Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

day off.

I'm enjoying what feels like my first day off in a while. There is a large mug of tea at my side, and I'm wearing my Pumpkin Patch hoodie while I type this. Those are two things that give me comfort, but they're also a necessity in my new place; it's such a cold building! On the plus side, it's hard to laze around all day in here; on the minus side... well, it's hard to laze around in here! Reading the inspiring words of Kindness Girl and her sister, Jen Lemen before I get up to do a multitude of chores, big and little, I am reminded to treat myself with kindness today, even as I get some necessary stuff done:

1. Reach Out.
I am still figuring out this whole Single thing. Of course I am; I was with someone for 14 years! And now I'm alone, so there's no default Someone who will see me at my worst, my most whiney and sad and plain, and still love me. But wait, that's not true! I've got friends and family who want to spend time with me, who call me up and make plans with me even around my hectic schedule. And that makes me feel very special. Today, an old friend that I grew up with in Toronto, one of those once-in-a-lifetime girlfriends you whisper secrets to and play make-believe games with, is coming to Vancouver. We've almost drifted out of each others' lives in the decades since our girlhood, but Facebook keeps us loosely connected and every five years or so she comes down here from the Yukon on business and we have dinner. And it's lovely. Sometime this week I'll catch up on her life (as a mom!!! with 3 kids!!! None of which I've even met!) and she'll hear about my life and I'll remember that even occasional friends are so worth keeping. However...

2. Take Time For Yourself.
I told my mom yesterday that I had a day off today, and was there anything I could do for her, as she's very busy rehearsing a show right now. She said there wasn't, but did I want to meet up for brunch? And I realized that although I love hanging out with my mom, I really needed to just take this day for myself, without any plans to meet up with anyone. And so that's what I've done.

3. Find something you want to do, and take the time to do it.
Sleep in. Read. Savour that coffee. I've got a bunch of chores I need to get done today, but it's a perfect Fall day and I want to make sure I enjoy it too. One thing I've decided is that when I head out to buy groceries today, I'm going to bring my camera and take some shots of my fabulous new neighbourhood. And then I'll post the best ones here, so you can meet my new 'hood.

Okay, that's enough planning for now. Time to get out there and enjoy this day off!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

on the flip side of fine

You spent the last week-and-a-half trying to keep it together-
arrival, move, jobs
and with the first real day off, your body shuts down.
Sleeping, to fight something that's wrong inside
something you did to yourself during the move, probably, lifting boxes
Over 4 months since the operation and you thought after everything you did this summer that you were fine, you were healed
But you're not

You turn down work so that you can rest, work you need because you're spending too much
(as usual)
Skip a rehearsal because of the cramping and fatigue; your excuses sounding feeble to the impatient person on the other end of the phone

The cat winds around your legs, stares reproachfully at you when she catches your eyes
You've been staring at that machine for hours, she complains
that one, or the one in the living room, the one that plays the same shows over and over all day
and it's true, you have, and even though you almost never spend your days like this, you feel guilty
and guiltier still for eating your own bodyweight in Ben & Jerry's

You signed up on a dating site for a laugh, scrolling through names and pictures through the day
and ended up deleting your account in horror
I can't do this

You went to a party last night
you drank too much because you were shy
You realized today
that you are distracting yourself
with boys, with friends, with booze, with anything
so that you don't have to spend time alone with yourself

It's after 1am
If you hit "publish", these bare, dark thoughts are Out There for everyone to see
and what does that make you?
Wouldn't it be better not to be so exposed?
This is a kiss-and-tell world; it's not classy or nice to lay it all out there
You are trying to make sense of it all
and to leave a mark, also
to say I Am Here
in happiness and in sorrow, for all to see
including yourself

And the best thing I can hope
is that I will re-read this in a while
and know how far I've come

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I've been saying it all day, out at the Pumpkin Patch.
Happy Thanksgiving, Have a great Thanksgiving.
as they file off the wagon, bags bulging with pumpkins

and so now I take a second to say thanks, myself:

For blue skies and sunlight, after so many days of grey.
For work, especially at the Pumpkin Patch, which still makes me happy after 9 Octobers there
For my new place, eccentric though it may be, which is starting to feel like home
For friends and family, who make me feel loved whether they are sitting across from me at dinner, helping me move house, or sending me smart-ass remarks from a computer screen
For health and strength and resilience, which I am so lucky to have in abundance

With all my heart, thanks..

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This is Accordion Girl.

She has a big red accordion. She also has five other accordions, most of them tucked away in storage. They are called:
The Big Black One (given to her while she was busking at the ferry terminal on the Sunshine Coast. True Story.),
The Little Black One (she's had this one for years. If it was in better shape it would be her favorite.)
The Swedish One (gutted and only useful as a wall decoration these days)
The Playhouse One (given to her by the fly man at the Vancouver Playhouse. People really like to gift Accordion Girl with accordions!) and...
The Button Accordion (the one she can't really play.)
That's a lot of accordions!

Last summer, Accordion Girl worked up North, at a little theatre company in a gold rush town. She wore a hairpiece that made her hair look really curly, and a dress with dozens of ruffles, and she was very happy.

At the end of the summer (well, actually, it was more like autumn), Accordion Girl went back to the big city. At the beginning of the summer, she had said goodbye to someone, and now that she was back in town, she had to move all her things (including the six accordions) to a new place, and start a new life.

She had some kind of weird jobs to get her through the fall. One of them was dressing up in a magician's costume and scaring trainloads of people with a giant fake saw.

The other one was playing her little black accordion at a pumpkin patch in the middle of the country (well, Richmond).

It was nice to be outdoors so much, and sometimes you could spot random celebrities at the Pumpkin Patch, people like Elivis Costello and Tamara Taggart (not together, though. That would be weird.) But although these jobs were diverting, Accordion Girl wanted more from life. Like... a career that maybe meant that her next home wouldn't look so much like this:

Plus, Accordion Girl had realized over the summer that she still had the ability to fall madly, deeply, and very swiftly in LOVE. This was exciting, but it meant that she was never fully in control of her emotions.

Will Accordion Girl find success in her career? Will she adapt to her eccentric new home? Will she learn to be happy on her own or will she be able to fall for someone without turning into a zombie? Stay tuned...