Personal: Reflections in the Age of Covid-19 – Part 4

Here we go again. On Friday afternoon, the Ontario government announced new restrictions in the province, and the news really got me down. I was so sad. Pre-announcement, I knew there was a possibility of restrictions on account of an increase in cases of the Omricon variant, but I was remaining hopeful that the worst of this pandemic was behind us, and we’d be forging ahead with antigen tests and boosters. Instead, we’re back to what it seems to me like the beginning of the pandemic. We’re not quite in full lockdown mode, but we’re now limited to having a maximum of 10 people in our homes and reduced capacity at restaurants and event venues. It’s not even that socializing with 10 or fewer people in my home is what’s really bothering me. It’s that restrictions have come back into effect. We’ve lived nearly two years of pandemic life, and it feels like we’ve made zero progress!

I know we’ve made progress. I do. The beginning of the pandemic was horrific. So many lives were lost. We didn’t know much about the spread, vaccines, and tests. Now, we do.

I know that I’m lucky. I live in Canada where I have had access to vaccines. I have a stable job that I love. I have been able to visit with my family and friends fairly regularly (and safely). We are healthy.

Even though I recognize these things, the ongoing “stay-at-home and limit interactions” guide is tiring. I know I’m not alone.


Work brings me a lot of joy. Overall, every day, I’m so grateful and excited to do the work that I do. Some days are better than others, of course. On the great days, my students are actively engaged in class, and our discussions are interesting. I have time to read and think and plan. I have productive meetings with colleagues (who I have now officially met in person once!). I feel happy to be in my gorgeous home office (and avoid a long commute in winter weather). On the tough days, I am drained. I am unmotivated. I am tired. I don’t want to open my computer. I don’t want to talk to anyone. I don’t want to see myself on Zoom. It’s hard to start my work day.

During the fall term, I was preparing to start teaching in person in the winter term. I set up my office at work, and I spent time thinking about how my existing online course would be transformed to the in person environment. I met my colleagues. I bought a parking pass. Last week, the university announced that we’d be starting the winter term online. The planning and replanning has been tiring.

Flexibility and adaptability continue to be two characteristics that I must continue to draw on!


In my last Covid-19 reflection post in February 2021, I wasn’t seeing people so regularly. I had bubble people, and I didn’t expand my bubble so much. I wasn’t vaccinated. Since then, my life has changed a lot! Once my family and friends were vaccinated, we started socializing fairly regularly. We spent a lot of time outside throughout the winter, spring, and summer. By the end of summer and beginning of fall, people were socializing inside, and my personal life felt normal(ish) again.

Since February 2021, I bought a house with my beau, and we each sold our previous homes. Buying and selling in the crazy real estate market was very emotional. Co-ownership has been emotional. Cohabitation has been emotional. My beau and I worked through a lot of the “how the heck do we live together” things throughout the summer months, and this fall has been fun and relatively stress-free. I could now probably write a blog post (or several) about cohabitation in your 40s!

We both like to entertain, so we’ve had many meals with others in our home, we’ve hosted weekend guests, and we’ve just celebrated Christmas with three parties (spread out so that we’d be safe). Our home has been filled with joy and laughter – just how we like it!

Christmas Eve is in four days. I won’t be seeing my family as I normally do, so this year is going to be different. But last Christmas was different. The year before that was also different. So what’s a normal Christmas? I can barely remember! That said, I’m excited to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We’re going to start new traditions. We’re going to eat, drink, and be merry!

And best news of all – as long as there are no more announcements – my sister and her family are coming to visit! I haven’t seen them all in person for 2.5 years, so I’m thrilled! Facetime has been fine, but it’s not the same as an in-person visit.


Besides the recent restrictions announcement, I have been okay. We are heading into the cold, dark months of winter, which will be challenging, but I am looking forward to skating and cross-country skiing, so I can stay active outdoors. In the meantime, I have been going for nearly daily walks, and they make me feel good. They make me forget about Covid-19. They make me observe my surroundings. They give me time to visit or call a friend. Walking is good medicine!


There are so many places that could use our support. The Food Bank remains a good place to send funds now and always. The Region of Waterloo has additional suggestions for ways to help. If you’re not in the region, I encourage you to look at your government’s website to discover organizations in need.

If you’re not able to provide financial support, other acts of kindness go a long way. Kindness, patience, and conversation are always appreciated.

Be well, everyone!

Previous reflections in the age of Covid-19: April 2020, August 2020, February 2021.

Personal: November Update of My 2021 Goals

Oh my goodness…one month to complete all my goals. One month to finish crocheting a blanket. I’m not quite sure I’ll get there! Here’s an update of my 2021 goals.

  1. Eat more vegetables. Yes. I have been eating more salads each week, and a few veggie soups, too.
  2. Travel. Does Langdon Hall in Cambridge count? I think so!
  3. Save money. Yes. My new spreadsheet is working well and savings continue (even though it’s challenging with Christmas expenses)!
  4. Pass on magazines/books/clothes/puzzles. Yes. This goal has been an easy one to maintain in 2021.
  5. Crochet a blanket. Nope.
  6. Reduce social media consumption. Yes. I think I have. I feel like I’ve reduced my mindless scrolling.
  7. Play games. Saturday crosswords continued this month, but I haven’t yet learned how to play Backgammon.
  8. Edit my magazine subscriptions. I accomplished this goal a while ago. I’m crossing it off the list!
  9. Read more. Yes. Yes. This month I’ve been reading Amor Towles’ The Lincoln Highway and Joshua Eyler’s How Humans Learn.
  10. Blog. Yes…I’ve been blogging three days a week! Can I cross this off the list now?
  11. Bike ride regularly. I’m deleting this from my goal list because it’s too cold for my liking to ride now.
  12. Have fun! November was quite fun. We had a mini getaway at Langdon Hall, we spent an overnight at my beau’s family cottage, and we decorated for Christmas!

