After about a million cold snaps & false starts, spring came to Peterborough.
Me and Geraldine here have just been goin’ for walks, watching things bloom, playin’ fetch.
I went to Seattle and I fell in love. With the city, with someone new.
With mountain views. With everything in bloom.
Hi blog. I’ve been thinking about you. I skipped last week. I’m late this week. I know. The good things keep coming, though.
I’m going on vacation.
Starting this Friday, I have nearly three weeks off work. I have never taken this much time off for myself in my working-adult life. I have been working with intense focus to be able to afford this. And through that hard work, some careful budgeting, and some generous assistance, I will be able to just take a break without worrying about how I will afford to eat and pay my bills when I get back.
This will be a new experience for me. I know it’s not the done thing for bloggers to talk about money but seriously, this is huge. Many of y’all have jobs where paid vacation time is part of the deal but this is not my reality. Being able to find the means to do something other than live paycheck to paycheck feels tremendously luxurious.
While I’m gone I want to feel like absolutely nothing is holding me back. I have been working steadily at getting to a place where I have been working on checking off all the lingering things on my to-do list. I sewed the buttons on my first sweater, for instance, so I should be ready to show it to you, soon. But also, I cleaned out my closets. I returned my library books.
I’ve also been putting myself through some mental training, too – I am not used to extended downtime or relaxing, really, and I knew that the only way that this time away would not turn into time for worry was to work through some tough stuff that’s been on my mind. Have some honest discussions that I have been putting off. Vacation prep for anxious Virgo perfectionists, hey? What a riot.
Still, I feel like anything could happen next & I will be able to be nimble, generous-hearted, engaging, curious, brave, observant…happy. It takes a lot of preparation for me to be able to be this spontaneous. I have a feeling that this trip will be good for me, will signal profound changes, will provide much-needed perspective. But even if nothing of tremendous magnitude happens, I am ready to enjoy myself. That feels like a huge accomplishment for someone who survived a dreary winter only to enter into what has been a freezing and grey spring, so far. Take that, seasonal affective disorder.
- found a replacement for my much-loved & totally worn-out faux-leather jacket
- happy plants on all my windowsills
- working through a new lace knitting project with something like patience
- newest blue hair colour makes me feel like myself but even better
- spent so much time at home with my family last weekend including an abundance of time in the kitchen with my mom
- almost done my first viewing of Twin Peaks
- selling vintage clothes in the spring is delightful; short bright dresses & new denim for everybody
- new EP by The Mouthbreathers is kicking my head in! Sackville can rock.
- lots of time spooning with the fuzziest love of my life, Geraldine
- clearance-priced Mini-Eggs
- roasted vegetables
- new tax-return-season tattoos for everybody
- Sappyfest Earlybird tickets are on sale! Hoping so hard that this is the year that Julia comes with me.
- This is a live stream of some cute kittens just you know chillin’ out and being kittens. I am not going to blog even one more word because I expect that you will want to spend several hours just watching cute kittens. In real time! All the time! Kittens!
Jason Molina died. Today I just wanna share a big mug of tea & a hug with the people who that matters to. Everyone has their song that particularly speaks to them but mine is Songs: Ohia – “Didn’t it Rain” from Didn’t it Rain.
no matter how dark the storm gets overhead
they say someone’s watching from the calm at the edge
what about us when we’re down here in it
we gotta watch our own backs
if they think you got it they’re going to beat it out of you
through work and debt whatever all else there is
you got to watch your own back
try to see the light of goodness burning down the track
through the blinding rain through the swaying wires
if i see you struggle i will not turn my back
Who can we be without the people who surround us. Thank you to my people. & oh, I am feeling ever grateful to have these songs, and sad that there can’t be more.
This has been a week of continuance & acceptance: no, springtime weather does not begin in March, in Ontario. At this point it’s just knowing that the weather forecast says snow, again, and deciding how to thrive in it.
The days feel well-spent.
