When I can’t cope, I cry and then I cook


A lot has happened in my little world over the last three months. I won’t bore you with the details as most of those have been documented in previous posts if you want to go back and read through them. Imposed quarantine and my immense fear of the Coronavirus aside, the calendar year of 2020 has felt like a battering ram and I am the feeble wooden gate, splintering with every blow.

I have always been the person who was very quick to hatch a Plan-B. I don’t dwell on the details of what just happened. My brains kicks into overdrive and I immediately search for a plan of action to move forward. But something in the way my neurons have always fired in the past has recently changed. For the first time in my life, I feel completely overwhelmed and uncertain about where I go from here and that, for me, is the true sign of how affected I am by what is happening in the world right now.

I try my best to process all of the information presented online but when those reports become too staggering to deal with, I purge my accumulated emotion and I cry. I make no excuse and I don’t fault myself for my behaviour, I just cry. Once I have released the intensity of those feelings, my focus shifts and I want nothing more than to be in my kitchen. I have recently renamed my kitchen my “solace room” because it is the only place where I can feel a true sense of peace.

Today is no exception to that rule. My dueling crockpots and my Dutch oven will be filled with a myriad number of items that will produce the combined aromas of onion, garlic, bacon and a collection of other ingredients that will eventually become an assortment of soups and stews I will share with others. One person, in particular, will have his freezer filled with these items as a dear friend has just been diagnosed with advanced brain cancer and is awaiting the plan for his course of treatment.

So, this morning, I am shutting out the socials, and the rest of the planet, to bring my focus into a world I can control, into a world where I can be helpful even if it is on a very small scale. And as the onions caramelize and the bacon is rendered, I know I will cry more tears today because it is what I need to do. I can only hope when this pandemic is over and we are able to live our lives again, I can say I was able to recognize the best parts of myself and know that I gave everything I could to make things a bit better for the people I love when they needed it the most.



Plan B


With the inescapable approach of winter, I have recently begun Curling again and I am really enjoying being back on the ice with a group of challenging competitors as well as amusing team mates.

Although I have been watching considerably more Curling on television (and hope to, once again, be at the live Skins game at Casino Rama), I admittedly have not acquired as much of their skill set as I had originally anticipated.  The theory of Osmosis apparently does not lend itself to learning a sport.  For having not been on the ice for 6 months, I will tell you that I am not disappointed with my level of proficiency and I can only improve from here.

With every sport, as with every aspect in life, the best laid plans do not always come to fruition.  Although my skip may call a shot that he or she believes wholeheartedly that I can make with my eyes closed, that is not always the case.  My resulting shot becomes something I affectionately refer to as “Plan B”.   It may not be the brilliant guard shot, or the double take-out that was required, but was still somewhat effective and it enables our team to look ahead to the next shot.

Every situation in life should have a Plan B.  It can make what could be a torturous event into something far less stressful.  A seamless transition into a Plan B can make the path that was originally carved much less tenuous if it takes a sudden detour. The common saying in battle is that the best defence is a good offence – and a good offence is having a backup plan.  It doesn’t even have to be a fully conscious plan, but heading into battle with foresight and the ability to react quickly and analytically will help create a diversion rather than having to throw your hands up in the air in surrender.

I am fortunate that I received that analytic ability from my father.  Life has not always been picture perfect, and has certainly thrown its share of curve balls our way, but through his guidance I have developed that ability to not dwell on the immediate situation. I don’t allow myself to wallow in the reaction of self-pity, but instead, I spring into action.  I move on to the next phase without even batting an eye, creating or following through on my Plan B.  Too many moments are spent agonizing about what has just happened instead of taking that recent experience and turning it into the potential of what can happen next.

Be prepared to handle what life throws at you, but also be willing to delineate to the road less travelled.  Having a Plan B allows you to not dwell on the past, but instead gives you the courage to step boldly into the future.