MScPl Year One

I can’t believe that month two of the first semester is done. Things went by incredibly fast, and now, we’re in week 7, of 12.  October has been particularly harsh on me this year – partly because of Impostor Syndrome,  but even more so because grief is a harsh and constant companion.

It’s been really difficult. The mourning process is complicated and it ebbs and engulfs like the tide. I had to take a week off from school because I simply could not function. There are moments when I would be sitting in bed, or cooking something, or just walking home from the grocery store when I would suddenly start weeping. For my birthday, I bought The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’ Rourke. I’m using it as a trigger for memories I have with him. The pages I have read are papered with sticky notes ranging from my first memory of him to full-on letters. It’s both cathartic and fucking painful.

Since his passing, I have come to the conclusion that I need some kind of morning routine in order to keep myself in a mental state that functions well enough to keep me from failing out of my program. For inspiration on how to weave together a routine that works with my schedule and lifestyle, I looked at articles like Forbes’ “The Morning Routine of Twelve Women Leaders”. Not that I am presently a highly successful leader, but I would eventually like to be a highly successful woman.

Right now, and please don’t judge me too harshly, my daily routine looks like this:

  • Wake up at 10AM for regular days, 7AM for the days I have a 9AM class.
  • Shower and throw on clothes
  • Walk to school for class
  • Come back home and wallow in sadness while eating a late lunch
  • Sleep my afternoons away, since social interaction depletes me of energy
  • Stay up late to work on my projects and papers

I know, I know. 10AM?! Who the hell wakes up at 10 in the morning? That’s so late! In my defense – I live in a studio/bachelor type apartment, and I put my bed in what I think is supposed to be the “closet space,” so it has no windows. Without sunlight in my face and with no alarm, I wake up at 10. It doesn’t help that the season has changed and we get shorter days and longer nights now, and I stay up late most nights reading and writing.

What I want my daily routine to look like is this:

  • Wake up at 8AM: Honestly. This gives me an extra two hours of daylight – something of value, even if I choose not to leave my flat.
  • From 8 to 8:45:
    • Browse news: I’m going to try out The Skimm for the next month, but I’m also on the lookout for Toronto-specific daily news, as well as urban planning-specific newsletters. Pray for me.
    • Breakfast: I need to start eating breakfasts instead of foregoing them entirely and just having a late lunch at 3 in the afternoon.
    • Respond to emails: this must commence being a daily thing. I almost missed one event due to having forgotten to RSVP, and that would have been a missed opportunity.
  • Shower at 9AM: I have been advocating for self-care among my friends and family, and I know that to survive this I have to take care of myself, too.
  • 10AM: Get started on writing and reading.

One more thing – one of my absolute favourite persons sent me a care package of chocolates all the way from Berlin, c/o Mikaius. In the card (emblazoned with sunflowers!) she wrote that it was “to help fight the dementors.” I wanted to start bawling when I got that package; what is a more apt description right now than dementors, for this thing that is threatening to swallow me whole? I love her so much, and the fact that she went out of her way to send me these makes me feel so cared for, I want to cry. Thank you, Yvi.


Horrible photo, please excuse the combination of awful indoor lighting and a not-so-great phone camera.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the piece I’m writing as a goodbye letter to my Dad, if I ever get around to dotting it.


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