Post #3201: First Friday Check-In

Over the years of writing this blog (seventeen or so now), I have come to realize that its main value to me is as a record of my life, a place to store recipes and reflections, sewing projects and fitness plans so I can dip back into them later on. I have tried this in various paper formats over the years, but the only place where I’ve consistently (albeit irregularly) documented my life, is here.

I have a desire to return to this space more regularly, and I do like the diary this blog represents. Motivated by that, I am trying something new in the form of a weekly check-in – a simple prompt about what’s happening in different parts of my life that I might want to return to later. This approach is inspired by a friend of mine who publishes a paper creative journal which has a weekly check-in that explores creative elements in one’s life. I kept up with those journals for close to a year before petering out on them. I would like to return to that format here and see how it sticks.

I was going to wait to start this until a normal week (we’re just finishing up two weeks of holidays spent mostly at our rural cabin), or January for the beginning of the year feel – but that is too much of a *thing* somehow – so I’m just going for it now:

Food: Autumn makes me recipe-crazy, but because we’ve been away from home mostly all I can do is plan. In particular I’ve been researching fish recipes because just before coming away I bought an 11 pound halibut, 2 black cod and 2 yelloweye rockfish (red snapper) from our community supported fishery and packaged them into the freezer. I have another halibut coming shortly after arriving home – so it’s going to be a winter of fish eating (in addition to venison, pork and lamb which our freezer is stuffed with at the moment).

We did get real appliances at the cabin just in time to make Thanksgiving dinner with our cabin partners last Saturday – something we have been planning to do since we bought this property seven years ago.

Textiles: I brought a knitting project along with me on the trip, but really haven’t made much headway because it’s miles of stockinette and I’m bored. Along the way I picked up some materials from Aster and Vine, (out of Rossland, BC) and crocheted a basket which was quick and fun – and gives me something to put my knit project in when I’m not working on it.

Work: Today marks the end of two weeks of desperately-needed holidays from work which we spent in the interior of BC, mostly at our cabin. I have a mountain of work awaiting my return to the “office” some of which includes a big hiring process that I somehow became responsible for as well as shepherding a web project to its end. I’m not looking forward to any of it but at least I’m employed doing something I’m good at. These are things to be grateful for in these unsettled economic times. 

Fitness: We brought a few weights to the cabin so we could do some strength training but what’s been more interesting to me on this trip is my desire to run around the lake every other day. I’m not a runner, but my fitness overall has improved so much in the last year that I find myself *able* to run without dying and I’m intrigued by that. The first three runs around the lake, I took a shortcut through the trails for a 3.75 run. On my last run (yesterday), I went all the way around on the road for a full 4 km in under 30 minutes (27 min for the 3.75 km, 29 min for the 4 km). This is the longest continuous running I have done in years and I’m proud of getting back to a fitness level where I can do it. Maybe I’ll even fit a couple runs a week into my regular workout schedule this winter.

Notable: The photo at the head of this post is from last week’s journey into the East Kootenays where we encountered (among other things) the headwaters of the Columbia River which are right outside Canal Flats, BC (on the way to Invermere from Cranbrook). Neither of us had been up that way before and were struck by the beauty of the countryside, especially in the bright fall skies. I found it moving to stand at the head of one of the greatest rivers on the west coast, one fraught with history and environmental damage, one that has given so much life to the Pacific Northwest. 

As I post this, we are returning to our home on Gabriola Island after watching fall turn towards winter in the interior. It’s been a beautiful time in which I truly managed to take a break from work and union responsibilities, sleep in and read a bunch of books, as well as get some work done for a non-profit I volunteer for (more on that soon). 

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