I closed my office door for the last time in February. On Friday the 13th. “Hope that works out for you” was the most common refrain from those more superstitious than I. With the simple act of closing a door, scheduled meetings, briefings, teleconferences and presentations, contentious issues, emails awaiting reply, unread reports, documents desperately seeking signatures, my office and my Blackberry, in fact all the things that my weekday routine comprised for decades, disappeared, just like that. Very odd. A little sad? Yes perhaps, yet at the same time strangely wonderful. As one who looks forward more often than back, I embrace the change. I look forward to a life with less structure, with time to pursue new interests and perhaps most importantly, with time to explore far more of this vast world. I may even have time to read books…for pleasure…without pangs of guilt over the ever-present pile of papers and technical studies sitting silently waiting.
For the first three nights post-release, I slept for 9 hours. Evidently, recovery from too many years of 5 am alarms and 7 pm arrivals home will take time. I’m graciously allowing myself three weeks to wind down and refresh. I need the time – visas to get, credit cards to renew, house-minders to find, vaccinations to schedule, increased fitness levels to achieve, income taxes to file, mail to pause and bags to pack. And in true Canadian fashion, these will need to be squeezed between bouts of shoveling. After an almost snow-free winter, my excitement over the past three weeks of flurries, driven largely by thoughts of the pleasure of “mid-week” skiing, was offset by the accompanying -25℃ deep freeze that has engulfed us. I can’t deny it, three months of new places, new faces, new food and new customs while cycling, hiking, aimlessly wandering and socializing in Asia and Europe seems all the more appealing as I sit here in the eye of the polar vortex. I’ll soon leave all this behind. And so it begins.. Port Perry, Ontario February, 2015