Tag Archives: victoria

Notes On A Good Week

I’m supposed to be working this weekend, finishing off the cookbook I’ve long promised everyone, but life interfered and I got tired of saying no to life. So I said yes for a bit.

Family arrived in town, my cousin I haven’t see in 25 years. He brought his daughter, who I’d never met before, and I’m so glad I blew off work. He’s turned into a great guy, a really loving and positive father, and a generous man. I smiled a lot. It was nice to reconnect.

And so continued what has been a week of epiphanies, small victories, change-making, and forgiveness.

While sailing on BC Ferries this week, I caught some beautiful light.

While sailing on BC Ferries this week, I caught some beautiful light.

Did you know I turned 40 last September? I did. I had very high expectations of this decade. I promised myself this would be the Decade of Steff. Me and my bucket list.

My 20s and 30s got hijacked and I lost my way. I never gave up, but I never saw things very clearly, either. I felt like the guy that gets lost in a jungle full of vines and brush, constantly walking and trying to clear things away, but never really making progress. Well, walk long enough and there’s always an exit.

I’m slowly exiting my back injury. I’m better more often than I’m not. When I do get hurt, even seriously, I rebound in 2–3 days or a week. There’s some kind of Zen lesson to take from serious, long-term injury. There’s a wisdom that comes from overcoming something that had been so debilitating for so long.

(But not all chronic injuries can be overcome, of course. I am lucky.)

When I moved to Victoria, my first chiropractor was trying to sell me on an expensive procedure because he claimed I had a loose hip ligament or something that couldn’t be fixed through exercise. I was already broke and I was devastated that I couldn’t “afford” to fix myself.

Flying on BC's Helijet.com, I got a good view of the slowpoke ferry below.

Flying on BC’s Helijet.com, I got a good view of the slowpoke ferry below.

Then I changed caregivers. Through very good research, I found a team of rehab folks who believed it was something I could overcome both through treatment and old-school work ethic. They didn’t see a fat girl, they saw a girl who once lost 85 pounds in a year, via near-Olympian effort in both sports and nutrition. They saw someone who needed encouragement, support, and challenge. Then they gave that to me.

In some ways, moving to Victoria was about me going somewhere to lick my wounds, keep to myself, and re-discover who I am. I have done all these things in that order. It’s been wonderful.

The Zen of Recovery, I’ve found, is in learning just how tough you are, how much you can overcome. It also puts a lot of life’s struggles into perspective. You learn that trite sayings like “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” really aren’t trite when you’re the one who’s been getting forged like steel in fire.

Cloudy? Or Sunny? Depends on your perspective. I love the unexpected cloudy sunsets.

Cloudy? Or Sunny? Depends on your perspective. I love the unexpected cloudy sunsets.

As I’ve matured, I’ve really allowed myself to own my emotions. If I’m depressed, I’ll let myself wallow in that for a bit. I permit myself to be angry, joyous, neglectful, and all kinds of other things. I’m human. These emotions are a part that journey. It doesn’t mean I’m broken. It means I’m really, really present on the ride. I’m there, I’m doing it, I’m experiencing every bump and bruise along the way.

I’ve enjoyed these two years that I’ve made myself the priority and let the rest of life pass me by. It’s what I needed and I wouldn’t change a thing.

But this week has been something of a light turning on. I’ve had some really great project ideas you’ll find out about in coming months. I’ve stopped to enjoy life on the occasions I could. I’ve overcome a couple of struggles. I went away for a weekend, had fun with friends, splurged, and didn’t come home broke. It was a good, good week.

I think it’s important to just press pause sometimes and enjoy the smug glee of getting shit right and living well across all sectors of life. From money to fitness to diet to self-care, I’ve gotten everything right this week. It really doesn’t happen often to us adults living in the topsy-turvy real world, so it’s great to celebrate. Sometimes celebrating it makes it last a little longer, keeps me in the groove. That’s the good of gratitude, man.

Because grateful is what I am. And excited. I feel that my 40th year has been setting a pretty wicked tone for the decade to come.

Just over a decade ago I kicked off my 30s by nearly dying twice in a year. Not an auspicious start! This decade kicked off by finding a wonderful home, fixing my back, sorting out my finances, rediscovering my creative self, and setting ambitious goals for the 10 years ahead.

As a comparison, it’s like I’ve become my own doppelganger in an alternative universe. There’s so many miles between these two lives of mine that it might as well be measured in light years.

A walk at dusk on Wednesday brought peekaboo sun-flares.

A walk at dusk on Wednesday brought peekaboo sun-flares.

