Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

As I sit here, watching Steve Harvey in New York and wait to ring in 2018, I can’t help but look back on the last year. 2017 was a real roller coaster for me. It started on such a low, with severe anxiety and panic attacks. Honestly, I never expected to be where I am now. But here I am, in Kingston, surrounded by family, and feeling like my life has a purpose.

Now of course, no NYE post would be complete without a list of goals I want to accomplish in the next year. Without further ado, here they are:

  1. Get back to a more regular blogging schedule. So to that end, every week I will make two posts: a recipe and something else (it might be about a sewing or knitting project, or a reflective piece, or a rant). Stay tuned for the fun!
  2. Since I have joined a gym again, I want to make my health a priority. For me, I’ve learned that focusing on my weight is not good – I end up obsessing about food. So, I’m going to focus on my fitness level. My goal is 4 days/week at the gym – 2 cardio and 2 strength training.
  3. Another fitness goal I have is to officially get back to my running. This means registering for an official race. So I am going to do 3: the Beat Beethoven 4k in June, the Army Run 5k in September, and the Resolution Run in December.
  4. I want to get myself into a more stable financial situation. Two years ago I posted about a vague goal that would start me on a path of better finances. And I did it. I put on my big girl panties and declared bankruptcy. I’m not going to lie, I felt like a bit of a failure doing it. But, now that it is done, I feel such a weight lifted off me. I have no debt and with my current situation, it’s a perfect time to buckle down and start saving again. So, my goal for 2018, is to save AT LEAST $2400.

There. Those are my goals for the next year. None of them are huge, and none are unmanageable. But if I can accomplish them, then I’ll be even better off than I am right now. And that’s never a bad thing.

I did it. You did it. We survived 2017. I wish everyone the best for 2018.

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An Introspective Update

3 months since my last post. 3 months ago I was in the midst of a big change. Taking a huge leap of faith and hoping it would result in my being much happier.

Here I am, a little over a week until Christmas, and I am flabbergasted by the changes I see in myself. It amuses me no end that this move wasn’t on my radar until the end of August, and when presented with it, I JUMPED at the chance. I’m so glad I did.

I am actually looking forward to Christmas this year. And it’s because I’m not lonely, or bored, or sick of my own company. Every day I am surrounded by the laughter of my youngest nephews. The relationship between my youngest sister and I has improved by leaps and bounds. And I am so grateful for it.

Now that I’m feeling a bit more settled, I hope to get back to regular blogging. My sister and her boyfriend love to eat good food, so I’ve been having a lot of fun cooking. Which means that I’ll be posting recipes again. I’ve been playing the piano more often, so maybe I’ll pull my flute out of the closet too. I’ve been exercising, and as a “Christmas Bonus”, my sister got me a membership to Planet Fitness. I even slogged through a snowstorm last night to go to the gym. Who is this person?!

I have learned a lot about myself this past year. I am stronger than I think. I am braver than I think. And it’s ok to ask for help, because people are willing to help me. Oh, and I’ve learned that I need to stay on my meds. As awful as 2017 started for me, it’s definitely ending on an upswing. And I’m really looking forward to 2018.

 

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A gift from my sister, for the family Christmas Tree

 

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Gee, I wish the packing was done already

Even though I am really excited about this move, OMG, I HATE PACKING! I have only been in this apartment a little over a year and I feel like I have so much stuff. But I will get it done. I have to.

I want the back and forth to be over. I’m already thinking of Kingston as “home” and it’s getting harder and harder to come back to Arnprior. When my nephews and sister dropped me off today, the youngest cried when I told him I’d see him tomorrow: “No, I come.” It was so sweet.

Anyway, a bit more packing got done this afternoon. Tomorrow I will get up early and spend the day filling boxes. Because I just want to be home already.

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The Joys of Moving

As I prepare for this next chapter in my life, I am getting bogged down with lists. Lists of things to do, addresses to change, and people I need to tell.