Previous updates: January, February, March, April, May & June, September, October.

Personal: October Update of My 2021 Goals

Wow. October has come and gone. That was fast! Here’s an update of my 2021 goals.

  1. Eat more vegetables. Yes. I have been eating more salads each week, and a few veggie soups, too.
  2. Travel. Sigh. Nope.
  3. Save money. My budget spreadsheet is new and improved thanks to some brainstorming with a friend about Excel formulas and pivot tables (thanks JM!). Saving continues!
  4. Pass on magazines/books/clothes/puzzles. Yes. I keep things moving around here. I have a pile of books for friends to sort through and to move into Little Libraries. I have brought yet another carload of items to the thrift store.
  5. Crochet a blanket. Nope. Not done quite yet!
  6. Reduce social media consumption. I feel like I have reduced consumption, but maybe it’s just my imagination.
  7. Play games. Oh yes! Bananagrams and Saturday crosswords continue. I want to get into Backgammon in November.
  8. Edit my magazine subscriptions. Done. I feel like I accomplished this goal several months ago. My magazine subscription list has been reduced, and anything I don’t get, I end up borrowing from the library.
  9. Read more. Yes! I have been reading. I finished Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library. I skimmed through The Clarity Cleanse by Habib Sadeghi. I am ready to start Amor Towles The Lincoln Highway now.
  10. Blog. Yes…I’ve been blogging three days a week!
  11. Bike ride regularly. I’m deleting this from my goal list because it’s too cold for my liking to ride now.
  12. Have fun! We’ve had a very fun October, including a memorable last-minute impromptu music night which brought together a great group of people – and amazing music!

Previous updates: January, February, March, April, May & June, September.

Personal: 6 Things on Mind

1. Books. I finished another Haruki Murakami novel a couple of weeks ago. It was called Dance Dance Dance, and it was great. I also finished The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham. I’m now onto another Somerset Maugham – Of Human Bondage – and I think it’s going to take me a while to get through as it’s quite long. I’m just about to start Nudge by Richard Thaler to break up the line-up of British and Japanese literature.

2. Christmas Market. It’s Christkindle Market in Kitchener this weekend. It’s a great time to be outdoors, take in the Christmas crafts, and munch on traditional German food (and mulled wine, too)!

3. Holiday dresses. I love that so many bloggers are sharing round-ups of lovely holiday dresses. But why oh why are so many of them $1000+? I’m on the look out for more affordable options. Are you interested in a posts of (affordable) holiday outfits?

4. T&T Supermarket. Oh my goodness. The T&T supermarket (focused on Asian foods and products) opened up in Waterloo yesterday. A friend and I went after work, and we couldn’t believe the chaos. The parking situation was a mess. And there was a massive line up to get in. We were surprised. Needless to say, we had no desire to wait in line for groceries, so we left. I’ll check it out in a few weeks. Has anyone been? Do you have a T&T in your city? Do you like it?

5. End of term. The term is over. My class is done. I have final papers to mark this weekend. My students worked hard, and I look forward to seeing how they translated their ideas into their final writing task.

6. Music. I recently heard Lisa LeBlanc on the radio, and I’m hooked. Lisa is a 27 year old singer songwriter from Montreal. I’ve had her new bilingual album – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen – on repeat for weeks.

The Friday Five: Things on My Mind

I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to come up with five things that have been on my mind today because ever since I booked my trip to Japan, it’s just about all that I have had on my mind! Okay, okay, here are a few things that have been on my mind lately.

1. Japan

I have been reading a lot and talking to anyone I know who has been to Japan. My discussions are definitely making me even more excited. My Japanese is slow-going, but I hope to know more than arigato (thank you) by April.

2. The Office

I never watched the US or British versions of The Office. Until now. I have had a pretty exhausting week, and I opted for it one night. It makes me laugh out loud. I know I’m not alone on this one.

3. The Duchesses

Who has been watching Duchess Kate and Duchess Meghan touring and attending events? I’ve caught updates and photos here and there, and I can’t help but be interested in what they say and do (and what they wear!).

4. Local travel

One of the reasons why I love living in Waterloo is that it’s close to so many lovely places. Toronto is only an hour away. In the other direction, we have Stratford, where I was just a couple of weeks ago. And London, too, is just over an hour away, and I’m happy to be heading there this weekend to see friends. While I do love to travel far away (see point #1), I have been enjoying learning about local gems, too, over the years I’ve lived in Southwestern Ontario.


What do you think about Outfit Of the Day (OOTD) posts that you see online and/or on Instagram? I post my outfits regularly on Instagram (not styled, not posed, no fancy lighting, no photographer), but I wonder if I should keep going. I do scroll back through these photos when I need an outfit idea or when I want to see how I wear some of my favourite pieces, so in that sense, the photos serve a purpose. I’m curious though…Do you like seeing what your friends and favourite bloggers wear each day?

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend!

1 2 3 4 5 10