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A night out: anxiety and excitement
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A night out: anxiety and excitement

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I am so grateful for longer, sunnier days. I’ll admit I have a bit of lingering daylight savings-lag. It’s worth it, though.

This week I was invited to a small dinner at my partner’s aunt’s house — it’s weird to describe her as his aunt, because she is also my dear friend, who I met because she is his aunt.

I went to her house, joining her and a couple of her other friends. In the few hours that I was there, I met some new people and enjoyed a delicious meal. This was my first time out since hitting the pause button on my drinking, and I wondered in the days leading up if this was going to be a trigger for me.

Perhaps this was the night that I would indulge in a glass of wine? When I quit drinking, I told myself that I could always have a glass of wine if and when I wanted. I still tell myself that, because this is the journey I’ve carved for myself.

Today I am not drinking. Who knows that tomorrow will be like.

Anyway, I didn’t have a drink that night. I stuck to sparkling water. Maybe I’ll have a glass of wine at the next get-together. Maybe never. Who knows where the drinking pause will take me, but it was nice to know that I could thoroughly enjoy a night out with the girls without a glass of red. (Today is day 59 of not drinking, if anyone is keeping count.)

I only recall a handful of times throughout this pandemic, when case counts have dipped and the mandates eased (or lifted), that I have done something that feels normal and gathered with people.

Every single time, I’ve had these overwhelming feelings of anxiety and excitement — almost like that feeling you get when you go on a vacation. Oh, how wonderful it was to be around people!

I’m still easing into a mandate-less life. COVID is still very much here, so we — my family — are all still wearing masks and navigating our comfort levels with how to be in community and in this new era of the pandemic. It was a little slice of lovely to be among others this week.

I hope that you are all easing into this era at your comfort levels and that you are met with kindness and empathy when you venture out.

Until next week,

Shelley Cook

Shelley Cook, Columnist

Shelley Cook


Melissa Martin went to Polo Park yesterday, the first day that all mandates were lifted… and she wrote about it. Her piece was thoughtful, and really showcased what so many of us are grappling with in the stage of the pandemic.

There’s a clip going around of Righteous Gemstones actress Edi Patterson on The Late Late Show with James Corden describing a recent winter experience in Winnipeg. It’s hilarious. Talking to Corden, Patterson told of facing two Winnipeg perils during her work in February: freezing cold and the intersection of Portage and Main. Randall King has the story here.

Actor Edi Patterson, centre, describes the wind at Portage and Main to host James Corden, left, and guest Bob Odenkirk on the Late Late Show with James Corden.(CBS / YouTube)

Kids fleeing the war in Ukraine will receive copies of a local children’s book that teaches them how to deal with trauma. The book is called Big Feelings Come and Go. Katie May writes about how two organizations have partnered to help make this happen.

Last Saturday, I wrote a story about knowledge keeper Wally Chartrand. It was a really big honour to sit with him. I learned a lot and am so proud of the story I got to share (to be honest, I probably could have written a whole chapter of a book about the conversations we had!) Take a look at the interview here.



What I've been working on

Deepening bond with Indigenous culture

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of sitting down for lunch with Wally Chartrand. Read More


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