the anomaly that is me

farewell to the old me – #thisis40

So, I turned 40 last weekend. I have had lots of thoughts about this throughout the month of January, but I could never find time to write them down. I couldn’t decide if they were good thoughts, or bad thoughts. But I had many thoughts.

And I know that birthdays, new years, anniversaries are really just the same as any other day, but something about that subtle change in a date, or a number, makes you feel like you’re starting something new. When you start a new decade of your life, you feel something. You might not know what it is, but something is in the air, and your mind, that there is change afoot. I get caught up in these silly ideas pretty easily, and sometimes you might need that.

I’m now 40. There are a new set of years ahead of me with 4 as the first number in my age. It’s a different chapter in my life: mostly physically, as ageing is wont to do. I’m not going to lie, I am not really sad to see the 30s go. I had an amazing decade of personal growth and really came into my own and finally was happy with who I am. But a lot of crappy stuff happened, too. And I’m not sad to move on from that.

I’m the type of person who has to look at what’s behind her in order to move forward. Not dwell on the past, but take note of all that’s happened to make me who I am today. And so I make lists. And I have been working on this list for a little while now. It’s more of a highlight reel, but ultimately it shows me what I’ve been through and what I may have accomplished. And it makes me feel good about myself, and ready to start a new decade of challenges and adventure.


  • turned 30
  • offered/accepted new job
  • apartment burns down (three days after job offer)
  • moved into in-laws’ basement
  • start new job
  • celebrated 1st wedding anniversary
  • had breast reduction
  • landlord cheats us and steals our duplex flat when he rebuilds building


  • my favourite aunt (and godmother) diagnosed with multiple myeloma (Feb)
  • bought our first house! (March)
  • my aunt died (within 3 months of getting cancer) (May)
  • my dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer (May)
  • our car died on the way home from work one night (June)
  • bought new car! (June)
  • Dad had surgery (June)
  • started my book blog
  • got my learner’s permit!
  • lots of health issues for me
  • Shawn started a new job
  • had my entire family, plus in-laws’ over for Thanksgiving in our new house!
  • was very happy


  • got my wrist star tattoo (yay!)
  • finally celebrated our honeymoon – at DISNEY WORLD! best trip ever!
  • broke my toe
  • my grandfather died @ 95 of natural causes. A little over a year after my aunt passed away. (June)
  • lost power to the house for 4 days in an unusual heatwave (32C + humidity!)
  • dishwasher broke and flooded the kitchen
  • health issues, health issues, health issues


  • because of a super awesome sale, I was able to spend my 33rd birthday at Disney World! This wasn’t the best trip we’d taken, but it was the first time I’d ever been somewhere else for my birthday!
  • health issues, health issues
  • my grandmother got sick in February, and then passed away in April (for those keeping score, I lost a family member a year for three years: May, June, April. Sigh.)
  • I wrote in a 2010 blog post that 2009 was miserable, but besides my health and the loss of my grandmother, I can’t even remember anything else from that year.


  • I joined highland dancing
  • health issues and financial issues
  • job issues (not mine)
  • saw CATS! (yay!)
  • had laser eye surgery (pew! pew!) and took 3 years to heal =/
  • had our bank account hacked twice, Grrr.
  • went to NYC for BEA by train by myself!
  • entire street, and most of the driveway dug up for all of May because of pipe replacement by city. It was awful (but needed)


  • we lost Annabelly a week before her 13th birthday 🙁
  • “diagnosed” with fibromyalgia in regards to health issues & my pain
  • my parents put my childhood house up for sale
  • drove to Michigan and adopted Sophie (and I got the worst case of food poisoning I have ever had in my life.)
  • failed my first driver’s test
  • Shawn started new job
  • stupid union went on stupid strike for three stupid months
  • medical leave due to my pain problems
  • passed my second driving test! Woohoo!
  • parents sold their house
  • dying tree in our yard broke pipes under the driveway & neighbours had to dig up our driveway & then we had a giant hole for a year & no driveway
  • went back to work in December; morale was LOVELY =/


