I feel like a broken record but a lot of this week felt…meh. Honestly? At some points, it just felt downright awful. A work colleague resigned which leaves me holding an unexpected suite of responsibilities. Renovations stalled in several frustrating ways. Most of the days were cold and involved rain/snow. Tough social situations remained tough and, in some cases, got tougher. The kids were (or at least seemed) extra whiney/prone to fighting with each other. On Tuesday night I cried at the dinner table and let John handle kid duty while I tucked myself into bed with Magic Bags at 5:30 pm.
It was that sort of week.
Things looked much better Wednesday morning…as they usually do. But overall, I’ve not been loving December. That said, the last seven days included some truly wonderful highlights.
I think we can be afraid to list things we’re feeling grateful for during a rough spell – like it delegitimizes other areas where we’re struggling or makes us seem phony and less relatable?
Listing the items below doesn’t mean I’m not struggling to identify rays of positivity during these – literally and figuratively – grey days. Some days it has felt tough to identify anything at all. But I guess these items are EXACTLY those rays of positivity I’m searching for…so here’s to celebrating the wonderful rays of sunshine peeking through.
GOOD THINGS THIS WEEK (there really were a lot)
- A friend organized a pottery-painting party last Friday night. I’m introverted and tend to prefer being home in sweatpants on Friday night over anything else and I was, admittedly, less than enthusiastic to shed aforementioned sweatpants…but I am so glad I made the effort. I’m truly fortunate to have such a wonderful network of friends! The host made up little goody bags for everyone with edible treats which were so festive and felt like the proverbial cherry on top – unnecessary, but really elevates the experience of eating a sundae. I didn’t budget my time very well on my painting project and was literally running at the end to beat closing time (I didn’t want to have to fit in a return trip before Christmas)…but I got it done! I’m planning on giving the finished product to someone as a Christmas gift (and this someone happens to read my blog), so stay tuned for before and after pictures at a later date. I’m legit excited to see how it turns out after it has been fired in the kiln.
- When I left the pottery studio it was snowing and cold (yuck), but the whole town of Wolfville was just so festive it made me feel warm and cozy (on the inside at least; it was cold). Wreaths and light displays and merry messages painted on store windows. When the sun goes down during the Christmas season, our little town looks like something straight out of a Hallmark movie. For more on my love of Wolfville, see below.
- The next night (Saturday), John was out at an evening event. Without date night in place, I ate Kraft Dinner with the kids. I have not had Kraft Dinner in so long (well over a year). It tasted…delicious, as boxed meals go. Abby loved it, of course.
- We hand-delivered the rest of our Christmas cards on Friday + Saturday. Abby and I made our favourite ginger cookie recipe, she did up the labels, and I drove the car while the kids hopped out to deliver items to the various doors as needed. We ended up staying longer time than expected with one set of friends. Their house is a treasure trove of unique Christmas decorations and the kids had an absolute blast and were positively saintly by way of behaviour. And last Friday my soup-and-sandwich mentor sent us home with an enormous array of decorated cupcakes. Yum.
- I’ve loved opening up the mailbox and finding a little stack of Christmas cards most days. I do enjoy that dopamine hit from receiving snail mail!
- Someone brought (delicious) homemade caramels to a work meeting and gave me the four remaining pieces. I said I would bring them home to the kids but (#emotionaleatingalert – this was the meeting where I learned about the unfortunate resignation) I ate them all myself on the car ride home.
- We met friends at a park (freezing, but sunny, so I’ll count that as a weather win) and I got to snuggle and play with a best friend’s 1-year-old who is soft and squishy and delightful to watch as he toddles around on his somewhat wobbly, yet very effective, tiny legs.
- We went to the free movie at our local town theatre on Sunday and it was fabulous (The Grinch – 2018 version). Levi’s best friend came with us (and it happened to be his first time seeing a movie in theatres!). They laughed and laughed and it was pure fun just to watch/listen to them. I did, however, allow myself a quick nap which I don’t think I have ever done at the movies before. The whole walk to the theatre Levi kept his arm around his friend’s back; he is SO protective and it is truly sweet to watch.
