Annus Mutatio


If you've watched The Crown or are a Royal watcher, you might be familiar with the year the Queen dubbed their Annus Horribilis, or their most horrible year. If Heather and I were to put a latin name to our 2023 it might be Annus Mutatio, or the year of change. 
We spent much of January in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Heather was working with her editor on her memoir, while I did a tremendous amount of walking and taking pictures. While our big change was still to come, I made a significant personal adjustment during these weeks in Mexico of wearing my glasses more regularly. I got into the habit of looking for hummingbirds. In order to see them at a distance I had to have my glasses on. So, I never went anywhere without them. They say it take seven weeks to form a habit. I did it in four. I'm ending the year as a very regular wearer of glasses. In fact, on the few occasions when I leave them behind, I feel awkward and uncomfortable.

On our return to Canada, there seemed to be a greater urgency around revenue generation. We hit the ground running intent on growing our business to help ease the pressures around paying a large mortgage and ourselves. We gave it the good ole college try but finally reached a point when we asked the question of ourselves about downsizing. It became very clear very quickly, that if we wanted to have the quality of life that we desired, freer of constant concerns around money, we had to reduce our physical footprint and reduce or eliminate our debt load. 

Almost immediately, we got into a conversation with Josh and Ashlee about buying our house. At the same time we started exploring different housing options. In a matter of weeks, we had started our conversations with SEED Homes and put an offer on land in High River. There was a long and mucky middle to this story, but we are ending the year with me typing at our dining table in the wee hours of New Year's Eve morning, looking out our windows at 4th avenue south east in High River. 

Through our months of being between homes and living in seven different situations, Heather and I formed a new way of connecting and passing the time. We played Canasta. We played Canasta several times a day. We have played hundreds of games. This was completely new for us. Though the game may change, the habit of playing something will not.
I have had to learn to adapt with my painting. Leaving a large studio and being in a variety of different living situations meant I had to improvise, not just where to paint, but where to build boxes and facilitate shipping. Even though we are in our new house, I'm going to have to do the same here until Birdsong Studio 3.0 gets completed, placed, unfolded and set up on our land in High River. 
We are ending the year with a strong need to nestle and settle in our new home. I think we are both feeling a pent up desire to create with careless abandon. We want to get to work doing what we do without the impediments of being displaced and making do with what we have. When we are fully set up in High River, we will be like puppies unleashed into a forest of endless smells and curiosities. 

A few words of gratitude. We couldn't have made it through this year without a lot of help. To the families who let us use their homes and beds; to Corinne and Chris for watching Coco and Shay; to Brian and Dale for watching Heather's house plants; to Josh and Ashlee for buying our Elma Street home and allowing us to finish where we started up in the loft; to our respective families for cheering us on and supporting us from a distance; to my art and Ideal Protein clients for their infinite patience and understanding; and to the SEED Homes teams for walking with us hand-in-hand through this great adventure and getting us home for Christmas.


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