An hour into a walk along Vancouver’s sea wall, and I’m filled with a deep sense of contentment. The late afternoon sun is shining and the sea air is crisp. It’s mid-February and the weather on the coast this time of year is dreary and grey. This sunny afternoon is a gift, and so is the fact that I’m staying in English Bay for a couple of days. And so I’ve slipped away for a long, solitary walk in one of my favourite places.
For February, the sea wall is busy. People are walking and running, cycling and rollerblading, all of them, like me, taking in the sunshine. And even though there are people all around me, I’m on my own and reveling in the solitude. I am happy to have some time to myself, some time to relax, and some time for a bit of exercise. I’m in Vancouver for a conference, and the days have been busy: I’ve been connecting with colleagues from other parts of B.C and Canada, many of whom I only see at this particular conference; I’ve been preparing for the presentations I’m making; I’ve been checking out other people’s presentations. It’s the kind of professional growth I appreciate the most.
The evenings have been equally busy. I’m at this conference with a dozen or so colleagues from my workplace, and we’ve taken the opportunity to have some fun together after hours, gathering for drinks, heading out together for dinner, and generally enjoying some social time together. I love having the chance to connect like this outside of work, and we’ve had some great laughs together.
But it’s good to have some time away, some time alone. Though I’m enjoying my time at the conference, I’m also feeling drained. Solitude is so important for me in these kinds of situations. Exercise is critical. And when I can also get a hit of mid-winter sunshine and some time by the sea, it really can’t get much better. I’ll return to my colleagues recharged, and with the serenity of an afternoon of sunshine and sea air.