It seems like a long lonely time since my last post.
I miss writing, sharing insights and cat pictures. I have been so busy with school work, the day job and life distractions. I am almost finished that online course on Environmental Citizenship. It’s interesting. It’s emotionally, mentally and physically draining!
I am also finding it a challenge with self-discipline and time management to get at weekly assignments before the deadline.
Now at the tail end of a cold and final week of the course, I appreciate when my homework coach offers motivational visits.
I find comic relief watching YouTube videos with Stephen Colbert, or short clips on psychology and philosophy with Jordan B Peterson. I read his latest book “12 Rules for Life – An Antidote to Chaos” and even pushed my hard cover copy on my youngest son.
As a Mother and Grandmother, I agree that we need to address the issue of identity politics, divisiveness and tactics used by social justice warriors. We need to educate, to guide our girls and boys so they will grow into healthy, well-balanced members of society.
If I neglect the final assignment for this course, I think I can maintain an 80% average and earn my credit. I need to rest, recover and get ready for the holidays with my loved ones.
Our wee tree is waiting for one adult child to visit and help add the decorations. It’s a tradition.
I have been digging into those chocolates though – you know, to help me with schoolwork stress.
What are your plans for the Holidays? Will you adjust your travel mode, gifting options and meal plans to lessen your Ecological Footprint? Sorry not sorry.
This should be titled “Lessons RE-learned after the storm”
But first… What storm? you ask.
I’m talking about the SIX tornadoes that touched down in the Ottawa Valley and neighbouring regions on September 21, 2018. One of them smacked the Hydro station serving thousands of customers in Nepean.
tornadoes cause mass outages
‘We’ve pretty much lost everything’: Homes destroyed as Ottawa-Gatineau
It was quite the event. My area of the city lost electricity for 50 hours.
How about you? Were you greatly affected?
We are grateful that it was only electricity that we lost and not our roof, our shelter, our home. Other parts of the region were not so lucky.
If you live in Ottawa and survived the ice storm of ’98, you should have been prepared at least with an emergency preparedness kit : candles. matches, battery powered / wind-up radio, dry goods, water – something to hold you over for the first day or two.
Prior to the tornadoes hitting our region, we received those annoying alarms on our cell phones. I received them on both my personal cell and work phone.
Land line hold-out still has communication
I was able to communicate by telephone with family who had power at their end of the city, and with two of my adult children who called to check in on me from other provinces.
My cell phone service was working fine – as long as the battery held out.
I was able to follow status updates by listening to the battery powered radio and checking for updates on Twitter and local news websites on my cell.
One valuable lesson I learned was not to procrastinate with laundry and homework.
The previous weekend was so hot and humid that I couldn’t muster the energy to do laundry. After assessing my closet contents, I figured I had sufficient work wardrobe items to last the next week. It did but my plan of doing laundry on the next weekend was foiled by the loss of power on September 21st.
Luckily, on the Sunday, a kind family member let me do a load at his home, to shower, recharge devices, plus enjoy a hot meal!
As for the homework for the online course I am taking this semester, I should have applied myself to the readings and not gone to see The Bookshop mid-week. I had good intentions to do homework on the weekend of September 22nd.
Well, I couldn’t. I had no power, no home internet to access the required reading. Again, thanks for family and friends, I was able to use their WiFi to access the reading for that week’s lesson. I also sent an email to the course facilitator, asking for an extension. She was understanding and extended the deadline for the entire class by a couple of days.
A quiet, powerless Caturday September 22nd
The cats were oblivious to the lack of electricity. I knew they’d be okay in the dark because of their night vision.
One annoyance during those two darkened nights was that the old boy would wander and meow from dark corners in the apartment. I had fun getting out of bed to shuffle around, to find that black b@stard and shush him.
On the Saturday night, early Sunday morning, the little b@stard knocked my little flashlight off of my dresser, causing me to crawl on the floor on my hands and knees, feeling around for the thing in the dark.
On the Sunday, I got back into my morning routine of going for a walk around the neighbourhood. The sunrise was colourful but eerie, illuminating the darkened streets.
Sunday Morning Sunrise Sept 23
Will we be ready for the next time?
Environmentalists and climatologists predict that due to climate change, we can expect more of these powerful storms travelling down our valley.
On New Year’s Day, I made a list of goals and priorities.
This has become an annual event along with reviewing accomplishments from the previous year.
Some 2018 items were general categories like health, relationships, career and financial well-being. Some items were specific like getting my drivers license.
Just before the Lunar New Year I caught the flu; I lost a week of work, socializing and getting out for provisions. My youngest adult child dropped off necessities from the grocery store. My closest friend brought me lozenges and herbal tea.
I had time to rest, wallow in self-pity, watch trashy Netflix shows and reflect.
Cat on Lap watching trashy Netflix shows with me
I used some of the recent recommendations from the Year of the Dog Feng Shui workshop to rearrange my living space, to revisit my personal space and time. According to our instructor, this coming year would be a good one for career and education.
Cat on lap helping with Lunar New Year cleanse preparations
It could have been the haze of the flu lifting but I had a vision of where I would like to be in five years, let alone one. I revisited and embraced information about an early love, the love of libraries. I registered for a college program as a part-time student.
Coming out from under the winter funk, I felt motivated to move my body more and soon put some goals into action. I pushed myself to the end of April, as I studied for the written test for the drivers license.
In early May, I started attending night classes for two courses in a college program. By late June I was wondering “What was I thinking?!”. The stress of work demands and school assignments was starting to peak.
I felt a great relief by last weekend after delivering a successful presentation in one class and completing the midterm exam in another.
Now enjoying a wisely planned vacation week, I can relax and muster up enough energy to get me through the next six weeks of school (plus that work thing and weekend volunteer shifts…)
I am continuing with my morning walks because my physical and spiritual health are important to me.
I am planning to take driving lessons this fall and winter so I can pass the road test by next spring. I look forward to being independently mobile for future travel.
I think I’ll only take one night class this fall though!