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Saturday Random: Naps and Flowing with Changes

Guess what? I DID wake up early enough yesterday to go for that 7:15 a.m. walk with my friend (we actually changed it to 7:30 a.m., but still!). And here’s what I’ve discovered: if I’m getting up at 6:30 a.m., I feel very “nappish” at around 4:00 p.m.

But there appears to be an art to napping. I was literally sitting on my sofa, fighting against my eyes closing as the warm afternoon sun embraced me … but when I finally gave in and actually took off my contacts and lay in bed?

No nodding off. Nothing even close to sleep.

IMG_1656

How do cats do it?!

I’m definitely going to have to explore this more. Simply put, I prefer walking earlier in the day to later (not quite as hot, plus I feel more productive). I’ve been waking up earlier as a result (although not quite as early as I did yesterday), and I think adding a nap to my productivity repertoire might be a very helpful thing.

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And changes. Ah, yes.

You see, I didn’t blog yesterday. Lately I’ve been wrestling with this whole 365 days of blogging thing. Back in November when I decided I was going to do this, yes I was, I had two main goals: (1) to get out of a blogging slump (or a no-blogging-at-all slump, really) and (2) to prove to myself I had the discipline to blog daily.

Back then, I didn’t foresee all the changes that would happen this year. Like my mom breaking her hip and how big an impact that would have on my time. Or my branching out more fully into freelance writing. Or my taking on a position as a marketing manager with the publishing company Booktrope.

A while back, for Bloggiesta, I wrote a post about how to come up with a treasure trove of blog post ideas. And while I’m still getting ideas for blog posts, there have definitely been days when I was just juggling too much to sit down and do a blog post justice. I’d do it anyway, but I doubt those posts were anywhere close to my best posts.

So yesterday, I didn’t feel like blogging. I’d been to see my mother, and then I ran errands after, adding lots more steps to the ones I’d taken for my daily walk. When I got home I was feeling “nappish” (see above) since I’d gotten up so early. After an aborted attempt at a nap, it was time for dinner. And since I didn’t nap, I was really drowsy by 9:00 p.m.

I was asleep before 11:00 p.m. Really really early, for me. And while I thought about blogging in that time between 9:00 and 11:00, my heart really wasn’t in it. And I really couldn’t see the benefit of sitting down anyway and writing a blog post.

So … I’m going to flow with the changes in my life. There will be days when I have a lot on my plate, and on those days, I’m not going to worry about not writing a blog post. I figure, my 365 days of blogging just won’t be consecutive. That works for me!

The Big Catch-Up Post

It’s been six days since we moved into our new place in the city, and while I’ve been active on Twitter, I haven’t been here on the blog at all. So I thought it was time for The Big Catch-up Post!

The Move

The actual move itself went quite well. We hired a fabulous moving company that worked quickly and efficiently to move us from the ‘burbs into the city. They do a lot of condo moves, so they were familiar with the ins and outs of moving into a condo.

That night, of course, we were surrounded by boxes. I’m happy to report that our new place isn’t as small as we’d been thinking, and we have TWO walls of bookcases! So plenty of room for all the books we ended up keeping, plus room for more (although I suspect, after all this decluttering we’ve been doing, I will be sticking with ebooks from now on).

Adjustment

So how are we all doing?

Well, I pretty much fell in love with the place from the moment we moved in. I love being so close to so many things. I love the cityscape outside our living room window. I love the lake view outside the office and bedroom windows.

Cityscape viewOur Cityscape View

I was especially thrilled that our furniture didn’t make the rooms feel smaller – the rooms, when empty, already felt smaller than we were used to. But, illogical as it sounds, the place was actually transformed once we got our furniture in. It looks and feels bigger. And of course, very home-like, because it’s filled with our things.

Dylan, our eight-year-old, was very sad the night before the big move. He was born in the house we’re leaving behind, and has lived there all his life. We told him it was okay to feel sad, but to make sure feeling sad didn’t hold him back from also loving the new place if that’s what he felt like.

Children are so resilient. The next evening, even though he was surrounded by boxes and couldn’t get at a lot of his toys, he was proclaiming, “I love our new home!” And he hasn’t stopped saying it ever since.

Night of the Big Move The Night of Our Big Move

And then there’s my husband.

