One Word at a Time Will Get Me On My Way



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Now that I’ve made the promise to myself, that this year, this 2019, I would do things differently, think new thoughts, try scary things and break through some of these fears and self-doubts that I’ve been wearing all these 72 years, I’m finding that it ain’t as easy as writing the words. I didn’t think it would be a breeze, but I had convinced myself that I was ready and even eager to take this challenge on. I thought I was ready to propel myself into this adventure but forgot that all of those fears were still sitting inside of me waiting to rear their ugly heads and put the brakes on my otherwise rosy plans.

All this self-recrimination started when my good friend, M, sent me the seat sale for Westjet. She didn’t write anything, just sent me the advertisement. We had talked about it earlier in the week and she had told me that their sales were fantastic. So her intentions were all good and I had told her — and myself — that this year I was going to travel. Go Someplace Where I’ve Never Been Before, I boasted. Get myself back to an ocean somewhere in this world. I was going to pack my bag and head off to one of my great unknowns. But I couldn’t do it that day. I couldn’t be spontaneous and just pick a date out of the blue, pluck my credit card down, and plan the trip afterwards.

I was greatly disappointed in myself. I felt like I had, in the first month of this new year, negated all my promises. I sent M an email and asked her if she thought my reluctance to just go-with-it and get a reservation was a sign of my “old demons” rearing their ugly heads. She wrote back that only I could answer that question.

That made me feel worse.

I had to do something to pull my spirit out of the toilet. So I decided to put the whip back in the closet and stop the shaming voice inside my head — which, as you probably know, is utterly worthless. Instead, I took a smaller, but a very important, step towards my 2019 goals. I started reading one of the books on my Ann’s 2019 Reading List.

Earlier this year — can you even say that when you’re still in January? — I decided, as part of this New-Ann-In-2019, it was time to wean myself off of the steady diet of period mysteries I have been reading for the past ten years or so and challenge my mind with something a little more substantive. I knew I couldn’t be trusted to pick out a new reading list on my own. I’ve had too many disappointments in the past. After reading glowing reviews of books in the New Yorker or in the paper, I would eagerly put them on hold at the library. By the time they came in, I couldn’t figure out why the hell I ordered it as I struggled to get beyond the first fifteen pages. (My friend, L, told me never to trust book reviews, “They’re written only to sell the books, Ann.”)

So, this time, I didn’t put my reading future into the hands of strangers. No, instead, I sent an email to a bunch of my wonderful, eclectic friends, and asked them for the titles of their two, or three favourite books. The results have been amazing. I have a list of 24 books so far that are as varied and interesting as the people who gave them to me. There are classics I’ve never read, a trilogy on witches and vampires, another trilogy described by the friend who recommended it, as an “Indian soap opera,” tell-all memoirs, a heavy Canadian content that I have avoided reading these past 23 years, and lots more. I probably won’t like them all but I’ll read them all. It’s another one of those promises I made myself.

And, there are added bonuses to this method: 1) I have my friends right here to talk with about the books afterwards and, 2) when the time comes when I do make that reservation to go someplace I’ve never been before, I’ll not have to even think about what I’m going to take to read on the trip.

Now I’m off to start Book II on the list.


Deja Vu All Over Again


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Well, this old blog about new adventures is not starting the way I had planned, but life sends us our adventures in all kinds of different packages and it’s up to us, I guess, to find the amazement in it.

I did it again. My preoccupied mind a month and four days ago forgot all about what my feet were doing and then, whish, before I could activate the core muscles, there I was on the floor of the bedroom with a definitely broken left arm. What’s weird about this other than the obvious, is that it was almost six years to the day since I broke my right arm while strolling down a Columbus avenue. That one happened on Holy Thursday and this one on Ash Wednesday. I’m ¬†thinking of bubble wrapping my body every Lenten season. It could be my own version of sackcloth and ashes to atone for my many sins — and I would be better protected against my klutziness.

The big difference in this broken-arm adventure from the last is that I have to go through that scarier-than-hell medical procedure called SURGERY! Yikes, just writing the word gets my pacemaker-heart beating faster than running up six flights of stairs. (Since I got that little metal box painfully tucked under my skin, I always wonder who’s doing the beating these days. I don’t get any kind of message from my heart that it’s taking a break and leaving the beating to the pacemaker. But, perhaps the’s the beauty of the gadget. )

After a month of carrying around 50 pounds of blue fiberglass on my arm — yeah, i do exaggerate — the perfectly coiffed, dandily-dressed 12-year old doctor in the fracture clinic decided my radius was not doing what it was supposed to and I should go see his “Hand Man”. This Hand Man surgeon — a doctor with two first names so I was calling him “Doctor Simon” when his last name was really “Peter” — was quite attentive to me and Macy (my broken arm named by my funny “assistant” who I’ll tell you about in another blog.) After zooming in on the x-ray of my wandering radius so I could see just how wonky it was, surgery seemed the best road to take.¬†All this happened Thursday, and just like that, surgery was scheduled, pre-admission done and tomorrow morning at 8 am it’s happening.

So that’s that. I’m going to write how Macy and I get through all this. Maybe daily, maybe weekly — it all depends on what tomorrow brings. But i’m keeping the faith that all shall be well and I’ll be ready for those othernew adventures by May.