2020 is over. But the gift it gave us — COVID-19 — continues to impact millions around the world. Here in Ontario, we entered a province-wide lockdown on 26 December 2020. The City of Toronto has been locked down since 23 November 2020. Tough days are still ahead, but we will, together, weather this storm. I’m still hanging on to hope because, in the words of Desmond Tutu: “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” [Read more…] about 2020: Imperfectly Perfect
When the first lockdown occurred here in Ontario — and especially when there was a lot of uncertainty about the way forward — I stayed positive. Despite losing my job, I saw it as an opportunity to focus on my writing and other creative pursuits. And that was how I spent my days. Being creative. And since March, I’ve written three novels (two solid first drafts and one that’s almost ready for publication). I learned to make duck confit. I ran (until an injury sidelined me for a while). Writing. Running. Being creative in the kitchen. Those things made staying positive in the early days of the pandemic possible. [Read more…] about Staying Positive During a Pandemic
After taking the month of August off to ‘rest and recharge,’ I’m easing back into a routine of sorts. I’ve always thought of September (or autumn) as the beginning of my creative cycle. It’s the time of year when I either start writing a new major work or begin rewriting a project that I’ve let rest for several months. And, usually, I bring boundless energy and enthusiasm to whatever I undertake. But this time, I’m coming at it all shaken and asking myself this: am I focused on what really matters?
Stopping Social Media from Stealing My Time
For me, taking time to rest means stepping back and slowing down, which is a real struggle at times. A big part of that is disconnecting from social media. In the early days of August, I tried not posting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, sending text messages, or frequently opening WhatsApp. And I did everything to avoid the negativity permeating the news cycle. To focus on what really matters (at the time, that was preparing for the release of my next book later this year), it was imperative to keep distractions at bay. [Read more…] about Getting Back to What Really Matters
About a week ago, I just stopped posting to social media. No warning. It wasn’t planned like some of my earlier off-the-grid exploits. There was just this urgent need to disconnect. And for the seven days that followed, I kept my phone off. (If there had been any type of emergency, I could have been reached through e-mail, which I was still checking sporadically.) When I rejoined the world, there were several messages across different social media platforms from people wondering if I was okay. I was fine. And my time out reminded me of something I’ve always struggled with: the art of rest. [Read more…] about Taking Time to Rest
I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room: COVID-19 fatigue. I’m not talking about the physical symptom associated with the virus — feeling weak, tired, or exhausted. What I’m talking about is the fatigue of hearing about it 24/7, 7 days a week. The earth-shattering, apocalyptic music news shows play as an intro to their coverage.
The virus has transformed, and continues to transform, so many aspects of our lives. And as people battle for their lives and ICUs reach capacity, I’m stunned. Stunned how mask wearing has become politicized. Stunned that with whole industries shattered and millions forced out of work, we’re told it’s simply time to ‘Try Something New.’ Stunned that some people so brazenly and selfishly put others at risk by flagrantly disrespecting public health guidance. [Read more…] about The Fix: Gratitude