alone time

trying this one out in all lower case, e e cummings styles [aka how i write anything that is not for work].

it feels like it has been ages since i last wrote and there is a great reason, i have been away in canada and got back what seemed like 5 minutes before i was to work again.

spending time with friends and family and colleagues and students and randoms is great.  i love learning from others and hearing about new ideas and perspectives.  but lengthy amounts of intense contact with others makes me feel, well not sad, maybe the best word would be heartsick.  it makes me feel like  something is missing.

i suppose everyone needs alone time, though i imagine the amount varies depending on the person.  i figure i am on the higher end of the spectrum.  there are days, like now, when i will sit at my desk spacing out by reading facebook and bits of news for over an hour before going home.

right now i’m listening to sonic youth’s ‘i dreamed, i dream’ and thinking about how weird it makes me feel.  there is so much to think about and write about after lengthy periods of preoccupation.  and yet i feel like i have nothing to say.

for instance, i have decided i am interested in william blake’s work through teaching an english class ‘the clod and pebble’.  i have been reading maxwell’s ‘make today count’, a gift from an incredibly upbeat colleague, and considering a more optimistic approach to life.  it will be difficult to remain positive all of the time but i have a lot to be grateful for and i know it is the best way to enjoy my job, my relationships and my time here on this planet.  i have also been reading ‘the piano man’s daughter’ by tim findley, my favourite canadian author.

in my reflection i have come to think about how silly it was for me to worry about a trip to canada after all.  before arriving in toronto i toyed with the different scenarios… do i present my canadian passport only?  my british passport only?  then i decided one better, i would present both.  the first customs official i met said he only wanted ‘that one’ in reference to the canadian passport.  win.

some lovely friends collected me from the airport and they were just as i had remembered them: kind, generous, easy to talk to.  my parents were amazing company throughout the visit, though i knew that would not be an issue.  i only saw a few others because 2 weeks wasn’t even close to enough time to make the great ontario tour, that will happen in about 6 months’ time.  lucky for me, the people i saw made the effort to come to me.

a highlight of the visit was the 2 days i spent in toronto with another pal.  she reminded me there was a lot to be happy about and be thankful for, including our unaltered friendship.  we did all sorts of things i had never done, including having our palms read, getting manicures and visiting a spa.  we also ate sushi, spent ages in a great book store and had a nice dinner with another friend of hers.  our waitress was the most sweet and enthusiastic lady i could think of having served me in a restaurant in a long time.

it is worth noting that i had tried to have my palm read, or fortune told on probably half a dozen occasions prior to the toronto visit and every time there was a reason that i was unable to do so.  i always thought that meant i wasn’t supposed to know my fortune.  in this case what i was told was favourable, though i’m not sure how much of it i truly believe.  i guess i will tell that story in one of my books or on here if it comes true.

speaking of stories, in my time in canada many ideas came to me and i was sure to jot them all down.  i have decided i’m going to commit time every week to writing and maybe at this rate i’ll have a novel in 5 years or so.  maybe less.

i want to get back to my journal so i’ll leave you with one last piece to the holiday puzzle…

i arrived in abuja to hot weather and the usual inconveniences of nigeria.  difficult customs and bag tag checking, pushy travelers and serious traffic.  better than all of that was arriving home to my husband after being without him for weeks.  he has taken really good care of me in the week since my return and i wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.  he keeps me right and calls me out when i am being an asshole.  he looks after me when i am tired or not feeling well and is an excellent cook, most nigerian men i know won’t even enter a kitchen.  i also found out that local beer now comes in tall boys, how convenient!

anyway, here’s to an excellent 2015 and more regular writing on here and in other pieces i am working on.

thanks for reading.

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