Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020

I have to admit...2019 was actually pretty good to me.

I brought my Mom and sister home to Edmonton, got a new job, great little paid-for SUV, and we paid off our house.

I even got to spend Christmas with both my Mom and sister for the first time in eleven years.

The only thing that didn't work out was writing.

That is something I intend to fix in 2020. Not just because I have work to publish, but because I want that part of my life back. 2019 was kinda crazy, but certain stressors have been erased now, because of everything this past year. There should be more time to embrace and take joy in writing once again.

You know what else I resolve to do in 2020? I'm going to read those books Dad left me on basic home maintenance. Now that the house is paid off, wouldn't it be cool to be able to fix my own plumbing? Install my own floor maybe? At the very least, it should help me know what needs to be done around here, and maybe we can either DIY or get it done without getting ripped off. Maybe we can figure out the problem and repair it before costs get unmanageable.

I resolve to be gentler with myself. Now that I make my own hours, I don't have to push myself as hard. I don't have to get all the jobs done in one day. A little at a time will do. I have a new plan of action. A little bit of work/exercise a day will leave a little energy for other things too. No more work till I drop with major crash afterwards.

I am also going to eat more vegetables. I mean it this time. There has to be a way of making them satisfying and filling. Damn it, I just made myself hungry and all I want is more garlic sausage.

What about you? What are your resolutions? Do you make any? How was 2019 to you?

Friday, December 27, 2019

Strange Days.

What a chaotic year it's been! I'm full of gratitude for it though. Sometimes I've been sad and depressed, but looking back, I've been fortunate.

I got a new job in March. It's got the usual stresses, but there's so many cool things about it. I'm never running late, because I make my own hours. I decide how many hours I work in a day. Some jobs are easier than others, but the more I work at it, the better I understand it, and the better I get at it. (Shout out to Colleen, Marie and Tracy. Heartfelt thanks for your help.) I'm making a decent wage. It beats kitchen work all to Hell, and not just because I can take a break when I need to. I can stop and think, and I can just take a day off when I need one.

Like when my Uncle Duane and I talked my mother into finally moving to Edmonton. We finally got her to agree, and I was tasked with finding her and my sister an apartment. I grabbed a free periodical and found the perfect place in three days. They love it! I'm still patting myself on the back about it.

May came on like a race. Myself, Duane and other family mobilized to move Mom and Jody, and while we did so, Mom signed the paperwork to sell her house. It happened that fast!  I didn't need to beg for days off, because I make my own hours!!

Summer came and went with the warped speed of Canadian weather. That's no typo, the weather here is warped. It rained too much to get a good garden, which is something else I struggled to keep up with, as I got the west end territory for my job. BLISS! I only have to drive five minutes on a good day to get to work, twelve maximum. It's more intense, and more hours, but that means more money.

In September, Mom decided I needed a new used vehicle, because having just our rickety old Dakota for my job wasn't going to cut it. I CAVED. I let her give me the money to buy my SUV. My friend and neighbor named it 'Sophie'. She has personality glitches I've learned to deal with. When I have more time, I'll deal with those, but in the meantime, I love her. We own her free and clear. Shout out to my husband Dan, who talked me into said SUV. After all, if Mom is paying for the vehicle, shouldn't it work for her too? Dad would have been proud.

Then winter came, and with it, a notice from the bank. Would we like to pay our mortgage off? What?! We can just DO that? I had been tracking our mortgage through my phone, and I expected to be finished in the spring, but we can do it now? No penalty?

We went in, wrote a check, and it was done in twenty minutes. Shout out to Scotiabank for making this easy from beginning to end. Shout out to Tracey Morgan who approved us fifteen years ago, and approved us for fifty thousand more than we asked for because she said that people without debts like us would not be happy with a home in the price range we asked for. (We had no idea how much houses cost.)

We are going into 2020 without any debts at all, and in a time and recession like this, I can't tell you how happy I am that we will not have any mortgage payments. I know just how lucky we are, and that we made all the right decisions. Not everyone has that privilege, and I feel strangely arrogant right now, but...

Cherry on top? A friend of mine has a kidney, just in time. It means someone else lost someone before Christmas, but I am eternally grateful for their organ donation. My friend really needed it. She has a huge family and many friends who got another Christmas with 'M', and more time. Yes, I am an organ donor. If something happened to me tomorrow, I'd like to give someone else such a gift.

Where Is my writing is all of this? Hopefully more so in the new year. I'm in a calmer place now that the house is paid off. I no longer feel like I'm in such a rush. Our shelter belongs to us, and everything else, I can work with. Maybe that's all I needed. I'm optimistic, about everything.

I wish, for you and yours, the same kind of confidence I feel now. Please, have a Happy New Year.