2017 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

Fair question.  Had a complete meltdown at work.  Flunked out of school (because I just stopped showing up). Became part of a changeover due to the death of a co-worker.  Got a tattoo.  Road-tripped to Paris (TX).  Put my cat to sleep.  Used a virtual PC at work.  Adopted a cat through a rescue.  Entered a writing contest.  Signed with a Realtor.  Watched my mother die.  Planned a funeral.  Wrote a eulogy.  Signed up for Braille class (then flunked out). Traveled for the first time with just my cousin.  Managed to avoid getting norovirus.  Cruised the Caribbean.  Visited Haiti and Jamaica.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did not.  I did not make any.  I did commit to going to school.  I signed up and paid for 2 classes, learned for a bit and then I bailed when it was one of those… which of these things am I going to drop with Sanity, work and school.  Same with the Braille class.  Survival alone was tough for 2017.  I’m just hoping to make it to 2018 and beyond.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Both of my cousin Laura’s had babies this year.  Both of them boys.  Couple of old friends had babies too.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Started off with a co-worker.  Followed up by my fuzzy Jake, after almost 13 years of kitty togetherness.  Then in August I lost my mom and my world hasn’t been the same since.

5. What countries did you visit?

Visited the US, twice.  Visited a new state while I was there the first time, and concurred a fear of another the second time.  Spent a day in Haiti and in Jamaica.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017

Less stress.  Peace.  Patience.  Love.

7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 25 – Day I put Jake down.

August 25 – Day mom died.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Truthfully?  Surviving it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

There’s a lot of things I didn’t do well.  But.  Survival was the function point, not surviving well.  And I survived, so I’m okay with that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not that I recall, at least, not outside of the normal depression and anxiety.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Technically I didn’t buy him – I paid an adoption fee – but the best thing I’ve paid for this year has been my cat.  Husky has been a light in a lot of dark moments.  Even if he is nuts.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

All of my friends and family who were there for me in 2017.   A lot of bad things happened and I had some excellent people around me.  Those who answered the late night texts.  Who were there for me when I needed them.  Who gave me the strength to keep going.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

There is a long story to this one.  But.  There were some comments that were made by my superior during my year-end review that were incredibly inappropriate and rather hurtful, tying to the time I was off on vacation, then took leave because my mother died.  They revolved around how the place, basically, fell apart when I was off, and how somehow that was my fault.  Of course, as none of the commentary was truly represented in my written comment, and it would have been impossible to bring up as a complaint.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travel.  Rent.  Clothes.  Food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting my tattoo with Keiran.  Deciding to adopt Husky.  Spending time with friends and loved ones.  Swimming in the ocean.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017

Suburbia – the “I Miss New Wave” version.

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) Happier or sadder?  Depends on the moment

b) Thinner or fatter?  Fluctuated right back to where I started last year.

c) Richer or poorer?  Spent a bunch of money this year, so likely poorer. Richer in friendship.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Let go of things.  Realize that I’m only one person.  Tell people I love them.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Obsesses over things.  Given into fear.  Work/waste my energy at work.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Despite my aunt arguing to take over Christmas this year… We hosted.  I cooked a turkey, made cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes and carrots.  Melissa and dad helped.  Laura brought her family.  Horst and Jane were there, with Oma.  Husky kept everyone entertained.  It was a success, and things went fairly well.

21. Who did you spend most of the time on the phone with?

Talking, with mom, before she died.  Then picked up with Dad and sister each night.  Texting with Isabelle and Keiran.

22. Did you fall in love in 2017

I stayed in hopeless one-sided, unrequited love again this year.  But I’m at the point of crying uncle and put myself back on the market.

23. How many one-night stands?

Zero.

24. What was your favourite TV program?

Same as other years, I suspect.  Murdoch Mysteries.  Simpsons.  Bob’s Burgers.  Still Standing.  I’m looking forward to the next X-Files reboot.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate, no.  Wary of, for sure. Less trusting, absolutely.

26. What was the best book you read?

The ones I’ve taken the time to read.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery

I don’t think there was a greatest musical discovery this year.  Although I did enjoy Dylan’s The Word of Mouth EP and I did pick up some other likes.

28. What did you want and get?

Much more than I deserved.

29. What did you want and not get?

More time.  More love.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Lots of good movies out there.  Lego Batman and Lego Ninjago.  Thor:  Ragnarok was pretty funny.  So was Star Wars – The Last Jedi.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old?

