Monday, 15 July 2013

Shifting for myself

Boom! #2

Two summers ago, I used the automatic setting for fireworks on my camera, but this year for Stampede, I went the manual route: if I had a better vantage point, they would have been even more spectacular.

Every time I shift residence, I end up doing something I've either never done before, or haven't done for a long time. The challenge here has been driving a stick shift, and while I'm not going to run out and buy one, my confidence grows.

At least it does when I don't stall out, which I've been doing less and less.

Some people have hang-ups

I'm still relearning how to do it: a couple of weeks ago, I drove up to my storage locker to retrieve the important Stampede essentials of hat and cowboy boots, and decided to take the most direct route home. I pulled away from the curb, turned onto the main road, and happily set off.

Flood detrius

But five blocks later, I was confronted with a red light that I needed to stop for, and found myself on a rather steep upslope. Uh-oh, I thought, this has the potential to get really ugly. And it did: I kept stalling out. Sat there ignominiously through three cycles, and then hit upon a plan.

Rather than dissolve into tears or panic -- two things I've also done when the thing has stalled out on me lately -- I waited for a break in traffic, backed cautiously down the hill, got the car sideways, started, got into gear, and pulled a U-turn back down the rise. Thankfully, I know the neighbourhood well enough that I was able to take my usual route with much less traffic, and detour around such issues.


I was still a little shaky when I got home, thankfully trouble-free the rest of the way, but was also able to laugh about finding a way out of my predicament without getting hysterical: that's a real improvement over the last two years.

Plus my confidence grew enough from that episode that I managed to play tour guide with an out-of-town visitor yesterday and drove out on both the big highway and a two-laner, into Kananaskis Country. We had originally intended to go out to Elbow Falls, but the road was barricaded because of a washout from our recent flood. In this case, the bridge was fine, but the entire east end of the abutment was demolished.


My spinning for the Tour de France has dropped off a bit with volunteering for Stampede, but I'm looking forward to getting back to it. There's a perceptible shift in my life again: whether it's finding "the new normal" as one friend put it, or just refocusing my energy and talents to be more in-phase with others, but I actually went and looked at a rental apartment today.

Changes are afoot, and in a good way....

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