Happy Canada Day!

On Sunday, July 1, Canada turns 145. There will be picnics and barbecues and fireworks and much jollity will ensue over the course of a long weekend.

You measure time differently when you’re unemployed — an hour is still an hour, sure, but a day isn’t necessarily the same length, and a holiday weekend is a different animal altogether.  When you’re working, you try to cram as many things as possible into the three- or four-day stretch, have the prescribed amount of fun while — if you’re me — also trying to spend as much time just relaxing as humanly possible before you have to return to work.

I don’t know what I’m going to do this weekend. I had hoped to be able to go to Nova Scotia for a short visit, but I finally admitted to myself yesterday that it’s not going to happen, which is contributing to my increasingly foul mood. My grandmother was born on July 1 and my family has a tradition of gathering for birthday celebrations that it carried on even after she died. It would have been nice to see the extended family, and to take a little trip up to Cape Breton to see friends at the tip of the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes, before heading back to Halifax, the Annapolis Valley and the Baie Sainte-Marie

Cape Blomidon from the 101. Taken from website http://www.panoramio.com/photo/13094849 and credited to photographer Lucybear

to spend time with other friends and family. There’s something about being with people who love you and want the best for you — and who’ve known you for decades and therefore have a better idea than you do yourself what you need — that soothes the soul and feeds the spirit, and I could use some of both.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve seen about coping with layoffs is to not isolate yourself — professionally or socially. That’s my go-to tendency — all the Myers-Briggs testing puts me firmly in the “introvert” corner, and as a general rule I’m far too happy with my own company. I have to work against my nature at the best of times. My neighbours have been good for getting me out of my bolthole. But on holiday weekends people tend to scatter to the winds — even on the Internet, the things that have been entertaining me will be less active because of the weekend — so I’m actually going to have to make an effort to get out and talk to people. I’m invited to a barbecue on Sunday, and from the sound of the forecast, tomorrow will be a good afternoon to sit in a dark, air-conditioned theatre watching the new Matthew McConaughey movie, which a friend has promised to come see with me. After that, I think Monday may take care of itself.

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