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A great life is a series of small moments

A great life is a series of small moments

What I’m reading
• Why faux self-care won’t solve our problems. Honestly, I have come to believe that the self-care we truly need is more help from others, a deeper sense of community and time to be able to breathe & do the things that bring us joy.

• People who socialize with others outside of their homes live longer than those who don’t.

• I’ve sung Katherine May’s praises many times here but today’s piece the art of hibernation. Is lovely. I also have recently purchased her book Wintering after taking it out so many times from the library. I highly recommend you read it, especially if you live in the cold north, are feeling troubled or get a bit down by winter.

If you like that, she has a post of her Christmas reads. I read the Christmas Chronicles last year based on her recommendation and I am going to sift through the comments to find more. I’ve been sorely lacking the spirit this year* with all that has been going on & despite being done my gift shopping, I need a little cheer that money can’t buy.


Sometimes a perfect storm of factors come together and create the most beautiful, serendipitous moments.

The Eldest brought her oboe home from school with the intent to practice this weekend. It’s a momentous occasion because she NEVER brings it home. She is one of those people with a natural knack for music and since she has already played harp for almost 10 years, she gets by on very little work.

Hilariously, this is one of our biggest weekends in awhile. Mr. Tucker spent yesterday painting the office downstairs & The Eldest spent last night pack up all of her stuff for the move. This morning Mr. Tucker moved all the large furniture and The Eldest is currently hauling all of her books and knickknacks down while he rebuilds it. Then this afternoon while she sets up her new room in the basement, he will be painting her old room to make it into a shared office for both of us. Then tomorrow he will haul all of his office stuff into the new space and move my desk in from the living room. We still need to figure out a shared desk situation. I also have dinner out tonight, we have a games night tomorrow with some friends, The Youngest has a birthday party, my dad is visiting, The Eldest zips off to a ski hill for some job training all day…It’s a LOT.

…but I get away from the point, which is: we have zero time for much else – and she brought the oboe home fully intending to practice. 🤦‍♀️

I ribbed her about it but as it turns out, she did indeed get to practice. After dinner last night Mr. Tucker and I put on a fire and were chatting in the living room. The Eldest came in and announced that she was tired of packing and so decided to play for us. Just then, The Youngest came in with their blanket and decided to lay down on the couch.

The Eldest played some school songs for a bit and then went about trying to find some sheet music for My Chemical Romance songs. Since there is no sheet music for MCR for the oboe (we were all quite she used flute music. The Youngest started to sing along. Mr. Tucker grabbed his guitar and then they started to try and figure out various songs together. Eventually, it became clear that the oboe was not a great instrument for MCR songs, so the kids & Mr. Tucker just started a fireside sing-a-long of a bunch of songs they all know the lyrics to.

I experienced genuine happiness in that moment. You couldn’t plan it, you couldn’t force it. It was one of those evenings that just organically came together. Everyone was laughing at trying to remember the lyrics and to figure out the tablature. It was just perfect. It reminded me of driving in Puerto Rico and having them all shout out the songs at the top of their lungs as we drove back from Ponce. These are the little moments that give us a good life.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

*Thanksgiving in Canada is the second weekend in October, which leads nicely into Halloween. Then until November 11th is Remembrance Day season for me. Typically on the 12th however I launch fully into Yule mode.

Faith, Hope and Carnage (and alcohol)

Faith, Hope and Carnage (and alcohol)

• Why are things so expensive in Canada?

• The New Escapologist on on a video of a video floating around about how 9-to-5 culture sucks. I was telling Mr. Tucker that in 2002 when I lived on one side of the city it took me 15-20 minutes to get to the other side of the city for work (by car). When I went back to work in 2012 it took me 45 minutes to get from one side of the city to downtown (by car). For most of 9-to-5 history, people lived close to work or within a reasonable commute. But cities haven’t been moving people as efficiently as they should be and now commutes are longer, traffic is worse and public transport is a farce.

Books & booze
I’ve been reading the book (or, really, the very long interview) Faith, Hope and Carnage by Nick Cave and Séan O’Hagan. I have been enjoying Nick Cave’s The Red Hand Files quite a bit this year since discovering it so I figured it would be very similar. I was not wrong. It’s funny because I am very much goth-adjacent but have never really listened to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. So this week I am changing that and going back and listening to some. I find it very strange that I didn’t listen to this in the 90s but I suppose we can’t know or experience everything.

I didn’t know anything about journalist, Séan O’Hagan but it’s clear that these two men have known each other for awhile. So when I googled him, I came across this piece he did for The Guardian in 2002: I Can See Clearly Now. I don’t know if it is serendipity or the universe colluding to send me love letters for change or what but Mr. Tucker and I had justjust been discussing making 2024 another sober year.

For some background, like other people we started the pandemic in 2020 by increasing our alcohol intake substantially. Having a backyard with a pool makes it also very easy to slip into long, leisurely summer days of floating on top of the water with a drink – especially when there is no where to go and nothing to do. By the fall however, it had become abundantly clear that we were spending a lot of time and money on alcohol. So on Halloween night 2020 we quit alcohol for a year.

Like O’Hagan, quitting alcohol wasn’t as much of a worry as I thought it would be. I braced myself for the need to sooth with alcohol and I just didn’t have as bad of an experience as I had been anticipating. There were some difficult moments – specifically when we rented cottages on Manitoulin Island with two other families – but they passed quickly. But of course at my friend A’s birthday party on Halloween 2021, I was back in the cups.

Honestly, I have never gone back to my previous levels of alcohol consumption. Since then I have been more of a sporadic and not habitual user. It’s been a bit weird because I can’t tease out whether or not it is because alcohol really affects my PLS or if I just have naturally gravitated away from the stressful years where I used alcohol as a crutch? Maybe both? The pandemic definitely eliminated a lot of stressful elements from our lives after we got over the initial stress of being in a global pandemic. We no longer hosted elaborate holiday meals no one appreciated (but felt obligated to attend). Holidays became joyous, small affairs. We no longer had to rush around from activity to activity for the kids or entertain people who imposed their unwanted, judgement-filled visits on us. The last stressors we truly have that are weighty at the moment are the condo and Mr. Tucker’s job – and getting rid of one means we will get rid of the other!

[I was going to opine here about how sobriety culture is now replacing wine mom culture it seems but I feel like that would be a distraction. Perhaps a post for another day but in general, alcohol is most certainly poison but so are a lot of things. Having said that, sobriety has zero risks aside from being pegged as not fun at parties]

At any rate, it’s interesting that Mr. Tucker and I have always jived when it comes to our behaviour – both good and bad. So it isn’t surprising that we are matched in our current alcohol consumption. Since 2024 will be the year we a> take up gaming again; b> he will hopefully retire it will be interesting to see how that changes many things in our lives. Until then, we head into the holiday season with a budget for some celebratory drinks.