Tag Archives: belly rub

Letting Go. Getting Lost.

I need to do this. And soon.

This morning when I awoke all I could think was No, please, please, please, for the love of all things holy and sacred in this world, please don’t make me get out of bed right now.

Even Elliot looked at me with a sense of disgust on his face; as if to ask Why would you even consider leaving our comfy bed at this time of the day?1

I really didn’t have an answer. I begrudgingly got out of bed, tried to shake off the feeling that I still needed another hour of sleep and went about preparing for my day.

My day was not much different from most other days. As I’ve written before it was all about meetings2. Today’s meeting required a 3 hour drive. This meant I had to get up an hour earlier than normal so that I could get on the road with my colleagues at an appropriate time so that we wouldn’t be late.


Wait. No. Getting up early for a meeting 3 hours away was the complete opposite of fun. But I digress.

The meeting went as expected. That is to say, our agenda was longer than could be tackled in one meeting, but we did manage to cross off several crucial items. Overall, I’ll give the meeting a 6.5 out of 10.

This is a great way to clear my mind and reset.

Anyway, flash forward to 5pm when I finally returned home. As soon as I walked in the door, and clearly after I gave Elliot a quick belly rub and some treats, I had to play catch up on all the emails I had missed. Amongst the collection of emails, one stuck out. It was an email related to a Letter of Intent (LOI) that Dr. Beth and I had put together for a larger grant competition.

Sadly, our LOI was not among those asked to compete in the full competition.


To say that we were bummed would be an understatement. A few expletives may have fallen from our mouths3.

Regardless, it got me thinking this eve. Clearly this morning my mind was telling me something. I wasn’t completely receptive to it, but the message was there. Sitting through another meeting (even if it wasn’t a bad meeting) seemed like an impossible task. I was antsy on the drive to and from the meeting, wanting to be anywhere but in the car. Getting the news about the LOI was far more of a bummer than I should have let it be.

This was a good thinky spot. I need to find more of these.

The evidence was there, I just needed to piece it together.

I need a vacation.

And not just any vacation. A vacation without plans. A vacation that doesn’t have a schedule, or planned check ins, or expectations. I need a vacation where I find myself somewhere new (be it geographically, or adventure-seeking-wise), and just allow myself to get lost. I need some time to unwind, let my brain relax, enjoy the sun, take in the fresh air, live life, and recharge.

And so dear friends, I have decided that as of August 2 I will be taking a full week off. And it is going to be glorious. I have no idea what I’m going to do4 and I don’t care, because I know that whatever I do will be spur of the moment and hopefully full of ridiculousness.

1 And yes, I realize that I’ve just written our bed in reference to Elliot and me. But really, he sprawls out at night and somehow seems to take up more and more territory.

2 Oh meetings, how I loathe you so much.

3 And by a few, I clearly mean a lot.

4 Although I do know what I won’t be doing. And that is meeting, unless meeting involves a beach, a cottage, a perfectly good plane for which to jump out of, a CN Tower to lean over, a beer, a scotch, or no pants. Because these are, by very definition, the only good meetings that one should ever want to attend5.

5 My list of good meetings may not be exhaustive.

Fuzzball – One Year Later

Happy 1st anniversary Elliot.

How time flies.

Can you believe it was 1 year ago today that the wee fuzzball, also known as Elliot, came to live with me? And since that day, I can honestly say that my life has been different.

For those of you not in the know, Elliot came to live with me when my friend Jamie was moving. It was a very sad day for Jamie and for Elliot – who spent the night yowling for his dad. Eventually though, Elliot adopted me and things haven’t been the same since.

How has my life changed? Well, first and foremost I know that whenever I come home I’ll be greeted by a fuzzy face who is excessively happy to see me1. It’s not that I require a fuzzy face to greet me, per se, but it’s still very nice. The greeting isn’t short-lived either. That is, he doesn’t just run to the door because he knows he is going to get a belly rub and some treats. He follows me around. He’s like a shadow, only furrier and purrier. If I go upstairs, he goes upstairs. If I jump in the shower, he patiently waits for me to finish. If I open a cupboard, he’s right there checking out whatever I’m checking out.

Trying to work. Elliot has other ideas.

One of the best things about Elliot is that he loves to snuggle. This is pretty much all of the time. During breakfast he’ll curl up on my lap. In the eve, he lies on my belly and chest. At night, he jumps into bed – either under the covers, lying by my head, or nuzzled up near my arm (but usually only if I’m using my arm as a prop for my pillow)2. And, if I’m laying my head on my pillow which is supported by my arm, then Elliot will no doubt rest his head on my arm as well3.

What does all of this mean? Well, apart from being too cute to handle, I assume that this means that he is content and happy, and either considers me a fellow cat, or himself a fellow human.

I think, however, that the most important contribution Elliot makes to my life is that he reminds me – either by forcing himself between me and my computer, or demanding to be snuggled – that there are other things for me to do than just work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work (otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it), but there is a time every night when I need the reminder to step away from the interwebs and the statistics and the equations and suchlike, and just relax.

Elliot is that ever-present, ever-purring, ever-cuddling reminder.

As I write this, Elliot is curled up on a blanket behind me. I can hear him purring softly, and I assume that means he’s happy – which is more than enough for me.

1 Elliot isn’t a typical cat; he’s uber affectionate – demanding that I snuggle with him on a frequent basis.

2 He’s not so much into spooning.

3 And since he’s a bit of a wee fuzzball based furnace, this is nothing but positive news for someone who is generally cold all of the time.