To begin with, I've been sick as a dog with a nasty head cold. It kept me in bed most of last weekend and forced me to skip running the Falmouth Freezer half marathon on Sunday. I stayed home from work on Monday too which wasn't good because - and this is my second excuse - work is frantically busy at the moment. I'm up to my eyeballs with too many projects, including organizing a meeting of local mucky mucks.
Next, the weather posed more challenges than usual. It snowed for much of last weekend (when I took this photo of the pine trees behind our house) and a major winter storm named "Nemo" came calling this weekend. By the time I'd spent two and half hours shoveling today, I didn't have any energy left to run - which was probably just as well given the condition of the sidewalks.
Nemo dumped somewhere between 40 and 50 cms of snow in this part of the world with high winds creating drifts significantly higher. A massive storm surge wreaked havoc along the coastline as well. It was pretty intense at times but, fortunately, I was able to stay inside snug by the fire until the worst passed. In fact, it was perfect weather in one way. My mom and I had planned to spend a weekend together shopping, getting pedicures, eating out, etc. but the storm prevented us from doing much besides hanging out by the fire, talking, eating and sleeping. Given that our family is so large, that kind of relaxed one-on-one time with Mum is rare so it was a real luxury to have her undivided attention for nearly two full days.
The talk was especially important because - and this is my last reason for slacking off - it's been a very sad few weeks. Husband's family lost three close relatives in the space of a week - including one of his cousins who was only 50 and died in her sleep without warning. Then, while we were coming to grips with those losses, we received word that my first cousin had committed suicide.
It still seems surreal. My cousin was a man of strong religious faith, a leader in his community and the last person I'd have expected take his own life - but he'd been suffering from depression for some time and apparently despair finally won out. Needless to say, his death has left his family reeling. All week, my mind flashed to the images of him and his grandkids displayed at the funeral. In them, he looked so happy and engaged with life, I can only assume he must have been in very great pain to do what he did.
Despite everything, I managed to get out for a couple of beautiful evening runs around the lake last week so it wasn't a complete write-off in training terms. I won't have time to run the first part of the coming week but hopefully I can slip back into my regular routine by the weekend. The forecast is for much warmer weather that will feel positively tropical after the -20 degree C temperatures we've had lately.
Finally, a quick update re how I'm doing with my new year's resolution to create a more creative life. In some ways, it's going well. I'm enjoying my new camera and slowly figuring out how to use it. And last weekend I broke out my knitting needles for the first time this year and made a funky little hat. But I haven't been writing much (except at work) so have made next to no progress on my novel. I've recently realized the plot needs a major overhaul so, to avoid wasting time writing or rewriting unnecessary scenes, I first need to set aside time to prepare a detailed outline. I'd hoped to tackle that today but had to spend time catching up on office work instead. I'll try to make it a priority next weekend.
In closing, a quotation I read this week and really liked:
“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” (Confucius.)I was thinking about how true that is when I snapped this photo while waiting to catch the bus home after work. I thought something about the light was beautiful though the streetscape left so much to be desired. I wonder who else noticed.
Have a great week, everybody. And happy running and writing!