June 20, 2021 · 8:01 am
Over the course of the pandemic, as working off-site became the new reality for a number of office workers, there seemed to be an apparent shift in thinking: If one can work remotely, is proximity to the office a must?
To my surprise, articles emerged about the beginning of a trend, an interest in migrating from the city and its suburbs to more rural properties. I guess we were just a little ahead of the curve when we chose this country property as the backdrop for our approaching retirement years.
For the record, it wasn’t a completely random choice. This is where my partner grew up and where his parents live now. While I may be a little farther away from my own mother and stepmother, to pay them a visit would entail little to no traffic along the way, which is a relief in itself.
I know that a few people in my immediate circle of family and friends wondered (… or should that be worried?) if I had made the right decision.
Even I will admit that I was very entrenched in city life. I liked being within walking distance to shopping. I was a heavy consumer of entertainment and cultural events. I appreciated variety in restaurants and food offerings. The vibrancy of the city and many of its amenities were always important to me.
But I think I surprised everyone, including myself, in terms of how quickly I took to rural living. I was definitely ready for the change.
During my years of city life, for the most part, I had delightful neighbours. Unfortunately, in my first apartments, I had to deal with a few self-entitled morons whose understanding of “quiet enjoyment of premises” as described in our rental agreements, held different interpretations.
For me, there were sleepless nights, not only from blaring stereos and surround sound systems at all hours, any day of the week, but from the constant internal struggle for the balance between being an accommodating neighbour and still being able to feel calm and relaxed in my own home. Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour
Tagged as adjustments, advice, balance, city, country, farm, healing, life, move, moving, nature, neighbors, neighbours, peace, quiet, reasons, relocation, rural, tranquility, Transition, village
June 28, 2020 · 8:39 am
In the five years since Ivy the Wonder Cat’s adoption, most days I would think that Ivy is one of the coolest, calmest and most predictable cats on the planet, given her innate ability to stick to a schedule which includes 14 hours of sleep per day.
When I say stick to a schedule, I mean you can set your watch by her. God forbid if I should miss her 9:00 p.m. treat time or should slip by more than five minutes for her regularly scheduled feeding times. Let’s just say my extroverted cat is not terribly subtle and if I am ever late, her mild meow builds up to a full ambulance siren within a matter of minutes.
I often ask myself who is the trainer and who is the student?
With a cat whose routine is so deeply entrenched, we are fortunate that harmony is a two way street. She knows when it’s her humans’ bedtime and she doesn’t typically wail by the door. She seems to understand our work-from-home routine and keeps herself quietly entertained during business hours. And she doesn’t usually beg for food outside of her appointed meal times.
But with that strong sense of structure, a sensitivity to disruption may be part of the package deal. Every November and December, as the holiday decorations go up and our schedules stray from the normal routine, she does get a little discombobulated, but then again, don’t we all to some extent? Continue reading →
Filed under Cats, home, Humour
Tagged as anxiety, cat care, Cats, cats of wordpress, feline, health, kidney, litter box, move, moving, pee, pet care, relocation, routine, stress, structure, urinary, urine, vet, veterinarian
June 14, 2020 · 7:53 am
Upon opening a box marked “OFF65” containing items for the home office, I discovered my bathroom scale that was slightly misfiled in my last minute haste.
I laid the scale on the floor and hopped on to confirm what I had suspected for the last few weeks, as I noticed that my jeans were getting progressively looser.
From the moment we put the offer in on the house, I secretly hoped that the stress of the legal paperwork, the preparation, the packing and the move itself would help me shed a couple of pounds (as it did the last time I moved, 19 years ago).
Well, it worked… almost ten pounds dropped!
In some ways I was happy as it meant that I will likely fit into some summer clothes that have been at the back of the closet for a while… as soon as I locate the box in which they are stored. But in other ways, it was also a reminder of the ways that stress impacts my body.
Even though the home purchase, the home sale and the move were indeed joyful, positive events, the trajectory did present moments of late nights, early mornings, not-so-restful sleep and sometimes uncomfortable adrenaline rushes through my midsection, like a case of feral butterflies in the tummy.
The sensation of knots in the stomach in stressful times is normal for me and, not surprisingly, acts as an appetite suppressant. It has been that way since I was very young. Every major life event whether it involved school exams, job interviews, important work presentations, or just rites of passage in general, usually meant a few pounds dropped along the way.
I think it is just my body’s way of dealing with the “fight or flight” response to what life throws at me. By not ingesting more food than necessary, I don’t turn into the “Stan” character from the “South Park” cartoon series and throw up when stress gets the best of me. Continue reading →
Filed under Health and Wellness, home, Humour, mental health
Tagged as anxiety, control, deprivation, exercise, fight or flight, home, life change, loss, moving, packing, relocation, sleep, solar plexus, stomach, stress, unpacking, weight