  • sister & I threw our parents a surprise 40th wedding anniversary-slash-going away party
  • went to Quebec city for the first time
  • my parents moved to Kingston
  • we had central a/c installed (yes, this is a BIG EVENT because OMG cool air in summer!)
  • visited my parents in Kingston
  • went to NYC for BEA yet again, by myself. Hung out with my cousin.
  • realized that Jinx was an awesome gardener
  • got my back tattoo
  • saw The Muppets live
  • dead tree in our yard finally cut down, hole in driveway finally (sort of) filled
  • went back to school for the first time in 17 years
  • visited Toronto
  • visted Ottawa
  • looked forward to 2013… little did I know


  • stupid guy jumped from a stupid building on my way into work for a stupid meeting, and almost landed on top of me and it was the most traumatic thing in my life
  • my husband’s company closed up his department & he was out of a job (two weeks after the stupid jumping guy)
  • started running
  • ended up on medical leave at work because of delayed-onset PTSD
  • found myself attending the first fitness class of a new personal trainer in the fall and thought I’d not like it, but have been working out with this same woman ever since. And found a new, dear friend in the trainer.
  • was oddly comforted by the fact that while I was off on leave, Shawn was also home (looking for work) and that I could be completely broken at home and have him care for me. I am a very lucky gal to have this man by my side
  • I spent a much-needed mental health pre-Christmas visit with Monkey and she let me glitter all of the things to help me heal. She’s what true friends are made of.


  • started the year still on leave for PTSD
  • spent the week of the traumaversary in Kingston with my parents. It was comforting.
  • completed my first (and only!) Spartan Race. It was hard, and emotional, and I did it but never want to do it again. It was a huge deal for me to get through and I’m proud of myself.
  • we lost Jinx to cancer. Surprise cancer. It was a shocking, fast 4 weeks. We still haven’t really recovered from it.
  • husband started a new job
  • had to take year off from school because of the depression/PTSD stuff. could not focus.
  • we drove to Memphis, TN at Christmas time. We adopted Yoshi.


  • ended up on leave again for the PTSD crap, which was re-triggered by things in my life. Big, scary things. Yoshi helped me a lot.
  • my dad had major surgery, I stayed with them for a little under 2 weeks to help out
  • Celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. Without Jinx. It was difficult.
  • got my nose pierced
  • got my arm tattoo
  • job searching, financial issues, fun things like that
  • had my job first interview in 10 years. Did not get the job. Was depressed by this, but knew I shouldn’t be.
  • new form of health issues resulting in extreme fatigue. Can’t drive due to exhaustion. Can hardly stay awake for dinner after work. Going to exercise class. But started back at school in the fall.
  • depressed about turning 40 next year. nervous about turning 40 next year. excited about turning 40 next year.
  • Tired. Exhausted. Sad. Restless. Ready to start over.

Add in a bunch of health issues that have continued over from one year to the next, I’m ready to just say toodles to my 30s and hope that the next decade has a little more to offer on the happy side.

One thing I am so thankful for from the last 10 years of my life is the amazing group of friends I now have in my life. I am very lucky to have the sort of friendship ring I have right now, and I think that’s really what helped me get through the worst times in my life. Those friends, and Shawn, of course. I have an amazing husband who gets me, and heals me, and makes me laugh.

So, hello 40. I plan to rock this next year of my life. So get ready.


  • SuziQoregon

    Reading through this s makes me realize that I have “known” you online longer than I thought. You are going to kick 40’s ass!! Seriously turning 40 was very empowering for me and I hope it’s the same for you.

    • Cat

      I am often surprised by how long I have known someone online. Time passes differently through a computer screen! The way a person writes always seem to stay the same age, though the person ages visibly. You don’t notice time passing when you read words!!