I blame it on my new place. I’ve always had an affinity for plants, be they in nature, a garden or someone’s home. But with the new spot I’m living in and its abundance of natural light, high ceilings and endless houseplant potential, I have become a little bit houseplant obsessed.
As a creative person who entered the nine-to-five professional world many years ago, I am keenly aware of how my life has changed as a result. Many of those changes are positive. A predictable schedule has made it easier to develop healthy habits, like regular fitness and nutrition, and it’s given me the opportunity to add a practical structure to my creative pursuits (I’m a writer, in case that wasn’t obvious).
But no matter how much I enjoy my job and the complementary routine, the free-thinking creative part of me squirms inside the nine-to-five grid. Finding time and space for adventures in creativity has been a challenge that I continue to struggle with.
Hola from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!
Having spent the past three weeks in Puerto Vallarta (with one week left to go) I’ve noticed lots of things that are different from home in Toronto, Canada. I’m not talking about the obvious differences, like climate and culture, but the subtler ones you don’t notice if you pop in to an all-inclusive for one week.
Depression is a heavy, dark presence that lowers itself into your life like a murky, oppressive fog. Depression happens to all of us to varying degrees* and at different times in our lives. For some, depression occurs at a deeper level and for longer periods of time. For others, it shows up randomly and without notice.
Canadian summer feels like a weekend: in one moment it’s here – bam! – and in the next it’s over. We’re now well into August, the Sunday of summer, with the threat of September (aka Monday) looming with every passing hour.
I recently shared a table on a jam-packed patio with a Swedish guy in his 20s who was visiting Canada on a week-long work assignment. Over pints, our conversation naturally shifted towards comparisons of what it was like living in Sweden vs. Canada. I asked what he thought of the six-hour workday, if Robyn is his favourite singer (obvi), and, of course, how many weeks’ vacation he has.
He has five weeks’ vacation.
These five weeks weren’t something he’d worked up to, or a special circumstance he’d found himself lucky to be in. Five weeks’ vacation, he explained, was the standard for his profession. I wasn’t surprised, exactly – I’ve long known that Canada’s minimum two weeks of vacation is more or less a bone our so-called progressive country throws its citizens when compared to many other countries.
I used to stay up late into the romantic hours of the night, alone with my thoughts and the crickets, while the rest of the world was in z-land. When the morning would come around (as it inevitably does), I’d sleep as late as possible in daily protest – until before I knew it I was late for work or school or whatever thing I needed to get done.