• copyright cjh beyondelsewhere 2019
    the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    the year – no – the decade that defeated me

    I’m so tired. I am tired of scary health issues, injuries, sadness, bad luck. I am tired of treading water over and over every day, fighting to keep my head above that water. The water never stops pouring in. And yeah, this sounds overdramatic and tragic. But I have to tell you, it’s all I can feel. The years in this decade have just piled on more, and more crap. This last year wasn’t much better than the one before, or the one before that. It never ends. I used to be a hopeful, and optimistic person. I had this naive hopeful outlook for the future. Bad things happen, but the skies would be blue soon enough. Only the past few years have beaten that out of me. All I see is grey clouds, and gloomy skies. There’s rarely a break in-between the gloom and I am exhausted by the weight of the gloom. This year was filled with more serious health scares, injuries (I somehow dislocated a rib in September, and right before Christmas I fell down my stairs and seem to have cracked my tailbone), job loss, job departures. We decided to put the house up for sale at the end of summer. Our plan is to move from here to Ontario. I want to be out of this Province, and closer to my mother. The house hasn’t sold yet, and I am panicking a little about that. We are both between jobs at the moment, and applications…

  • memories,  year in review

    the year that fell apart

    I can count on one hand the things that went according to plan this year. Not that I had grand plans or anything, but if something could go wrong this year, it did. At full volume. Three and a half months ago, my father passed away. I wish I could say that was the worst thing in the entire year, but it wasn’t. By mid-September I was so emotionally drained that when my father passed away I was simply too numb. Normally I do an annual recap for the last post of the month. There’s very little about 2018 that I want to remember. It was a year filled with way too many hospital visits, health scares, financial distress, anxiety, and loss. At Christmas last year, my father let us know his cancer had come back, and at some point in the coming year he’d need major surgery. In March my Dad turned 70, and four days later ended up in the hospital. The cancer was more aggressive than at first thought. So plans had to be cancelled and surgery was pushed up. Early in the year, I was balancing working at the bookstore, and suddenly back at my old place of employment two days a week. I was helping with a transition due to staff departures. For a while it was fine. I knew I didn’t want to work back downtown, and the extra money was nice. Minimum wage isn’t a liveable wage. By March, with the extra stress…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    through the thorns, to the stars

    There’s not a whole lot in 2017 that I feel I need to look back upon. I’m not the only one who felt it was kind of a bummer of a year, but… 2017 was an interesting year for me. It was a year I needed. To reset myself. The first year in a long time that I didn’t work in an office, instead I went back into retail. I needed that reset in my life, but I’m ready to move on again. I feel more centred, confident, less willing to take crap, and ready to tackle new challenges. 2017 didn’t end on a high note. All things considered it could have been worse. It wasn’t. I am thankful. I made decisions this past year that made things better for me. I distanced myself from many things that were drowning me in negativity. I am on social media a lot less than I was. I barely even check twitter. I understand that people have strong opinions about things, especially political, but I chose to block a lot of that out. The world is becoming a little too toxic. You may choose to crusade one way, but I choose a different path. I spent more time in my craft room this year than I have in the past. Part of this was because I had more time to do so. Part of it was because the crafting helped me in many ways. I am not hopeful, or rather, full of hope, going…

  • memories,  year in review

    the year of lost things & found things

    Every year, as the end of December closes in, I feel as though I am reaching the finish line staggering, and out of breath. The last handful of years, I see the start of a new calendar year as a refresh, sort of like clearing your browser history and cache. I have felt alone in my struggles through each year as I look around at others’ recaps. I miss the days when I used to read (and enjoy) blogs. I miss the days when friends I made through blogging used to blog. I would read their summaries of the year that ended and feel as though I was alone in having a difficult, struggling year. I gave up hope that the next (new) year would bring about more happiness, because things always just tended to pile up on top of what was already a suffocating weight on my shoulders. However with the end of 2016 I can finally say I am not alone. I don’t know what the heck was going on, but I don’t believe anyone had a good 2016. I’m not talking about the astonishing amount of celebrity deaths (of those there were way too many), but my own friends and their personal struggles, the rest of the world and all of the horrid, awful, evil things that have been going on. Loss of innocence, and hope, and a general loss of positive anything when you look online. I left facebook for a while. I left twitter for…

  • the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    the year of unexpected adventures

    Everywhere you look right now, you’re flooded with 2014 posts: best of; worst of; this list; that list; red fish; blue fish. Reflections. Resolutions. This isn’t really a post like that. Sort of. Last year, I was oddly optimistic and hopeful at the start of January. It’s a rare thing for me to feel that way, but I had such a strong gut instinct that things were going to be good in 2014. I was suspicious of my feeling because it was an even-numbered year, and those of you who know me know I don’t have good even-numbered years. But I really did think that 2014 was going to be a positive one. I was ready to choose my own adventures as they came along. I was going to take chances, and risks. I completed a Spartan Race (hoooboy!), I was enjoying being more creative. I was ready to adventure. The adventures took a dark turn halfway through the year with the unexpected, and sudden loss of Jinx. My husband’s job search took a lot longer than we thought it would and we had such difficult times. It was so very, very hard to find any positive in the universe. On top of our own heartbreak and grief, was the heartbreak and grief just oozing from the news, all over the world. You just couldn’t escape the dark. And I am so very, very tired of the dark. I need more light in my life. More sunshine. Our year ended…

