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
The last thing I wanted to do was travel during a global pandemic. The idea of being stuck on a plane for hours with others held zero appeal. In fact, just thinking about it made me even more anxious and paranoid. But on 30 September, I flew to Edmonton to see a dear friend who was diagnosed with glioblastoma in August. Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary brain tumor. My friend’s diagnosis has left me in shock, and I’m asking myself a lot of questions about life and this journey. And one thought runs constantly through my mind: it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
In life, we’re always waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect opportunity that we believe will allow us to pursue a dream or goal. I hear people say, “When I retire…” or “Once I get a new job…” or “When I’ve saved ‘X’ amount…” The problem is that when we wait, we’re kind of tempting fate. We hope that when all those perfects align, we’ll take the plunge and do the thing that calls to us. But, sometimes, life has other plans for us.
So, don’t wait. Whatever you need to do, or feel compelled to do, do it now. Take one small step forward that sets you on the path to achieving your goals. It doesn’t all have to be done at once. You don’t have to wait until everything is perfect. Because it may never be.
It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This
I had a great visit with my friend, even though it was tough to see her in pain and how tired she was after radiation therapy. (But I am forever grateful to the thoughtful and dedicated staff at the Cross Cancer Centre for their marvellous care.) We shared some great belly laughs, and tears. Quiet moments of reflection and power naps. (Falling asleep in a hospital chair can really put a kink in your neck!). Twenty-six years of friendship, we’re not just friends. We’re more like brother and sister.
And, still, that thought is ever-present: it wasn’t supposed to be like this. Yet this is the reality we face. And, if anything, it’s a wake-up call.
Don’t wait. Do what you love. Live your best life.