Monday, September 22, 2014


This time last year, when we were counting down the weeks to move into our Ottawa home, adjusting to life with a new baby, and helping Abby transition into full-day kindergarten, I could not handle juggling any more balls in the air. Pumpkin patches, apple picking, harvest festivals all passed me by, and while I lamented that I was missing out, I took solace in knowing it would all be there next year.  Not a very carpe diem way of approaching things, but we were in survival mode and that calls for a moratorium on all rules, routines and policies.

But what does that mean for us now? This year, we are settled. Back-to-school required minor adjustments, but Abby's expectations were set and met. Summer is growing and sleeps in predictable patterns. Hailey and Robin are content with paper and markers, and equally enthralled with nature hikes, road trips and cupcake treats. Rich has a nice work-life balance, finds time for the things that matter to him, and we both enjoy our show together, neighbourhood jogs and the odd date night thrown in. If I look around me, everyone is content where they are with what they find.

Fall mantle.  But for whom?
Then, there is me. I am content, too, don't get me wrong: bills are getting paid, our bellies are full of food, and we are healthy. But I remember the things we missed last year and feel a pull to do it all. If I list it all off, it sounds absurd: the Carleton University butterfly exhibit, farmer's market last harvest week, apple picking, my own freelance writing projects, a trip to Montreal's Biodome, attending workshops at Ottawa Writer's Festival, a hike in the Gatineaus, the pumpkin patch, helping a pregnant twin mama with meal delivery, visiting friends when they come to town next month, Thanksgiving everything, then Halloween everything.

As you can see, it is all too much. On top of what we already have booked: a race for me in October, a trip for Rich and I in November, Sunday morning gymnastics for Abby, and family dinners for Thanksgiving and my birthday, my existing writing commitments.

Comfort foods
I think I just answered my own question. It is clear that when we have free time as a family on evenings and weekends, we aren't going to do everything. In fact, I know everyone would be happy not doing anything but eating and cuddling at home, like we do. Maybe the occasional walk in the woods or trip to the park. I just have a hard time shaking the nagging voice that says I am not seizing the days, making them exciting, creating long-lasting memories on outings with our girls. But when I step back: am I doing that for them? Or is it maybe more for me? I am answering my own questions again.

Thanks, blog.

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