I have officially started my Unpaid Leave for the month. It’s so surreal to know that I’ve let myself take time to process my diagnosis and set myself ready for the road ahead.
Friday evening, I arrived at the man’s house to begin my two week adventure. It was a bit of a whirlwind weekend as one of my girlfriends accompanied me up and we visited Bruce Power’s Block Party (July 21). It was such a cute small town event and surprisingly drew thousands of people to those three blocks. They were giving out free souvenirs and food! It felt so nostalgic and cute.
Because the man had to stay for the day, we ran errands and amused ourselves by visiting a local farm called Hi-Berry Farm where we picked fresh raspberries. We wanted fresh berries to create cute Raspberry and Strawberry shortcakes with our delicious biscuits that we made from scratch. They were SCRUMPTIOUS!!! (they were so good I was brave enough to bring them up for the man’s parents to have for breakfast!!)
We spent Sunday July 22 – 25 at the cottage and despite the cloudier weather and rain, it was just as relaxing and peaceful. I am getting much better at casting the fishing line, and when we went out on the pontoon boat, before dusk, the fish sure were hungry! Kowu also loves the pontoon boat. He’d stare out at the front of the boat and just watch the loons, fish and my bait! He’s such a cute and quirky dog.
While at the cottage, I heard of the tragic news of the mass shooting along the Danforth. I never thought gun violence would hit so close to home…and until it does, the fear is too abstract to truly feel. As soon as I read about the shooting, I felt saddened that such violence could hit so close to home. My childhood tainted by this one incident is truly heartbreaking and incredibly scary. However, I also witnessed the amount of love, strength and compassion the community had as they gathered to visit the scene of the crime. There were sidewalk art with #danforthstrong and community funds being raised as the community stands together to show solidarity and support for one another. Gun violence is on the rise but together, we can truly overcome such fear.
Tonight, I sit on this balcony and slowly catch up with my blog. Reflecting on the past few days, I feel like I have been able to experience so much of living. Opposed to the constant go-go-go, it’s been a complete wind-down from all stressors in life. My only concerns are to eat healthy and enjoy the time I have to do absolutely nothing. Of course, it’s taking some getting used to but I’m really enjoying the process of slowing down. Yes, there’s laundry to be done and some household cleaning but other than that, I have the ultimate vacation for so cheap lol!!
The MS diagnosis is slowly sinking in, and as I adjust to my new reality, I’m learning to define my boundaries without having the guilt anchor my happiness down. I’ve worked hard to overcome so much and I’ve given myself so little credit all these years. From here on forwards, I am making myself the promise to stay grateful, nurture the healthy relationships and let go of the rest.
P.S. I learned how to fire a pellet gun for the first time this weekend. I was utterly terrified but after asking a million and one questions, I gave it a go and quickly learned that my aim isn’t so bad. That being said, I am still highly against shooting any type of gun at living animals…so we practiced our aim at beer cans and a homemade paper target!