I hyped the heck out of my week in Vancouver and then never followed up with any reflections on the actual experience. In case you’re at all curious, here’s an attempt to gather my thoughts.
First off, I felt strangely peaceful about leaving by the time I boarded my flight. The way I chose to look at it? I’d be doing a total disservice to Jose, Leni and my Mother-in-law–who were very kindly making this trip possible–if I did not take the opportunity to fully recharge. After all, I knew the peanut was in excellent hands with two of her favourite people. Added bonus: she was already used to her Baba coming over a couple mornings every week so it wasn’t a huge shake up from her routine. It was also an excellent chance for Jose and Leni to get some solid one-on-one time.
We FaceTimed daily, which was amazing and helped me get my family fix. Thank you technology! In fact, I got the distinct impression that Leni didn’t miss me all that much. She did technically see me every day, after all. And I was weirdly ok with that. It was quite comforting to know she wasn’t fretting over where the heck I’d gone. That she wasn’t hurt or upset by my sudden absence. If anything, she was having a blast. Every time we talked, the first thing she told me was, “I eating chocolate.” Or treats or cookies. Yep. She totally ratted out Jose.
The trip itself was everything I’d been hoping. My bestie and her fella were incredibly generous with their time, energy and space. In fact, it worked out that Hil was off work the majority of my visit, which was the loveliest surprise. Even the weather cooperated. All the blossoms were bursting with colour, the sun was shining, it was magical. Lilacs, cherry blossoms, salty sea air, cedar. Sometimes we’d just stop in mid-stride and collectively inhale some delightful fragrance that wafted our way.
We were out every day running, biking, walking, yoga-ing, exploring, eating good food, window shopping and just generally soaking up the time together and the gorgeous weather. I felt like I was in disguise without my toddler in tow, but I was really just getting back to myself in way.
I have come to appreciate so many small freedoms that I once took for granted and I made a commitment to take full advantage of my time alone to do those little things I’ve so been missing.
Exercise was one of them. I go to the gym a couple times a week at home while my MIL watches the peanut, but to be able to just go to a yoga class or step out for a run any time I felt so inclined was delicious. How much time did I spend pre-parenthood dreading and/or making excuses not to exercise? Such a waste. Not to say I can guarantee I’ll never be too lazy to work out again, but I seriously appreciate how much easier it once was in a way I never imagined I would.
Another thing I luxuriated in was the ability to sit down and eat a meal without rushing through it. Not having a little person needing my constant attention meant I could take my sweet time with every mouthful and, like, properly taste the food I was eating. In fact, not rushing in general (or planning everything down to the last minute) was not the easiest thing for me, but I forced myself to slow down anyway. In fact, I became pretty good at it.
As you may have surmised from this here blog, I spend the majority of my time with my little lass and while I do see other adult humans most days, it’s been a long time since I’ve had full-time access to one for several days straight without also catering to my kiddo. I’m pretty sure I spent the first 48 hours just babbling like a maniac. Thanks for indulging me guys.
I am just so damn grateful I went. A week seemed massive and impossible not too long ago. Now I realize, BIG PICTURE, it’s just a blip. Leni was totally fine and has likely already forgotten my brief absence. She’s got bigger and better things to focus on. But that week was HUGE for me. I feel so renewed and a further resolve to live each day with purpose and gratitude. I want a life filled with experiences and I want that for Leni too.
And the feeling couldn’t have come at a better time. Big changes are afoot. We’re talking about expanding our brood, taking steps to potentially rebuild our house (providing we get permits and financing, that is) and even considering a short-term foreign placement through Jose’s work. Thinking about all these possibilities the other day I kept expecting the inevitable stomach flip, but instead I just felt…ready.
Some fuzzy warm memories I’d like to hold on to: listening to August and Everything After (an album that belongs to my teenage self) front-to-back while colouring; breaking into the Frente version of Bizarre Love Triangle on a sunny stroll downtown arm-in-arm; a trio of us doing a late night P90x ab video while giggling like idiots (after a couple glasses wine); quiet moments painting or writing to some sweet tunes; running along the sea wall; cherry blossom petals raining down and blanketing the sidewalks in pink; biking along the Pacific Spirit trail; long walks through the city; our good luck rocks; coffee with lavender in the morning; Quinoa breakfast bowls and Ted Talks; Midnight Special and ridiculously overpriced wine; a much needed back-cracking massage; going back to yoga after a much-too-long hiatus; salmon candy from Granville market; For The Record and drinking far too much with some very pretty actors; the MOUNTAINS; getting a proper glimpse of the life my incredible friend has built and her hard-earned success; endless interweaving conversations that have yet to end and I hope never do.
Reminiscing this and that and having such a good time oo-de-lally oo-de-lally golly what a day…