i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings.
i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

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 of my dad’s health, I was burning out. I had to make a choice, and I let go of the job that wasn’t paying me enough for me to have financial stress on top of health and family. So at the end of March 2018, I said goodbye to Indigo.

I didn’t know what I was going to do next, but I had the brief respite of working three days a week back at the university, and the flexibility of when I was working so that if I was needed by my parents I could go. I also had the bonus comfort of being surrounded by people I’d worked with that I missed terribly, considered family, and who CARED about me. It was a surprise to me how much I needed to be where I was when everything was falling apart around me.

April and May proved to be a nightmare of anxiety, health scares, and more. And the more that got thrown at me, the less I felt I could breathe. I didn’t know what my future held. I didn’t know if everything I knew was over, and a lie, and how I was going to survive. My Dad was now on dialysis, my husband wasn’t well, jobs changed, my idea of how the year was supposed to pan out was erased from existence.

I was asked to consider staying on at the faculty. I was encouraged to apply for my friend’s maternity leave position. It would be a year. I’d be in a different department than the one I left. No matter how often I told people, “I already quit this job, I do not want to come back” the more they’d try to convince me I should come back. And in the end, I’d made a decision to test out this contract. It’s at the opposite end of the floor, it’s a completely different beast of a job, and I have been loving every second of it.

And as I hovered in “my dad isn’t doing well” limbo, I was again surrounded by people who cared deeply for me, and my family. Who understood the stress I was going through. And who understood that I might have to leave suddenly, but I couldn’t say WHEN. And then, on September 12 when my Mum called to say the doctor thought that we should visit that weekend because my dad wasn’t doing well at all, I knew that I could focus only on my grief and my Dad and not worry about any ill will from my office.

And my father, never a patient man, decided that after he saw both my sister and I, talked to his priest, talked with the grandkids via skype, talked with our husbands…simply passed away the morning after he’d seen us all. No one was expecting that. They were hoping to get into palliative care on the Monday. But while I was chatting with my Mum by phone, trying to see if I could stop by once more before I went home that weekend, he just…left. He didn’t have an easy night. My mother didn’t have an easy night. But I think he knew he was finished with what he needed to do and there was no reason for him to suffer any more.

And so I stayed with my mother that week. Shawn went home and came back the next weekend for the funeral. I had to buy clothes since I’d only packed for 2 days. And for once in my entire life, I didn’t OVER pack.

And health things, and more things, and so much sadness and negativity. And it’s been such a rough year. And it started last Christmas when my bank account was hacked. And it just kept going on and on and on.

I know we aren’t the only ones who had an awful year. I know too many others who also seemed to have an exceptionally bad year. I don’t know what it was about 2018 (other than it being one of those blasted Even-Numbered Years. Grrr.) but I am so ready to see another number on the calendar.

There were some good things though…

I am extremely lucky to have the love and support of my friends. Without some of them, I don’t know how I’d have gotten through so much. Monkey, especially, is possibly the best anchor a person can ask for. When I am not ok, she’s there to tell me that I will be, and that my head can lie. There were a lot of times this year when I wasn’t ok. I didn’t think I’d ever be ok again.

But I’m getting there.

And I made the right decision to take the job at the university. It’s been a huge learning curve, but fascinating, and very helpful at keeping me focused when everything outside of the office was going up in flames. And I felt so comforted and safe back with people I had grown to consider family in the 11 years I WAS there. And this new job is different enough that there’s nothing about it that triggers any PTSD reactions from being back downtown and across the street from that infernal building that caused me so much trauma. And I have felt so loved and welcomed (back). And I made a new friend, who was new to the faculty, too, and she has been a blessing to me this year.

And my Mum. My Mum is going to thrive. She’s sold the house, got herself her first ever apartment, and has been back here twice since my father passed – drove herself! We got to have a visit a Thanks Giving – always a family holiday in my family. And it almost happened that she wouldn’t be able to make it for Christmas as planned, but in the end she was able to drive here on Christmas Day and spend it with her grandkids and then stayed with us for a couple of days before heading back (before the freezing rain storm!) My sister and niece went out to visit her this past weekend to help her get her unpacking done and organized – and were there to celebrate her 70th birthday, so she wouldn’t be alone.

Lost jobs, lost health, new jobs, health learning curves, and all that. It’s been a roller coaster of a year and I don’t think I can put the pieces back together. I am hoping that 2019 sticks together better and then I can just sweep the shards of 2018 out the door and be done with them.

