Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Toronto Sky in Winter

 I worked from home today, sandwiched between downtown meetings and drugstore runnings (stomach flu abated, then came back for another round) and as I hurriedly worked and  swigged tea, firing off emails and doing calculations and scratching out reminder notes to myself, toward the end of the workday the absence of coffee made sense to me.

I snapped these with my iPhone outside the window of  my loft, the frigid day giving the clouds a look of being suspended in time, as well as the buildings being on fire.


 As previous posts have alluded to, it's
been a long cold lonely winter.
(I had to. And to be fair, the sun
 DID come out today, offering no
real warmth, just a cruel bright
glare bouncing
off the white expanse of
concrete bleached by
salt, my car a colour
I don't recognize.)

I'm normally a very "winter"
person, loving the cold weather
running and all that but this
has been....
a long month.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ramblings on a Winter Sunday

It's the last week of January, and even for this cold-weather-creature, it's been a long winter so far.

What can I tell you about my week/weekend in this never-ending deep freeze?

1. It was the Interior Design Show this week. Let me say this; that designer party they have on Thursday night REALLY needs to move to a Friday. (Or I need to schedule the next day off). It was a late night, followed by a day of meetings and blown concentration and just...well, I'm forty. Those late nights need to be followed by late mornings.

2. The next night, the Friday, was another event, a more artsy one, still with free food and drink. It was in the distillery district, not far from my condo and normally I would walk there, but in the minus 30 or whatever (I've stopped listening to the weather, it just doesn't mean anything to me anymore) and the gale-force winds, I drove there. Yes. I drove under 3 kms, a city-dweller, a winter runner.

3. Fast forward to Saturday and a virus/stomach thing that came out of nowhere and saw me asleep for twenty-odd hours, with a fever, and chills and no avail from the cold. I could not get warm.
The only upside, besides all the much-needed sleep, was, between naps, reading a great new book,
"Swimming Studies" by Leanne Shapton. (I have a previous book of hers--she is quirky, an illustrator, writer, Canadian to boot {Toronto!} and my exact age). Her book is about her former life as a competitive swimmer and all that entailed. Fascinating to me, someone who prefers dry land, but I could relate to her athletic quest. Really enjoyable book, very visceral, she is amazing with olfactory memories and descriptions and although it's choppy at times, the book reads like a well-edited diary, the diarist almost just observing her life as it happens, from a distance. Loved it.

4. After my wasted Saturday and upon waking Sunday with a determination to make something of my day (despite that fact that, after waking at 7:15 am and having some tuna on toast to clear the fog in my head of over 24 hours of nothing in my system but liquids and saltines, then going back to sleep until noon) I finished the Shapton book. I then moved on to coffee, the rest of my early-morning sandwich, and laundry. I made a grocery list, got outside, got that done. No running. My head's been acting up all day, just a routine headache, but one I didn't want to have worsen with exercise. I normally would have felt more guilty about a no-running weekend, something that has not happened in over six months, but my new mid-week kickboxing helped me through this pseudo-guilt.

5. Work. So busy. And the week's are so busy too, with all the outside-work things. I brought work home and had every intention of working on it today but time ran away. Making dinner, making lunches, making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, washing my rat's nest hair after a day of being sideways, all took precedence. I'm sure my clients will so care about all this. What can I do? Dedicate myself throughout the week, that's all I can think  of.

6. Tea, an Alexander McCall Smith novel, and the Grammys on in the background (I don't really know any of the 'new' music. And most of the time I don't really want to...).

7. There is snow on the ground.

8. Another short weekend comes to a close. (A topic for another post, why do I only get sick on weekends?)
Happy (winter) Sunday..

Monday, January 6, 2014

In 2014 I want to....

lie in bed and listen to the rain more
wear earplugs less
write in free-form more
less structure (everywhere)
more lists
meditate more
run new routes
take more chances
pay attention in church
look for signs
pray more
be grateful
buy suspended coffees
donate blood, shoes, time
look in the mirror less
read meaningful books
define meaningful
cherish the gray days too
set boundaries at work
write poems and read more poetry
keep up with the New Yorker
be supportive to friends
lend a hand
nurture my dreams.