He’s a wonderful man, my husband. As many of you know, he loves to cook, and handles all the cooking at home. He is also a lot neater than I am, so he tends to do most of the cleaning, too. He’s a real gem and I love him to bits.

BUT.

You could say my husband’s not good with change.

And to make things just that much more challenging, the new kitchen is roughly a third of the size of the old kitchen. Not only that, in our old place, we had “the old kitchen” – the room that used to be our kitchen before we renovated and added a new kitchen – and we’d never gotten around to renovating that room to be anything but a kitchen. So in our old place, he had TWO kitchens. TWO fridges. A stand-up freezer. And two rooms full of cupboard space. All of which he utilized.

I wish we had a larger kitchen here! I suspect his adjustment process is going to take a while …

Other Bits and Pieces

Jamie! We’re going to see Jamie Oliver this coming Wednesday! And I’m super thrilled, because Roy Thomson Hall, the venue, is within walking distance from our new place.

This coming week is a deadline-filled week for me, but being so close to the event means I’ll only have to take four hours off. I can squeeze it in! And Ward is happy, because Jamie is one of his favourite celebrity chefs.

NaNoWriMo Fail. At least, I think so. I’m a whole week behind – I realized right after the move there was no way I could do it all. Something had to give, and unfortunately, it has to be the writing. Deadlines, unpacking and getting settled into our new place must take priority.

I’m hoping next year will be different in terms of deadlines!

Tweetstock! Last month I decided to try out my first Twitter conference/event. I hadn’t realized it would fall in the week of our move (since we were supposed to move in on November 1, not 7). On the night before Tweetstock 6, I was actually debating whether I could take the time off to go.

I did decide to go, and I’m very glad that I did! I had a lot of fun, learned a few things and met some really nice people.

It was so much fun, I’m thinking seriously about going to the next BEA and the next Book Blogger Convention! I’ve met so many wonderful book lovers these past three years, and after getting a taste of meeting some Twitter peeps in real life, I would really love to meet some of my book blogger friends in real life too.

So that’s my update for now. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I’ll be able to get back to regular blogging and blog reading in a few weeks!

The Courage to Change

Recently my husband made a decision that seemed very practical to me; practical, and in my opinion, long overdue.

As a martial arts instructor, his passion has always been in teaching people to be the best that they can be, and so he’s never cared about the number of people he’s training, only about how well he’s teaching them. But we have always run the dojo in huge leased locations, and our large overhead has always demanded a different, more commercial approach, one he’s never been willing to take.

Last month, he made the difficult decision to go from our leased premises, to a single large room we’ll be renting for specific hours of the week. It’s a space from which we will be able to grow the dojo again, but in a way that makes more business sense.

As his partner in business, I gave an audible sigh of relief, because this portion of our business has, from its very inception, been the proverbial money pit.

As his partner in life, though, I didn’t have a clue how much courage this decision required of him. Not until afterward did I realize how brave my husband is to do what he’s done.

To me, this decision seemed a very practical one. What we’d been doing simply wasn’t working; it wasn’t working in a way that had quite a large financial impact on us. It seemed to me nothing much would change for his students. The quality of instruction would remain the same; only the space itself would be different. Wasn’t it, after all, the actual teaching that mattered?

Maybe, maybe not. In six weeks’ time, as we make the transition, we will find out.

I know now the courage it took for him to do this. After he announced the news to his students, he was drained, physically and mentally, for two days.

For the past decade, he’s given his students not only the best of himself, but also the best physical space in which to train – something he could ill-afford, but he did it anyway.

I’ve always felt that in the martial arts, it’s the teacher who makes the difference. Unlike an endeavor that requires special equipment, where the type of equipment you have the use of makes as much difference as the quality of the teacher, with the martial arts, it’s all about the teacher.

But perhaps not everyone feels this way.

And so I am seeing, so very clearly, how brave my husband is. How much courage it took for him to make what to me seemed like a simple, practical and well-justified business decision, a step that any professional advisor would have recommended he take.

And I have this to say: I admire his courage, his bravery, so very much.

I believe in you, with my whole heart and soul.

My husband is one of the best martial arts teachers around. And it seems to me, when the teaching is at the core of a martial arts dojo, it doesn’t really matter where the dojo is, because the dojo isn’t any physical location.

The dojo is the teacher; the teacher is the dojo.