6 blocks from home, by me. Day 3 as a Victoria Resident.

I Moved West

I moved across the Straight of Georgia to the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

There, I live in Victoria.

A few numbers about Victoria: Downtown, some 74,000 people live, compared with Vancouver’s 680,000. Greater Victoria packs a total of 360,000 fine folk, compared to Greater Vancouver’s ever-increasing 2.3 million. Vancouver is in a rainforest, Victoria is not. Both are largely coastal, but Victoria has open ocean around it, large waves during storms, and speaking of storms, receives a greater volume of bone-chilling Pacific blasts of weather than Vancouver. It also gets less snow than Hollywood North, as it’s marginally warmer.

And, oddly, it is second only to San Francisco for the number of restaurants per capita.

Into An Even Smaller Neighbourhood

I moved to the oldest neighbourhood north of San Francisco on the West Coast. It is littered with heritage homes.

I live in a great building that has a “no pets” policy but is home to the arthritic cairn terrier Winston, who limps and wags his tail in the lobby when his boss, the caretaker lady, is doing her thing in her office. We love Winston. He makes me smile every time I see him.

And I see the ocean more than I have since I was a child. This makes my soul happy.

Not All Smooth Sailing

My move involved:

  • a ferry
  • five men, four women (four men on both sides, then the odd also-helper on both sides)
  • one 36-foot truck
  • 4,500 pounds of belongings
  • a massive furniture-hoist over a third-floor balcony
  • 24 beers, 2 litres of wine, 3 extra-large pizzas, ferry food for lunch, and an amazing John’s Place breakfast for 4

…And some very scary moments. It was $1,000 for the move itself, $350 for the food, and much more on other related expenses. But, all in all, a low cost for a complete lifechange.

Or Smooth Riding

Last week, upon deciding to take my cruiser bike — which I had not yet ever ridden, and which has pedal-back brakes and not hand brakes (the only kind I’ve used in the last 25 years) — out for a bike ride, I realized the seat was too high and needed adjusting. I tried doing that, but both feet came off the ground for the briefest moment. This is when I learned how steep the incline to my apartment step was, because my bike lurched forward. I had two choices as I panicked because there were no hand brakes (the pedal brake didn’t compute) and those choices were: Go straight into traffic, or turn and let myself stop via smashing into a road sign.

My face hit the metal pole but I luckily had a helmet on, or it could have been much worse. A week later and the bruises are just healing. I spilled to the ground, stunned. The parked car was fine, the car I avoided hitting in traffic was gone. An old lady and a girl who was walking her dog both ran to check on me. The fancy tape on my cruiser’s handlebars was split. But my head would be all right. A minor case of whiplash, and life goes on.

Needless to say, I’ll be practicing riding/braking in the back parking lot before I take my big-girl bike out for a big-girl ride in the real world. *cough*

Sunset at Victoria's Ogden Point Breakwater. Photographed by me, day five of Victoria residency.

And Then There’s The Spaces

My apartment is great. My landlord cares. I’ve had plumbers in three times and now all taps and drain work perfectly. A new oven is on order. The building’s newly renovated gym will be open in a week.

I’m a five-minute walk from one of Canada’s Top 10 public spaces, Beacon Hill Park, and also from shoreline on all three sides. I’m 10 minutes from downtown Victoria by walking. I have the best of every world within a few minutes on any side.

It’s a walker’s paradise. Now I just need to become a walker. Workin’ on that.

But I’m Not At The New Normal (Yet)

I’m adjusting to the work-from-home life, but liking it. Riding buses once or twice a week is enjoyable and a change of pace. I’m liking the stores I’m discovering but don’t have a shopping routine — not even close — just yet.

In all, every bit of my life is an adjustment. And I’m not even done unpacking!

I’m the sort of person who writes as part of a routine, but when I don’t even have a routine, writing doesn’t occur to me. I think, I do lengthy pithy Facebook updates, frequent tweets, but I don’t sit down long enough to pound out my thoughts at length. Apologies, sorta. I’m doin’ what I gotta do.

This has been an epic month for me, and I really do look forward to obtaining my “routine.” I have strong suspicions this won’t happen until April, after Easter, which is when I’ll have a four-day weekend, my first real chance to breathe and adjust, and my work schedule stabilizes.

Until then, when it comes to EVERYTHING in life, I’ll just take what I get. So too, minion, shall you. Soon, we shall be together with new material, and often, since life here will be much better paced for that.

Because, all the way around, this new lifestyle, new place, new way of operating is doing more for my soul after two weeks than anything I’ve done for happiness’s sake in the last five years.

Sometimes, change is the only way forward. I’m glad I learned that sooner than later, because I can’t wait to hit my stride here.

 

Little girls playing at Holland Point, a few blocks from my home.