I don’t know what 2019 will bring. I DO know that I don’t have any ideas or plans for the year. This current year taught me that it’s simpler to just live each day as it dawns and go from there. No need to think about what might happen in May when I don’t even know what will happen by the end of the week. I’ll just deal with things as they happen. That seems to be the safest course of action. Here’s to rolling with it, yo!

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 into  2018. If I’m being honest I think I lost the ability to be  hopeful years ago. I know that sounds sad, but it’s true. Hope just manages to get you high enough to hurt more when you are let down.

I feel mostly anxious and uncertain as this year begins. I know I want change, but I don’t know what I want to change. I do feel like there is a lot of change to come this year. I am tired of feeling trapped, so this year I want to shake things up and make sure that change does happen.

Work-wise, I don’t particularly want to go back to what I was doing (though I miss the people very much), and I know I am ready to move on from where I am now. Finding a happy-medium in the workforce will be difficult. But I’m ready. I will look. I will try new things.

I want to create more this year as well. I started learning  watercolour painting in November and made all my christmas cards. They aren’t perfect, but I loved every second of that painting. I want to draw and write more, so I started a bullet journal so I can draw my own planner every week. And add colour, or illustrations as I please.

I want to run a 5k this year. FOR REAL. I don’t know when the snow will go away  (I am thinking, late April)  but this year I am feeling ready for this. I have been dreaming about it. Once I dream things repeatedly I know I am ready for it.

I am in this forever search for happiness. There is a lot in my life that makes me happy, but I want that happiness to spread into every part of my life.

I had my year off; a year I so desperately needed. I am reset. I am ready to ignite and restart.

I am going to make 2018 into a year I want it to be. It won’t be easy. It might be very messy, but I want to come out of this year knowing that I didn’t just settle because I had to. There are things I want to happen this year, and I will do my best to make sure they do.

I am 23 days away from turning 42  and I am ready to start this new 365 day story. Let’s do this.

per aspera ad astra
– through the thorns, to the stars

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 a while. I went back on both, but I have very limited access because I removed apps from my phone. I mostly update facebook through instagram – the one social media platform that brought me joy. Until it didn’t – when they removed chronological order for posts. I don’t get that AT all. I don’t browse it as much anymore. I just post my own photos.  I like their filters at least.

And I was struggling myself. Between all the negative in the world, and bad things happening to good people, and not being able to fix problems of others with a magic wand (I wish), I was drowning in an ocean of grey, and apathy. I was fading as a person. I was questioning everything – who I was, why I should live, why hope for anything.

And I couldn’t stomach that feeling, or those questions anymore. I knew I needed to do something. Anything. I needed to finish this story and start a new one.

And so I did.

I held my breath. I took a leap. I took a chance. And I was suddenly less lost than I was earlier in the year. And you know, using the leap/jump metaphor isn’t an easy one for me. But I needed to associate leaping off the edge of something with thoughts that were less horrific than a man jumping off a building and almost hitting me. I needed to associate taking that leap with something positive, and courageous. I quit my job because I couldn’t find ME anymore within the walls of that office, or cubicle. I have been working at the bookstore for a month now and I can’t recall when I was last happy like this.

Leaping is now about courage, and passion, and realizing dreams, and less about death and trauma and fear.

I don’t want to go into 2017 holding on to the fear that has been surrounding me the past three years. I want to start 2017 with the joy of sharing my joy with others. And this is what I found with the scary, difficult decisions I made in the fall.

I was so lost, but I refused to stay lost. In taking chances, and making life a little less comfortable financially, I found myself again and I feel as though I can finish putting the still broken parts of myself back together.

I have zero idea what 2017 will bring. I am not convinced that it will be a better year than 2016. It does have the added bonus of not being an even-numbered year. (You all know how much I do not like even numbers!) There is still so much lost out there, and I think that perhaps the world needs a little more courage to take the leaps it needs to take to be found again. Cheesy, I know. But I think more people need to focus on what can make themselves, and others, heal and find their paths, rather than settle for what is taken for granted as “well, that’s just how it is.” Life isn’t like that anymore. Life isn’t something you settle for. You need to take your leaps and find your answers. Spread happiness. Spread kindness. Spread joy. It might mean you won’t feel as lost as you thought you were.


