It has been a different kind of year
Some of you have told me (and it means so much to me), that you enjoy reading this blog because it is so introspective. Some of you have told me that you strive to have the level of self-awareness and self-reflection brought out by the posts on this blog. I hadn’t realized it until you said it, but this is perhaps the value that this blog brings to you as a reader; the encouragement and inspiration to work through what’s on your mind in a way that may inform the next steps you may take. I find that each time I write one of these types of blog posts I feel a little bit lighter after clicking “publish”.
Up until now, I have found this type of introspection to be a necessary part of my mental wellness, so to speak. Before I had a blog, I had a journal. Before I had that journal, I had another journal, and so on.
This year has been very different. There have been some major changes in my life which have forced this blog a little below where I would have liked to see it on my priority list. Being a full time mom, and part-time lawyer/business owner has made it challenging for me to find my quiet and reflective space. I’m just starting to find that place again.
Despite the busyness, 2015 has been an amazing year so far. Some highlights:
We’ve found a great community
As you may know, we relocated to Toronto almost one year ago from Halifax. We’ve been living in the neighbourhood known as “Danforth East”, on what happens to be one of the most friendliest streets in the city. Though it took us a while to find our “groove”, we have really fallen in love with the community. M and I spent our days at the local library, mom/baby play places/coffee shops, and neighbourhood parks. We have come to see the same faces in all of these places, and many of these people have become a part of our daily lives. I found a group of moms who all made the decision to stay home from work for a second year after maternity leave, and it just so happens that all of their little ones are born within a month of M! With this group of moms and their little ones, we’ve enjoyed many dates of the park, coffee, and library class variety. We’ve watched each others’ kids grow and develop over the span of this year, and it has been an amazing experience.
The other great thing about this community has been living on our super social street. J, M and I have enjoyed the daily front yard gatherings with the neighbours and their kids, in which the adults stand around and chat, while the kids play together and with whoever’s toys happen to be outside. The casualness of it all is what makes it so great; no need to commit ahead of time, just go outside whenever is good for you, and you will likely find someone to play/chat with. Leave whenever you need to get dinner ready or put your kids to sleep. Fantastic! In an age where we plan gettogethers weeks and months ahead, and then send 5-6 texts on the day of the get together, confirming and re-confirming, and then letting the other one know our each and every step towards the get together, I find this sort of spontaneity to be so refreshing.
I feels so blessed to have found this little pocket in such a big city.
Family as neighbours
To add to the above, we have also been living across the street from my sister, my brother in law and their three children. We have become a part of each others’ weeks, and in many ways we’ve started to “do life” together. Some of my favorite moments have been the unplanned coming together of our lives. My niece and nephews walk by our house every day to and from school. I would often run into them when outside playing with M, or when getting into the car to go somewhere. I look back fondly on the time my niece stopped by unannounced on her way home from school to ask for a snack before her gymnastics class. It meant so much to me that I could be such a casual part of her day; so many family relationships these days are so formal, and I hadn’t realized how nice it can be to take away the formality of those visits. Similarly, we have had many last minute dinners together, like the time we were going to be driving to Ottawa in two hours and I hadn’t yet started dinner prep and my sister (God bless her), texted me and said “instead of cooking and cleaning up, do you want to just come here for dinner?”. “Yes please!”. The stories go on, but suffice it to say, we’re so thankful for the way things worked out for us to be neighbours.
This year, the three of us took our first family visit to Egypt, my parents’ home country. It was very special to me. I grew up visiting Egypt often, and as a result, I have a very strong connection to the land and the people. I was so proud to show J and M the building where my mother grew up, and much of my family still lives. I was equally proud to introduce my husband and my daughter to my extended family and have all my worlds come together in that way.
Seeing M grow in general
Seeing M grow from a one year old to a two year old was just precious. Over the course of this year she learned to walk and talk, which are such huge milestones! She has become such a funny and fun loving girl. Like many toddlers, she is shy at first with people she doesn’t know, and then all of a sudden transforms to a crazy and outgoing little thing. This year, we took advantage of the many toddler classes being offered in our neighbourhood: art class, library class, and gymnastics class. It was such a privilege to be by her side in all her classes and see her grow and open up to new things. Every time we came home from art class, she couldn’t wait for J to get home so that she could show him her “art work”.
I’m not too sure what to make about the fact that I somehow managed to go a whole year without being able to find the time to be introspective. I feel that I lived life on the surface a little, had a ton of fun, and treasured every moment, and yet time just flew by so fast that I didn’t have time to think about it, and my mind feels so cluttered. Perhaps there’s no conclusion to draw, other than the fact that I have missed blogging, and hope to be a little more regular in the coming year. As people keep telling me, “it’s a season”.
Ps. Since starting this post, we have moved to Ottawa! Post coming soon about all of that…