a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Sep, 2017

Unencumbered… for a moment

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I was feeling squirrely yesterday so I decided to take a walk and drop off some books at a friend’s place. It was a hot and sunny morning and I felt like I was wasting it by staying indoors so I grabbed the bag, put on my flip-flops, and went.

I flip-flopped up the street and past the park, which was populated by a multitude of young families who were also enjoying this surprise summer weather. As I walked by I heard a familiar refrain: “Ok Riley, just ONE MORE MINUTE and we have to go!” It made me smile. I can’t even remember the last time we had to pull that line out of our parenting arsenal.

The bag bumped against my hip as I walked. I thought about how I was feeling in This Exact Moment. This is something I do every once in awhile, especially if I am fighting off a flutter of anxiety that I get in the pit of my stomach. I ask myself: “What am I feeling This Exact Moment, and why?” Sometimes, the very act of drilling down, putting a label on it, and making an action plan, is helpful.

There was no flutter today. In fact, the very opposite was true. The word that floated up to the surface and found me in that moment was unencumbered. When I thought about it, I realized I felt very free. It was just me, in a summer dress and my flip-flops and a bag of books I was giving away. There was no pressing appointment, no device buzzing in my back pocket, nothing. What a luxurious feeling, to be disconnected from the world. I was unreachable, inaccessible, untethered, away.

I thought about how our devices, which we love for how much they help us, actually tie us down to work and to a myriad of obligations that are both real and imagined. They keep our brains in the “on” position for longer than is probably good for us.

For such small things they sure do take up a lot of space in our lives, don’t they?

As I walked, I took deep breaths to match my walking pace. Deep breath in, two, three, four, five, and out, two, three, four, five. Instead of just breathing to fill my lungs, I flicked a switch in my mind and decided to smell my surroundings: a new cedar fence, freshly mown grass, the heat coming off the road. Alone with my thoughts, I walked past pretty gardens and watched flocks of sparrows take baths in the dust.

As much as I hate the phrase life balance, I wondered how one goes about finding this precarious thing. Am I on the right path, or not? I like to think that as I get older I am finally finding some answers, but most times they remain just out of reach.


2 Responses to "Unencumbered… for a moment"

1 | Katie

September 18th, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Avatar

Thank you. Lovely vignette of your moment. May you have more of them! (And keep sharing.)

2 | Boo Daw

September 19th, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Avatar

Good one.

The question is how do we address this? Currently the most important challenge for the average Canadian, and their kids. It is not sustainable and is completely changing (hindering) our lives and society.

And by this I mean…this.
I thought about how our devices, which we love for how much they help us, actually tie us down to work and to a myriad of obligations that are both real and imagined. They keep our brains in the “on” position for longer than is probably good for us.

comment form:

Archives

Stay in touch



Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


  • link alternatif formasiqq: We're Australia's largest supply of expert critiques based on unbiased evcaluation and rigofous testing.
  • andrea tomkins: Thanks Lynn! I'm all about keepin' it real here. :) There's no point glossing over the fact that it took me three days to get over our jet lag, but I
  • Lynn: Last time I was at the one in Kanata, they didn't have any of the giant popcorn (which I am embarrassed to admit, makes up at least 25% of my at-home
  • Lynn: I'm really enjoying your Thailand series but I have to say, it is not inspiring me to travel at all. I am a terrible, stressed out, freaked out travel
  • Lynn: And this is why I just cannot bring myself to leave Canada. You are superheroes!
  • Jinjer: OMGgggggg I would've died on the spot I'm so terrified of bugs. YOur daughter is brave, reaching in there to remove the bag of nuts. And she must REAL
  • barristers: I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!

 


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

Piper is on Instagram

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter