The Explanation

by Carolyn on September 20, 2010

Hi there.

I’m not really sure how to begin, but the truth is that I wanted to post something and I didn’t want to footnote an offhanded apology or begin with a lame excuse for not writing this summer. Because I don’t really feel sorry and I don’t have any excuses.  All the same, if I’m going to dust this lovely little blog off and reenter the blogosphere, I owe you an explanation. Or more fittingly – an update. 

Now let’s see. Where to start….. May. 

As summer approached, my husband and I were deciding on two construction projects for our home. The first was windows. Now I had no idea how big of a construction job getting our windows and front door replaced was going to be. We hired someone to do it, but it was a project that spanned over a few weeks. I was somewhat prepared for the mess, but had not considered that we would be without window treatments for weeks (or I should say months). I also hadn’t thought about the bits of insulation, drywall, sawdust and other little bits of things that would be ever present on the floor and although I’m really happy with the final result, I’m glad it’s a project that we won’t be doing again anytime soon (I’m pulling for an eternity ;) ). 

Windows - the project that costs a whole lot, makes a huge mess and in the end looks eerily similar to what you started with.

Then I had a birthday in June! Yeah, I sound excited there but in reality it was like….. blah.  Although I don’t feel like it, I’ve actually hit the dreaded ‘middle age’.  And so it followed that I seemed to have a bit of a mid life issue this year as well. It all began when I actually believed I was one year younger than I was. Seriously. I’m not making that up. I swore I was turning 34. My husband and I even debated the issue. And it wasn’t until I declared my birth year that my brain wrapped itself around the math and I realized that…ready?….here it comes….I. Was. Wrong. And the only thing worse than realizing you are wrong while arguing with your husband has to be the realization that you are in fact turning 35. 

Coupled with that, I failed my eye exam. (Remind me again why I thought that appointment would be appropriate for the week of my birthday?) 

Did you know that not many people cry in the optometrist’s office? I’m figuring that by the awkward way mine patted my shoulder after I burst out in tears. Oh well, I see it as all his fault anyway since I told him I was getting anxious and sweaty and that I really felt like I should have studied for this test and that I was feeling seriously unprepared.  He assured me in his calm optometrist ‘I never have to deal with crazy people who are in the midst of a mid life crisis’ voice that I could relax because with eye exams, there are no wrong answers. Not two minutes later he interrupted me as I was calling out the numbers I guessed I was looking at to tell me that they were all, in fact, letters.  Hence the tears.  No wrong answers, my foot. 

I hate aging. And eye exams. And math. 

Anyway, I made myself feel better by planning a nice evening out to celebrate my decrepit 35th birthday and by getting all dolled up in an outfit that was made for a sixteen year old. I really liked that dress. Although my husband and I did have an interesting debate about whether it may in fact have been… a shirt. See? Some people buy cars, or quit their jobs or get divorced.  Me?  I buy a barely there dress/shirt and go for a night on the town. Yup. All better. 

Yes, that is a big flower in my hair! Don't blame me, I was trying to look 16.

July was eaten up by our second construction project of the summer – a pool. The planning, acquiring of estimates and actual work that went into this project was something that I was *utterly* unprepared for. I don’t know what I thought exactly. But I’m pretty sure it involved a magical backhoe which evaporated dirt being dropped off and picked up from my backyard by helicopter and a pool being similarly airlifted in. Surprise! That’s not how it goes. At the end of the first day of digging we had a gigantic dirt hole, a gigantic pile of dirt and no more grass (aka more dirt) because of all the heavy machinery driving back and forth and turning on the lawn.  Isn’t it beautiful? 

Welcome to my dirt hole and pile. You don't even want to know how much this thing cost!

It didn’t actually finish up until the first weekend in August but we had a great month with it wherein my son learned how to swim.  Needless to say, we are all very excited for next summer. 

Because that dirt pile eventually turned into this...

Which led to fun like this....

And this....

and today looks just like this.

In July, I also took a running class. I’m sure it was somewhat related to my age crisis, but I also felt that after a year of blogging, I had kept nearly all of my focus on my emotions and thoughts and it was time to bring some of that focus to my physical self. I have exercised consistently my whole adult life until almost six years ago, when I had my son. Getting to a gym or to a class just hasn’t been practical with my family’s schedule but I figured that with running, I could make it work. And make it work I did! I ran five times a week and did my homework exactly as it was assigned. I was up to running 5k’s each day and the best part was that I had actually gotten to a place where I looked forward to my running days more than my rest days. I felt like a real. Live. Runner. 

At the end of July, one of my sisters got married! My sister from my mother and step father got married to her long time fiancé and the wedding was beautiful. Being that she lives in British Columbia and the wedding was here in Ontario, much of the planning fell on my mom and stepfather’s shoulders, so that was busy. A fact that also meant the stag and doe, shower and wedding all happened in the span of two weeks. Whew! I had the honor of standing up and it truly was a wonderful event. Our differing personalities, the circumstances around which she moved and the distance between us has been a detriment to our relationship but as she was leaving to drive back to Vancouver, I felt like we were closer.  Like our sisterly bond was …. healing. 

