things like space and place

I’m in a good space. Recently someone was going on about my choice of home and work locations citing with disgust the dirt and grime and pace of the city core. “Yeah but,” I interjected, “I’m really happy.”

I thought of that as I walked to work this morning with the delicious September air on my skin. It was warmer today after a few overcast, chilly, damp days. Everybody seemed grateful. Or maybe it was just Friday Mode: you sense a relaxation in the bodies collecting at the street corners – hands gripping bags a little less tight; shoulders a little looser; conversations with friends a little lighter. A pretty, smiling girl in a floating dress sails by on her retro-styled bike riding standing up, her hair tossed back. TIFF is everywhere, adding to a mood: white tents and sections of red carpet and temporary stages and other photo op units dot the downtown core. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought of striking a campy, movie star-ish pose in one of them.

The oft-mentioned getting off the subway for two hours a day and onto the sidewalk for one, is doubtless a major factor in my current feeling of strength and contentment. And that one hour walking is just the commute. Having given up my transit pass, I’m walking over all those distances I wouldn’t have thought anything of covering on a streetcar months ago. Sometimes I curse that once-handy card, but really only when I’m overloaded with groceries, collected after work when I’m hungry and my lack of judgement in gauging things like how much that giant Ontario cantaloupe will impact the weight of the bags holding the other fifteen things I’ve got to get home with me.

Work itself is coming together. Changing jobs is never an easy adjustment. For the first few months I felt like I was floating in the wind, unknown amongst my far-flung colleagues, but my [new] manager has been putting effort in getting my name out there and I’m finally meeting people and getting to know those that work around me. After months, I’m finally feeling like I belong.

This summer I joined a gym. Yep, me. The new job gave me access to a great corporate rate and the new location gives me access to a small women’s gym where I go at lunch to engage weights and strength training, but mostly indulge in all things related to yoga. I’ve practiced yoga off and on for many years, mostly at home. There are some fine instructors at my gym and I’m working harder, posing more courageously, challenging myself in ways any recorded instruction could not generate. If you practice yoga, you’ll know what I mean when I say my body is breathing, my hips are singing and my spine is floating.

My girls and I are gearing up for a road trip tomorrow, back home for a wine festival on the rolling grounds of Fort Malden at the edge of the Detroit River in Amherstburg. I may need to detox by Monday when I come home. But right now, being in a good personal space is the right frame of reference in which to take myself back home to my always loving people for a couple of days.

I can say confidently in advance, after a couple of days in the country and the space and timing of a pretty town on a river amidst old friends, my good space will be shining like a diamond when we return on Monday.


  1. Reply
    Susannah September 10, 2011

    What a wonderful, positive, uplifting post to start my day with. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing how you’re feeling, it permeates your words and is oozing out into cyberspace, (well, I could feel it anyway! LOL)
    I also love the description of how yoga makes you feel “my body is breathing, my hips are singing and my spine is floating.” – it makes me want to try it!
    Have a wonderful time this weekend, and keep shining. 🙂 x

  2. Reply
    Selma September 10, 2011

    I agree with you completely about the yoga – I feel that way about it too. It has saved my sanity on many occasions. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am you are in such a good place right now. Wonderful!

  3. Reply
    LindyLouMac in Italy September 10, 2011

    It sounds like you are settling into the new job and are generally in a happy place, long may it last. Enjoy the wine festival 🙂

  4. Reply
    Marilyn September 10, 2011

    What a wonderful positive post; how fantastic to feel that all is right in your world.
    I like the idea of living right in the heart of a city or somewhere very small and quiet.
    Happy weekend with your daughters, family and friends …and the odd wine or two.

  5. Reply
    Jamie September 11, 2011

    Yay Jennifer. So happy that you’re happy. See you soon!

  6. Reply
    Little hat September 12, 2011

    Jenn, two months to feel you belong – that’s pretty impressive. They must be nice people. Great when a hard decision turns out well. You certainly sound happy.
    Yoga – I’m the sort of person who could never do something requiring that regular discipline by myself. Are you enjoying the company as you salute the sun?

  7. Reply
    Susan Tiner September 13, 2011

    I’m so glad you feel happy!
    Now, if we could just switch when you have chilly days, I’d be so grateful. I want to wear sweaters already, not tee shirts and shorts :-(.

  8. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    What a wonderful, positive, uplifting comment! I’m actually suprised that you don’t practice yoga. I couldn’t recommend it enough! Good for body and soul.
    Thank you Susannah!

  9. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    I feel lucky to have friends like you who would be thrilled! Namaste.

  10. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    Thank you Lindy Lou – I sure did enjoy the festival – mud and all! (Okay, maybe not the mud…)

  11. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    Marilyn, I’m with you – it’s city or country for me! Thank you, and yes, I did have a happy weekend with my family and friends!

  12. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    Thank you Jamie, and can’t wait til the weekend!

  13. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    Well yes, I suppose two months is pretty good – there was one past job in which I felt I belonged immediately, so I suppose that’s the standard by which I measure the others now!
    I’m not good at regular discipline by myself either – the scheduled classes at the gym are much easier to sustain. And they work around my work schedule, usually lunchtime, so that helps too. I am enjoying the company as I salute the sun!

  14. Reply
    Jennifer September 13, 2011

    Thank you Susan! I’d love to trade! Though the warm weather did return, it won’t last long!

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