Fight the (flower) power

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live in a non-volatile climate. What would it be like to know that spring and summer weather would stretch out, consistently, day after day? I suspect it would change my behaviour significantly. The past week we have had absolutely gorgeous, SUMMER temperatures, complete with sunshine and warm evenings, and all I can think of is this won’t last, carpe diem, CARPE DIEM. I have been spending every spare minute outside doing yard work and gardening and feeling somewhat resentful at having to come inside. The thing about Calgary is that this could end at any second; we could have snow any time now, enjoy this while it lasts!

The warm weather has made my garden suddenly explode with greenery; after this terrible winter it feels like a gift. My Mayday is apparently the Ferrari of trees, going from barely-there leaf buds to being in full bloom in less than 48 hours, a beautiful gift that is filling the yard with glorious scent.

Speaking of gifts, I hope your Mother’s Day was restful and lovely. Very early on Mother’s Day morning, my husband and I walked over to the Co-Op to buy hamburger buns for dinner, and there was a man with a baby in a bucket seat and a very small toddler, looking at the giant display of flowers and cupcakes set out for those last-minute shoppers. The toddler was very cute, suggesting the flowers that were PINK, DADDY, DESE FLOWERS ARE PINK AND PWETTY AND MOMMY WOULD YIKE THEM, AND SHE YIKES CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES THAT ARE PINK, DADDY. I smiled because it was very obvious that, in addition to the flowers and cupcakes, there was a mom at home who was receiving the gift of “sleeping in.” Throughout the day I continued to see men with small children walking around the neighbourhood and to the playground, giving Mom the gift of Time To Herself. Having been the grateful recipient of such gifts in the past, I felt a lot of joy for those women.

I have just finished reading Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and I don’t think that I am exaggerating when I say it completely blew my mind. If you haven’t read it, it discusses women’s health issues in a very holistic way, but the author is also an OB-GYN and so it isn’t total hippie-dippie hoo-ha. More “complementary and preventative” than “alternative,” if you know what I’m saying. There is a great deal of discussion about honouring yourself and your body, treating your menstrual cycle in a sacred way – think “Red Tent” rather than “the curse” – and really acknowledging your feelings and moving on with your life, in order to achieve health and wellness. For example, instead of pushing through exhaustion and monthly stabbiness, acknowledge that you need time to rest and reflect; PMS symptoms are your body’s way of telling you to please slow down. Today’s patriarchal society rewards a stiff upper lip and being productive at all costs, but fight the patriarchy and rest when you need to!

And although I’m all about honouring my cycle and self-care – my whole life is one big self-care event these days, it seems – I am also a total hypocrite. I have been fighting a case of the sniffles since Monday and if you think I’ve slowed down, well, I haven’t. See above, re: warm and sunny weather. Yesterday I felt poorly enough to lie down for a few minutes, thinking I would have a nap. After lying in bed for five minutes I became too excited thinking about all my new plants I had purchased at the garden centre and so instead got up and planted twenty-five of them. Yes, twenty-five. In my defense, I knew that today would be rainy and I wanted to let them settle in with some good precipitation.

Maybe I should skip my cardio workout today, I said to my husband this morning while stanching the bleeding from my nose due to blowing it every five minutes or so. He looked at me silently for a moment, and then said You THINK? I guess that was my stab at Slowing Down and Resting. I am trying to treat myself in the same way I would treat a friend, with compassion, and yet I can’t help but think it’s just the sniffles, I think I can go on. Meanwhile I’m looking down the barrel of the neti pot and wondering what, exactly, constitutes an overdose of Advil Cold and Sinus.

Ah, but we are mere hours away from a glorious long weekend, two days away from a royal wedding, and there is sunshine in the forecast. Carpe diem, people, and also pass the Vitamin C.


  1. Well, sometimes self-care DOES look like working out or plunging your hands into the soil and making your surroundings beautiful while soaking up (triggering your body’s production of?) Vitamin D.

    I love seeing Dads Giving Moms Time To Themselves. It amuses me so much, for some reason, even though then I give myself the side-eye because that feels like a hop skip and a jump away from the “isn’t it great that Dad’s *babysitting* the kids today?!?!” kind of BS that I don’t care for. But! Nonetheless! I love going to the bookstore on a Saturday and seeing Dads there with toddlers in tow. I did NOT care for the father and two small children who were buying a Mother’s Day card ON Mother’s Day at FOUR PM at a WALGREENS. Even if he was at work/out of town/whatever placeholder excuse, Mother’s Day is not a SURPRISE.

  2. I’ve lived all 48 of my years in places with virtually no Spring and a short Summer and I totally understand the panic/resentment of a random beautiful day in May. It’s gorgeous, therefore, I must be outside EVERY WAKING HOUR! Why do I have to be INSIDE for stupid work? Even though I have terrible Spring allergies I must be OUTSIDE because it’s a random beautiful day!!

    I’ve often wondered if I moved to Los Angeles or Hawaii or somewhere that it’s almost always warm and sunny how long it would take me to become blazé about the nice weather and stop feeling like I’m wasting a precious, beautiful day if I go to the movies or am inside for work all day. It seems impossible but surely at some point I’d just take the nice days for granted?

  3. Loved that book, and also ‘Mother Daughter Wisdom’ since I’m a mom of two girls. I admit, I found ‘The Wisdom of Menopause’ at the used bookstore and picked it up because, sigh, there is lots of ‘perimenopause’ information that’s highly interesting. Enjoy the weekend!

  4. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to live somewhere where you’d say “absolutely gorgeous, SUMMER temperatures” and that would make sense. Summer is sometimes gorgeous here, but mostly not. We were eating on the patio of a restaurant last week in perfect weather, and I said to Beth, “In some places, summer is like this,” not hot, muggy, and miserable.

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