I don't mind telling you, my life is totally chaotic right now. Obligatory disclaimer: I realize that chaos is person-specific and that there's always someone more objectively chaotic than oneself.
My husband's parents aren't doing so well at the moment, health-wise. Scott's older than me, and the younger child in his family, so his parents are older than mine (in their mid 80s). He's never been particularly close to them, though they are close-by, so it's causing some novel family dynamics and a certain amount of personal revelation. I mean, the situation is complex.
On the opposite, my kid is not exactly a ray of sunshine. If I never have to ground her again, it will be too soon. Lord, I'm so sick of the attitude, the thoughtlessness. This phase is not unexpected, in the scheme of child development, but I want to flee! I have no aptitude as a parent. I don't judge myself for it - it is what it is. I'm a natural at many things, but not this. I have no passion for the activity. And I'm beaten down by 16 years of standing my ground. Really, I'm tired.
Work has calmed down for the moment but it's a sputtering volcano. I'm less burned out than I was last month, yet I'm still so far from normal - it's like I'm in free-fall.
To add to the fun, I have no idea of what's going on with my fucking renovation. We have a new project manager who's got to do his own due diligence on the basis of newly-completed architectural plans. I won't know till mid June whether he can commit to being finished by December (not that I'll believe him even if he does). Of course, I haven't gone through Committee of Adjustments yet (thanks, new by-law) so I can't permit till I've gained that approval. If I start this reno this year, it won't be till August 1. If I don't, I'll have to live in this house as-is, ever more haggard - the place I mean - till April. FYI, I moved out of this house, mentally, about a year ago.
Every day I come home and see my front garden, the metaphor of my current psyche. It's weedy - so weedy, that my weed-prone next-door neighbours, who finally put in a garden last year, currently have a cleaner front garden than mine. They have no weeds at all anymore (except the hipster kind) and I'm the one who gets judge-y side-eye from the woman 5 houses down.
I'm not even going get started on the liminal backyard.
Then I have to deal with a very administrative task (alluded to previously) which involves assets and citizenship and I'm SO put off by it. I'm struggling with apathy (the result of anger and the utter stupidity of the task).
Everything is creaky and leaky and many of the things that need tending to will not be fixed in the near term.
What can I say? I'm a capable whiner.
On the flipside, I'm also a capable crafter. My creative mind, while not as sharp as usual, hasn't exactly jumped ship. I'm exceedingly grateful for this. Furthermore, physical pain is not a consideration of late. I'm also exceedingly grateful for this.
Yesterday I booked a pretty decadent trip to Montreal and Quebec City at the end of June. Scott and I are going alone. No, the kid doesn't know about it as yet. Don't tell her. She has a new (first) job and a boyfriend and she wouldn't want to join, what with us being there, but that's not the point.
I need to get away. I need to retreat with my husband and the trip we know best involves getting on a train in downtown TO and travelling VIA 1 to downtown Mtl. We'll check into the Gault. Walk to Mile End, then the Plateau. Have dinner at Quartier General with the floor-to-ceiling windows open, saturated in the humid night breeze.
Next day we'll get on the train again and spend 3 hours looking out the window. The view is bucolic defined. If you want to meet Quebec for the first time, ride that corridor. I've booked the seats with the best view. I'll knit - I do that on the train. Scott will listen to music. We'll drink silly little bottles of wine and eat food in squat ceramic plates with tall sides to inhibit spills.
Coming into QC Gare du Palais is truly strange. It''s all kinds of industrial-meets-French-Canadian residential. Graffiti. Grain silos. And then, as you debark into the station, everything changes and becomes chic and clean, much of it crazily old. We can walk to our hotel (the 71) from the station, along cobbled streets of the Old Town. I love that I can make this entire trip without ever setting foot in a car.
I can't tell you how grateful I am to know where to dine. To know that food will be gorgeous. Walking in Quebec is joy. Sitting on a patio, as the sun fades and the streets enliven, is a stunning pleasure. No one knows the summer like the northerners. I suspect my last thought will be of an elegant, cloistered terrace, the air at body temperature, the night-scent of flowers competing with the boozy smell of wine. I'll be eating something sweet and speaking slightly too emphatically about the meaning of the world, truly besotted with my husband, who gives great conversation at the worst of times.
After many days of this, we'll be back on our way to my favourite city. We'll hit the tail end of the day in Old Montreal. We'll try a new restaurant, probably in St. Henri.
In they way it takes thousands of sewing sessions to really understand the craft, it takes many visits to the same destination, to tell the story of a life well-lived. This is why we're getting our asses there as soon as possible. Please stay tuned.