  • memories,  year in review

    so long 2013, don’t let the door hit you on the way out

    In 20 minutes this year will be over. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d still be awake by now but we watched two episodes of Buffy in a row and then it was suddenly after eleven. I took a shower and now I’m just waiting. Not sure why. I think it’s because I’m just eager for this year to finally be over. Done. And I am pretty sure I’ll be kicking myself  a year from now, but I just don’t have it in me to do my yearly wrap up on the blog. This isn’t particularly a year I want to remember. It’s been one of the lousiest years I can remember and some pretty Big Stuff happened that wasn’t altogether pleasant. So, I’m ready for a “new year”. For the first time in ages I even bought a calendar year agenda. I’m so used to following an academic calendar – even at work. To me, my year begins in August/September. But this year, August and September weren’t fantastic and were still too closely associated with the earlier part of the year. I’m just completely over 2013 and I think that might be why I was so drawn to this agenda. I don’t know. I don’t even know what to expect or hope for in the new calendar year. I’d like a lot less major traumatic events in my life. If that’s possible? Please. But honestly, I normally have lousy even-numbered years and generally I do not get along well with…

  • memories,  year in review

    the year of going places

    Like the Year of Doing Things I had in 2010, this year turned out to be my Year of Going Places (Quebec City, Kingston, Toronto, Ottawa, New York City). What I didn’t expect was how much I didn’t actually BLOG about GOING PLACES. I was sure I had. Sometimes updating facebook and twitter makes it feel like I updated my blog. I think for 2013 I am going to make a better effort to blog more and update FB less. I miss blogging, and I don’t actually like FB. I need to kick that habit. So… here’s my 2012 in review, point form. January (6 posts) as in 2011, I didn’t blog much that month turned 36 and had some friends over tried to cook more often, that went up and down was still trying to get over the stress of the strike & stuff in the office January   February (4 posts) still not blogging much, bad me vlogged more often started the Photo A Day challenge on Instagram hosted by Fat Mum Slim & succeeded at February! (With the second half posted on my blog in March.) Jinx Puppy turned 7 February   March (6 posts) my macbook pro died and I lost a bunch of photos. *sniff* I had a horrible plague, that the doctor said wasn’t a lung infection my husband had a birthday and I love him very much my sister & I threw our parents a surprise going away-slash-40th anniversary party at a Cabane a…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    that time when i do that thing where i look back at the last 12 months

    I have been going through all my December wrap up posts and have noticed a theme – I have had a lot of sucky years in a row. I used to be really good at finding the positive and having hope that there will be a bright side coming our way, but I have to say I’ve lost that ability and it makes me sad. Even through all of the negative there is always positive and that positive is more and more close to what really matters in life – the love of my husband, family and friends. All those little things that often get overlooked because you’re spending too much time fretting over the ones that don’t matter – money, objects that can be replaced, work, name brands, all that stuff. What I have learned over the last few years is that Shawn and I just get stronger together. Our love grows with each challenge tossed our way. It doesn’t shrink or vanish. What we have is real and it’s been tried and tested so many times that I’m pretty secure thinking that it won’t ever end. The one thing that had the biggest impact on me this year was the loss of Annabelly. I have had and lost dogs that I loved before, but to this day I still get moments where I am hit with such an overwhelming sense of sadness I can’t breathe. We even have two dogs in the house now, and we weren’t very…

  • the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    the year of doing things

    I’ve been reading through my end-of-year posts and have noticed a pattern – most of the years have sucked. Normally I would have had a stellar 2009 and 2010 would have sucked, but 2009 was miserable and 2010 just continued that trend. Am I looking forward to 2011? I have no idea. To be honest, I am scared of what 2011 will bring. If my usual pattern held up, I’d have a lovely 2011 with good luck and happy times. But I don’t know if that will happen. This is the first year that I have not suffered a loss of a family member in 3 years. 2007 saw the passing of my Aunt from cancer that she only had for a few months. 2008, the passing of my Grandfather at 96 years old who died of old age. 2009, the passing of my Grandmother who only stayed with us 10 months after her husband of 67 years left her. This year, there was no loss of a person in my family. Yes, I have suffered a different sort of loss, one that has actually affected us more than death of a loved one could. It’s been tough and spirits are low, but through it all… I continued to Do Things. The first song I heard at the start of 2010 was, This Is The New Year by Ian Axel*. I happened to be awake and online at the turn of the years and on Twitter Ingrid Michaelson posted a…

  • the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    you’re not there yet

