Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A little more music

On Saturday the kids and I went to an informal concert at the St Henri town hall. It was the Serenade Chamber Orchestra, a small group of young performers and part-time musicians formed in 1989. I missed a concert they gave at Notre-Dame de Bonsecours in March, so I was happy to find out that they were doing this one, and it was a perfect place to bring the kids. Other families showed up with young children, so it felt nicely informal. And there were doughnuts, so really it couldn't get any better.

On the menu: Vivaldi, Brahms, Bartok, and Beethoven. They were also supposed to play some Bruckner, but the conductor explained that they didn't have enough time to practise it, so we all voted to hear a bit of the Bartok again.

Naomi got a bit antsy and started wandering and dancing which was fine as long as I made sure she didn't spin into one of the cellists we were sitting behind. Ben listened and then occupied himself with a superhero figure of some sort (when he didn't have his finger in his nose, sigh).

It was just long enough and then we went home and had lunch and enjoyed some quiet time and then some play time. Hopefully we will find more activities like this over the summer, they are getting to the age where I can bring them to things like this and we can all enjoy it and talk about it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A field trip

I went to a cabane a sucre with my daughter's daycare class yesterday. We got to ride a school bus, go on a tour of the sugar bush in a horse-pulled wagon, listen to a funny man do a very unpolitically correct version of why we have maple syrup, eat a greasy lunch, dance to some live music, then eat sugar on snow. It was a cool day, but sunny, so all in all I think we lucked out. There were many other school groups there, so there was a modest amount of waiting. After lunch we were lined up outside waiting for our tire d'erable and Naomi was getting restless. She pulled at my arm and whined at the unfairness of not getting her treat right away. We all get where she's coming from. I tried to explain that we all have to wait our turn sometimes, but that logic wasn't making a lot of sense to her at that moment. So I asked her, "Is this something worth waiting for?". She stopped pulling and looked at me, and I asked again, "Nomi, is the taffy something you really want? Is it something worth waiting for?". She looked at me and nodded, "So we wait" I said, and she was suddenly compliant. I think that it's a good exercise to stop and reexamine why we want something. There are a lot of things in the world that we desire, and I have discovered that a lot of that stuff for me is essentially useless. It's taken me a while to realise that the desire for the thing is stronger than my actual need for it in most cases, and when I stop and ask, "is it worth waiting for", most of the time it just isn't. But sometimes the answer is yes, and the wait leads to a sweet reward. I'm really glad that we waited too :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

From a tornado to a soft warm breeze, well, sort of.....

It's spring here, that means that the lovely sunny weather we have had has turned cold and grey, and it's time for a weather and progress report. The winter was cold at times, stormy, but also beautiful and clean. Things lay dormant and I focused on what was happening inside for a while. My long-term goal is to continue to become a happier person. How am I doing? What have I learned?
First of all, I'm way too uptight about stuff. That does have its good points, but I am learning that I've got to be a little less up in people's faces and that goes for me as well. Forcing the world into my square peg/round hole view is exhausting and futile. I'm trying to be more forgiving, more open, more understanding. Some days this is also exhausting, but when I succeed I feel better about what I'm doing and less frustrated with others and myself.
I've talked about my problem with hurrying before. What is my rush? I'm slowing down, letting some responsibilities go, resetting priorities. What's more important? Getting to work on time or stopping to look at something in the park on the walk across to the school? I'm also driving a little less like a lunatic and actually getting a chuckle by frustrating hurried drivers behind me. Hey, gotta have fun somewhere!
I'm taking the time to enjoy myself as well. More concerts, more evenings with friends, more conversations with colleagues, and so much more planned this year!
I am not succeeding to do this every day. Most of the time I realise that I'm being a tornado mid-whirl and try to repair my damage. When I am able to still myself I feel so good that I know I want to continue this work I'm doing. It's just taking a lot longer than the tornado part of me wants to accept.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Much rejoicing

