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 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 link to the song’s video. There was something about that song that just struck me. It is so hopeful and uplifting and it filled me with such joy that I made a decision. This is the year I will go out and Do Things. I will suck it up, socialize, be active, leave the house and Do Things. I will make 2010 my year, my New Year.

I did Do Things, some were big (joined Highland Dancing!) some were smaller – went to friends’s houses for dinner. But to me they were all things I normally do not do. I turn down invitations and don’t go out after work. Here’s a list of some of the Things I did Do.

– went to see my first Opera in January (our School’s production of The Rake’s Progress)

– went to see the Waterhouse exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

– Stayed at Curves pretty religiously from January – May: would have stayed longer but their equipment is so poorly taken care of and the new staff they had were so pushy about buying other things, that I just stopped enjoying my workouts.

– had laser eye surgery (although I am still on the fence about being happy about that)

– went to cheer my friends on in their first Highland competition

– JOINED Highland Dance in the fall and then had my first show in public. Don’t know if I’ll compete ever. Pondering.

– went to see CATS at Place des Arts (even though we couldn’t afford it)

– drove more than I have in years…but only in the spring. That stopped once our road was dug up. Maybe 2011 will see me write “FINALLY GOT¬†LICENCE!” but I doubt it. ūüėČ

– helped Shawn save a bird from our drain pipe. ūüėČ

– had our bank account hacked and money stolen TWICE. (Ok, so this wasn’t a Doing Thing that I did really, but still, it’s important and scary)

Рwent to NYC by train, by myself to attend Book Expo America and roomed with two people I had never met in person. Those of you who know me and my panic attacks know how HUGE this  is for me. I came out of this with some of the best new friendships I could ever have asked for. Kristi and Erica are awesome people and I wish I could hang out with them in NYC again!

Р I met/reconnected with my bestfriend from my childhood for the first time since 1984.. wow.

– socialized. Yes, that seems lame, but I never do. I stay at home and become hermit-like. This year I did things with friends and forced myself to stay out past my bed time. Even if it’s going to see my friend’s boyfriend (now fiance) and his quintet/trio play Jazz gigs (which were amazing!) or going over for girly night dinner. I had fun, I laughed and I didn’t turn into a pumpkin at 9PM.

Nothing huge and flashy happened. There was no exciting trip to California as we had planned for our 5th anniversary due to other stupidity in our lives, but that will happen one year. I know it will.

This year I challenged myself to come out of my shell a little and I did. I am proud of that. I am still continuing the Highland classes, which are the most intense and difficult things I have ever done. After 5 minutes I am sweating like I have never been before and I hurt, a lot. And yet it is so bloody fun.

Despite the 7 months of suck we’ve been going through I have managed to find things that can take my mind of the stress and sadness and give me some pleasure. I read 120 books this year (hoping to finish one more today so I can put that at 121 and keep it in the odd numbers), I wrote a couple of songs (which I haven’t done in YEARS), I made friendships that I hope last a long time, I danced in public, I sang back in the church choir for Advent and Christmas (and the concert).

I lived life.

Which is a rare and bizarre thing for me to do.

Some things I will try to continue to do this coming year. To be honest, I would much rather dub 2011 as The Year I Spent In My Jammies Doing Nothing. But we’ll see about that. ūüėČ

Happy New Year, everyone!

*(I was happy to see that his album was being released on January 3rd and I bought it off iTunes and that entire album has pretty much been my soundtrack for the year!)

i survived my highland performance

I was terrified and nervous but I had a good time. I was not perfect and I missed some steps but the crowded room at the senior’s residence seemed to really enjoy the show. I am glad I did the performance even though my need for being perfect could not be fulfilled. ¬†I can’t say I will be competing any time soon, but I wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

Shawn did record both my dances, but I don’t feel comfortable putting them up on youtube because I don’t need people watching them and making fun of my mistakes. So I’ll think about it. Here, though, are some photos!

As you can see, Finnegan was all decked out in his kilt and plaid ready to get his Highland on today. Sadly there wasn’t enough time with how fast everything went AND the fact that Shawn had my camera and I had Finnegan. So much for that idea. ūüėČ

I love highland shoes sooooo much. And I am pretty proud of my point. =P

This is me and Maureen showing off our point. I was having fun with my iPhone while waiting for my second performance. ūüėČ

Isn’t Becca the cutest 5 year old Highland dancer? I especially love her antlers. Maureen is wearing the pretty white Nationals dress. I want one of those if I actually do this for competitions and not just for¬†exercise!

Here is Mo and others getting ready to start the Flora.  I do not know that one. I am happy about that.

Little Miss ElisE@, Finnegan’s sweetheart, doing some Reel thing. She always takes perfect photos. There is never a bad photo of her EVER no matter what she does. I hate that. *grumble*

I had to get a photo with my 4 bestest friends before we all changed into real clothes and had cookies! I am rather grumbly about the fact that my original BFF Zabeth (in purple) is almost my height at only 9 years old. I also fit into her shoes. Guess who put dibs on her sparkly pink hightops when she outgrows them in a month? ME!

