Appreciation

Afew things:

Yesterday, I received a message from my insurance company regarding my car.  I was asked to call a representative back, and despite a few tries, I kept getting her voicemail.

It is not everyday that my insurance company calls me, and as such, it didn’t take long for my thoughts to start hypothesizing about the apocalypse.  I’ve been living in Quebec now for just over a year, and while it has taken that year for me to fall in love with my neighbourhood, there are still moments where I feel a bit alien here.  It is during these moments of foreign or other-ness where I am sure someone is going to come and knock on my door and tell me I have no business living here.  Impostor Syndrome, anyone?

It took the agent I called a few hours to call me back and by the time she did I was envisioning a life without my car.  I had concluded that the insurance company was likely contacting me to tell me they would no longer insure my 17 year old car.  Panic set in a bit as I tried to figure out how I would get around without a car.  At the moment, I am fortunate enough that I only need my car for non-priority things, like groceries and getting out to see my parents, but as job hunting is likely to be in my not too distant future, having a car would mean more job prospects could be accessible to me, so its importance is still there.

As the mild panic about possibly not having a car set in, I was able to step back a bit from my thought process and try to observe it.  I’ve been reading a lot about this concept, of not engaging in one’s thoughts, but rather recognizing them for what they are: just thoughts.  They don’t necessarily define a person, although I will be the first to admit that I have allowed them this privilege for a long time.

I saw this image yesterday, and had to laugh as it not only captured my reaction to what turned out to be a routine, file-updating phone call from the insurance company, but my reaction to a lot of things in life.  I am getting better at catching myself before I let my thoughts encompass and consume me, but it is still something I have to be very aware of.

I ran this morning.  I’ve been maintaining a more consistent running schedule for about 3 weeks now, but it is only within the last week or so where running has begun to feel good again.  As I finished up my 9k this morning, not only feeling really good but energized as well with a runner’s high, I tried to think back to the last time that a run left me in such a positive state.  It’s been well over a year and a half since I was able to consistently run, and consistently feel great after each run.  Leaving my pace and distance aside, running for me has usually always felt incredibly good.  I’d say since late winter of 2016, running hasn’t felt as it normally did.  I started to dread going out for my runs.  Consequently, my routine became more inconsistent, and when I did run, it finished me for the day.

I’m feeling really grateful that it has started to feel like it once did.

Finally, on a really positive note, my Dad has been calling me on the phone more.  For the sake of a quick re-cap, my Dad has had a really rough go of things over the last 3 years.  He was diagnosed and underwent brain surgery in late summer of 2015 for cerebral blastomycosis.  The recovery from that took a solid year and was gruelling.  As Dad was recovering from that, he was later diagnosed with tongue cancer in the summer of 2016.  He is currently still unable to eat, as the cancer and subsequent radiation significantly damaged his tongue and his throat, but he is doing so much better.  As a result of the damage on his throat and tongue, speaking is challenging.  Dad has good days and he has days where as he puts it, his mouth isn’t so great.  He has increasingly been taking more and more advantage of the good days, and calling me just to chat.  A few months back I had offered to Dad that he could practice and work on his speaking with me to exercise those muscles, and I am pretty elated that he is doing just that.

Today is a good day.

With Love,

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Olivia Shaw

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