I realized something important this past week-end. It was while we were enjoying our camping trip in Dyea (pronounced DIE-EE, good to know so you don't spent ten minutes embarrassing yourself in front of the customs agent at the US border). I was sitting in a camp chair on the Taiya river with my husband Rich writing in his journal beside me and my son Oscar merrily throwing sticks for our dog. It was one of those pure happy moments. It could have been in the movies as one of those slow motion happy montages about someone who just died or that touching scene just before a meteor hits the earth. It should have been a simple happy moment but there was a bittersweet element to it.
I should back up. If you've been reading this blog, you know how much I love the Yukon. I love the Yukon to the point where part of me thinks it's the obligation of the universe to keep me here. When I found out Rich had to go to Edmonton for four months for university, I've been giving the universe plenty of opportunities to do just that. I tried to get family to come out and help babysit Oscar during my crazy flight attendant hours, I hit up Air North for a 9-5 job in about five different departments (once even accosting the COO who was on a flight), I scoured YUWIN for other 9-5 job possibilities and I looked into getting an au pair or a nanny. My success rate has been approximately zero percent. It slowly began to dawn on me that with a three-year-old in daycare, a distinct lack of disposable cash and Richard's uni and bills to pay for, my pipe dream of a long and happy life in the Yukon is not likely. Hence my frostiness towards the universe lately.
So what should have been a pure happy moment was bittersweet because instead of enjoying the moment I was having, part of me was resenting the future moments I wouldn't have.
That's when I realized something important.
It was like the universe had enough of my self-indulgent mental whining and gave me a good invisible b**ch-slap.
Yes, the river was nice, and the mountains and the fresh air, but the happiness had less to do with the pretty scenery and more to do with the family I was with. I am one of those very lucky people who loves my husband, has a wonderful child and gets to be with them almost every day. We are in good health, we have a close and honest relationship and we laugh every day. Even my dog is great. She's not super bright and she could create a new dog with the amount of hair she sheds every day, but nice and gentle and great with Oscar.
Whether we are in the Yukon, or Edmonton or Timbuk Two, we will be together. That's what matters. Bitterness was replaced with gratefulness, the universe and I have mended fences and the rest of the trip was pure sweetness.