Look ahead, not behind

Everyday I have a choice – look ahead, or look back… and each day it is an active choice to move forward. One day at a time.

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That strategy has brought me, in 1 piece, to almost the end of my 5th month in Cowichan Bay. This week I decided to attack a lingering project… my 2012 photobook. Each year I make a shutterfly album, about 100 pages, less than 10 pages representing each month, and our family has a wonderful time flipping through old times, reminiscing, and getting excited about how much fun we’ve had! I was inspired to do this by my friend J starting in 2007.

I usually look forward to and enjoy (somewhat!) the process of muddling through thousands of pictures. It helps me refine what our family truly treasures and what I want to engage with again in the coming year! This time, I did not want to look back. Making my 2012 album was one of the hardest things, emotionally, I have put myself through intentionally. I am happy now that it is complete. I think it was a needed challenge. Yet every morsel of my body knows why I procrastinated so long. I cannot engage with any of it, ever again. Not in the same way.

What I can say is there is enough great things to do here, being so close to the ocean is magnificent, our children’s school is spectacular, we enjoy every bike ride there. I have been blessed with enough work to sustain our larger sq ft lifestyle. Each day, each week, we get to know new places: this week an organic apple orchard that is self-serve for 75 cents a pound and has at least 4 varieties including my favorite: honeycrisp!

What I cannot say is that I have a community of people – an intricately connected web of people who walked in and out of our lives (and us through theirs) for almost 10 years, weaving a beautiful quilt of connectedness, smiles, grace, and comfort. Here I feel coldness (and not just from being moist!) – I am not sure who is out there, or where, or what they are doing… or how I or we fit. I feel the presence of a larger city – one almost 2x the size of Kelowna – just south of us. I feel swimmy. And fragile – like that crabapple – that only lasts so long, under the right conditions, and then rots if not preserved.

I will look back once more to share with you the cover of our 2012 album, taken at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre:

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Tears. And then I must choose again to look ahead. Preserve every day. Each day continue to make the choice to live in the present and trust in the future. And not rot.

I cannot explain how much I miss ALL the Vernon-ites that I had the tremendous blessing of getting to know over the years 2004-2013. The people in my life (and in my children’s life too!) on a day-to-day level sure are the greatest blessing. Friends, colleagues, cashiers… all of you, immense thanks for sharing your day-to-day with us. We have been blessed. I will not forget you… visit anytime!

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