Being here, now

She actually managed to lose the second of her two front teeth on Christmas day, prompting me to sing the few lyrics I could recall to that joke song from years past. And then we went and lost the damn tooth during the Christmas cleanup. I offered $2 to whomever could locate it, but despite determined looking it was gone. But she had a solution: she wrote a note to the Tooth Fairy. “I loosed my tooth and can’t find it. I think the dog eat it.” Funny thing is, she’d written a note to Santa the night before, and left it in a box along with a gift for Santa: a photo of herself, several years old, taken with Santa himself. Oh, my heart.

Both Santa and the Tooth Fairy wrote back.

angel food cake
Yesterday was my birthday. Somehow these things seem to come around with greater frequency than they used to. I spent some time, the night of December 28th, looking through the journal where I write and reflect every “birthday eve.” This is a strange year for me. In years past, this has been a time to search my heart, to look ahead with wishes and hopes and anxiety, too, anxious to find my way, hoping to identify new projects that will pull me somewhere else. This year, I feel as though I’m confidently walking a path of my own choosing, and that my only hope is to continue along this way.

I have big plans for this coming year, yes, but the plans are simple, straightforward, and already in motion. Nothing new or high-concept here.

* I’ve finished a very rough first draft of a new book and will devote my work time to making it into a book worth reading — and publishing.

* With my friend Tricia, I plan to apply for Canada’s version of The Amazing Race, admittedly a long shot, but hey, what’s life without the occasional crazy gamble.

* I will continue to squeeze in regular exercise, in whatever forms make sense (ie. solo runs or classes with friends or team sports). Reflecting on those birthday eves past, I find it quite possible to believe that finding my physical self has been the change of greatest significance to my life, in ways both obvious and subtle. It’s been a slow and steady process of change that started with a simple yoga class, attended on my birthday three years ago. I truly believe that a well-spring of confidence, energy, and trust bloomed out of that single moment, as I built (and continue to build on) the discovery of my inner athlete:
1. the bliss I felt when I completed races, at distances that had seemed impossible only months before
2. my amazement at my ability to set tough goals and perservere
3. the steadiness of routine that I now rely on to keep my mind open and emptied of clutter
4. the embrace of my competitive spirit — seeing it as positive (ie. motivating, creative) rather than shameful (ie. grasping, self-promoting)

birthday girl
So, yesterday, my birthday, was sweet and lovely and low-key. Instead of going to a yoga class, this year I lingered over breakfast, and stayed home and read Pippi Longstocking to my kids. I walked in the snow. I had lunch with a friend. I shopped for some new clothes (ie. the sweater I’m wearing, above), and managed not to buy anything in black, brown, or grey (almost — there was a little black dress on sale for $11 that I couldn’t resist). I arrived home to discover Kevin baking an angel food cake from scratch — my favourite! The kids sang me happy birthday, I blew out candles, we ate dessert before supper. I drove my daughter to and from swimming.

And then I got dressed up and went out to dinner with Kevin and we splashed out on margaritas, and savoured the loveliness of being right here, right now.

Hello, new year.

My definition of happiness
On endings


  1. Tricia Orchard

    I loved this post! How exciting that you have applied to midwifery school! Obviously you are a talented writer and good at it, but I think you will make an amazing midwife! I hope that it works out and thanks for sharing with the rest of us!

    I can’t wait to see you soon!


    • Carrie Snyder

      So you haven’t decided to stay in Summerland instead of coming home? 🙂 Yay!

      I’m looking forward to making our video pitch for TAR..

    • Tricia Orchard

      No, we are coming back! 🙂

      I am excited to come home, but always miss this home here!

      I am also excited about our TAR video, but petrified too! It will be nice to get it done and submitted and out of our hands!

  2. Rachel

    How beautiful! I loved this post. I am starting yoga teacher training this year, the beginning of a journey toward becoming a yoga therapist (hopefully). This year I want to stop waiting and saving things for later. Happy Birthday and good journeys to you this new year!

    • Carrie Snyder

      Thank you, Rachel! May your new path be blessed.

  3. Misao Dean

    Hey do you know the novel, “Sima’s Undergarments for Women” by Illana Stanger-Ross, published by Penguin? Very fun, and funny. But apropos of your plans, Illana is a midwife here in Victoria, and a lovely person. You should meet! here is her blog, but not very up to date:
    Happy new year to you and your family.

    • Carrie Snyder

      Hello Misao! No, I did not know that Canada has a midwife-writer! Exciting! I must look up her book. I am, of course, intending to continue being a writer, even as I pursue a new direction.

      Wishing you a happy new year.


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