the end of The Pause

Opening the browser and clicking ‘new post’ is the closest I ever care to come to putting a loaded gun to my head in order to find the spark to motivate myself. Am I seeming a tad dramatic with that statement? I’m not intending to be, but I do want to be completely genuine in sharing the struggles I have with procrastination. I want to write, yet even when I’ve finally found the rare luxury of time to do so, I slip into the comfort of distraction, my attention span struggles to keep me focused, while my drive to write clings desperately to the hope that I will eventually find the discipline to do so. Distractions I can manage. Sometimes I want them; the buzz of voices, of music can be stimulating, yet at other times, I need silence, and to be completely undisturbed in order to get the creative juices flowing. Occassionaly it’s impossible to find the drive, and there’s good reason for it. To me, this is why writing is an art, not a science. I need to coax the muse out to play; I cannot summon it through a tried and true ‘scientific’ approach, although I’m hoping some sort of writing ritual (my process?) will eventually establish itself and prove similarly effective. For the most part, clicking ‘new post’ seems to have the desired result in spurring me on to writing, but it doesn’t always result in a same day clicking of ‘publish’ (not on this occasion a least), so the battle with procrastination rages on.

The struggle with procrastination is real; inertia is very hard to overcome when the will to do so doesn’t outweigh it. This is both a sign and a lesson, to recognize and accept as truths, at least for myself, in order to move forward in a manner that is meaningful.


The sixth wave of the pandemic has not officially been recognized just yet, but there are many reports of sewage tests indicating the virus is currently at the levels last seen at the peak of the last Omicron wave. The rules in coping with this familiar reality are completely different in responding to the spread of a new wave of the virus in the post March 1, 2022 world. The Kenney led government is struggling for it’s existence as the leadership review vote started this past weekend. Party members are probably feeling every bit as jerked around by the changing rules for the vote as they did with the varied half hearted responses taken by the Kenny government to stymie the spread of COVID during the first five waves of the pandemic. There seems more energy and commitment by Kenny in guiding the leadership review to the outcome he hopes for than he demonstrated in attempting to lead the way in keeping COVID in check or keeping Albertans safe.

Perhaps in this wave(?) there will be no restrictions and no closures, as the government apparently now feels that after two years, we citizens can now be trusted enough to judge conditions and determine our own actions to take in order to ensure our safety and to police ourselves in protecting others. This a necessary step we all must take in order to return to the life and world we were accustomed to pre-COVID 19, but not everyone is ready to make the leap to that next step.

I’m not 100% there, nor am I ready yet to put COVID behind me, as there are too many reminders of the pandemic still being amongst us to ignore. Masks have transitioned from being something mandated, to something that allows me to add an extra layer of additional protection when I find myself feeling unsafe, or have a need to keep at top of health. In May, Bae and I intend to isolate as much as possible in the 10 days before we take our first trip outside of the country since January 2020. We don’t want a repeat of a COVID induced slamming of the brakes on our lives again due to a positive COVID test in the hours before we board our flight to return to the world; not after the not so patiently waiting, or after having earned the right to do so by being responsible global citizens who got our vaccinations and boosters.

Time and again I remind myself that the ‘reset’ brought on by The Pause isn’t one to be wasted. The price has been too high (the time lost to isolation, closed borders, the distance from those we value, restaurants and theatres shuttered, the fear of a virus and its variants potential effects on those unfortunate to host it, or the relationships that didn’t survive into the new normal, to name just a few) to not take advantage of its valuable teachings. I know that I am no longer the same person who went into the first lockdown on a grey, snowy night in March, 2020, and that I am emerging from the Pause, into the full brightness of spring in April, 2022, with new alignment and direction toward inner bliss and peacefulness, rather than my previous path of service and support of others as my life’s top priority.

(About this point, it was the procrastination cocktail kicked in: an impulse to mix up a batch of cookies could not be ignored, and was quickly followed by a Jack Herer induced monologue about the creative process, which took me away from writing until both the cookies and I were sufficiently baked. Btw, the cookies were underdone, but I was left feeling the focus and creativity to return to getting my writing groove on.)

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COVID-19 endemic and endgames

It’s been a while since I’ve written an update on the state of the world, or at least my little corner of it, as COVID-19 continues to influence our lives. The messages the media and news outlets of the world are starting to align again; this time, however, the announcements are starting to sound the reversal of imposed restrictions and a return to a life more open and familiar.

