Happy Fourth of July, American friends! We up here in the north celebrated Canada Day this weekend, and I'd wager that most of the country is still hung over.
So y'all keep it turnt, but stay safe.
Here at the Eco Lodge, we hosted a weekend of fun and excitement with some friends who braved the long drive up from the big city, and some unseasonably cold weather, to party with us.
It has been cold here. While the eastern part of the continent seems to be enduring a major heat wave, we've had rain and chilly weather more or less since we moved into the lodge.
Some of us braved the glacial lakes nearby anyway.
It was nice to have people come up. The friends who came are closer to Arthur and Megan than they are to me, but that was fine, too. They're great people, and I enjoyed spending time with them.
As did Lucy.
That said, I think one of the most liberating and revolutionary things about being adult, for me, is feeling like I don't have to automatically throw myself into everything that the group is doing.
I can take time for me, and do what's best for myself, instead of feeling obligated to tag along when my heart's not really into it.
In my twenties I would have been more fixated on whether I was fitting in and looking cool.
These days, I'm more focused on getting a good night's sleep.
So I didn't rage as hard as the rest of the crew. I took time for myself when I needed it. I went to sleep early and I didn't really worry about whether or not I was being sufficiently cool.
I think it was the correct decision.
I've been pretty preoccupied and stressed out the last few weeks. Career stuff is still weighing on me, and I would do well to just step back and breathe and focus on other things for a while.
I've been trying to do that.
The stress seeps into other aspects of my life, and I can see how it affects my mental health.
The friends who came up this weekend were three married couples, and adding Arthur and Megan to the mix made for eight people in happy relationships, and me.
I found it easy to feel sorry for myself in that environment, and to indulge in self-pity and just bullshit mental behaviour.
Also the less I drink, the more even just a little alcohol will have a detrimental effect on my mental health.
So I'm learning to adapt to that.
And trying to avoid being dragged into the downward spiral of terrible, terrible news and acrimony from south of the border, which obviously has its own effects.
On the plus side, I made some pretty delicious avocado fudge brownies, and some keto chewy chocolate chip cookies, neither of which require sugar or butter and both of which were eagerly eaten up by the masses.
I found a boot camp in Pemberton that kicked my ass on Friday, and I'm looking forward to getting back there and getting back into shape.
And my friend Verlon and I ventured into the woods by the lodge to find a waterfall I'd been hoping to visit, and it didn't disappoint.
It's about a half-hour hike, but it's steep enough to be a workout, and the trailhead is literally just a few steps from where I'm living.
I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time at the falls. When I'm not shooting trains at the nearby lake, of course.
I'm trying to stay on top of my stress level and monitoring the way it affects my mental health.
My friend Megan and I had a really nice hike and talk today and it bolstered my spirits, and I'm feeling confident again about my work and my worth.
It's still hard to be optimistic about the fate of the world at large, but from a mental health standpoint, I'm feeling okay.