    Glasses raised we all say cheers Could this be the one Our new year ~ Tori Amos, Our New Year @)–>—- Every year I do this long year in review sort of post. I’m just not feeling it this year. I don’t know why. Perhaps because 2009 was such a lousy year for so many people, in so many ways. I’m not being a Negative Nelly on purpose, I just know what has happened in the lives of the people I love and care about. At work alone, 3 people have left their spouses, and I just found out about a fourth right before Christmas. Only that person isn’t in my office, though I did used to work closely with them before they changed jobs. These are not people who have only been married a handful of years. They are in the 20 or 30 years together range. I find that scary and sad. Then there are the number of people who have had someone close to them die this year (including my grandmother). I know people die every year, but this year seemed way more obvious. And so many people died who shouldn’t have and out of the blue. Just in December alone the number of deaths, unexpected and of the young (in their 20s) was mind-blowing. What the heck was up with 2009? No one seems happy this year. Everyone is tired, and overwhelmed and seems to be suffering so much. 2009 was supposed to be a GOOD…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    not a very good year

    I’m cheating this year with my year round-up post. I’m starting it in early December so I can have time to compile all the months. Heh. Sneaky me! 2008 wasn’t such a fantastic year. It could have been worse (it has been) and it could have been better. So here’s my year in a nutshell (complete with photos!). January (11 posts) : turned 32 on the 23rd and that amused me. Gotta love palindromes! planning the final stages of our Disney World vacation in February got my awesome wrist tattoo! was not very talkative on this blog, apparently. I need a couple more bullets to make this fit around the photo, or maybe just one more with a lot of writing in it so it works better. I really need to remember to be more exciting or I can’t format this post the way I want to at the end of the year! Argh! February (13 posts) : my Nana turned 90 was having a mini breakdown due to too much work and not enough time off WE WENT TO DISNEY WORLD!! WHEEEEE!! [which reminds me, I never did finish posting the recaps of the trip! Oops…] Jinx turned 3 March (16 posts) : Annie turned 10! my Dad turned 60 we still had a heck of a lot of snow (boo!) had yet another colonoscopy which found nothing wrong Shawn turned 31 and spent the day playing in the snow started painting my living room (still need to finish…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    all in good time

    Ok so every year there seems to be some new meme thing out there for a wrap-up of the entire year. In 2005 I answered random questions, in 2006 I modified one where I was supposed to just write the first line of each first post of the month. I think I liked what I did last year, so I will continue with that version. I will start each month with the first line of the first post and then I will add other important things that happened that month. January (39 posts) : It’s getting harder and harder to remember the time when I actually cared about New Year’s Eve. [so true, I still feel this way] turned 31, which to be honest I don’t really remember happening. When asked how old I am, I still say 30. It’s sort of as if the entire year in my in-laws’ home never happened. went house hunting twice, which resulted in finding our house (the last one we saw on the last time we went out). Monkey came to visit for my birthday and I so desperately wished she would move back to Montreal (hey, my wish came true!) February (32 posts) : It’s true! [vague enough?] had my first ever MRI health started getting really bad, really fast Jinx turned 2 still living in my in-laws’ basement… but closer to having our own place! my favourite Aunt was diagnosed with cancer (multiple myeloma) March (22 posts) : We’re off to…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    so, here’s that thing, right? the one everyone has been doing? so, yeah, here it is

    Various friends have been doing this and I actually thought it was a neat idea. But I thought I might mix it up a little and not only post the first sentence of the first post of each month [I think that’s the rule, right?] but if something happened that month, I would list it as well. A LOT has happened to me this past year, so I figure, hey! why not? January (79 posts) : it’s now January 1st here in Montreal. [wow, I’m full of excitement, I can just see where this post is going!] dogs got incredibly sick on a treat and threw up and crapped all over the apartment. Had to take them to the vet and have them rehydtrated. turned 30 on January 23 had a week off from work February (40 posts) : I would like them to stop. [in reference to nightmares] Jinx turned 1 on Febuary 28 applied for a new job at the end of February March (20 posts) : Take me Out – Franz Ferdinand [I am in awe of how thrilling I am… I need to start writing better posts on the first of the month!] Annie turned 8 on March 7 Shawn turned 29 on March 15 after interviews and tests all month, found out I got the new job on March 24 March 27 our apartment burns down April (27 posts) : Noone ever really talks about the aftermath of a tragedy. started my new job on…

  • memories,  the anomaly that is me,  year in review

    well, still pretty good year

    Now, I was going to write something long and deep and thought provoking but I ran out of time. I had a bunch of friends (read: 2) come over today that I haven’t seen since the wedding. And I wasn’t on the computer all day. So. I snagged this from Squonk. heh. 1. What did you do in 2005 that you’d never done before? Married Shawn. 2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t make any resolutions, but I did try to set a few “before I turn 30” goals. I didn’t really accomplish most of them. I did get married, and I have my learner’s permit (not my license, like I wanted) and one other one that didn’t happen. 3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes. My Uncle had a baby boy at the end of the summer. I now have my first first cousin and my grandparents have their third grandchild. 4. Did anyone close to you die? No. Thank goodness. 5. What countries did you visit? This year I didn’t even leave my town. 6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? A record deal. My driver’s licence. 7. What date from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? July 2, 2005 – got married. June 30/July 1st – met Cindy-Lou & Carissa. 8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I am off all meds…