Dose of Awesome # 272

Since September, I’d been working on the weekends as a waitress in the restaurant in town. Waiting tables is something that I enjoy. I enjoy the social aspect of it. I enjoy the way it feels at the end of a very busy night, when you can sit down and bask in the satisfaction of getting through a demanding night of nonstop running, with few-to-no mistakes. And, of course, I enjoy the tips.

But at a time in my life when self-care is a little extra important, a part-time job on top of a full-time teaching job is just a little too much. A few weeks ago, I decided to give up my waitressing job for the sake of having just that much more time to focus on resting and doing the things I love. I made sure to do tons of that this weekend

1. Awesome is having an entire weekend – yes, two whole days – to play my violin, make art, be with friends (for a dinner on Friday, and a brunch this morning), and go snowshoeing. I also took a wonderful nap.

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A sunny Saturday afternoon of snowshoeing.

2. Awesome is having completed another class collection of 100 awesome things before the 100th day of school. Each year since moving to Kuujjuaq, I began a collection of 100 awesome things with my students on the 90th day of school. On the 100th, we put them up and celebrate being 100 days smarter with a pizza party and games. This is our collection this year:

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3. Awesome is finding drawing inspiration after months of artist block. This one might take awhile, but so will everything it stands for. I am excited by the symbolism that this project holds.

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Dose of Awesome # 271

Life has entailed a lot of change and loss as of late. From a break up, to loss of community members and co-workers, life has brought its fair share of challenges – some unlike any I’ve experienced before. But, in the process of grieving, I’ve found myself dealing with things with a surprising amount of grace. I’ve also found a lot of positive and some wonderful awesomes.

1. Awesome are the people I’ve met, and the things I’ve had the opportunity to do over the past two months. I’ve had the opportunity to experience a whole new social side of Kuujjuaq. I’ve met new people and tried new things. I’ve found support from some amazing people, created boundaries where necessary, and I’ve learned tons about myself and what I need and want for myself. I’ve also reconnected with parts of my life I’ve lost touch with over the past couple of years. Awesome is feeling healthier, happier and stronger.

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Snowshoeing in Nuvik Bay. 

2. Awesome is showing someone the north for their first time.

After six years of trying to convince her to come, my mother came to visit at the end of January. While she was here, we went dogsledding, saw the northern lights, made bannock with my students, saw the land, experienced a Kuujjuaq Christmas party, and a low-key games night, among other things.

Whenever I go on vacation and tell people about my life in the north, I always experience a re-kindled love of all the things my life has come to be over the past several years. But, showing someone the north for the first time is even greater. And for such a reminder of why I am where I love to be, I couldn’t have asked for better timing.

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Dogsledding with George Kauki.

3. Awesome is learning something new. During my Christmas holiday, I gave in and bought myself a violin. The violin is right up there with the harmonica as the world’s most beautiful sound, and for years, I’ve dreamed of being able to play. Upon returning to Kuujjuaq after my holiday, I started taking lessons and, though it’s slow-going, I’m making progress and can actually produce sounds that resemble something other than a dying cat. I can even play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” (on a good day). Perhaps I will be ready to perform at Kuujjuaq’s next Aqpik Jam?

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I realize I’m holding it wrong, but it was my first time trying my violin 🙂

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