Urbanite chronicles - Two

Weekdays, I listen to the Radio Canada morning news show on my cellphone before getting out of bed. One morning, the traffic report said there were two accidents on a street I'd drive down every day when I lived in Orleans. I felt so happy and relieved that I didn't have to drive through that to get to work that morning, even though I felt bad for the people who had their day start out with an accident...

After, I thought of a comment a fellow urbanite co-worker said to me: "You'll see, you'll also fall in love with winter again!" No more shovelling snow before leaving for work in the morning, or before parking my car after a long drive coming home from work in the evening. No more sitting in traffic because of bad weather conditions. Winter in Canada really is beautiful when you don't have to fight against it.

Speaking of driving, I spent a whopping $35.33 in gas in October. And I still had some left over taking me through the first week of November. Much better compared to the average $200 I was spending when I lived in Orleans. Now I drive my car two to three times a week, maximum. It used to be more than two to three times daily.

Living downtown is nice. But it's not all sunshine and lollipops. The inadequacies of the condo unit I'm renting are still annoying my daughter Cat and I. Not as much as in the beginning, but still. It doesn't quite feel like home yet... Also, my next-door neighbour is somewhat troubled. He comes and goes at weird hours which is noisy because he lets the door slam shut. Sometimes he has screaming episodes in the middle of the night which wake me up. Fortunately, it doesn't wake up Cat so much. It's happened a dozen times or so since we've moved in mid-September. It happened a couple of times just this past week even. I'm not sure if it's mental illness or drug induced. Maybe both...

Cat has been finding the bus ride to school a bit long and she's not enjoying waking up so early. But when we're out about town together, she says she's really happy with the decision I've made. We're looking into possibly having her attend a school closer to home though.

Walking has been fantastic! When I get restless and don't know what to do, I go out for a walk. I easily get in more than 3 km when I go. This past week I've averaged about 6 km a day even though my aim was 4 km. The scenery and my curiosity contribute to keeping me distracted enough so that it doesn't feel like a workout. And on days when I'm too busy to go, I miss my walk. Oh, and I've discovered a beautiful walking path! More nature, less city, but oh so lovely. And it's just a few minutes away from my home.

As I was walking the other day, I felt very happy to be living downtown. I had a little moment when I remembered being a teenager thinking how I would love to be living here. Now I am!

I have a feeling that this won't be forever. Even though this city is beautiful, I feel like I might grow tired of downtown Ottawa. That I might end up moving to a completely different city some day. Maybe Montreal, Toronto, Quebec or Vancouver. Or maybe even a different country. Or maybe to the country or a cabin in the woods... Who knows? Even though I'm very much a routine-loving type of person, I also feel like I have the adventurous spirit of an explorer. I'm open and willing to see what else is out there...

Elgin Street - Where I was walking when I remembered my teenage wish to live downtown.

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