30 March 2013

Moving Update

Happy Easter!

Spring is starting to show itself here in the Okanagan. I keep pulling up the Nova Scotia Highway cameras looking for the last of the snow there ... Spring is a few weeks behind on the East coast. One of the few things I do not like - but all the things I love make up for the late spring.

Plans are progressing on our move and we are getting excited realizing how close it is and a little nervous realizing how much work there is to do before we go!

Last week I was reading "As Always, Julia" edited by Joan Reardon (the letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto - great book for Julia fans) and had to laugh at a quote of Julia's:

"How could any people have so much stuff. How do we have so many books...And, judging from kitchen equipment, one would think this was going to be a restaurant. Too awful. I don't think we are basically suited at all to this movable life. If only we had no 'interests' things would be much simpler".

There are a lot of things about Julia that I admire and relate to - but, this quote most of all - at least at this time - she summed up exactly how I am feeling. I packed up twenty-five boxes of books this month - and those are the ones I know I can part with and sell at our garage sale. Many times over the past few weeks I have been thinking...if only we didn't have any interests things would be much simpler! Between the books, the kitchen equipment, and art supplies we have a truck full!

We still haven't figured out how to get everything back across the country...trying to find the cheapest, easiest and most reliable way to move thousands of pounds of stuff across 5000 km. is not an easy task I assure you.

You would think this being our third cross country move we'd be experts by now but I think it is getting harder. I am getting less and less inclined to part with all the things we have accumulated. My library is exactly the way I want it to be. I have most of the books I really want - many collected at library sales and purchased cheaply and it has taken me over a decade to collect them. I don't really want to start over - my kitchen is fully stocked with everything I need - including many heirlooms that I do not want to get rid of. I have twice sold off most of my possessions other than those that are irreplacable and I don't want to think of doing that again. Aside from wishes, buying everything over again on the other side is probably more expensive than hauling everything across country anyway. BIG dilemma! Funds are low...time is running out...options are getting limited. Trying to keep the stress levels low ... but six weeks of one illness after another is giving away how low my immune system is right now.

But - the sun is out. I am finally starting to feel better and I have been loading up on Nova Scotia in my "spare" moments to keep excitement levels high while dealing with the stress of moving and leaving family and friends behind again.

Listening to some Atlantic music, filling my "Maritime Love" board on pinterest, watching videos on youtube, looking at real estate and reading Ashley MacIsaac's autobiography as well as a rug hooking book by Deanne Fitzpatrick is keeping me busy and filled with all things Atlantic.

With the moving keeping me busy as well as my schoolwork and the boys' spring break and colds and stomach flus hitting all of us life around here has been pretty busy!

Hoping to take a bit of time later today to decorate some eggs and prepare a turkey dinner for tomorrow... one thing is for sure - life is never boring and I always have way more things that I want to do than I have time for! I am thankful for that -  and I suppose that is what I get for complaining of being bored so much as a child. My sister told me a great quote that she remembered from our great-aunt Anne: life is never boring - if you're bored learn Chinese! Love it and love her...always an inspiration.

Time to get busy...

14 March 2013

Planning and still moving forward

Plans are progressing...

While it is grey and slushy and muddy now, I know that soon...very soon...I will wake up to beautiful green. I am always amazed at how leaves seem to burst out overnight. One day everything has that end of winter greyness and the next the world is green and full of new life. 

Late last fall after spending almost a year of "should we stay or should we go" I decided to apply for my B.Ed. in Nova Scotia.

I thought this would be the perfect plan. 
It would give us a concrete date to move by, it would (hopefully) give us a steady income and I still would have summers and holidays with my family. Perfect.

I filled out applications, wrote essays and asked a few kind-hearted souls to send in references for me (many thanks to you). I sent in money and transcripts and waited...very patiently-unusual for me. I immersed myself in holiday preparations and classes to finish my current degree. 

As the date of acceptance loomed closer I became worried...I didn't want to find out.
Every time I walked into a school I secretly hoped that I wouldn't be accepted. 

I received a phone call a few weeks earlier than expected - Congratulations!

I pretended to be happy. 
I knew that this would be good for my family. 
This was something I could do. 
The steady paycheck would be welcomed. 

The thought of spending everyday back in high school...

The thought of not being home on proD days and sick days and not greeting my kids as they arrived home from school with a fresh batch of cookies...

My blog was neglected. I couldn't think of anything to say.
I wasn't being true to who I am. I felt like a fraud.
There are SO many things I want to do with my life.
Teaching high school isn't one of them.

So - after much thought and discussion - I have declined the offer.  

A move thought crazy by some. WHY would you decline a perfectly good offer to prepare for a respectable career? WHY? What are you doing instead? How are you going to live? 

Well...I'm working on it and
 I'm moving to Nova Scotia this summer anyway.

I know many will say (and some probably already have) - who do you think you are? How irresponsible. 

I understand. I really do. I lived a lot of my life like that. Responsibility comes first. Jobs come first. It didn't matter how sick or unhappy I was... I had to do the responsible thing. I lived my life by shoulds and have tos. Often not even thinking about what I was good at or what my talents were or what I wanted to do. None of that mattered as long as I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. 

The older I get the more I realize that life isn't all about responsibilities. 
Life should be joyful. 
I believe that being true to who you are is the only way to find real joy.  

I am happy and feeling more like myself than I have in months. 

I know I have made the right choice.

I am so looking forward to our first visit to our favourite beach...we've missed it.

07 March 2013

"I'm Getting Sick! Let Me Off!"

Life has been a little crazy in our house. I have been frantically trying to finish my degree and the end of February was a blur of last minute readings, essays and exams. I have been fighting a nasty cough for the past month and trying to organize a cross-country move. Big decisions are being made. There is a lot of information swirling around in my poor, aching head.

I told my daughter recently that I feel like a hamster caught in a wheel that won't stop spinning. Luckily for her, she didn't relate and didn't understand the analogy. So I switched and told her it was like being on a carnival ride where you feel like you are going to be sick but you can't get off. She understood that a little better and as I sat thinking "Yes - that is exactly what I feel like" a near forgotten memory popped into my head.

I was about twelve years old and was at a mayfair with my mom, sister and brother. My brother would have been about six. We all asked my mom if we could ride the "octopus" a black tentacled ride with spinning booths that went up and down as they spun in a circle. My mom bought the tickets and we climbed on. Why I wanted to get on a spinning ride with my brother who was well known for his motion sickness I do not know.

As the ride began to rise and started to spin my brother (who at one time earned the enviable nickname of pukey) said he felt sick. By the time we arrived at the top of the circle he was yelling - "I'm getting sick! Let me off!" Surprisingly, the man operating the ride slowly lowered us to the ground and let us off. My brother miraculously did not get sick. He knew what he wanted, he let it be known, and he was able to get off the ride.

After this vivid memory played in my head, I realized the obvious. I can get off. I don't need to feel sick. I don't have to do anything that I don't want to do. I can take control of my own life.

While I realize that changing direction in life isn't always so easy - it is possible.

With one semester left I changed my major from a double major in english and history to a major in English and a minor in history allowing me to drop two classes from my schedule. For me the sacrifices I was making weren't worth the outcomes. I started to really look closely at the choices I was making and what I wanted out of life.

I want to live my life. Mine. Not somebody else's, not someone else's idea of what my life should be like or even what I think my life should look like. The past few weeks I have been spending time thinking about what I want my life to look like and I am confident that I will be able to get there. All I had to do was get off the ride, step back, take a few deep breaths and look around.

Life is good.