The World Health Organization isn’t ready to call it an endemic, at least not yet; you will no doubt remember this is the same WHO that waited too long before declaring COVID-19 a pandemic in the first place, so I expect there will be no early pronouncement of endemic conditions until there is little chance of the organization’s credibility being further harmed. This leaves the governments of countries around the world left to their own devices in order to determine when it is safe to remove the restrictions they imposed upon their citizens and allow them to return to lives they may find more familiar and comforting than the ones they lived when pandemically limited.

With credit and link to CTV News’ post of February 16, 2022

A year ago in May, Alberta’s premier announced ‘the best Summer ever,’ and by fall we were experiencing the Delta wave. In December, merely a week before Christmas, the Omicron wave was upon us, spreading so easily and quickly that testing could not keep up and true case counts will never be known. The latest wave saw patients admissions to hospitals eclipse that of the Delta wave, but this time, when the ICU numbers started to creep up, they did not exceed the levels that nearly brought collapse to the health care system in November. The difference with this wave was that our Chief Medical Officer of Health told us that if we were experiencing any of the symptoms, with testing revealing over 40% positivity, we should assume that we had COVID and to isolate until the symptoms, or 5 days had passed.

This past December also brought another gift to the world, the first anti-viral treatment was announced for approval, and we took another step closer to an endemic reality. The announcement of this important pandemic milestone roughly aligned with the announcements a year previously, of the first of the COVID-19 vaccines were proceeding to emergency approval.

For many, this sparked the first signs of stimulation of signs of movement in the dormant lifestyle we once knew (and perhaps had been previously lost to). The Boil was going to return, this was your final warning to hold tight to your Pause learnings. The warning was clear, the temperature is about to be turned up and you’re on notice, what comes with a return of freedoms and familiarity might not be all you’d hoped for, or need to live a happy, healthy life.

Had it not been for false starts, and hopes previously dashed, it might have been easy to get lost to the warmth of what was familiar and could be again and push rapidly towards it. Like a diver doing interval stops while surfacing, the call of the comfort of warm air, puffy whiteness of clouds, blue sky, and warm winds hidden just through the ripples of clear blue water is strong, but by now you know that to avoid pain and suffering, you must have the discipline to avoid surfacing too quickly. The border that separates our two states of existence, one with COVID infringed rights, and one that allows the ability to roam freely, beckons and tempts you to step over it, and you will, when you decide it’s the right time to do so. Do not rush, but be ready to seek help if you can’t find it within you to take that final step.

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an update from a suitably seasonally snowy now

It strikes me that getting another post up in only just about six weeks since my last one really should be considered to be progress, if not yet qualifying in my mind as a victory.  Small steps toward victory (and whatever I decide that looks like for me) will have to do for this post from the Now.

With my pre-pandemic lifestyle and routine now for the largest part a distant, dusty memory hidden in the back of my mind, the challenge I have faced this fall has been to develop a new routine that now incorporates virtual elements into my ongoing work and volunteer endeavours, and makes myself as a higher priority.  I hope these efforts will not be shoved aside or trampled by whatever new world order establishes itself post-pandemic.


Early in the pandemic, any thoughts I had about what life might look like for me post-pandemic really didn’t visualize themselves in my mind as anything other than a vast, black void of space, but now, as more and more signs of the life we once knew reappearing around us, that black void has been becoming lighter, and filling with a hazy grey.  I decided as the haze grew that I wanted to take an active role in giving it hard lines and definition.  Assisting me is the realization that I’ve also finally accepted the truth about the past: it cannot be changed, and the only way to move forward into the future unfettered, is to let go of it.

what lies in the mist? i don’t know, i haven’t created it yet.

What sparked this line of thinking for me was the recognition of just how completely out of balance my volunteer endeavours, demands of work, and personal commitments have been with each other, even when two out of three factors continue to be conducted primarily virtually.  The commutes between home, work, and volunteer sites, might have consumed time and money, but did they did not call upon the expenditure of a lot of mental energy, and as I’m realizing now, those travels did provide a chance for a break to think and an opportunity to catch my breath.  In the new world order that awaits us, the danger is allowing the former commute time to be quickly and easily filled by meetings and their resulting commitments.  With the coming of the new order, the Boil is starting to look an even bigger threat, and one that would not be as gradual or painless to fall into once again. 

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