The sun is starting to shine a bit more. The buds are forming, the birds are singing, the Jays are back at home, and there’s goose poop everywhere. Ah, the signs of Spring.
After a Winter that seems to have gone on forever, it’s nice to see that people are leaving their homes and beginning to populate the streets and the stores in downtown Elora. While you will hear me complain about tourist season in about four to six weeks, as people with iPads held in front of their faces meander down the street, blocking traffic while they try to capture the beauty of an old lamp post, we’ve still got about six weeks before that curmudgeonly side of me kicks in, and so lets enjoy these days for all that they have to offer. Puddle jumping, hide and seek at the park and, as the title of this post would suggest, flying a kite.
Equal parts satisfying and frustrating, seeing the girls run around a field holding that string as the various shapes and colours dance through the sky is quite a magical thing to take in. It doesn’t always go smoothly, and I’ve had to untangle my fair share of tree, goal post, and fence run-ins, but the awe on their faces as it rises higher and higher into the sky is worth all of those relatively insignificant challenges. Such was the case the other day, the first of many sunny afternoons to come, when, no matter how many times we got tangled, it crashed into the ground, or the wind didn’t cooperate, they kept on working hard at achieving the goal of bringing that glider into the air and laughter into their hearts. I actually found their determination to be quite inspiring, and when we returned home I decided that I was going to make a list of goals to achieve this season. Just as the simple act of flying a kite in the park can bring joy, there are more moments, events and activities that I want to share with them, and perhaps a few that I selfishly want to make sure I get to enjoy myself.
Had I not publicly stated that I would publish and maintain a blog, it never would have happened. For me, It’s the open declaration of wanting to achieve a goal that ensures I will see it through. If I simply write it down on a notepad that no one else sees, or decide in my own mind that there’s something I want to do, it’s likely not going to happen. For better or for worse, this method of accomplishing what I set out to do has generally worked out for me and so I am posting here for all to see, holding me ambitiously accountable, and, I don’t know, maybe inspire others.
On the subject of Time Together
We will explore at least ten hiking trails we’ve never explored before. Living where we do, there is no shortage of trails to travel, so why do we always seem to gravitate to them same ones? Starkey Hill, Limehouse, a slew of conservation areas, there are countless opportunities awaiting us, so strap on your camelbacks, girls, because we’re going on some adventures! I openly welcome suggestions for where to go.
On a similar note, we will go geo-caching. I do like treasure hunts and I have no idea why I’ve never done this before. I don’t know much about it but I assume it makes you rich quick, so why not?!
We will embark on at least one bike ride per week. Last year Audrey really got the hang of her bike as we cast off the training wheels, but those little legs needed to work so hard to get the wheels moving. This year we’ve upgraded her ride and we’re ready for speed! We may not be quite ready to hit the velodrome just yet, but I definitely see a number of Summer evening cycling trips to Gran’s house in our future. Stock up the red licorice, Gran, we’re coming over!
We will spend time with, and as a family. Eating dinner together is something we do already, but I want to ensure we don’t lose sight. With extra curricular activities on the horizon – soccer, karate, art classes, I want to make sure we don’t lose sight of the incredible value to sitting and enjoying a meal.
We will make ice cream together. As the staple of any Summer afternoon, there are no less than four ice cream shops in Elora. And while that’s a lovely thing to enjoy now and again, I want to teach the girls how to create their own flavours with a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time. Hmmmm…..maybe Elora needs a fifth ice cream shop…
We will take the girls to their first in-person Blue Jays game. Since they were born we’ve spent the Spring and Summer months taking in the Blue Jays via tele and radio cast and they’ve really picked up the rules, anthemic cheering and they certainly get into the fandemonium every time Vlady hits one over the fence. I am not sure how they will react to the size and scope of the SkyDome, but I’m convinced it will be like meeting Santa for the first time.
On the subject of Yours Truly
Ok, so here I am at my most vulnerable. Things I personally want to embark upon for my well-being, personal growth and development.
I will make one new recipe per week. There is actually a fun group challenge/activity that we started up with some friends a while back, where each week someone presents a single, every day ingredient. At the end of the week, we each share what we came up with as a result. It’s not about creating expensive and immaculate dishes, but rather taking something you likely already have in the pantry or fridge and recognizing that there are ways in which to use it that likely hadn’t occurred to you before. I’d like to start this back up again.
I will focus on my health, physical and mental. I don’t have a gym membership, as I’ve never actually enjoyed going to the gym. I am not personally motivated by the financial commitment, and while I fully recognize and respect that there is equipment which can target certain areas better than others, I am prone to injuring myself and am much better suited to using what I have at home, namely the floor. So,
- I will do at least 60 push ups, 40 chins ups, 40 legs ups and 150 crunches every day
- I will cycle at least 20km a week
- I will drink no more than 2 cups of coffee a day
- I will drink a glass of water every morning before my first coffee
- I will consult with my doctor and therapist regarding ways to decrease my stress and improve my health
- I will eat no more than 1 chocolate bar and 1 bag of chips per week…oh boy, I love chips.
- I will not keep my phone next to my bed at night
I will enjoy the things I enjoy. Often times people feel guilt for endeavouring upon what brings them happiness and joy and that simply should not be the case. It’s not only acceptable to take time for yourself, it’s important for your well-being. As I’ve stated before, you can’t be a strong partner, parent, friend or peer if you aren’t looking after yourself first. So,
- I will publish a book before the end of 2022.
- I will get a second tattoo
- I wil write one blog post per week
- I will watch two movies a month that are of interest to me
- I will play guitar at least once per week
- I will step away from my desk at lunch
- I will say ‘no’ and be okay with it
I think that’s a good place to leave it for now.
As self-indulgent as this post may seem, it’s intent is not just to satisfy the wants and needs of this humble author, but to hopefully encourage others. I would love to engage in and listen to your goals just as much as wanting to share my own. Just like the culinary challenge mentioned above, I want to be inspired by how you spend your Summer months. What adventures await you? Will you go to the drive-in? Open up a food truck? Bring the family to Hillside? Take up rock climbing? Go see Cirque du Soleil? That last one is true inspiration from a co-worker recently, and we’re already looking up tickets. The reality is: there are infinite possibilities to what you can do and how you can spend your time, so step away from work and have some fun!
I suggest that you start by heading outdoors and, idioms aside, go fly a kite.