How is it fall already!?

A friendly banana slug.

Isn’t it March 1648th? No?

I am amazed at how quickly this past year and a half has blown by, because now, I finally feel grounded again. It’s a truly wonderful feeling.

I was fortunate enough to affect this reset in my energy and mindset with a very nice two week vacation. I did some really cool things I do want to write about in more detail, when I have a bit more time to do those experiences justice.

Being able to spend time with wild and domesticated animals, and one of my best friends, really made a world of difference for me. I may have mentioned this past spring, noticing how beautiful all the flowering trees are, here in Victoria. I failed to notice them in 2019, or they failed to register as beautiful, due to the stress I was under at the time.

Well, the same thing is happening this fall. I am noticing how very lovely the fall colours are here. In the majestic rainforest of the west coast, where the volume of rainfall per year is significantly more than *anywhere else in the country* the trees that thrive in that environment aren’t species that display fall colours. The environment is does change seasonally, but it’s subtle, not spectacular, and I have to admit I have missed the brilliance of the fall foliage display in Northern Ontario.

In noticing how I’m noticing the beauty around me again, I’m also noticing my body round a new corner. During my vacation, I wanted to *do* so much. Among the super-fun animal things I did which I’ll write about another day, I wanted to paint our condo, which was an activity I found to be surprisingly strenuous. My physical condition has been improving steadily since my surgery *two years ago* now, but I kept hitting walls in my recovery. It has taken a lot of patience and perseverance, but I am thrilled to discover that as of this month, I think my body is NORMAL again!

By normal, I mean I can physically exert myself, and it feels good instead of painful. I actually improve when I increase my activity instead of re-injuring myself. Last fall, I was on an uptick, and I walked *just a little further* than I had the previous day, and threw my back out for a week. That set me back three months. It’s been annoying. It was difficult to resist the thought that maybe this was just my new normal, now.

I must confess though, I think what made the difference was doubling my physio exercises. When Covid hit, and I could not longer access the massage therapy I had been relying upon to stay functional, the sheer anxiety of experiencing another physical setback gave me the determination to do my physio exercises twice a day, instead of once a day. After three months, when I could do back to my massage therapist, I was noticing a difference and some little improvements, but over my vacation I took a big leap forward.

I don’t know whether it was the having the stress relief of a bit of vacation time, or if my body finally just got there, but in the last three weeks, I’ve reached a point where I can hike for several kilometers, and bike for many more! I may not go fast, but I can do it!

The quality of life implications for this are *huge* – because so many of the things I love doing involve this moderate level of exercise. I’m not trying to do anything special, I’m just trying to get back to where I was when I would have a day off and look forward to going on a new hike.

I have also started my Human Resource Management program, which adds another 3 hours of sedentary sitting time to my day, in addition to my 8 hour work day. So in order to avoid becoming an actual banana slug in a hoodie, or, you know, completely screwing up my back forever, I am making sure I get out for a good hike or a bike ride every day as soon as I wake up. I might take an hour or more outside, and feel sweaty and tired when I get back. I’ll hop in the shower, have some breakfast, and then actually be in a really good headspace to study and learn about labour laws and employment relationships.

After a few hours at my desk, I have a snack, pack my lunch and head to work. Although my current job is not my favourite, and I really miss my coworkers at Tofino Hospital, I can see how my new job serves a greater purpose in my future, because it actually *is* human resource related. Without intending to, I managed to get a job that will actually count as experience in my new chosen field when I complete my certificate and am able to pursue new job opportunities. (I plan on continuing on to get an associate’s degree, and a bachelor’s in the next ten years, but let’s just take this one step at a time, shall we?)

Now, when I show up at my job, having exercised and spent a few hours working productively towards my long-term goals, my Monday – Friday doesn’t seem as tedious or frustrating. It feels just right, actually. I’m even grateful I have the evening shift, because utilizing the morning for exercise and the afternoon for studying is working out very well.

I think I just might be able to keep this up.

I will find time in the next few weeks to write about my awesome adventure with whales and harris hawks!

I hope this season has brought some good things into your life as well. We’re getting there, my friends. Stay healthy y’all.

2 thoughts on “How is it fall already!?

  1. Wow, Kate! This is all wonderful news! I am so glad you feel normal. You have had such a long road getting back to this spot and I’m happy your body is cooperating. Thanks for such an amazing update. Happy Fall to you!


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