July hasn’t been the easiest month. I’m approaching a milestone that I’m nowhere close to being ready for. My original birthday plans were quickly squashed due to family obligations. Our original plans to get out of the city were cancelled abruptly due to unforeseen circumstances. All that added to a job I loathed and the subsequent stress, anxiety and depression that stemmed from it. To say it wasn’t necessarily the best way to kick off the summer would be an understatement.
However, I’m reaching the two week mark on being unemployed and have been trying to make the most of it. Thankfully Vancouver weather has been co-operating with my plans to soak up as much sun and making the most of the situation. I’ve been attempting to do all the things I always say I would if I wasn’t doing the 9-5 thing and found a lot of simple pleasures in that.
Here are my top five simple pleasures I’ve been indulging in:
>> 1. & 2. Reading & Iced Lattes.
I have to admit, I'm loving being able to sit out on a patio, at a coffee shop, in my bed and being able to commit more than the skytrain ride to a book. I've been practically devouring books, finishing three in the last week (and I'm an incredibly slow reader).
Iced Lattes, in this weather? Nuff said.
>> 3. Crosswords.
The Mister really got me into crosswords when we were (just) friends. We use to fight over who could get the most done, one up each other on who could finish one without help or how far we could go without cheating, and generally just finish each other's unsolved clues. I don't know why we stopped doing it, just lost the habit and lost interest I suppose.
On one of my first days of sitting at a coffee shop for hours on end, a stray 24 newspaper was sitting on the table. I picked it up and it was like nothing changed. Now there's nothing I enjoy better than beginning my day with a coffee, bagel and cream cheese and the crossword.
>> 4. The outdoors/sun/tanning.
Either way, Vancouver has been very kind to me. While I may not be getting to the beach at every opportunity (or at all), I have been trying to spend most of my day outside. Whether that's walking to the store at any opportunity, sitting out at the coffee shop or going to the local pool, I've been trying to make the most of the beautiful weather.
Being a fairly pale person, I miss the days of being at day care and spending 8+ hours outside and developing a tan deep enough that people would mistake me for being Spanish. While I doubt anyone would be asking me ¿Habla usted español?, it's still nice to see those freckles and be something other than pale.
>> 5. Being independent.
Having friends and a boyfriend who actually have jobs, I've been finding myself with a lot of hours to fill. What could be a lonely pursuit has turned quite enjoyable as I try to push myself to do more things by myself. Last year I started by going to movies by myself, this year it was about going to the pool and swimming.
It may seem silly to some people, but I've always found myself very dependent on others. Being forced to be by myself and be comfortable with being alone has been enjoyable. Plus it's nice to do something by myself other than sitting at the computer or at home waiting for someone to come play with me.
While I know that this mini, unpaid vacation can't last, it's been so rewarding to have this time to myself and really take a break from what has been a difficult year. I didn't realize how much I needed it until I found myself in the situation with no other options. I could wish for better circumstances, could wish that I had listened earlier and prevented it getting so bad. Hell, I'd wish that I didn't have such a shitty year, but those things won't go away.
Sometimes the body just knows what it needs.