When I think of 10 years from now, shit, I can’t even fathom it. How many books will I have written? How many photographs will I have sold? How many countries will I have seen? How strong will I be? What kind of amazing people will I have met and brought into my fold? How many dreams will I have lived through and ticked off my list?

Great questions. I have no fucking idea, man, but I can’t wait to see how that script plays out. Luckily I’m a writer.

Yep. It’s been a good week.

Did you know I’m scheming of many ebooks, the first of which I’m nearly done, and two others I’m already at work on? For the price of a coffee, you can support me while reading good stuff. Sign up for my newsletter, where I’ll apprise you of developments without boring the shit out of you or being spammy.

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When Writers Stop Writing

I feel like a fraud. A zombie Steff in a fake world.

I haven’t been writing. Haven’t had it in me. I’m on auto-pilot. Wake, skate through life, meet required time obligations, get the 40 hours of work in per week, plus the paid blogging, plus the client stuff, plus the rehab back appointments, plus… plus… plus… Oh, look at the shiny sunset.

When life becomes a thing of clock-watching, it’s hard to find the inspiration.

Every now and then, I’ve wished I could stop time and just write, but the day has been full of needs and requirements, and pressing pause would mean falling too far behind to make it through the week while sleeping through my nights. So, instead, I take a picture and I move the hell on. (The photos seen here are all in the last 10 days.)

But these are the choices in the life of those who do what they love outside the hours of that which they do for survival.

When you’re a writer, the unexamined life is like the tree falling in an empty forest. What’s the point?

I’ve taken pictures in the month that has lapsed since I last wrote for you. I’ve made a lot of good food, cleaned my house, walked a lot, spent a lot of time just sitting on the ocean shore and staring into I-Don’t-Know-What.

It hasn’t been an exciting life, a life worth writing about, but for all the little brief moments of awe and wonder during a life filled with stress and time-management, I think I found a livable balance. For a time.

But that’s not who I am. I can’t do “livable balance.”

I want to do life.

Balance THIS, grasshopper.

You know, when I got my new driver’s license photo issued in October, I spent a while reflecting on my last five years, four of them spent with chronic back pain issues. I refuse to believe my back can’t be healed despite all the obstacles and setbacks I’ve had. No one has told me it’s a cause not worth fighting for, either.

A young couple catches the sunset at Victoria’s Clover Point.

That was the catalyst for my choice to make my back a priority, the top priority, for 2–3 months. I’m tired of a life spent in half-measures.

Working so much so I can throw money at trying to make my body relax after years of trauma and stress is a strangely paradoxical life, and it does not fill me with joy, inspire me to wordsmith, or make me feel like sharing myself with others.

We do what we have to, so we can do what we want, is what Forrest Whitaker’s character espouses in the rousing drama The Great Debaters.

What I want to do is travel. I want to be able to go on long distance cycling trips. I want to hike into the backcountry. I want to be that chick you look at and go, “Look at her go.” I want to know my limitations are far and that it will take me a long time to reach them. I want to know the world out there isn’t too much for me.

I want more than what I have now.

If that means I walk around for a little while as a zombie, while thoughts wither and die without being recorded on the page, then I guess that’s what that means.

I hate it but I need it, I guess.

I may have to get all Dylan Thomas and rage, rage against the dying of the light, because that’s what not writing is starting to feel like to me.

I’ve been here before, almost dead inside, just because I stopped writing after my mother’s death in ’99 till ’04. It’s not about writing for a living or a big audience or for slow-claps or rousing applause.

When you’re not writing, the idea of writing isn’t about the end-user’s experience, it’s about existential relevance.

Deep down inside, I think there’s a kind of egoism that writers have to have. We believe we see the world through an interesting filter. We believe our thoughts have relevance. Unfortunately, this feeling applies to far more people than it should.

Fortunately, some of us are right.

Just before a foggy nightfall, Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park.

Not everyone cares about having an audience. I’m not sure I do. I’d like to have the money that comes with one, but even that barely motivates me to do a “real” book or product for purchase. (But that day is coming.)

I toyed with advertising a long time ago, and hated how it made me feel pressured to produce, and loathed the standards I was churning out as a result.

It’s why I won’t create content for you right now “because I need to post something.” I won’t stoop to the Obligatory Posting point ever again.

For now, I need to fix my back. It’s the number-one thing that will prevent me from going further as a writer, because I do not like the filter I see the world through when I’m in pain. The limitations hurt my soul, and it affects what I put out in the world. That’s not the writer I want to be. Not anymore.

Not writing, though, makes me feel the same. Ah, a cruel contradictory ailment.

