the slow down

I’ve been reflecting on the last month and a half, and it constantly brings a flood of emotions. In the beginning of March, I left the city and my family home, where I had been living with my daughter and her dad, for my home city where I was born and raised. Edmonton was and is our brand-new start. 

But this time, our family consisted of myself and my daughter. 

Returning home after ten years and finding so much had changed was refreshing. I’m sure the city I knew so well so many years ago wouldn’t recognize who I was either. I was returning home, having eradicated the alcohol abuse and depression that used to grip me, and I was returning with new stories, connections, and joy. I was returning with new life – my daughter – and with the bravery only a mother bear knows, one who is dedicated to securing the livelihood of her cub. We’ve all seen this bravery in one way or another in our own mothers, aunties, and Grandmothers. As I said, many things were different now, but the comfort I found in conversation with and in the faces of family and friends hadn’t changed at all. 

I’m so grateful that some things never change. 

Adjusting to our new routine came surprisingly smoothly. I had secured childcare for my daughter in a place I knew she would flourish. Her smiles and sense of fulfillment upon meeting her gaze after my work hours were proof of that. As with any new job, I was excited and nervous – but confident in how me and this new position seemed to fit harmoniously. I just needed to meet the rather large team. I was surprised by just how easy going and outspoken everyone seemed to be, while remaining respectful as a collective. I felt great about our new beginning. 

Then my daughter’s daycare was cut due to recent events, and I scrambled to secure a day-home for my daughter, only to be laid off the day she started her new day-home. We had completed only four workdays at our fresh start.

New beginnings or changes to our normal can be terrifying, exciting, and stressful as it is uncharted territory. I can tell you that I was all of these things at some point in the last month and a half, but I made a point to be more excited than terrified about our new beginning because we have that power to turn our fear into excitement. Nothing has the power to emotionally affect us without our permission. 

Fast forward to the now, and I found myself back in our family home. Twice this year, I have found myself here, after I thought I would never be back. Let me tell you, the universe has a very interesting way of pulling us back and/or telling us that it’s time to sit down and pause. I’m the type to read into everything, and I can’t help but wonder what the universe it trying to tell me, besides to stay the fuck home and wash my hands. 

Some days, I’m convinced that I will get this new routine down perfect and that things will feel normal again. 

Truth is there’s nothing normal about this so it’s okay to feel unsettled, to feel not like yourself. 

This is what I remind myself when my schedule is not followed to a tee, or not at all and the only thing I’ve accomplished is eating my weight in the number of mini eggs (Happy Easter) and watching the equivalence of my height in hours of Netflix. I’m 5’6, by the way. 

One thing we can count on is that the hustle and bustle of our daily lives will return, and we will probably hug each other a little longer and more often. We will hate Monday’s again, and the weekend will seem too short. Us introverts will enjoy being home again because we will actually have “maybe’s” to bail on – ha

We will all get to choose again. 

Until then, me and my daughter and family have our health, and I have the ability to do things that contribute to my own and to my daughter’s joy. I’m reminding myself to choose gratitude during the pause, to embrace the slow days, to revel in the silence. 

leslee merasty

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