My sister and her husband.

My hairdresser deserves ALL of the credit for this one.

With August’s arrival the windows and pool were done, and my husband left for his annual fishing trip. 

That’s when I got sick. 

It started with a fever that morphed into a cough and it was the kind of illness that gripped me for all it was worth. Taking care of the kids and working while my husband was away made for the hardest week possible. When he returned, I was sick and spiteful (not a good combination) but also glad for the reinforcement. He suggested a chest x-ray because we were going away the next week for a family vacation and although there wasn’t anything definitive on it, I went on antibiotics. They didn’t seem to do a whole lot though and as soon as I was finished with them, my fever returned. After a few more days I went back for another chest x-ray and there we had it – pneumonia. 

Now if you’ve never had pneumonia, all I can say is…it totally sucks. In my life when I’ve been sick, even really really sick, I’ve only ever had to go on antibiotics and then *poof* within a few days I’ve felt better. 100% better. But this has been nothing like that. And you know what? I’m still recovering. I can feel that I’m still recovering.  The biggest disappointment for me was that my running got completely derailed.  I hope to start again soon. 

And of course, the pneumonia rekindled the age crisis. I mean, pneumonia? What am I …. 80?!? 

Our family vacation was to my family’s cottage (on my stepfather’s side) which is in northern Ontario (or as I call it:  the wilderness). Most people talk about cottages when they really mean houses. And just so we’re clear….this is a cottage. I hadn’t been there in years. Over 20 to be exact. My husband loves it there; he’s a reincarnated Grizzly Adams when he’s there.  But to be honest, a place that you need a boat to get to, where you can’t plug anything in or turn on a light (we won’t even talk about the bathing/toileting situation) hasn’t really been my dream excursion. That being said, I have to admit that I had a really great time. Pneumonia and all.  I must be getting lower maintenance as I’m aging. And of course, my kids would live there if they could. 

The Cottage (really, that's it's official title)

Although I snidely call it 'the wilderness', there's something very special about waking up to this...

spending your days doing this....

teaching your son how to do this...

and seeing a child's fascination with an era gone by. (yes, that's an actual working victrola)

Our trip was closely followed by a family crisis that I’m not ready to write about but that demanded all of my focus for a few weeks. The crisis has passed for now, so don’t worry. Out of respect for those involved, I’m not going to elaborate more than that. 

So now it’s today and just like last year, it’s after midnight and I’m tapping away on my laptop. That’s making me smile. And my smile is making me smile. Because over the course of this summer I had started to consider that maybe I was done blogging. That perhaps I had said everything that I needed to say and that it was time to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. In June, I perused my archives and I was sincerely satisfied with the body of work. I felt it had legs enough to stand on it’s own. 

I still believe that. I’m not sitting here so that I can improve on what I’ve already done. It’s just that this place is good for me too. It contributes to my life in just the same way I contribute to it. My smile comes from the realization that I’ve missed it here. And that I do indeed have lots more to say. 

I’m hoping that you do too.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn September 20, 2010 at 11:53 am

Over the next week, I will respond to any emails or comments that I have not already replied to. I apologize for the wait and look forward getting in touch.

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2 Tammy September 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Glad you are back at it,Carolyn. Missed you. I think drinks need to be in our future soon!

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3 Carolyn September 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Thanks Tammy. Let me know when you’re available and I’m there!

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4 Jenn September 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’m so glad you’re not keeping your thoughts and opinions to yourself because I am not ready for you to be done! Lol. Selfish, but true! Seriously, I enjoy your posts and I am glad your back!

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5 Carolyn September 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Jenn! It feels good to be back to. And really, I have to credit you in large part for my return. Rereading and completing your interview inspired me. I loved how it turned out and your questions were so relevant. I love that. I will be posting the link tomorrow! Thanks again!

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6 jules September 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I am soooo glad you are back! Your experience means so much to me & also all who comment. Thankyou.

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7 Carolyn September 22, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Thanks Jules! It’s so nice to hear that. :)

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8 Angelia Sims September 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I was just thinking about you the other day. Went to your Facebook page and was going to write on your wall and then…… interruptions…….the many that happen while on iPhone.

What a great (most parts- not the pneumonia) way to spend the summer; the pool, windows, trip and wedding. Wonderful! Such a nice way to spend time away from blogging.

I am soo glad to see you back and get your update by blog. I can’t believe how big your little girl and boy is. :-)
Angelia Sims´s last [type] ..Ivory Heaven- My Whimsical Wedding

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9 Carolyn September 22, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Anglelia, you’re awesome! And you have had an exciting summer with a big day of your own coming up soon, right? I can hardly wait to get over to your blog to catch up. Thanks for being a fabulous blog buddy!

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