Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Lying in bed the other morning, I had a thought. (I'm actually doing less lying-in these days, and getting up early and boy, does it feel good.)

My thought went something like this: remember a while ago, you were complaining to J that all your girl-friends moved away? That you didn't belong to a tribe of women like the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? (Okay, they were actually a wee bit dysfunctional and weird, but still.) Well, that complaint hasn't come up lately.

I'm realizing that I do have a tribe, and I am trying to do my bit to keep our bonds strong, even when work and distance threaten to break us up. The phone rings, and it's my amazing mother, calling from across the country with her news and her love. Sixty-something (I can't divulge her age- she'd kill me) and touring our huge country in a battered red van with a bunch of actors. I Facebook someone I graduated from high school with, and suddenly we're walking down the Drive, and I'm meeting her little son for the first time and all the years in between grad and now melt away and we find friendship in the new and the old. I'm catching up with an ex-bandmate at a party, and wondering why we haven't talked in over a year because we have lots to talk about. I'm getting drunk with my sister-in-law. I'm gossiping with a girlfriend I've known since I was a teen, talking kids and theatre and Life. I'm playing music with another one, grinning madly as our 2 instruments make one voice.

My tribe is out there, and it nourishes me every day. It just took me a while to realize that.

Friday, February 20, 2009


It never lets you settle, this life. I've probably blogged before about how conflicted I feel about my lifestyle; on one hand there there is glorious freedom, a flexible schedule, the ability to say why, I believe I'll just fly East this week without having to check in with a supervisor or booking time off months in advance. On the other hand, there is the not knowing: the new jobs that require a new set of skills or a new twist on old ones; a first-day-of-school feeling every month at least. Not to mention the financial instability: the fact that without a gift of money from a dead relative, you wouldn't be flying anywhere, ever, because you couldn't afford to.

I feel as if I'm wriggling around in a chrysalis right now, hoping that the me that will emerge later will be a better person, fighting against the uncertainty and insecurity and hormones that make me irritable and snappy. There have been wonderful little gigs lately; the kind that remind me why I'm living this life which is not, after all, about money and fame but about the deep joy it brings me between all those moments of self-doubt and fear. Singing in a small cafe with good friends both on stage and in the audience. Helping 2 "at-risk"teenagers record their songs and being rewarded with joy from these girls who have been through more than I can even imagine. These and other events have been timely lessons about putting aside ego and finding the good stuff. I think I also need to make some health changes as well, so that my body is less tired, better nourished (less large?). We have also been blessed with a stretch of incredibly good weather lately, and I need to start taking advantage of that and getting outside!

It's almost spring here on the West Coast (take that, eastern Canada!) As good a time as any to cast off the old, bad things and embrace the new.

(I know, my 2.8 readers, I promised a steamy sex post last time, and I failed to deliver. J has been sick basically all month, so our usually romantic month of Valentine's Day and anniversary was a pretty subdued affair: a rose or 2 for V-Day, a quiet dinner-no alcohol for J because of antibiotics- on our anniversary. Let's just say that this year marks 11 years with this remarkable man, and we continue to find out new things about each other and make each other laugh. "Eleven years," Jon said to me the other day. "We could have had a tween by now!" And I freaked out, just a little, to realize that he's right.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Forget April. April is only the cruelest month if you do your taxes. Which, not so much around these parts. (Please not to read, Revenue Canada.) February: that is the cruel one.
I don't know why, but I'm always scrambling in February. Always broke, and overworked both. (Except for last year, when I had no money and no job. Fun times.)
Exacerbated by the fact that there are so many days to "celebrate" in our little family of two. Valentine's Day, of course. Jon's Birthday. Jon's mom's birthday. Our anniversary. When you're broke and stressed, ya don't feel much like partying. Oh, and J has a "lower respiratory infection" this year too. Which mean he could fill a sink with all the phlegm he's carrying around. If he wanted to. If I let him fill sinks with phlegm.

In spite of the fact that work is piling up (which means that the dishes are too) and there is illness around, I feel pretty positive this month, and here's why:
I am trying to adopt a new policy of embracing the busy times instead of letting them get to me. After all, I did in fact ask for this work. Actively looked for it, in some cases. And will enjoy almost all of it. So why get upset when things get a bit hectic? The only real downside of being so busy means that every individual thing gets a bit less of my attention; well, I can live with that. No one's called me out yet for shoddy work, so I guess I can learn to be easier on myself.
We are also going out more right now: I saw two plays and a gig this week and it made me appreciate the arts scene we have here and my own small place in it.
And finally, we're going to celebrate the milestones in our lives in a fun, low-budget way. Some friends over for J's birthday. Dinner somewhere for the anniversary. A meal we can chuck in the oven for J's mom's birthday. (I love ovens! Why did it take me so long to realize they weren't just for nachos?)
The weather smiles on us and sends sun instead of dreary rain. I have work, and the promise of money soon to come. A loving man who sleeps, still, and hopes to shake his winter sickness soon.
Next time, I'll straddle the line between good taste and caution-to-the-wind: my next post will be about... sex and romance!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tetris Life.

My neck is making weird little clicking noises as I bob my head to the perky Russian tune that is the theme song to a Tetris clone that J downloaded onto his computer the other day. You know the song, all you arcade junkies of the '80's. It haunts my dreams, as do visions of brightly coloured blocked tumbling from the sky. But... we cleaned out and re-stocked our storage locker a few days ago, and I think our hours of slack-jawed Netrix playing payed off: we packed and stacked that mofo as tightly as a drum. Cleaning surprise: J actually threw out his entire childhood model train set without nagging from me. Cleaning bonus: finding (and sighing over) adorable pictures of J as a sweet, geeky little boy and cute teenager.

"Medea" has flown off for the last time with her sun-god grandfather and I do the hustle again after just having one gig for a while. Suddenly all three bands are active after a long dormant period, which means days and nights of unpaid practice time; there is music to be written this week for my next theatre project, there is music to arrange for a gig next month, there is a cafe gig with a friend and on top of this there is that other category known as having a life, which means nights at the theatre and birthday parties to arrange and anniversaries to celebrate and friends to see. All of this, work and fun, is juicy and challenging. But it occurs to me just now that when life gets like this it's a lot like Tetris: frantically flipping and stacking and dropping so that everything fits. Panicking as the pace gets faster, and sometimes putting things in the wrong place altogether. Waking some days dogged with the feeling of hours ticking past too quickly, so that walks and photography and exercise and cuddling are put off indefinitely.

And always the little voice that reminds me: find the time. You will only ever regret the things you didn't do. Don't ever be lazy but don't forget to savor those moments of doing little or nothing. Do more. Explore. Practice. Do less. Rest. Stay in and nest. Go out and play. Get some work done. Get some fresh air.

What do your voices tell you as you play through all the levels in your Tetris life?