- I finished knitting my first sweater & am waiting for the buttons to come in the mail. Can’t wait to wear it everywhere! Sweater knitting is one of my long, long, long term goals & once again I found myself wondering, “If I can do this, what else can I do?”
- Drinking a lot of tea. The kind with the glittery sugar, sent to me by a friend. Green tea with brown rice. A homemade hot toddy.
- I hosted my very first Quiet Party yesterday & hosted a delightful crew of knitters and letter-writers through the afternoon and early evening. It always feels good to have great people hangin’ out at home. I have so many talented & creative friends. So glad that Amber and Maranda have started popularizing this concept.
- Somehow I have been waking up even earlier with the time change & all of a sudden I am having these bright, productive mornings.
- Yesterday I baked cookies. I don’t even remember the last time I did something like that. Simple! Delicious. Handmade. Filled with espresso & coffee obvs.
- New Shotgun Jimmie album is so good and it is streaming on Exclaim! right now & it’s Jimmie’s birthday so yeah.
- This morning in the mail I received a pair of boots that my mom had taken home, had repaired, & shipped back to me. Like wearing a new pair of shoes that you have already worked in! Thanks mom.
- Some friends started a new band and that band is amazing. When they have a place on the internet I’ll link y’all. Also saw The Highest Order & they were amazing, too. You can stream that Highest Order record for one more day, get on it.
- Working away on projects that have been on my mind for so long. So many craft supplies on their way to me! This cold weather feels like an enforced knitting residency, or as Tanya Davis would tell you, “If you have an art that needs a practice, don’t neglect it.”
- Intense budgeting helps my brain relax.
- At least snow is pretty when you watch it through the window.
Today a megacommunications megaconglomerate is sponsoring a campaign where you tweet about your deeply personal mental health issues using their corporate hashtag and they will give some mental health advocacy groups of their choosing five whole cents of their money.
I am pissed when I see the Prime Minister using his own twitter page to promote this campaign to the general public. Because I really think that funding for these programs should be guaranteed by the government to begin with. The environment of scarcity and underfunding that surrounds mental health services is perpetuated by his government. The criminalization of mental health is ongoing under his government.
There should not be a need for individuals who struggle with mental health to advocate for the resources they need to make life bearable, fighting stigma and a lack of access all the while. Watching the leader of this country advocate privatized, corporatized, charity-based solutions to systemic social problems makes me so mad I want to throw down.
Even so, a bunch of the people I am friends with, on twitter and in person, have stepped the fuck up. They are sharing their very personal stories, at risk of stigmatization, harassment, and deep trauma, for the sake of creating a genuine dialogue. I am humbled by what people attempt just to live their lives authentically, safely, happily. These people I know are brave as fuck. Tough as fuck. Vulnerable and hard and caring and capable as all get out. I hate that it takes a big corporation for them to have the platform they need to speak these truths.
When we think about mental health, I want us to think about the people in our lives that make it bearable, wonderful, possible -
not some cell phone company, I mean shit. I like that this money is going to go to brain research and to lots of little mental health organizations across the country. These things need funding! That funding should never be in question or in jeopardy.
Props are in order:
- To my parents and my friends, who let me tell them my truths without fear.
- To my nurse practitioner who gives me free samples of my meds so that I don’t have to go broke to feel better.
- To my very first counselor, who never questioned the validity of my depression even though I was so worried that I was “not sick enough” to need assistance, treatment, and resources.
- To the co-worker who asked me if there was anything I’d need to get through the winter this year.
- To my co-bloggers at Care of The Self, who add great resources to our mental health tumblr.
- To bloggers like Julia, Claire, Claire again!, Kate, Katie, Arabelle, Natalie, s.e. smith, Kristen, Maranda and Amber, Jessica Luxery and Fleetwood Legay, and many many many more people who write about mental health all the time, not when some damn corporation tells them to do it.
& yeah, I bedazzled my full-spectrum light
because why the fuck not? My manicure matches my full-spectrum light because why the fuck not? This thing makes such a difference in my life that sometimes I call it “my boyfriend” and I am only kind of kidding.