- We put up our main Christmas tree! I was holding out until more renovations were completed (I have horrible visions of the tree coming down when the contractors are banging on exterior walls, so I put bricks on top of the tree stand which are stragetically hidden from view with a Christmas tablecloth), but bad weather was coming and we had a clear, dry day and pounced. We picked out our tree and it was delivered 5 minutes later (thanks, Wolfville). The kids tell me it’s smaller than normal, but I like that it fits neatly in the corner and doesn’t feel like too much extra chaos when we already have enough of that from the renovations! In a week that had a lot of low points, decorating the tree was the high point. The kids were thrilled to see their ornaments and reminice about all the inside stories/little details that make their decorating experience so rich. Also: the kids are just objectively so much better at decorating a tree this year. They put their ornments securely on branches, didn’t put things in clumps; I was mildly sad to not have to rearrange ANYTHING after they were done, but it also feels like a milestone of sorts. They really are growing up!
- Today was a snowday and the kids did this:
- I did an outdoor run on Monday (first time since 12 November! All the rest have been treadmill which is getting old fast). This feels monumental since the weather has been…crap…lately. On my way back into town, I stopped to take a few pictures of the decorations. They really are phenomenal. A lady I’d never met before (her name is Heather and she was lovely) stopped to comment on how much she loved all the festive greenery around town and we talked for at least 10 minutes about how she and her husband had decided to retire in Wolfville and it made me think (yet again) just how much I love living here!
On that note…
I love living here. I love your walkable, clean streets and festive sidewalks. I love your cafes and your little movie theatre.
I love the Farmer’s Market. I love that we have a wool store (even though I don’t knit, having a wool store just seems quaint and lovely, and I get a thrill when I walk by and see people knitting in the sunny front window). I love that we have used book stores (two!), consignment/vintage clothing stores (three!) and a health food shop. I love that workers at the hardware store know our names.
I love that your library resides inside an old train station. I love that the librarians know me and I never have to show my library card – my account is always keyed up before I make it to the check-out counter. I love that you now have your very own boxcar.
I love that within your borders I can walk to: my children’s school, my favourite coffee shop, my workplace, my doctor/dentist/chiropractor/massage therapist/eye doctor, a medical clinic, two art galleries, two jewelry stores, churches, and so much more. I love that I can walk to get a pair of pants hemmed and the seamstress knows my name (and the names of my children). I love that I can get 95% of my groceries inside town limits.
I love your trails (especially since I can access one of my favourites from within our backyard). I love your parks and that you host free concerts all summer by the waterfront (though I never seem to make it out to any of them). I love your soccer fields and playgrounds and tennis courts.
I love your delicious array of restaurants – from crepes to Mediterranean to Korean fusion to pizza to specialty ice cream parlours to Tim Hortons (how very Canadian).
I love knowing the owners of the grocery store and their whole family. I love that we see our family doctor at school dropoff. I love that the (former) mayor knew our whole family by name, that we knew where he lived, and we’d wave and chat when passing on the street. I love that we exchange cookies with neighbours and they know our birthdays and have backyard marshmallow roasts and street parties (pre-COVID).
I love that you play host to a world-famous food festival, and that your pottery studio is booked for weeks in advance (mostly by groups of university students who spend hours working on artistic creations).
I love that you have hills where our family can slide, ponds where we can skate, and a new waterpark for cooling off in summer.
I love that on a single walk I can see breathtaking cliffs and the ocean and sprawling fields. I love that your soil produces the fruit and vegetables I consume around the table. I love that I can walk to pick apples and strawberries and cherries and plums.
I love that we have our own community newspaper full of local events and highlighting special people in our area.
And this time of year, I love the phenomenal decorations that are so skillfully executed to give this town a wonderland vibe.
I take a lot for granted living in this wonderful town but I honestly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Thanks, Wolfville, for being one-in-a-million.
How was your week? Anyone else have a bit of an emotional roller-coaster ride? What do you love most about your town/city?