What a difference a few weeks makes…

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My self isolation selfie

A few weeks ago I went back to the mall in Oshawa and met with two of my immunocompromised friends and my son. We did a bit of shopping, stopped off at the food court (mmm Good Karma’s chana masala) and bought our bus tickets and passes. Then we made plans to get together for karaoke yesterday and at the mall again on the 31st. You know, the usual stuff.

Meanwhile my parents were on a bus tour in the southern States and had been for a couple of weeks. They got to see such scenery as the Painted Desert and the Grand Canyon and weren’t due back until the 10th. We figured we’d see each other the weekend after they got home.

Then everything escalated. My parents are in quarantine. My Dad’s being tested for covid 19. He’s 76 years old. Karaoke switched to Facebook Karaoke because it’s not worth the risk. The mall is pretty much closed. I’m not sure if I even need to buy a bus pass because where am I going to go? And it’s so hard to believe I was hanging out with friends a mere double handful of days ago.

But it’s worth it. It’s worth only going out for essentials if it helps keep our seniors and immunocompromised friends safe. It’s worth washing our hands dry (skin cream is a life saver) if it helps slow the spread of the virus. Remember, we need to slow the rate of infection down enough to give medical professionals time and space to do their jobs. All we need to do is look at Italy to see what an unchecked rate of infection looks like. Basically no beds and no ventilators.

I wish I could see into the future and see when this is over so I could reassure my family and friends but I don’t have that gift. I do know it will come to an end. All pandemics do. We just need to ride out the storm and hope the ones we love stay safe.

As for me, I’m going to sit and sip a mug of hot chocolate in my swing chair before making lunch. Mmm homemade soup.

All of you, please stay safe!

Everything’s coming up roses…

First we had my apartment. It was being built so I couldn’t see it, I had to move in sight unseen. Then they gave me a Walmart gift card with a surprising amount of money on it and a brand new double bed and bedding set. The only hard part was that Colin didn’t have a place yet… and now he does.

I was talking to his case manager today and Colin can’t see the apartment because they have a construction crew in there fixing it up. He’s going to have a full apartment; living room, dining room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. It will definitely be bigger than mine. Plus he gets six hours of assistance a day. Help with dishes, cleaning up, laundry etc. They’ll be taking him out for excursions too. He can only bring a certain amount of belongings with him but that’s mainly because they are buying him all the furniture he needs… his choice. The paint in his room and his bedding are also his choice.

Colin can be extremely hard to live with (and conversely can be a delight). Just because I didn’t want to live with him anymore doesn’t mean I want him on the street or some scuzzy room. So I am absolutely amazed and delighted by this turn of events. I am so very happy for him.

Tomorrow I’m meeting up with family and friends to repaint the bedroom walls that I painted four or five years ago. And I’m going to collect everything I forgot. Brain fog and short term memory problems are a blast. Colin has laundry and cleaning up to do. Then I’ll be back there on Thursday to meet with his case manager and discuss the upcoming move.

Thanks to my anxiety, I won’t feel 100% settled until he’s in his own place. But for now I want to sing from the rooftops that Colin has an apartment!

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I don’t have a picture of Colin’s apartment so here’s the scrapbooking layout I made for mine.

Colin’s good news…

Colin called me yesterday to say he’d been offered a room in an assisted living facility, which is great but doesn’t leave much space for his stuff. Then he called me back to tell me it actually was a one bedroom basement apartment, still in assisted living.

Today he called and sent me a Facebook message to say where he’s moving. I won’t say the location, just that it’s north-ish of Toronto, but he’s happy. Apparently he’s getting the whole basement so his apartment is going to be huge.

I hope this is a positive step for him, a place to sort himself out, and a place he can learn without me. He tends not to listen to me anymore, he already has all the answers and knows everything. Having other people around who don’t know me or our family should give him a new perspective.

I wish I had more to say, more information to share, but that’s all I’ve got. I’m sure we’ll all have new information soon… we just need to wait (and I’m not good at waiting). In the meantime I’m so glad Colin’s found a place!!!

Eight years later…

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Colin posing on one of our walks after the move

It will be eight years in May that Colin and I moved to Oshawa to live in my dream apartment. Two bedrooms, two balconies, and a tonne of storage space… including our own walk in pantry and a storage locker downstairs.

The library and community centre were just a short distance away plus we were surrounded by shopping. Three grocery stores, several drug stores, and enough fast food restaurants to make our livers cry. And then there was the gym and pool downstairs. Talk about bliss to be able to just head downstairs and swim.

I’d picked the apartment for one important reason, there was enough room for both Colin and I. I honestly didn’t think Colin would be able to live on his own. I made sure he was learning life skills like grocery shopping and, later on, paying bills and rent, but I figured this was it. Our final stop. Colin would remain safe with me.

What I didn’t count on is Colin. We just aren’t compatible for living together. I like quiet and order. I find and display a wide assortment of pretty things that I like. My cutlery is from Pier One and is made to look like bronze branches. None of my dishes match, I simply pick out my favourites. Colin, on the other hand, finds my style boring. He loves clutter and computer parts everywhere. He decorates with the computers he’s repaired. They all work and he uses them for various tasks. Clutter makes me uncomfortable and anxious. Plus Colin’s pretty thoughtless. He’ll wake me up at 1am (like last night) to tell me about something, usually men’s rights, and keep waking me each time I fall asleep. After 10 or more minutes I’m awake and he’s done talking. No apology, just an “oh well” before he goes back to his computer game.

