It seems like it's been a long time since I've written any updates. I think it's because the first week back to work was super tough (also was the same week that Louis left for Cuba), it ended up with me crying in my car with a ticket because I didn't properly stop at a stop sign. I cried after the policeman left…but I have this amazing makeup spray that I put on before I leave and even after a MEGA cry, a sprint to the train I got through Friday looking like nothing was wrong. I was happy to call it a week…..
I'm still adjusting to life in Montreal. I keep saying I commute an hour each way, but door to door, it's three hours and forty two minutes every day. Wow. The weird thing is, this is pretty much seen as normal. AND, it could be MUCH worse. Right now, I drive to the train station, do my morning meditation and sleep on the train, walk 1.3 km (uphill, on the ice/snow), then I'm at work. I kinda wish I didn't do that calculation….because I kept telling myself it was only an hour. It's still a 12 hour day, which leaves me wondering how people do it – laundry, cooking, working out, relaxing, getting in a good night's sleep. It kinda doesn't. This week I helped myself a tremendous amount by preparing every single meal and snack for the entire week on Sunday afternoon. Not only does this help with my weight loss goals, but it helps to make sure I eat AND eat right.
I've also joined a running clinic at the Running Room, or Coin des Courreurs, here in Quebec. I debated between a 5km or a 10km class….I could do the 10km class, but I'm not really looking to improve my fitness regime as much as I am trying to meet people and get involved in the community. It's Monday nights, which means I have to leave work at 4pm, which feels a little weird, but my boss is super cool with basically anything that has to do with self-care. We actually have a lot of the same interests (or else I just have very popular interests?) so that helps.
What interests you ask? Eating, our dogs, running, general fitness, and meditation. He's far more advanced meditation-wise (if one is allowed to "rate" someone on meditation, I suspect this is counterproductive in this process) and does like 3 hour learning courses. I stick to my nightly guided meditation App on my phone that puts me to sleep in about 4 seconds and my morning meditation that I also listen to on my iPhone that lasts about 9 minutes. It helps my mood and productivity and overall well-being. If you're stressed and looking for something to help, guided meditation is awesome. Especially if you're someone that can't just flick a switch to relax.
Having Louis is Cuba is a new experience and a much easier one as compared to Madagascar. We chat every morning and night, can easily exchange emails, and are pretty much involved in each other's lives, which is generally because we are on the same time zone instead of an eight hour time difference. I don't always like being alone, but sometimes I think it's beneficial for me because it forces me to become more independent, which I'm lacking a bit because it's very easy to rely on someone when you're not familiar in a new environment. I don't understand Quebec and feel lost a lot, so I relied a lot on Louis, and now I'm not, and it's a nice transition to have, but something that wouldn't be as easy if Louis was here all of the time.
Sometimes I still find it hard to be away from Alberta. My grandfather isn't doing fantastic…I'd like to be there more often. One of my closest friends had a baby and I can't be there to meet him for some time. I miss being a regular part of my family…something that I got to re-experience during my time in Alberta. However, I'm not missing a shortage of family love lately. Louis' family is nothing short of amazing and have openly welcomed me into their family. I was able to spend a few days with them over the holidays and it really made my holidays.
I'm not sure if this is an update or not, but I spend far too much time worrying about the dog. I hate that she's at home for so long….even though she's totally used to it and sleeps ALL DAY LONG. Finally, I've given in and am meeting with a professional dog walker on Sunday who will come 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes I work late (and tonight I'm going out with work friends. That's right. You read correctly. WORK FRIENDS. My very first outing!!) so now I'll have someone to check on the dog for me. It's relatively inexpensive and I've decided to give up my nail budget for it. (I might decide to just add in my nail budget on top of it…but I'm trying to be very fiscally responsible with my new non-expat salary. It's more than enough to be comfortable, but it's certainly not as much as I was making in Madagascar. The benefit is I don't have the amount of work or pressure either).
So that's what's new.
Louis --à Cuba
Maggie --à takes up too much of my worrying time
Running Club -à love it
Weight Loss à working on it
Life -à Better than it was six months ago
Hopefully I'll have some pictures or something exciting next update. J