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Pickle Me This

February 1, 2016

Gifts to Myself


This morning was a gift to myself, a handing-in-your novel gift, though it didn’t occur to me that this was the occasion until I was looking for an excuse to spend my free time sitting reading a book while drinking a chai latte in a cafe. By this point I’d had my hair cut and my eyebrows waxed, and finally dropped off my new bathing suit to have the straps shortened—all the errands that I’ve been putting off for ages. I ordered a new green bin to replace our battered one, and bought clear garbage bags at the hardware store to use for green waste until the new bin arrives. Bought some stamps and finally mailed the thank-you notes that I’d had Harriet painstakingly write after Christmas, and which have waiting ever since to be enveloped and addressed. And yes, still had time to kill before it was time to fetch Iris from school, and so I sat in Future Bakery finishing The Hour of the Star, by Clarice Lispector. Thinking about the time I’d been there about two years ago reading Last Friends, by Jane Gardam, also having just had my hair cut and brows waxed—grooming, for me, is pretty much an annual affair; I’m low maintenance, or perhaps “slovenly” is more apt—and how Iris had just been a baby then and getting out for time to myself had been a major accomplishment. This time it’s an accomplishment of a different kind—I’ve been working hard this last two weeks on edits of my book, and also contributing to the wondrousness that is 49th Shelf at the moment (and I’m particularly proud of what we’re continuing to do there). It was such a pleasure to sit and read, and also to get those errands done. I’m mostly very reluctant to waste my child-free time on such things, but then I don’t really want to waste our Saturday/Sunday family time on them either, so then thank-you notes, for example, end up sitting unsent for weeks and weeks. Once in a while it’s nice to clear the decks. A gift indeed.

Though of course gifts to myself are hardly few and far between. I am nothing if not generous in that respect. Yesterday I had another excellent morning, following Harriet’s swimming lesson as we all headed to Kensington Market to buy chicken for last night’s dinner and also to try churros for the first time, and get wood-fired bagels for lunch, and I got to browse at Good Egg. Where I bought a beautiful Marimekko mug, my favourite print, the first such mug I’ve bought since #TodaysTeacup started, and yes, let’s not go overboard, but how wonderful to just want a thing…and simply have it. It’s almost more precious just for that, and I’m very pleased about this impulse buy. Also that it included the Newbery Medal-winning Last Stop on Market Street, which is so wonderful and I look forward to writing about this week for Picture Book Friday. So you see, not all my indulgences have to do with mugs and teacups—only most of them.


2 thoughts on “Gifts to Myself”

  1. Congrats on finishing the edits–it’s a major accomplishment, deserving of rewards aplenty!

  2. Nathalie says:

    Happy handing in your novel day!! May there be many more hours to yourself and may you long continue to inspire us with your gifts to yourself.

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