35 in 2017.  I honestly can’t remember what I did on my birthday.  Is that a sign of getting old?  It was mid-week, and I know I got a piece of cake.

32. What would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

At this point I don’t even know.  I’m just hoping for a better 2018.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Lazy.  Lazy with a mix of don’t give a fuck except occasionally.  Lots of dresses and boots.  Lots of trips to Torrid.

34. What kept you sane?

The cat.  Friends.  Family.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Josh Ramsay is still near the top of this list.  So is Matthew Good.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The ones that affected my friends.

37. Who did you miss?

The people I wasn’t, or can’t be, with.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I made friends with the individual who took over for the deceased coworker.  He’s been pretty fantastic.  I’ve also strengthened several existing friendships and I wouldn’t have made it through this year without them.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017

That there is never enough time.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

you will come back
convince yourself you can stay alive
and wait for me
and i will know what this was for
and I’ll say we’re leaving
there ain’t nothing here at all
another month, a year that’s all
so you can tell them I’m coming
and hell’s coming with me
someday this place is going to burn
is your whole life in the waiting
someday their heads are going to turn and they’ll realize
you’re missing

– Suburbia ~ Matthew Good.

I like questions that make me think…

Is it difficult for you to look into someones eyes when they are telling you how they feel?
Yes.  It is.  When I am talking about feelings, or anything truthfully.  Mostly because I find eye contact intimidating. I am extra-sensitive.  If I trust you, or I respect you, it’s easier to look you in the eyes.  But put emotion behind it, and it gets that much more difficult

Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. Why were you angry?
I’m more quick to anger than I used to be.  However it’s also a quick rage and I don’t hit the REALLY angry portion that often anymore.  More of a deep disappointment.  I find a lot of quick anger and deep disappointment at work.  Some of the stuff I’ve seen happen to those I care about make me angry.  When I’m disrespected, I find that angry. But it’s not a REALLY angry. I might’ve hit the REALLY angry around when Rick died with something that happened between boss and I but that’s not something I want to talk about.

You will die in three minutes. Last call?
At this point in time – My parents. But there’d be about 4 people I would send texts as well, to say I love you.

You have three months to live…
(1) Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die?  Anyone, yes.  Everyone, no.  There’s some people I would want to know.  Others, well, they’re not really ones who will give a fuck, really.  So why waste time pacifying them.
(2) What do you do with your remaining days?  Be a little more reckless.  Not like, in crazy ways, but be more open and honest with the people around me.  Make sure those I care about know that I do.  See family and friends.  Hug and kiss more.  Find a whirlwind relationship.  Do things I love with people I love.
(3) Would you be afraid?  I think I would.  Well, I’m afraid on a general basis, so I don’t think I see that changing.  But yeah.  There’s always going to be some fear.

You can have one of the following two things: trust/love. Which do you choose?  I don’t know.  I don’t think there is any love if there’s no trust.  But trust isn’t something that comes automatically with love either. Trust has to be earned.  Lust, sure, that exists all the time without trust.  But love and trust come together.  Most of the people I love, romantically or otherwise, I have to trust them first.  So I guess the answer is I don’t know?

You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late one more time you get fired. What do you do?
My boss is a dog lover.  While I think she would be upset, I don’t see her actually firing me over something like that.  There needs to be reasonable cause to fire.  I suppose that technically it’s a fire-able offense… But…You know… if my boss fired me for that, then maybe that’s a company that I don’t want to be part of.

You are unfaithful to your spouse/significant other. Do you tell him/her?
I wouldn’t be unfaithful.  I’m loyal to a fault.  So there’s that.  But… It’s something that I would want to know – if someone had cheated on me.  I don’t know if I would be able to be part of the relationship any longer after that.  That goes back to the whole trust thing.  I guess it would also depend on the LEVEL of unfaithful, the length of the relationship, etc.  It’s not something I want to find out, though.

Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give one year of your life. Do you do it?
Yes.  I would.  In a heartbeat I would, if I could give that someone a chance to say goodbye to the people they loved. It would be worth it.

Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?
I don’t know but I doubt it.   I can be fickle and emotionally over-available or completely unavailable.  I’ve been called cold and stand-off-ish.  I’m extremely dependent and clingy.  I spent too much time inside my own head and am not necessarily a fan of reality.  On the plus side… I’ve been told I’m funny and sarcastic, with a weird sense of humour.  That I’m sweet and caring.  That I’m the person you’d want in your corner – that I’ll fight for you.  Maybe?