I’m five weeks from the end of my hardcore time-management needs for back-rehab, and similarly five weeks from my first REAL time off in more than a year, since this year’s vacation time all got spent on finding a home and moving into it.

But in the last few weeks of not-writing-just-staring-at-the-ocean, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about life and my place in it. Who’s expendable, who’s not. What I value, what I don’t.

Yesterday, I awoke with back stiffness, it was grey and miserable, and I spent 20 minutes talking myself into a dawn walk. By the time I returned home 90 minutes later, I felt grateful for where I’ve moved, the life I feel I’m on the path to have, and the world around me.

I also realized I’m at the dramatic midway point in the film that is representative of this year in my life.

It started with adversity, began in a turn-around, and now I’m at that challenging climax where the protagonist has to ask herself how badly she wants it, and how much she’s willing to do to get it.

And just on the other side of all this is the triumphant conclusion where she rides her bike off into the sunset, without taking an anti-inflammatory, then can skip stretching so she can write a blog post about it. Or something.

We do what we have to, so we can do what we want.

Somewhere in the mix of this zombie-like obligatory sense of life, my frequent pauses to enjoy the world around me, and the quiet I’m starting to find, I feel like this miway-movie point in my present is a really, really neat place to be, if also blood-draining exhausting.

I’m still looking forward to what’s around the corner, and especially finding the intersecting of both the will and the time to write, albeit I’m finding a lot of little small moments to enjoy in the middle of all my crazy.

Sometimes, it’s not a sin to live life. Sometimes, it’s the only way you’ll survive.

Even writers have to make choices. Today, this writer chooses Everything Else, but only because this writer knows that simply won’t last. Eventually, the word volcano has to bubble over and spew. The writer inside always emerges.

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My Topsy-Turvy Love Affair with Cycling

Just a moment ago, I was stretching my stiff ass on my balance ball, watching the Women’s Omnium’s final race in the Olympics. (If you’re not familiar, it’s a serious of cycling track races that get tallied up for an overall score for the winner, kinda like track’s Heptathalon.)

Canada’s Tara Whitten finished fourth overall and was devastated, crying on a teammate’s shoulder after losing a medal.

The winner overall was a young Brit, Laura Trott. The announcer spoke of how the Trott family had been overweight, and their mom decided they all needed to get healthy. She took a young Laura Trott down to the cycling club, got her put on a bike, and now here the kid is, a Gold Medal winner at the age of 20 in the Olympics at home.

On one of Victoria’s amazing pedestrian/cyclist trails for a sunset.

Shifting Gears

I’d been half-inspired to write about cycling this week, but my mind’s in a million other places, thanks to personal anniversaries and such, so writing’s not been “working” for me.

Then I saw this girl win this medal, and it was something that all she started out doing was wanting to get fit ‘cos her mom saw the light. That’s all.

And I got to thinking that cycling’s never just “that’s all.”

Cycling changed my life — for good and bad. Mostly good, but here’s both sides of that story.

The Bad

The back problems I have been rehabbing off and on for 4 years, thanks to the repeat blowout on March 15th, 2011,  escalated and worsened because of a bad bike fit. Had that injury never happened, I probably would’ve remained on that road to glory I was on when I’d taken off more than 70 pounds in one year, from October 1, 2007 to October 3, 2008, the day my back initially blew.

Before that, I’d been cycling 150km or more a week, and I was just loving it. My mood was better, my ability to handle stress was better, I was happier to get out into the world every day. Cycling was my moment of Zen, it was my ADD cure. I was more productive day-to-day, more focused, and I really, really loved who it made me.

But the next three years became a cautionary tale about how important bike fit is, because we (meaning *I*) never figured out until last August that my bike could be the culprit keeping my injury sustained. That, and the 60 hours a month I was riding the bus.

Every time I had new back twinges, I’d be asking physios / chiros / doctors if my bike could be the culprit, and finally Dr. Bryson Chow made a couple suggestions, and we realized, yeah, the bike was a big part of the problem.

But that was then.

Now, I know what was the issue. Now I’ve moved and have a new chiropractor who’s worked with Olympic cyclists, and he doesn’t see me as some fat girl with a bad back, he sees me as a hopeful athlete who’s had some bad luck and bad advice over time.

Just five minutes from that great sunset bridge shot is this cycling underpass, on the Lochside Trail, just one of a couple painted-underside downtown bridges for cyclists & pedestrians only.

Time for a New Normal

I moved to Victoria March 1st. It was mid-April when I was given the okay to get back on my bike, the first time since last September. I was told to start slow, and never cycle back-to-back days, so I could always assess it after 24 hours and a sleep.

