Claire Martin

Slow Down, Smell the Roses – by Claire Martin

It has been brought to my attention that I have been posting a lot of “ahhh, life” photos recently (check @ClaireMartin50 on Instagram). And here’s the reason why.

1. At 50 I found myself unemployed and diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma
2. At 51 I found myself a fabulous new job and cancer free (6 months and counting).

As has often been noted on #MyBackYard – I’m an acerbic, sarcastic little shit of a person. Until very recently, when life got scary and real. Then, surprisingly, I found myself soft, caring, vaguely weepy, introspective and in awe of L’Chiam.

So why the change of outlook?

I have recently moved to the BC Interior – given up on the Vancouver market as I got methodically priced out – and I am thrilled with my choice.

I am lucky enough to have found a little piece of heaven in Vernon, BC. I wake in the morning to the sound of birds, and I go to bed in the evening to the cacophony of bullfrogs. Last night I heard thunder booming in the hills around me, and I’ve routinely watched the space-station crest overhead in the night sky from my little backyard deck.


I am not writing this to

a) extol the virtues of the BC Interior,

b) encourage people to give up on the most magnificent city in the world (aka Vancouver) nor c) feel some sort of misplaced jealousy.

I am writing this to say that at the grand old age of 51, I have decided to start treating myself to the life I’ve always wanted.

Now, let’s be honest: I’m not retired. I will have to work for at least another 12.5 years (yes, I’ve counted), to pay off this decision. And, admittedly, at times I find myself a little lonely. But I am surrounded by astoundingly beautiful scenery, I am finally sleeping through the night and I am actually slowing down.

So here’s the point of this note: at some point, we all need to slow down and smell the roses. We need to put ourselves first.

So here’s to posting a few more “ahhh, life” photos. May they bring everyone a little piece of quiet in what can often be the chaotic, rat-raced pace of life!

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  • Reply Charlotte May 5, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I can’t help but envy you and cheer you on at the same time! Enjoy the new perspective you have.

    • Reply Claire May 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      It was scary making such a big decision (to leave the city I love) but I don’t regret it at all! Thanks for the support and cheers!!

  • Reply Cate May 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Slowing down and enjoying life not only makes you a happier person it also makes those around you happier too. Thanks for sharing joy with your friends!

  • Reply Claire May 5, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks Cate. My Cup Runneth Over!

  • Reply Linda May 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Anything life threatening stops you in your tracks. If you manage to get out of it, everything after is more real. Potentially you are even more determined to make each day count, maybe your reason for looking for a new opportunity/job? Facing facts in a galloping real estate market……a brick is costing me how much of my life!

    For now your head is in a calmer place and you are more peaceful in your own space……hence, hello I just slept 6/7 hours in one. That’s good, that in itself tells you the decisions you’ve made are right for you.

    I don’t think you are the type to sit on your hands…….or floors……for too long, which is why you are where you are but yes, slow the pace, maybe for a little while, kinda regroup and enjoy the view!

    Your honesty and sense of humour will see you through Claire….you bet yer!



  • Reply Claire May 5, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Funny Linda – all my friends have said the same thing. I think I do just need time to just breathe, relax and recover, but you’re right, I’ll not sit still for long! Here’s to this brand new adventure!

  • Reply Madeline Roach May 5, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Best of luck Claire…you deserve to live your life your way! Keep Strong.

  • Reply David Croal May 6, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Claire — Miss you — but am so happy to hear you’ve found something that makes you happy — having that happy place is so important — and there is something to be said for being far from the madding crowd….people often ask why do you live in Gibson’s Landing — I pull out my picture of the view form our deck — Oh! I see is the usual reply — Big Hug Kiddo

  • Reply Shea May 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Ideally we humans do not wait for the hammer to drop before we are forced to stop and smell the roses, but the programming is strong! Your story is inspirational and I thank you for sharing. No small amount of courage required to take the action you did.

  • Reply aarti May 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Love this Claire! 🙂 Miss you!

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