One of my neighbours found my cat! I had to crawl under his porch and drag her out because she was too scared to move, but she's now at home, filthy, hungry, but otherwise ok.
Sometimes you take the things you love for granted, and I have spent the past couple of days thinking that I would not get a chance to say a proper goodbye to one of my best and oldest friends. She has seen me through countless men, a marriage, jobs, school, tragedies, and moments of elation. She has seen me at my best and my absolute worst without judgment or a bad word. When I have needed her, she has always been there, sometimes with a purr and a cuddle, sometimes with a bite or a whack across the head. I'm sure I deserved it all. I know that she's just a cat, and that even though I love her, she's not a person, but you get used to somethings just always being in your life and the idea of them being gone is just wrong.
She's 17, I'm not kidding myself that she will be around forever and I am dreading the day we say goodbye, but that day is not today and I sincerely hope our goodbye will be a proper one deserving of our friendship.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

and now my cat's run off and I've been rejected....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010


I have a feeling, it's a feeling,
I'm concealing, I don't know why

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A few weeks ago I was talking about running a half marathon in April. I heard about it in February, and thought that it would be a good idea to challenge myself and to raise money for charity. I figured out a training schedule, and it involved training every day (running or cross training), but my hectic work schedule made sticking to it impossible. I kept trying to fit it in every day and some days it worked and others I just could not find the time, or I was making the time and then having to work late at night to make up time. I realised that I was spending my days feeling guilty for not training, or worn out from staying up too late instead of enjoying my runs. Then I got sent to Sweden and that threw everything off. I managed less than a handful of runs and felt incredibly bad. When I got back home, it was time to face some facts. I'm not ready, and I will not be ready by the time the race comes around for a half. I'm going to continue to train for the half, and work up to it later this year, but for now, I have to be content to do what my body can do and enjoy what I've managed to achieve. Pushing myself further than I can go and putting all this pressure on myself is not the way I want to live. I will get there, I have time, I'm not quitting, I'm remembering that sometimes there is no timetable on your goals.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's been a bit crazy since I got back home.
Enjoying my kids, enjoying my bed, enjoying the warm sun, running outside, no snow, my bathtub, and watching the sun rise most mornings.
There is no time for me, but I hope to fix that soon. I need a housekeeper... and a good cup of coffee....

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Last day and I'm at the office this morning. Not all the work is finished, but enough that I don't feel bad about the release. The trip has been very productive and the week has flown. I will now try to get out of here and go for a walk around the city and enjoy the people and the sunshine before I head back to the hotel and pack up for the journey home. I was considering a run, but perhaps the city will be better for me :-)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Just a little update

Things are progressing, I'm fighting off a cold, the weather is sunny and cold here and in Montreal it's warm. I hope there's some mild weather left when I get back. Haven't been running since Sunday - must try to get to the gym tomorrow for an hour.
More stuff happening, but I'm too tired.
It's all good though :-)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

It's getting done, I'm barely sleeping, but it's getting done :-)

Monday, March 01, 2010

A walk, a run, a dinner

I slept in today and then got up and went to the gym, but it was closed until noon, so I wandered around my favorite parts of the city. It was a mild day, but overcast. Lots of people were out wandering around, I even saw this huge running club all training for a marathon out running the slushy, icy sidewalks.
My fav spot is that outlook on Riddarholmen that looks out on to the city hall across the water. I find it so peaceful there. I went back to the gym for a run and then I jumped on the pendeltag (commuter train) and went to see my friends Will and Annika for dinner. We sat around and laughed and talked and listened to music and drank.

I thought I'd pass out when I got back to my room, but I couldn't settle and ended up sleeping fitfully. It was hard getting up and I had so much to do today that I felt a bit nauseous. I have more work to get done tonight, so I got some supper downstairs and will stay up here despite the fact that I want a fizzy drink and some chocolate. I will drink mint tea and have some biscuits instead.
Today was rough, but it was nice catching up with people I haven't seen in a while.