I’ve been seeing my chiropractor at least every 3 weeks during this time. He gives me advice, tells me what part of my body’s reacting badly, and we try to figure out where I’m going wrong and what to do next.

In mid-April, I began by cycling 5 kilometres a time for a couple weeks. Now I’m cycling 30, and I can cycle 4–5 days a week, not 2–3.

It’s proof that conditioning improves quickly when on the road or trails for cycling, versus working out in the gym. Especially, when, like me, you’re hauling way, way more weight up those hills than some skinny bitch or straw-like dude.

(Hicc) Namaste, Yo.

Despite those early hiccups, I’m reaching that Zen place again, where seeing a hill doesn’t send waves of terror through me. Instead of being sure I’ll have to stop at the top to wheeze and die, I’m more often sure I have it in me to reach the top of that hill. Last night, a long steep driveway I’d recently had to walk the bike up was one I easily scaled and kept on goin’ after.

And further along the same path, up around Rithet’s Bog or Blekinsop Lake, on the Lochside Trail.

Every time I’m getting on a bike and I don’t think I have the energy to do what I need to do, I somehow always find it.

But those first three months? They weren’t pretty. I had repeated setbacks as I found more and more things wrong with how I was riding, what I was doing. I had to make some fit adjustments, I’ve had postural mistakes. It just hasn’t been pretty, but for every step back, there were two steps forward.

Just three months on, I’m quite further along than I really expected to be. I’d looked at maps of places I longed to visit, and though I’d never make it that far this year. I had moments where I could only be described with words like “distraught” and “crestfallen.”

Now, I’d choose words to describe how I’ve felt of late like “persistent” and “victorious.” Now, I’ve been past many of those places I set as early goals. Now, new goals are needed.

It takes a long time of plodding through and feeling quite useless, I find, before you realize that it feels good now, or better-than-bad most of the time.

It’s really a great journey, that of getting back into cycling, and going a little further and further, and gradually seeing your conditioning change because the scenery you get to see is changing too, as that distance creeps up week after week.

It’s Not Exercise, It’s a Lifestyle

Now, I don’t bus. I walk, or I cycle. My saddlebags are my life on my bike. Every week I’m finding new food stores to cycle to, places to see. Know what’s better than a 20km bike ride? A 20km bike ride that includes a trip to an artisan salumerie, a signature wine shop, and an encyclopedic cheese shop. That’s a cycling gift that keeps on giving — and it’s my kind of cycling life, in between the days when I’m finding myself on some tree-canopied trail on the other side of town, that is.

Soon, I’ll write about some advice for beginners on bikes, from all the things I’ve learned the hard way, some gear suggestions, and ways to make cycling touring a lot more fun.

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Where I Am Now: Pictures

I was lucky to be born and raised in Vancouver, the only member of my massive, massive extended family with that privilege.

The city outgrew me, and trying to decide where I could live that wouldn’t leave me brokenhearted about where I’d left, well, that was a challenge at first, until I realized Victoria could fit my budget and deliver on all the lifestyle promises that Vancouver no longer could.

I live in a little part of Victoria called James Bay. It’s the oldest neighbourhood in Western Canada, and has had the longest serving police detachment. Its character homes date as far back as 1860 and there’s at least one on every street.

It’s a mix of old people hauling oxygen tanks and young folks looking for a lifestyle that offers the adventures of the rugged West Coast and proximity to downtown life.

This is my new home, and I find it to be quickly feeling like “home.”

If I can’t find a better life balance here, then I’m a lost cause. This place makes my soul feel a little lighter, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like through all the different seasons. Summer will blow my mind.

Well. Since I’ve moved, I’ve shot 2,000 photos, and I’ve barely sorted through a couple hundred of them. I’d like to now share with you a few images of the new place I lay my hat. Most of these beach shots are within 3 kilometres (less than 2 miles) from my new home, and there is so very much more coastline to see — even more than in Vancouver.

I am a coastal girl through and through. (Despite wanting to travel to all the world’s great deserts.) You will never, ever find me living inland again. When I lived in the Yukon for a year, seven months into my stay, I visited the Alaskan fjiords and saw Skagway, smelling salt water for the first time in half a year, and had to fight back tears.

My heart is on the shore. Always will be.

So, maybe you can see why wandering has held more allure for me of late than sitting indoors and writing.

Some recent photos:

 

This is where you come when the winds are gusting 95km an hour, like they were on this day — just shy of true hurricane force. My lens cap blew away about 5 minutes before this shot. This is Holland Point, Victoria.