This week I’ve already tackled a few things on those lists. I have spoken to my insurance agent, my bank, my doctor, my pharmacist, my Ontario Works case worker, the outreach recovery program coordinator. Tomorrow I will tell my great-aunt Audrey that I’m moving. 

I am really excited about this move. I am making the most of this chance to start over. I just wish I was finished packing already.

My life is full of lists

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Here I go again…turning my life upside down

Some big changes are on the horizon for me. And I’m not going to lie, they scare me. Because they mean I’ll be living with people again. But I was presented with an opportunity that should benefit everyone involved.

So, here goes: I’m moving to Kingston. My sister and her boyfriend have offered me a job. I’ll be babysitting my nephews. And because of their schedules, I should be able to pick up about 10 hours a week at one of the nearby stores.

I’ve been trying it out for the past week and I’m really enjoying getting to know my youngest nephews better. And my sister and I have been spending time together, going for walks, watching movies, baking and cooking, sewing.

I’ve been in Arnprior for almost 2 years now and honestly, I still feel like an outsider most of the time. So, I think a change is just what the doctor ordered.

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Small Town Living

After almost 2 years, I think small town living is growing on me. People recognize me when I go out, go into stores, or the library. The staff at my pharmacy knows my name. The library staff recognize me and know if I have books on hold. When I’m out walking, people wave at me.

And funny stuff happens when you live in a small town. An innocent conversation about my hobbies can lead to connections. My friend from Ottawa, Darlene, came to hang out today. In her words, she felt like “playing”, so we went for lunch, we DID NOT have ice cream for dessert (the ice cream was DELICIOUS), and we poked around in a few stores. While we were in Dollarama, I said I could make a dish towel ditty bag for her (anyone familiar with Brownies and Girl Guides knows what a ditty bag is). As we were talking, a woman in the aisle said it must be nice to know someone who sews. She went on to say that she always has to get her pants hemmed. After further conversation, I gave her my number, and she told me anytime I wanted to spend time by the water, I was welcome to come to her place. So I told her I would gladly trade hemming services for time at the water. We’ll see what happens.

In other news, I have an appointment with my Ontario Works caseworker this week, and I’ve decided I’m going to start looking for work after Labour Day. I’ll start with something part-time and go from there. I feel ready.

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Robert Simpson Park, Arnprior

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I’m Still Here…and I’m Still Moving Forward

I know it has been over a week since I posted. And in that time I’ve really been paying attention to my moods. And I’m beginning to wonder if the combination of my anti-depressant with my hormonal birth control might be causing some mood swings. I will be bringing it up with my case worker this week, and my doctor next Monday. I’m still waiting for an appointment with the county’s psychiatrist, but it’s on my list of things to mention to him.

However, the point of this post is not to talk about my moods. But rather, to share some of the fun things I’ve been up to lately.

I’m really enjoying the outreach program. Not only have I met some interesting people, but I’m doing things that I never thought I’d be doing. Since starting my “therapeutic journal”, I’ve been dabbling with drawing and colour. Specifically, I’ve been playing with oil pastels. And while I’m certainly not spectacular at it, I love it. I find it very soothing to blend colours and try to recreate  pictures that I’ve taken.

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Stormy Seas

A little over a week ago, I spent some wonderful time with a former friend of my mother’s. It was really good for me to have some gaps filled in, especially since my mother and I didn’t talk for 5 years after my father died. This former friend was able to do that for me. She may not know this, but she helped me to remember some things about both of my parents, good and bad. And she helped me see my parents in me. I see my mom when I look in the mirror. But I see my dad when I look at my mannerisms.We spent a really awesome Sunday together. First up was breakfast at the Antrim Truck Stop. Then we poked around a couple of stores. And for lunch, we didn’t have ice cream. I DID NOT have Black Raspberry Rumble, and she DID NOT have Butter Pecan. I sure hope we can hang out again soon.

 

 

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