01 November 2010

Things I've Learned - October Review

So October kicked my ass. It knocked me down emotionally and physically. It was a hell of a thirty-one day stretch.

I spent more time than I would've liked doing the angry cry. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. And I crossed things out and scribbled out entire lines in my notebook. And I hit the delete button on this blog a lot. But what survived the edits is, while respectful of people who might not appreciate our interactions splashed all over my little corner of the internet here, a pretty good distillation of my insights and struggles this month.

So, October then:

I learned about the power of muscle memory. Sadly not in the service of improving my tennis backhand, but in finally recognizing the backhanded way the past can mess with the present. And I learned how the power of that insight has improved my parenting, my patience, and The Imp's reactions to my reactions immeasurably.

I had the plague aka The Cold Virus of Doom That Would Not Die Or Go Away Ever. Or maybe it was just my body's physical interpretation of what was happening emotionally. The fact that neither HWSNBN nor The Imp have gotten sick despite how ridiculously ill I've been for almost three weeks makes me lean toward the latter, frankly. But what I lost in productivity this month, I've gained in quiet introspection and a silent sense of reclaiming my confidence in my decisions.

Photo by Gwendolyn Floyd taken at this year's Northern Voice conference back in May. You know you're at the start of a great friendship when you can ask someone you've met like twice to take a picture of your breasts and it's not weird at all.

I took my forty year old boobs in for a screening mammogram. They may be saggy, shrinking, and occasionally leaky, but they are not harbouring anything that will try and kill me. So that's good.

I missed Blissdom Canada, but I got to host the cookie-bearing Karen Humphrey on her way through Vancouver as she headed to what, by all accounts, was seventeen kinds of awesome. So I ate cookies and watched the Blissdom stream on twitter and tried not to die of envy.

I'm marginally more aware of what to do with pumpkins. We carved jack-o'-lanterns. We roasted pumpkin seeds. We trick-or-treated in our neighbourhood's shops, and The Imp made me proud by saying thank you every time someone dropped something in his bucket. He didn't really get the whole "trick or treat" thing, but he knew all about "thank you." Heart: swell.

I was bowled over by the generosity of my peers. I put out the call for donation items for a BC Cancer Inspiration Gala silent auction, and the call was answered and then some. The Gala was very successful, raising a record $2.69 million for lymphoma research at the BC Cancer Agency. And I'm told by someone who was there that the basket we contributed to the silent auction was a hot item and went for well over its value. I am prouder than I can express to be a part of this amazing community.

And I learned that maybe, just maybe, it would be okay if every now and then I gave myself a little bit more credit. It wasn't until I saw the comments on my blog post about the silent auction basket that it even occurred to me that I had made a valuable contribution too, by pulling it all together. Which correlates with a tendency I have in general to discount my own abilities and achievements. While I don't want to get carried away with how awesome I am, it's probably okay if I stop and recognize my own efforts once in a while.

This post is part of Amber Strocel's monthly review linkup.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for looking back on October!

    And as far as Blissdom goes, you got cookies, which is still more than I got. I wouldn't complain too much about that, having sampled the awesomeness of Karen's cookies once myself. Mmm, cookies!