Ogden Breakwater, seen here, protects Victoria’s Inner Harbour from the brutal storms Island Life brings. It’s a 1/2-mile walk to the end of the breakwater, and never stops being beautiful.

 

 

Another shot of Victoria’s Ogden Point Breakwater, the end, where you can enjoy one of three benches, watch passing ships, and rest for the 1/2-mile walk back.

Victorians do not take their beaches for granted. You won’t find any desolate stretches, but with so many great beaches to choose from, you also likely won’t find huge crowds.

 

Another shot of that great stormy 95km-winds day. I’ll never get tired of those, I suspect.

 

I like how there’s so many points overhead to watch people on the beaches below, unlike in Vancouver. It’s intriguing from a photog’s point of view.

My first day living in Victoria, and I find these steps. Love, love, love these steps. Holland Beach.

I really hope we get some good windy days in the summer months, too, because I love how it looks on a sunny day.

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On The Quieting of the Self

I don’t think I’ve blogged regularly in months, but that’s the nature of lifechange for me.

I don’t deal well with change, and it’s possibly why I resist it so hard for so long.

That said, there’s a book on ADHD called The Unquiet Mind, and that phrase aptly describes my mental state of the last several weeks/months.

In asking how I was acclimatizing to my new life/world/routine over here in Victoria, a friend replied to my flustered response with “Change is good, and often overdue.”

I began thinking how overdue my change has been, and it’s too far back to get into, but a couple years anyhow, if not longer. But the delays in undertaking the change resulted in my descending further and further into my funk before I got out. I suppose that makes me more ordinary than I’d like to admit, since most of us don’t adopt change particularly well before it becomes mandatory.

Photo by me. Shot on Victoria’s Clover Point.

As the days bleed one into another over here and I slowly become A Local, it occurs to me that just making the choice to move here was only the start of my change, and many of the things I hope to introduce in my life will take a long time to make a reality. It harkens to the cliche “Rome was not built in a day.”

No. I guess it wasn’t. Nor will be my new life.

It’s been seven weeks, and I’m only now reaching the point where my apartment is beginning to feel like a home. Just a week or so ago, I had my first instance of being late for an appointment, missing my bus, and solving it like a local would — via another bus on a nearby route. I felt smart and shiny, like I’d inherited some pretty new Big-Girl Pants.

But, in those seven passing weeks came a lot of problems with my body — one adjustment after another causing upheaval for my fucked-up skeleton, and it’s also only now that these things are settling.

It got scary for a bit as New Badness kept occurring, since my back and body are big reasons I’ve moved to Victoria — where it seemed easier to get around, geared to the walking lifestyle, and more fitness-oriented in a ways I would be able to incorporate into my days. But when you make that move and things go in the opposite direction from what you’d hoped, yeah, it’s a hair-raising segment of change that isn’t what you’re ready to receive.

For weeks, people kept asking if I was “loving” my new life, and I tried to put the Smiley Face on, but the truth was, I was scared, hurting, and hoping I hadn’t made a Big Scary Mistake.

But transition takes time, both mentally and physically. Knowing that, I just kept my head down, kept my goals ahead of me, and tried to keep my head in the game.

That worked, and my transition’s easing into a better normal now, with a mo’ better normal yet to come.

With my home nearing completion, it’s time to turn the transitional focus onto me — my body, my health, my mind — and really reap the rewards of making this big change in my world.

Last fall, when I would imagine life in Victoria, I was off on a number of points, but that includes underestimating the amazing surroundings, the quiet, and the pace of life around me. I know now that it’s a place I belong.

When I imagine my future today, I see myself embracing more walks on the ocean, finding a better sense of balance time-wise, learning to meditate regularly, photographing/writing daily, and falling back in love with reading.

Because, the thing is, this Unquiet Mind conundrum of mine, it’s been the status quo for me since about 2009 or so. Seldom have I found peace or quiet in a way that resonates for me. I think I’ve found it here. I think I’m learning now that, while I was born and raised in Vancouver, and love it on some level that’ll never change, I think I’m not built for life in the big city. I suspect one day this place, too, will outgrow my soul.

It’s funny how much I can surprise myself, how much I still have to learn about who I am and where my place is in the world, but I suppose it’s all part of the EverBecoming of being human. If you stop growing, you may as well push up daisies.

I know that, by delaying the needed change in my life, I fell further into a horrible rut, and undid much good I’d struggled to accomplish in life, but something tells me the grief of my relocation, the bodily aches and pains that came with, and the turmoil I’d felt during it all will result in some amazing days to come.

It’s good to be on the other side. Now, where will I be in a few months? I don’t know, but I think I’m gonna love getting there.

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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.

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