Fall Days

This morning was a delicious taste of fall.  It was cool and crisp with just the perfect slant of the sun.  I remember thinking how I missed this living in Vancouver where we only got teases of fall before the rains would begin.  And yet by this evening I’m missing Simon Fraser once again.  It is hard to let go of something that has been such an enduring part of one’s life.  A place where one has felt safe and cherished.  Where one’s expertise and skill were sought out, instead of always being the one seeking.  At Simon Fraser jobs fell into my lap. I applied for many positions and never once was unsuccessful – I never worried about what was around the next corner.  I always knew something exciting and challenging would be offered.

I’ve been asked for minor edits on the concluding chapter of my dissertation.  If I sat down and completed them, they would be finished in less than an afternoon.  But I’ve put it to the bottom of the pile for now.  My students need me to mark and provide feedback, I need to lesson plan.  I need to bake Matt’s birthday cake.

Excuses.  I feel the last snip of the aprons ribbons coming.  Saying farewell to SFU forever.  I thought it would be easy to say adieu but it’s not.  Of course it’s magnified by the fact that I have no real home at UBC-O (despite many, many lovely friends) and I am the new kid on the block at OC.  I’m so tired of trying so hard to carve out a place for myself.  I had a perfectly lovely home at SFU, why do I always make things much more difficult than they need to be?

And yet I do love the Okanagan so.  And the children are truly happy here.  It has been a good move.  I have to keep chanting that over and over to myself in times like this.  Change is always hard.  Uncertain change even more so.

When I was a young woman, I embraced danger.  There was a time in my life when I was a bit of a risk-taker.  Surfing, rock-climbing, thriving on fear.  The terror of being slammed into the sandy bottom of the ocean, losing the earth for moment, terror taking over until calm returned.  Just once I remember being a terrible belay on the edge of a cliff, looking down and letting fear freeze me.  My climbing partner rappelled down and yelled at me all the way back to the car.  Fear had taken over.  But it was momentary.  I cliff-jumped, certain I would be fine.  Free-falling into the ocean without the slightest twinge.  But now I’m so cautious.  My decisions don’t just affect me.  Was this the right move?  Would we have been better with the status quo?

I have to remind myself.  Be brave, little chicken.  Life is good, I am blessed.  Move on with eagerness not fear.  Old age is still miles away.

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