Airport Arrival Protocol
I flew out of Victoria International Airport in British Columbia, with a short layover at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Ontario, to arrive at my final destination of Nova Scotia and the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. All those arriving in Halifax had to fill out a COVID check-in document, and could not leave the airport before doing so. This document wanted to know my originating departure location, where I would be staying in Nova Scotia and who I would be staying with. It also required my email and telephone number. It was 12:00am in the morning. I did as required, with plans to read the quarantine protocol sheet I was give when I was home and settled in my cabin up in the low mountain.
Atlantic Canada has been the envy of the central and western Canadian provinces, with its low numbers of COVID cases because of the Atlantic Bubble. The Atlantic Bubble describes a COVID protocol within the Atlantic Provinces. Those traveling within the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland did not have to quarantine for 14 days. Anyone coming into the Atlantic Bubble had to quarantine for 14 days.
Recently, with this second COVID wave in action, the bubble has been burst.
Anyone entering a Maritime province, either from another province or internationally, has to quarantine for 14 days.
I call it quarantine rather than self-isolation – because I have to stay put. I cannot leave my property. I cannot be near anyone who visits me – such as when I have groceries delivered. I sit inside, watching my groceries being placed on the front deck, like a puppy staring out the window! The delivery driver drives away. I open the door and bring groceries inside.
Government Check In
Once I was settled in, I read the quarantine protocol sheet and found myself at a loss about the indicated daily check-in requirement. The document explained I had to check-in everyday, failure to do so would result in police coming to my door and I would be fined.
Worried, because I want to do the next right thing, I called local RCMP. I asked how I was supposed to do a COVID check in, when the government COVID website hadn’t made clear how I was suppose to do that. The local dispatcher had no idea what I was talking about and recommended I call 811.
I called 811 – and it was this call that clarified my inquiries. The COVID document I filled out at the airport would be registered into a government system. I would then either receive an email or phone call from the government indicating how the check-ins would unfold.
It was during this second week of quarantine, that I received my first phone call from the Department of Health. Every day this week, someone from the Department of Health calls me to ask if I’ve developed COVID symptoms and inquire if I’m following quarantine protocol.
As science fiction as this feels, like I am a pariah, I take great pride that the Nova Scotia government is very serious in protecting its people from COVID.
And, thankfully, I have not developed any COVID symptoms.
This time in quarantine is a unique situation. I have absolutely zero obligations. I don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. I can create post-quarantine to-do lists. I’ve lots of those! But, for now – I am stranded with me, myself and I!
Quarantine has allowed me transition time to settle back into my life that was put on hold when I traveled this past March to British Columbia, to visit my husband Michael there who was busy preparing our house to be put up for sale.
March was when COVID hit and the reason why I had the opportunity to stay on the West Coast.
Eight months later, I’m back on the East Coast, experiencing this quarantine that has allowed space for reflection.
Since my husband Michael and I’s repatriation back to Canada from Qatar in June of 2019, life has been a constant whirlwind of logistics, obligations and responsibilities toward our final destination of settling in Nova Scotia.
I’m pleased to express we’re almost there.
Michael is soon to leave British Columbia, and close that chapter of his life and join me here in Nova Scotia, to start another.
And, here I am, once again, settled into a temporary cabin up in a low mountain. This time round though, everything is different.
Because, I’m different.
Reflections of Qatar
I spent three of these almost 14 Days (I’m in Day 13) of quarantine revisiting my Qatar blogs. I streamlined and edited as needed, every single one of them. All 116 of them. This offered me the opportunity to truly absorb the wonderful life Michael and I had there, with all its ups and downs and everything in-between.
During my eight months living in British Columbia, I spent four months of it alone. Michael had returned to Nova Scotia for an electrical job, that took four months to complete.
While he worked on the East Coast, I stayed in British Columbia to be with the house and continued preparing it to sell. I didn’t really know anyone or make any attempts to get to know anyone because I wasn’t invested in this transitory time in British Columbia. I kept to myself, COVID making it easy to do so.
Here in COVID Nova Scotia quarantine, I am again, alone. But only two weeks!
Looking back, I have come to learn that I don’t like being alone. I prefer being around people and connected to a community.
