Tuesday, February 27, 2007

!Hola! Amigos...

We're back from Mexico!
I can't even begin to describe what a great time we had in Puerto Vallarta. The weather was hot (28-30 degrees) and sunny everyday and our resort was perfection. We laid by the pool, drank pina coladas, swam and relaxed every day. I can't remember the last time I felt so relaxed and chilled. The food was great and there was something really calming about being able to wake up, eat, nap and go to bed whenever you felt like it. No alarm clocks or rules. The old Caroline emerged from her cocoon of urban stress and I don't know who appreciated it more, me or Brian. :-)

We managed to strike a good balance between doing things and well, not doing anything. We walked around the old town and went on a pub crawl one night. I danced my little tooshie off at all the big clubs in PV - it was a blast. We went para-sailing which was incredible. It was a bit scary at first but as soon as you're up high and looking out over the water it was peaceful, calm and beautiful. My only wish is that we could have done it together. Brian went sea kayaking, we went boogie boarding and we met some really cool people.

On Friday night we celebrated our 2nd anniversary. Some days I can't believe how quickly the time has gone and at the same time I can't really remember a time before Brian. It feels like he has always been there. We walked along the ocean from our resort into town and we held hands and talked about life, relationships and our future. We ate dinner at a small little restaurant overlooking the malecon (basically the boardwalk) and the ocean and drank wine as we listened to the Mexican band in the background. The people were nice and I couldn't have asked for a more romantic, special place to spend our anniversary. I loved having Brian all to myself and being able to spend so much time with him...it was perfect.

We fell in love with Mexico and with the Mexican people. Every one of them was nicer than the next. I liked the pace, loved the food and felt safe and welcome every where we went. More importantly, and this isn't something I ever thought was really possible, I fell even more in love with Brian.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Despite everything that has been going on lately and my recent (but shallow) dip into the waters of self-pity, I feel very lucky today. I have a wonderful family and great friends and a husband who I love more than anything. Especially when he's bearing a MAC makeup gift card. :-)

I have been thinking of my Grandma a lot lately. This is the first birthday without her and I miss her so much. She always had an amazing knack with birthday cards. It didn't matter that she lived so far away, she always managed to have my card arrive on the day of my birthday. I miss talking to her every week and the way she used to turn everything into a joke. With the new developments in my life and this birthday it has finally sunk in that my life is moving forward and she won't be there to see it. That's hard. I want to talk to her about my diabetes, I want her to see me turn 29, and 30 and 40. I want her to meet her great-grandchildren and see my new house and witness Brian being called to the bar. I want her to be with me for everything. Clearly this isn't realistic and I know that all I can do is take all of the lessons she taught me and apply them to the rest of my life. In that way she will always be with me. I feel happy that I knew her and that I loved her so much but mostly I just feel like a part of me is gone.

My existential crisis is over I think. It was never really about the number, and 29 isn't a bad age. I guess it's just adjusting to a new part of my life, and maybe having to make too many adjustments in a short amount of time. Things are good. I'm starting my insulin in March and although I don't relish the idea of injecting myself four times a day I am excited to get this thing under control. Right now I'm on oral meds but that means I am constantly watching to make sure I'm not too low. We're heading to Mexico for a week on Saturday and will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary poolside. Spring is coming and work is going well. I just got a freelance blogging job (details to follow) which will help pay the bills and keep me writing.

Like most things in life, even crises come in threes: first was my pre-birthday freak out. Now I'm faced with even bigger issues; What book do I bring to Mexico and do I spend my birthday money on a Shuffle or a Nano?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Road Monkeys

Not to get too philosophical about traffic but sometimes you have to wonder what motivates people to behave the way they do on the road. Today I was in line to turn on to Crowchild Trail, the freeway that takes me to work. The weather was horrible and the traffic volume was turned way up. (Did you like that one?) I couldn't help but feel like I was in some sociological experiment when I watched several cars bypass the very long line and cut in just in time to make the turn. The same turn that I was going to be making, oh, about 10 minutes after them because I am nice. My first instinct was of course to think, "What bastards! They're cheating! Here we are, all waiting in line doing the right thing and these jerks are whizzing past me, signaling their obvious disregard for every other person left in their trail." These people are the people who would screw over their own mother in the old prisoner dilemma. The alpha male who eats its competition. The ones who always end up on the top of the food chain...

"Wait a damn minute!" In the game of life these guys win! Which made me start to wonder why I wait in line. What keeps me from doing the same thing? What is it about 90% of the population that makes us angry enough to flip the bird to these guys but not brazen enough to follow? To sit at a red light on a dark and empty highway for 5 minutes? What externally imposed social conditioning has taught me that these people are bad and that by sitting there, absently waiting for my turn, I am morally superior? It's nuts.

And for a fleeting instant, as a big black, fuel-guzzling Avalanche flew past me I felt envy. Not disgust or disdain but a sense of awe. Inspired by the sheer ignorance and blatant disregard for others. Impressed by the ability to scratch, claw and kick their way to the top of the social heap.

And as me and all the other mindless drones united in our efforts to refuse him entry and I drove past the man in the Avalanche, waving his fists at us as we sputtered and puttered by in a single chain of moving resistance. I smiled. Because sometimes the little guy does win.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


My birthday is fast approaching and for the first time in my life I'm not feeling all that excited. In fact, you might even call it cold dread; if you were so dramatically inclined. Twenty-nine isn't a milestone year necessarily but after much thought I've realized that for me, it's a big one. This is the first birthday where I haven't had a world of opportunities facing me in the coming year. Last year I had just started a new job and still didn't know what it would hold. The year before that I was living in Asia and was getting married and going traveling. Before that, just got engaged and in grad school. I could go on and on all the way back to my teen years and every year has offered hope of the unknown. A year of opportunities and excitement and endless possibilities. I never knew for sure where I would be at the same time the following year. This year I think I can guess where I will be on Feb. 15th, 2008. In Calgary, probably living in the same place, maybe working at the same job and Brian will still be in school. I'll still be broke and not much will have changed. Obviously I can't be sure of any of this and things could always happen but I just feel like at this point in my life a lot of the big decisions are made. Marriage, a career, a house, a city. This is my life, my real life.

For so many years I looked forward to when my "real, adult" life started. I imagined what it would be like to own a home and put down roots and drive to the office everyday. At 25 I thought I would have a family by now and I would be at least a part-time writer, writing witty columns in the newspaper or plugging away on another book. I thought I would be shopping at nice stores and not worrying about the bills. It's not that I don't like my life because I do, I've just never had the same life for so long.

I think some of this is coming from the whole diabetes thing which has kind of bitch-slapped me when I least expected it. Just when I thought I was getting things together, something like that comes along and turns it all upside down. When I said I wanted a little more of the unexpected, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

I feel annoyed at myself because I've always loved birthdays and could never understand those people who moped around in stodgy anticipation of the big day. My birthday has always been a cause for celebration, another year behind and a fresh start with a new number attached to my identity. It's just such a cliche to feel the way I do. I hate cliches. (almost as much as I hate computer programs that refuse to automatically add the accent on the "e" in cliche).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007