Does sex=love?
In general or with me?  Hmm.  Sex=lust.  Lust is a fantastic thing, for sure.  But sex=/=love.  Sex can be a part of love.  But love is more than sex.

Your boss tells your co-worker that they have to let them go because of work shortage, and they are the newest employee. You have been there much longer. Your co-worker has a family to support and no other means of income. Do you go to your boss and offer to leave the company?
So.  Here’s the issue with this question.  At where I work there’s no such thing as a “work shortage”.  Sure there’s low periods of work, but things will pick up and pick up quite drastically in a short amount of time.  So what’s the real reason the coworker is being let go?  Is it poor performance?  Is it some other issue?  How truthful is management being with the “work shortage” determination. And.  Is saying something to your boss going to do any good?  Or will it just put you on the chopping block AS WELL?  I would feel bad for the individual.  And see what I can offer in means of assistance.  But I honestly doubt it would do any good to volunteer as tribute, so to speak.

When and how was the last time you told someone how you REALLY feel?
Define “really feel”. Are we talking in the romantic sense or in the I feel really fucked up right now sense?  Because the second is so much more important than the first (not that the first isn’t important) and I’ve been doing it a lot more with the few people I trust.  I’m still damn good at bottling it all up.  But I’m also saying more.  Which is unfortunate for them, ha.

What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
Hmm.  I expect the first one.  I find it hard to express interest in individuals in the first place.  Not that the interest isn’t there.  I just can’t make the words come out.

What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose?
So in March of this year I made the decision to put Jake down.  He had been my absolute best friend for 12.5 years.  He was the one who knew all my secrets, would comfort me when I cried or was suffering, and was always there.  I went with him the entire way.  Held him, petted him, told him how loved he was, how he’d been such a good boy and how it would all be okay.  Stayed with him as he took his last breath.  Broke my heart, and my life was so empty afterwards. It’s not answering the question, but it is.

Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them?
Well there’s an indirect love in a drunk text message from the other night which I noticed this evening and neither of us have acknowledged.  And another drunken I love you man to a friend I barely talk to.  But.  I don’t know.  I don’t say I love you much anymore.  I should.  I like to think that I express it in my actions though.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you have “no regrets” what would you change?
I don’t like this question. I have a LOT of regrets that I’m trying to move past.   I mostly regret letting my fear run and ruin so much of my life.  I regret not being a little more reckless.  I regret letting my art/writing slide.  I regret not perusing romantic relationships I’ve desired.

Imagine. It is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. what do you do?
Nothing.  I live in a high-rise, a few floors above the entry.  There’s always someone walking outside my window, well below, but outside.   If they’re RIGHT outside my window we’ve got another problem.  Mind you if someone is knocking on my door and I’m not expecting anyone then I’ll be in panic mode.

Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying?
Why wouldn’t I?  And I’d hope they’d do the same with me, if the need was there.

Are you old fashioned?
Yeah, I am.  To a degree.  I like my technology, for sure.  And I find some old-fashion things odd.  But I think I am.  I’m a romantic.  I like flowers and long walks and stuff like that.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
Well, see, here’s the thing.  It doesn’t say that it’ll be the true love that gives the heart break.  So.  At least there’d be love sometime.  Besides… I kinda expect heart break anyway.

Word Vomit

So, truthfully, it hasn’t been the best few months. There’s been some good parts, but… the majority of it has been trying, to say the least. And honestly each time I try to put some of it down in words, I get irritable, emotional, angry, etc and I just walk away. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve done that to this post, nor how many times I’ll do it since writing this sentence.

One of my employees – her mother had a stroke. Then another stroke. On the same week that my one other employee was on vacation in Cuba. So I was down an employee and I lost another, and I only had 5 to start with. Top it off with the fact that one of my employees had resigned before then, and I was training a temp (I think.  I can’t even remember at this point).  With 7 days to cover night shifts for all the days.. okay fine. It got worse instead of better when the vacationing employee ended up getting “stuck” in Cuba. I’m not saying I didn’t believe her issues… but the way she handled it was rather poor. Lack of communication as to what was going on, saying that she was going to call to update and then not, and not responding at all until threatened with discipline. Yeah, wasn’t the best experience.

A colleague of mine – who I worked with daily and spoke with quite frequently – checked into the hospital with pneumonia on a Monday. By Wednesday he was bored in the hospital and calling me. Friday was the last time he emailed me. Over the weekend he was put in a medical coma and was diagnosed with metastasized cancer in the brain, lungs, and all over. By the following weekend he had died. (Feb 18).  To say the experience wrecked me to a certain degree would be speaking the truth.  I couldn’t look at his emails, and in the interim between his death and his replacement, things fell pretty quickly apart.