This was valuable insight for me, because pre-British Columbia and COVID, I tended to think of myself as a bit of a loner, and shied away from community events.
I am super excited to be back in Nova Scotia and become part of the small town community of Windsor! I intend to manifest this as starting my Reiki practice, supporting local businesses and attending community events such as the local running club and joining my husband while he performs at local music jams.
I realize COVID will impede on this, but I’ve set my intention and will manifest it as allowed.
Having an Authentic Sense of Purpose & Meaning
I’ve also come to realize how important it is for me to have a sense of purpose each day. A reason to get out of bed, a purpose I enjoy that brings meaning to my life. While this may seem obvious, before my unexpected sabbatical I was living a busy life with its push and pull of responsibilities to get everything done that overshadowed personal meaning.
It was only through so much time alone and time away from work, that I was able to observe how self-care activities such as running and creative outlets like this blog bring meaning, but lack people and community/personal connection. I missed being out there in the world, making a difference.
This resulted in a new appreciation for my job as a paraeducator. I am making a difference each day, out there in the world by connecting with students and helping them to succeed.
My career matters to me and gives me a sense of purpose. While it was nice not having to wake up to an alarm clock for eight months, I did miss my weekly routine. Waking up at 4:00am. Having my morning coffee while journal writing or writing a blog on a daily thought such as gratitude. Packing my lunch, then going for a 6km run. Home, shower, ready for work then hop in my Jeep for the 60 minute drive to work. Arrive at work, eat my breakfast, brush my teeth and then step into my day. I really enjoyed that routine. Especially my morning run. Up here in the low mountain, surrounded by lakes, canopied by stars.
Life is More Than a Series of Obligations and Responsibilities
Since Michael and I repatriated back to Canada in 2019, there has been a long list of obligations and responsibilities to accomplish along our path of eventually settling on our new property and building our dome home.
We’re closer than ever to achieving this goal!
At this place, I feel I have room to reframe my perspective of life feeling like a series of obligations and responsibilities to the actualization of every action I do can bring me joy, as I create the life I want to live.
I didn’t feel that way when we landed back in Canada in 2019, because our plans felt overwhelming and chaotic, and I already suffer from anxiety. CBD now helps with my anxiety, and I seem to have become quite accustomed to identifying what I can control and letting go of the rest.
Discovering What Truly Motivates Me To Enjoy My Choices
The weekday routine I’ve created includes time for spiritual reflection, exercise and preparing healthy foods that help me become the best version of myself I can be.
Becoming the best version of myself includes the ability to discover what truly motivates me to be able to enjoy my choices. To do this, I need to hear my inner truth. So much time alone allowed me the silence to hear this; as well as the important ingredient of being alcohol free.
Alcohol Free to Be Free
To be able to discover what truly motivates me, I need to be able to hear my inner truth. Drinking alcohol prevented me from doing this. I no longer drink alcohol, as I have a history of alcohol addiction and have accepted I am someone who cannot drink moderately.
Freeing myself from the grip of using alcohol to cope with life opened a superhighway to my inner self.
Along this superhighway are uncomfortable emotions that I now lean into and ride out, learning that the feelings will pass. This was never more apparent when I was overwhelmed with loneliness or overcome with fear during my time alone. Those times were tough, but I made it through and heard what those emotions had to say and tell me about myself.
To Be The Best Version of Myself I Can Be = Be My Own Hero
I’ve come full circle – back in a cabin up in a low mountain. Who I am today and the woman I was a year ago is like looking in a mirror and seeing the same face, but my eyes now reflect a woman who is truly her own and has found her way.
I have a vision of how I want to be – how I want to grow old. I want to take time each day to discover what truly motivates me and then enjoy and do what I love. I want to be the best version of myself I can be and fulfill to my highest potential; to be my own hero, first.
Let My Motivation Be Love and Kindness
I’ll close with this. When I think about what motivates me, the virtues of love, kindness, honesty, laughter and joy seem to be a part of my matrix, my center, my inner truth. When I identify motives powered by untoward vices such as jealousy and pride, this insight allows me the ability to recognize fear for what it is, and see it in its many forms. It is then that I have this beautiful opportunity to transform this vice to a virtue, by connecting with my authentic self who is motivated and supercharged as we all are, by love.
Photo credit – Appsious.com