In 2016 –

I didn’t read nearly as much as I thought I would. 45/50 books in my challenge. Many of those in December were picture books, or early readers.

I quit my job.

I got a tattoo.

I decorated my Happy Planner every week since the end of June. I took an hour or two every Sunday to update the week ahead and used colours that I was feeling at the time. It was a healthy dose of crafty therapy that I desperately needed.

I went back to therapy.

I sang in a band, in front of people. It was amazing.

I blogged more than I had in the past, but still not very much. Turns out I didn’t blog at all in May.

I lost two friends too soon, who made the world spark. I could only go to one memorial.

We moved Jinx’s Garden and grew our first ever watermelons. It was nice.

I got a bird feeder and watched birds in my backyard.

I turned 40.

I realized I needed to change my life or I would drown.

I changed my life. I started a new story. I ended the year happier than I have been in a long time.


Happy new year, internet. I hope it’s a better one than the one before.

My Happy Place

Find your happy place.

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.



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 with an epic road trip – 2110km away – to adopt our newest furry family member. The trip was a much needed distraction from everything going on right now, and we are starting off the new year with an extremely snuggly, and loveable boy who turns three today. He’s a new year’s baby. The road trip wasn’t the most fun ever, mostly because we find traveling rather exhausting, but it was an adventure we will always look back on as our lives move forward. One we will talk about for days to come. We brought new love and light into our life before Christmas. The house feels full again, and there’s a break in the gloom that’s been hovering over us.

I have no goals for 2015 other than to try and find something positive in each day. I’d like to say I will write these positives down daily, but I know that will mean I’ll get tired of doing it, or annoyed with myself if I forget. So I’ll work on keeping track of this mentally.

With the help of  Shawn, my family, and my amazing group of friends, I think this might be one goal that will help make 2015 a decent year.

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.


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 the number for and 2014 has all of that and more.

Then again, I normally do well in odd-numbered years and the number 13 and I tend to play well with each other. And that just didn’t work out the way I’d hoped.

Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of sadness and darkness and negativity and disappointment. No matter how fiercely I fought to stay positive I only succeeded in finding myself exhausted. I want to hope that 2014 is brighter and lighter. Not just for myself but for everyone because I’m not the only one who’s had a rough year. I know too many people who were kicked in the pants by the last year and I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one happy to see that calendar change at midnight.

Fifteen minutes…

…until the numbers change and you have to start thinking about the date as you’re writing it down. Betcha a lot of rent cheques will bounce tomorrow as people forget to change the year when they date them.

For all my pain and darkness I did manage to accomplish things in 2013. I’ve been very active (for myself) and have kept it up. I have managed to be healthier physically – even if I need to focus on the mental health now. I have learned a lot about myself in the last year and I am slowly learning that I am not alone. No matter what happens I am not alone. I am surrounded by a strong, supportive and loving group of family and friends who will not let me suffer in silence and will help me get through anything.

I’ve even managed to keep a 4.0 GPA in my program at school. It’s slow and I could have done better this past semester had I not been suffering from PTSD (without realizing it) but I am still hanging in there and I have more faith in myself and my ability to not fail than I did a year ago.

I didn’t read much but I did many other creative things and realized that I need to keep up the artistic stuff to keep my brain and soul happy. And I enjoy it.

Ten minutes…

This year was exhausting and not the best of years but I know I have come out stronger and with a better sense of who and what is around me. I know I am lucky. Extremely lucky.

One thing I’d like to do in 2014 is be less connected. Whether that means I delete twitter and facebook from my phone or ONLY even use those platforms on my phone and not on my computer, I don’t know. I know that they make me unhappy. I miss only having blogs to visit and getting to see people through random posts as opposed to constant streams of chatter. I’m a culprit, too. I talk all the time, often too much. I need to be less all over that and more in my pen and paper journals and here, on the blog. Social media makes me tired. Very tired. And angry. And sad. And annoyed. And I need to cut back.

I need to colour, paint, draw, sticker, GLITTER and write more. Maybe take my guitar out of the closet and tune it and practice playing it again.

I need to BE more and DO more and be less nosy about other’s lives.

Five minutes…

And now I’m done with my blog post. My final of 2013.

Don’t trip on the way out, 2013. You’ve worn out your welcome and I am happy to see you go. I’m ready for something shiny and new.

Until next year and tomorrow, internet. Happy new year.