I just can’t do it. I love him dearly but I can’t live with him. I’m hoping the move will do him some good, that he’ll find a place and respect it. Meanwhile I’ve got a place of my very own… for the first time. Which is exciting, terrifying, and nerve wracking all rolled into one. I’ve never lived on my own before. I’ve always had parents, a spouse, or kids.

Just one more week and my move should nearly be over. It’s twelve thirty now and I’ve got the 20200129_105252_hdr-01moving elevators booked at 9am in our current place and 11am in my new place.

One thing I’m panicking about is packing. I keep thinking I’m doing well but my eyes skip over stuff because that’s where they go. Except they can’t stay there… and there are so many little things to sort. It’s only a week but will we need medical supplies before then. Is it safe to pack the bandaids? I don’t want to pack too quickly but I also don’t want to be frantically packing at 7am next week.

My new apartment (and building) look good. They aren’t what I planned but they’re still nice. It will be wonderful to have a place of my own that’s clean and safe.

But as I watch Colin’s belongings either get packed or turfed, the bare bones of our apartment show themselves again and I remember my blind optimism that this was going to be my very last home. And then I get back to packing again.

The good… the bad… and, well, there really isn’t an ugly…

I had a meeting today with the agency that’s helping me move and they had my move in date!!! I’m going to be moving on February 5th, nineteen more days! Which is great but I have so much left to do. I didn’t think I’d be moving so soon. I’m sure panic will get me through the next few weeks.

My main concern, once I found out my moving date, was Colin. He’d been assured that he’d have a place by the end of January but nothing more was said and his next appointment with the agency is the end of January. So I called the cheerful, optimistic lady who’s been assuring us everything’s fine and got told that they had until the end of February to move him and, if they didn’t find a place, they’d “try” to get him a storage unit and would place him in a homeless shelter. So a good chunk of this afternoon was spent looking at rooms for rent. He’s already messaged one place and is waiting for a reply.

I got to see pictures of an apartment identical to mine. I’m still worried about my dresser but the kitchen looks great and the bathroom looks amazing. The only downside is the side of the tub is lower so it’s easier to get in, which means no baths. This would be a huge disappointment for Colin because he loves baths but I’m not fond of them and have maybe one or two a year. I’d much rather have a shower.

Well I’m off to work on my holiday bins. I know that I don’t use as many decorations as there are in my bins so there’s plenty to donate or pitch. The storage room looks like something out of a horror movie so wish me luck!

New Year… same me…

New Year same meI saw the meme on the left and it really spoke to me. I’m so tired of making goals to lose weight. It’s a never ending goal. I weighed 170lbs and was in a size medium and it still wasn’t good enough. This year I’m focussing on changing things to make life better and easier for me.

I’m joining a gym, not to lose weight but to keep flexibility and sleep better. It’s one of the healthiest choices I can make.

I’m eating better because I want to stay healthy. Diabetes runs in my family and I’d like to skip that. Plus I really don’t think junk food is going to help my depression. That being said, I have no problems with making easy food. I routinely buy boil in a bag rice and chana masala. That’ll be dinner tonight. Two minutes and a piping hot, healthy meal. My depression and anxiety makes eating healthy a challenge but I’m going to do my best to make quick, healthy meals to nourish my body and soul.

And I’m not going to push myself to the point of an anxiety attack. I don’t have to take out the recycling now, it can wait until tomorrow. Same with the dishes. And the world won’t come to a crashing halt if I sit in my swing chair for a half hour to unwind. It also won’t stop because I took a nap, and if that nap ensures I can function for the next few hours, all the better.

We live in a no pain, no gain society. Work hard… no harder! Train hard… where are your six pack abs? Diet to a size zero. We ask whether someone’s on keto or counting their macros but never how they’re doing mentally or emotionally. Where we are is not good enough when there’s someone else doing better. And we’re rapidly burning ourselves out in a futile attempt at being perfect.

None of us are going to make it to perfect. We all have flaws. As Leonard Cohen writes:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

So do what you can… do what you must… but don’t forget about you. The only person you’re going to be with for your whole life is you and don’t you think she deserves a little respect?

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Me taking a walk on New Year’s Day

Merry Christmas!!!

Our stockings are unstuffed and our presents opened. Poor Colin’s coughing up a lung and has a fever, I hope he doesn’t have bronchitis. He’s staying home and resting today while I go visit family at my sister’s place. Despite Colin not feeling well, Christmas has been good this year. My parents got me the cutest rhino sheet set and I’m looking forward to spending time with family.

This is the last Christmas song until next December and I think then I’ll try a more manageable 12 days instead of a month of song. And I’d like to say it looked like Christmas out but we’ve got bare ground and sere grass. It feels like Christmas though, and that’ll be good enough.

Our last song this year is White Christmas as sung by Bing Crosby. Enjoy and have a wonderful day!!!