And we had to let off a little nervous energy, too. I love my friends!

i am about to do something terrifying

I am just about to shut down the computer, get in the car and have my husband drive me to my first ever Highland Dance show. It’s a little Christmas show for a senior’s home.

I am quite a bit more terrified about dancing in public than I thought I would. Never mind the fact that no one had a kilt that fit me so I am going to be pinned into one that’s slightly too small (well, the buttons and their holes do not line up). I will be uncomfortable not just with performing in public, but also in costume. I am terrified that my kilt will fall off mid-dance and everyone shall see my sexy large white granny panties.

Wish me luck!

(If all goes well, Shawn will be attempting to record my dance – if I don’t suck too much I will post it. Be warned. If my kilt falls off I will NOT. Deal with it.)

a part of me wonders if i should just give up

For those who know me, you know it’s been an ongoing struggle for me to obtain my driver’s license. My original goal was to have all of this taken care of BEFORE I turned 30. I’m now 34 so you know, that didn’t happen.

I truly wish that blogspot hadn’t eaten my original blog back in the day, which is what prompted my moving everything to my own server using WordPress. Those archives never transferred over in early 2005 and so 2004 is pretty much non-existent¬†in journal form. But, I do know that I wrote about how, at 28 I had finally obtained my very first learner’s permit for driving. I was hopeful. I was scared. But I was going to DO THIS! This was back in April 2004. (Hey! I found one post on the *first* blog I started on Blurty! Here!)

Cue April 2005. I had finished all my required driving lessons by this time (all 12 hours over a span of 8 months) and yet I still had not gone for the final test. Why? I wasn’t comfortable with the driving at all. I was terrified. It didn’t help that one of the instructors I had would constantly complain that women shouldn’t drive and during on 2-hour lesson he had me in tears. Yes, I should have complained, but I am shy (believe it or not) and I was so discouraged that I could NOT do this and was so ashamed that I was just so baffled by the simple act of turning a corner properly, I didn’t. I was embarrassed and felt like a big giant loser. I was¬†terrified¬†to drive our car (pictured in the link above) because it was HUGE and the streets where we lived at the time were narrow.

February 2006, I had driven our car about 4 times since having the learner’s permit. Mind you, one of those times I actually drove from my in-laws’ house in Chateauguay to our flat in Verdun (OVER the Mercier Bridge, thank you very much) and I was so proud of myself and yet shook with fear when we got home. (And I swear I wrote about that, but I can’t find it). From March 2006 (when the fire happened) until we moved to this house, I didn’t drive at all. The car was just too big for me to practice on and it was starting to fall apart and ¬†neither I nor Shawn felt comfortable with me behind the wheel when the car was so¬†unpredictable. I renewed my permit, yet again, in September 2006.

Turns out, every 3 years you have to retake the¬†knowledge¬†test. So that’s where I found myself in September 2007. But by then we had ourselves a shiny new car and I was once again filled with hope that THIS time I would learn to drive and not be scared and actually DO THIS!

Of course that never happened. I drove a handful of times that summer. I drove to my parents’ place all excited to be driving the new, smaller car and happened to get stuck behind the BIGGEST freakin’¬†Winnebago/boat thing you’d ever seen. It didn’t even fit down my parents’ street and it stopped and started to back up and I freaked. This was bigger than a tour bus, it was more like 18-wheeler size. What the hell it was doing driving around my old homestead I have no idea but it terrified me. I think I gave up on driving that summer.

Summer 2008! I was going to DO THIS! Of course I broke my toe on Mother’s Day that year and aside from never having been in that much pain before, it was on my right foot and that took away any desire to practice driving – especially since for 2 months I couldn’t use my foot properly.

2009! WOO! Right? Wrong. No valid excuse this time except my being a big ol’ chicken butt about the entire thing and Shawn never really offers, Hey, you wanna drive this time? So I don’t ask. He doesn’t offer. It’s one of those “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” agreements.

Here we are in the middle of Spring 2010. This is supposed to be my Year of Doing Things. I have done some Things. But I know that come May I will have to retake that blasted knowledge test a third time. My plan was to crash course drive in March and April so that I could try and take the driving test before my permit was up on May 4. However I then went and got my eyes did and have been having problems with them since. There’s no way I was about to get in a car when I couldn’t see well enough to not walk into walls in my own house. So.

But this past Sunday night…. I drove. I drove home from the dog park. It’s about 10-15 mins away and it’s all straight line, really and not a lot of traffic. It was my first time behind the wheel of the car since the summer we bought it. I have been having night terrors over driving for years now. The more I do NOT do it the worse the night terrors get.

