Hoo boy we’re finally in the thick of it now, and if all has gone according to plan then Service Canada has finally reassessed your E.I. claim, and they have admitted that yes indeedy you did have enough hours after all, and yes indeedy you will get a retroactive payment, and no indeedy there isn’t a mention of what you had to do in the meantime, but long in the tooth as it may be it’s still a gift horse whose mouth you know better than to look in, and though that first payment vanished immediately paying back what you had to do in the meantime, you know that there will be more coming, and you feel that feeling that you haven’t felt in so long you’ve forgotten, the lack of a particular kind of survival instinct anxiety that kicks into high-gear-permanent when you’re not confident in your food supply, an anxiety that descends in your head like martial law on a city when the protests gain momentum, finally that lifts, and here you are with a minute to spare in the fair city.

That minute can be a mixed blessing though if you’re not careful, as you get bombarded with all of the things that you’ve been tuning out while in survival mode. Like, your cell phone’s back on, but you’ve got eight unknown caller calls a day to ignore. Those library DVDs that you were going to bring back but then didn’t have the gas, and then it got so that you were too embarrassed to even show up and you tuned it out, and now you notice them every time you walk past the bookshelf, and the truck is still running but it’s been a roll of the dice every time, and the effing dentist. And you know you should be dealing with those kinds of things, but you haven’t really left your house in months and it is a scorcher out there and everyone and their cat is out and about. I don’t know, but sometimes I guess the best thing to do is just go for it. And it lifts some more.

But you can’t be running around all summer paying for cover and eight dollar pints and whatnot, so if you can, leverage the rare moment of clarity into something sustainable. There’s all kinds of things to do on a limited budget with just a few up-front costs. The hiking in this province is world class, but if you’re like me, couch mode is so ingrained that it’s hard to get out into it. But if you go get yourself a very used DSLR camera, then all of a sudden you’ve got a reason to hit the trails, because every single friggin’ shot of that blue jay came out blurry last time and I’ll be dogdamned to let him get away again. I’m just saying it’s enough to get me out of the house. So a pair of hiking boots and a kijiji’d Nikon might seem extravagant, but it’s the kind of thing that can keep you in the summer spirit without even a hint of a despair-laden guilt hangover. And maybe when you’re on the way, drop off those library DVDs, cause everyone’ll be grateful, and then it’s one less thing. Y’know?

ITAP of a blue jay - Imgur