My mom has been in and out of hospital again. There’s been issues with her blood pressure, kidney function, wound care, etc. Healing of wounds waxes and wanes. Pain management has been a constant problem. And it sucks seeing her in such pain. Breaks my heart.  I don’t know what to do to help, and, truthfully there’s not much I CAN do.

I said goodbye to my fuzzy best friend, constant support system and endless source of love for almost 13 years on March 25th. He was my rock, my constant, my best friend. He was my shadow, my baby and my light in the darkness. He was always there for me, not afraid to follow me everywhere and the best listener I have ever spoken to. He was goofy with his periscope tail, and smart as a whip. Handsome, and well behaved, he loved to cuddle, steal my blankets, give kisses and hog the bed. He never met a person he didn’t like, or didn’t charm. He was soft, fluffy and full of love. And he knew he was loved, right to the end.

Ambitiously took on two classes that I was dying to learn all about. The material was really interesting. I was learning a lot. And I got completely overwhelmed by all of the stuff that was happening that I ended up just bailing on classes and flunking out. I hate myself for it. And I don’t even know if I want to go back to it.

I got slapped in the face by a drunk guy in the elevator. An elevator in the apartment building I live in.  So much for being safe at home.

My employee’s mother who had the stroke died in May.

Been losing a good friend for a while now.  Decided to take a big step back and give some space.  Sucks, but it wasn’t unexpected.

I got into such a ridiculous argument with pet foster mother when she dropped off my new buddy, Husky, that I had adopted.  It was absolutely devastating and such a soul-sucking, violating experience.  She felt I would not be a good care giver to my new buddy because my place wasn’t spotless, because i had curtains, because I didn’t have his supplies set up to her “standards”, and she expressed doubt that I had done all I could to help Jake.  Turns out she also lied about the food she was feeding him, and neglected to give me his full medical records/tell me about the suture in his side.

Fell in love with the wrong guy.  At least, feels like it’s likely the wrong guy.  He’s funny.  Smart.  Charasmatic.  Fucking handsome.  And we get along great.  But three strikes and I’m (mostly) out.  It sucks and it’s painful and I pulled myself way back from interactions.  Which resulted in basically a void in the friendship that I don’t even know if he noticed at first.  It’s not like I’m not generally socially awkward regardless.  But recently decided that it’s better to be friends than nothing at all.  And hey, it’s not like I’m not used to weird one-sided friendships.

Good stuff happened too. Like my cousin giving birth to an adorable baby boy. Or seeing the Tea Party.  And Matt Good – twice.  Silly things like tweeting with musicians, celebrities and getting likes to tweets. There’s been fantastic sunsets that I’ve shared in awe of the colours. I had a lovely vacation with my best friend and road-tripped to places hadn’t seen before. I got a beautiful tattoo of an ocean wave. I got to meet an adorable little Texan boy that is definitely a heart breaker. I got to see cousins I haven’t seen in years, and ones I hadn’t met yet.  I welcomed a new adorable kitty into my life, Husky, who keeps me on my toes and gives me lots of love and cuddles.

I got a Tattoo!

As long as I can recall I’ve been drawn to the water.  My parents said I was swimming like a fish well before I was even thinking of walking.  My favourite place is by the waters edge.  Or in the water.  As long as I’m by the water.  I love the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. Or rain hitting the windowpane as it’s falling.  I am a water baby.  And I’m a water sign.  It’s perfect.

It seems spontaneous but it’s not.  It’s a long time in the making.

 

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CBC Literary Contest

It’s no secret that I’ve always had a dream of being an author. I’ve written since I learned how to arrange letters to make (some) sense. I’ve taken writing classes that I loved (and aced). I had a (stupid) poem published in my high school yearbook.  I’ve had  numerous blogs and journals.   I’ve self-published a poetry book.  I’ve attempted Nanowrimo numerous times. I have books and binders and hard drives full of pieces in various stages.

Yet I rarely reach completion of pieces. Or if I do… I do nothing about it.

Until a couple of months ago. Until I fell out of my comfort zone.

So not too many people know this… In fact I think the number of people who do is about 3. But… I actually did submit a piece I’d written to the CBC Literary Short Story contest.  The first submission since high school.

I didn’t place. But. Some strangers out there have read what I’ve written. I put myself out there. And I’m ridiculously pleased that I did that.

Maybe it’s time to dust off and try again with something bigger next time.