The Waiting Game: The Better Way to Play

If you’ve never seen it, there’s a brilliantly inventive, noire-ish hospital dramedy found on Sunday nights on ABC. Grey’s Anatomyinspired me to order cable again, and last night I saw it for the first time this season.

Coincidentally, earlier in the day, I had been writing about the difference between suspense and anticipation when it comes to romance relationships. When I watched the show, guess what the sub-plot was? Hmm?

One of the last lines of Sunday’s episode came after the protagonist, Meredith Grey, finally finds out where she stands in the battlefield of love with Dr. McDreamy, as he’s known, who’s portrayed by Patrick Dempsey. In a voiceover, she comments, “Whoever said “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” was a complete and utter moron, because for many of us, not knowing is the worst feeling in the world.”

Recent events have reminded me that I’m one of those people. Oh, I try to play it cool, but not knowing where I stand, whether it’s movie plans with a friend or my place in the Cosmos, fills me with dread and apprehension. It’s unavoidable. Give me “suspense” and you’ll make a mess of me.

I said in my last posting that things were “confusing.” That’s just because I didn’t know when I was next hooking up with the nifty new guy I know. Face it. We’re all adults, and our lives get complicated. Some of our lives are more complicated than others can understand. Sometimes that’s by choice, sometimes destiny just takes a hand. It is what it is.

However, yesterday we cemented some plans for next week. This was what got me thinking about suspense versus anticipation. You see, I hung the phone up, furrowed my brow and thought, “Another week?” And then I realized, “Pfft, it’s only a week.” I grinned and went off and made my breakfast and had a terrific day.

I had been thinking that my uncertainty had been because I was insecure or uneasy with myself, and this was why I was so damned frustrated at all the unknowingness. Then I realized that it really was something altogether different.

I was in the room, too. I know we had some pretty wicked good times. I know what I offer. I know the expressions I saw on his face, and vice versa. I know it was pretty damned awesome. That logic, though, goes right the fuck out the window when I’ve got nothing empirical to back it up.

Figures, baby. Numbers, dates, times, whatever. Lay it on me. If I know we’ve got plans, I’m cool. Seems to me that guys are often hesitant to make plans because they want to have control of some kind. Now, I don’t get that sense from this guy, so that’s groovy, but it’s often been the case in the past. “If I can hold that card, I hold ’em all,” seems to be the line of thought sometimes. (This goes for members of both sexes, unfortunately.)

With an intelligent, strong, independent chick like me, that’s not going to be the case, though. You want to hold that card, then I hope you’re playing Solitaire, because that game just ain’t one I aim to play. I don’t have the patience or the strength. I really just don’t. Headgames are for people who don’t have control over their lives and who want to exert it over others to compensate. That ain’t me, man.

Fortunately, I don’t think I have to worry about that in my present scenario. And now I get to have those little fun thoughts in the back of my mind as to all the things I want to do with my playmate in a few days. Which brings us to another fabulous point in regards to the anticipation versus suspense argument.

If you’re sitting around in suspense, you just never know when, where,or if the games are gonna get back on track. In that case, it can be pretty hard to fill in the possible blanks, so to speak. When you do know that the games are on schedule for the future, then you get to turn your imagination on. You can scheme, you can plot, you can devise.

If you have a creative lover, one that likes to keep things interesting, then the best gift you can give yourself is to give them the gift of anticipation.

But we’re all so self-involved these days that it’s easy to forget what anticipation can do for us.

Really, it’s incredible how much damage we do to our relationships by not doing the simple things. Just committing to a date later in the week or making a quick email or a call to say “hey, you were in my thoughts. I can’t talk, but wanted to hear your voice,” can make all the different in cutting the tensions that eat away at our passion.

We all know modern life’s demands. We know we’re all spread pretty thin. Too often, we overfocus on ourselves. We frequently fail to think about lives from our partners’ point of views. We fail to understand the true stresses and challenges they face, despite the fact that we’ve got front-row seats. We’d like to think it’s all sunshine and roses because we’re in their lives now, but that’s pretty egomaniacal.

Like Grandma Death says in Donnie Darko, “In the end, every living creature dies alone.” We all have our lives, with their myriad complexities, to get through on our own. Most of us choose to share parts of those lives with our loved ones, but when the lights go out at night, we’re right back inside our self-contained universes.

Every now and then, we have to remember that our lives are filled with enough suspense. From the day we’re born to that day we die alone, suspense is all we get. What does your future hold? Do you really know?

When it comes to love and sex, isn’t it time we got a little something we don’t get enough of? The thrill of anticipation and eagerness?

For me, it makes me hotter. It makes me confident, secure, and inspires me to want to make the wait all that much more worthwhile. One of my readers said that a secure man is a horny man. This is true. But a secure lover is a better lover, regardless of gender.

And it’s so easy to build that added security in. Anticipation is more than just looking forwards to future events. It’s the knowing that there’s something to look forwards to. Think about it.