The one different thing about this attempt versus all the others? I was not gripped by fear. I did not hold the¬†steering wheel¬†so hard that my knuckles were white. I was not hyperventilating. I was nervous, yes. But I didn’t panic. There was NO panic. I felt a flutter of anxiety when I saw a car behind me and I was trying my best to go the speed limit (and not less, I am not a heavy-footed driver). I said to Shawn, ” Crap, I’m that asshat person who is in front of us all the time going the speed limit or less. Gah! I don’t want to be that person!”. Shawn told me that I have to get used to being that person while I learn and not to worry about the people’s patience (or lack thereof) behind me. In fact the person behind me wasn’t close at all. I get the feeling that had we been behind them and Shawn were driving I’d be cursing how slow THEY were going. Oh, pot, kettle, how I love you so.

I am not a bad driver. I am not. I know I am not. But I am not a practiced driver, so I am slow and learning. And since it had been over 2 years since I had set foot behind the wheel, I was actually proud of how not awful I was. I could actually TURN this time, maybe because I wasn’t over thinking everything and frozen by fear?

I still have a long way to go. I need to perfect the forward driving before I can even attempt reverse and¬†parallel¬†parking (*SHUDDER*). I have a hard enough time trying to figure out how to turn while going forward, my brain just can’t handle trying to understand which way to turn the wheel to back up the way I want to go.

I feel like a big loser still. I feel like an idiot for not being able to DO THIS. I feel like there is something wrong with me and my brain. I don’t know why I can’t figure this out, but at least I wasn’t terrified this time around. Maybe the lack of fear (if it stays away) will aid in my comprehension.

I do not want to hope that this will happen. I have said that 2010 is the year I get this stupid license, but every other year I have made that statement I have never followed through. I honestly wonder if I should just give up and throw in the towel. But then again, the last few years have made me realize how important it is to HAVE the license even if I never use it until I HAVE to. When Shawn threw out his back over Christmas I was hit with the reality that if we didn’t have parents close by, there would have been no one to drive me to the store to get toilet paper, or to the bank to get money so I could take a cab to get groceries. What if he’s immobilized again? What if something happens to my parents? I have already lost both grandparents and I might have been a help to my own parents if I could drive myself and help take people to appointments, etc.

It is important that I follow through with this. That I learn this. I am promising myself that this year I will actually ASK to drive (to easy locations to start). I will get over this stupid fear.

I am scared I can’t do it though. That I am not smart enough. I am so full of self-doubt when it comes to this. It’s like math or science. It’s like there’s a mental block in ¬†my brain for driving. Sigh.

I do promise myself that I will not let Sunday’s short jaunt in the car be my ONLY driving experience this Spring/Summer. You are all my witnesses.

the worst part was all the waiting

I survived!

Not that I really thought I wouldn’t, but you know. I’m having some blurry issues, but I was told that was normal as my eyes heal and the swelling goes down. Swelling I can’t even see that I have, but I’ll take their word for it. I can’t be on the computer too long, but I thought I would update quickly.

So I was apprehensive about leaving, but my Dad picked me at up at 11:30 for my 11:45 am appointment. He was nice enough to wait around until I had filled out the paperwork and was pointed in the direction of the other waiting room. Yeah, that was almost an hour and a half AFTER my scheduled time. Once I was pointed to the other waiting room and was told it would be about 15 minutes, my father went off for lunch and to do some errands only to come back and find me STILL WAITING TO SEE THE DOCTOR. Hmm.

I got there at 11:40 and I left with my eyes all lasered at close to 4PM. No wonder they tell you to allow a 3-4 hour block of time it takes bloody forever to see anyone!! The procedure itself was 10 minutes and then I waited 45 before being seen by an optometrist to make sure everything was fine. And it was.

Like my spiffy shades? I had to wear them all night and inside the house last night. Today and tomorrow I only need to wear them outside and I will wear them to sleep once more tonight. This was me waiting to see the person who would examine my eyes 45 minutes after the surgery. My father had already been out and back to pick up my prescription eye drops.

I have a lot of eye drops.

Four different ones. Some I take every two hours, one every hour, two 4 times a day and then it changes again tomorrow and one I only take at night and one more becomes 4 times a day.

They gave me a chart with boxes to check off!

Today’s 9:20AM appointment meant that someone finally called me some time around 10:20. I got home at 11:00 am from this one. Shawn dropped me off and my sister and Mum met me there and waited with me to drive me home. Aside from really dry eyes (which I told them I had in the first place) I am healing just fine and everything looks perfect. The dryness is causing some of the extra blurring and it’s mostly in my right eye so that’s why the drops for increased for today and tomorrow.

I go  back in two weeks. And as long as I keep my eyes well lubricated I should be over the blurry when I look at anything written (far or near) in a week max. Anyone out there have any other opinion on that?

I had¬†a really nice surgeon too. Everyone there is fantastic and I guess they have to remain that way due to the fact that waiting around for your appointments is SO BLOODY LONG. You’d think paying for something would get you less wait time, although I think they multiple book people and take you first come first serve. Eh. Whatever. I just know that my next appointment for ¬†3:30 means I’ll get home in time to watch dinner and the news. ūüėČ