Saturday, December 25, 2010

Looking Back 2010

I think I have to say that 2010 was one of the highlights of my life so far. I've had some pretty spectacular years in the past so I don't say this lightly.

It all started with the Olympics. I think I'm still feeling the buzz. I had no idea what to expect. Too be honest, I didn't really think anyone would show up. Boy was I wrong! To see the normally frosty citizens of Vancouver dressed up in their best interpretation of the Canadian flag and filled to the brim with giddyness and joy was an experience I wasn't expecting. I fell in love with my country all over again. There is an amazing power that comes with strong patriosm that just sweeps you along for the ride. I'm so proud of all our athletes and their amazing showing on home turf. The final hockey game was the nail-biting icing on the cake. What a wonderful way to start the year.

The mild weather, while maybe not ideal for a winter olympics, was welcomed by me especially after last years frosty wonderland. I really don't like to battle the elements! It can snow all it wants to on the mountains, but please by all means, rain on my parade, I really don't mind at all.

I spent the spring living in a beautiful heritage home with a fabulous garden. Every day was a treat seeing what new life had burst forth. All the lucious scents and colours were a gift for the senses. After three years of living in an industrial park, all that beauty and life was like water to a parched plant. I spent hours in that garden, inspecting plants, taking their pictures, looking them up online to learn more about them and absorbing their lovely energy.

The nine months I spent in that house away from Mitchell Island was in a sense a rebirth for me. I got out and socialized more. I started the Wyldestone Cottage blog and finally put my interests together in writing so that when I'm ready to teach, I'll have my course notes finally in order. I quit smoking again but for good this time. And last, but not least, I manifested my own home.

June/July were anxious months for me as I held my breath and crossed my fingers and toes waiting for all the paperwork and neccesary manouvers to acquire my home and get it transported down here. The day it finally arrived was like a dream for me. I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it was real.

The rest of the summer and fall, I fell off the face of the earth and into a love affair with my home. It looks an aweful sight these days, full of my belongings and construction material all over the place, but I can see the final vision, I see past all the chaos to the castle it wants to be. Each project finished, each decision made, each new purchase is a moment of pure joy and contentment. I live for the day when I can fling my doors open to the world and say "come on in". I look forward to years of entertaining and working on many projects.

As for the rest of this winter, I just can't wait for it to be over. I live in fear of snow. I don't want to have to get up and shovel off my roof. I don't want to battle my way to work and back in vehicles not equipped for bad weather. I have a bunch of projects on hold because it's too cold to work downstairs. I am counting down the weeks until the worst is behind us. I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for me. It will be tough to beat this year, but a nice calm, middle-of-the- road year would be nice, no drama, just things getting done. Work when I need it, lots of sunshine and some headway on my thousand and one projects would be so sweet.

The only fly in my ointment is my weight. As I knew I would, I've ballooned since quitting smoking. I'm so ashamed and embarrassed, I haven't been to a single function involving my friends in over 6 months. Nothing fits, I look horrific, I have a massive 60-70 pounds to lose to get back to where I was when I first arrived here four years ago. It's such a daunting number, I don't know where to start and the thought of starving myself and exercising like a hamster in a cage just to lose one pound a week makes me feel so helpless. So once again, I start the New Year vowing to get control over my body. I don't know why I bother, none of my resolutions ever seem to go anywhere. Maybe this year, I will resolve to eat more chocolate, be more sedentary and not give a shit what I weigh. Maybe then the opposite will happen, a girl can dream can't she?

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year, may all your dreams come true and do take some time to stop and smell the roses, it's those little things that make life worth living.

Linking to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday


Jamie said...

That was a lovely little capsule of the year - what exciting things it brought to your life! I'm so pleased to count you amongst my friends (blog-related or not!) and I love seeing what comes next for you. No worries about the weight thing; you'll find your balance again, as always. Congrats on the smoking - that's just tremendous! xoxo Jamie

cyberangel said...

Hi Jamie, thanks so much. I'm glad we met as well and look forward to the day when you decide to bring KJ up this way for a little holiday. Would love to see what you've done to the place.Congratulations on your marriage and wishing for you and your family a lifetime of contentment and smiles. Happy New Year!! xxoo Rhianna

Serendipity Chic Design said...

Such a well written and lovely post. Your picture of the bleeding hearts is stunning...

All you have said was sweet and inspirational, therefore I have no doubt you will be able to conquer the weight loss you feel you need. Just look as it as a goal to post about next year like you did with quitting the smoking this year...

Good luck and happy new year...


Anonymous said...

I have to comment on one of your points. Looking at 60 - 70 lbs to lose this year is a bit daunting, but two of my sisters and I plus a friend of theirs have all made a pack to lose one pound a week. We, too, were pretty overwhelmed with the enormity of our weight loss project, but when you break it down, committing to losing one pound a week is pretty doable! At the end of this year, we all will be 52 pounds lighter, and you can too. Like you said, it's the little things that count! One pound is a little thing but I would rather look at it that way than to look at the bigger number and think it is too unobtainable to me. I'm sending you my support and encouragement.

Congratulations for giving up smoking, a big challenge in itself, so if you can do that, then anything is possible!

I so love reading you blog and following the progress on your house. You are a hard worker and have great decorating ideas.

Your support friend from the East Coast!


Laara said...

I read a comment you posted about a year ago on Falia Photography's blog. You said you know 4 van dwellers in Vancouver. My boyfriend and I have decided that we want to become van dwellers (we both live in Vancouver). End of January we'll be moving out and (temporarily) in with family until we save up enough cash for a van.
I was wondering if you would be able to put me into contact with your Vancouver van dwelling friends. If not, are there any words of wisdom and advice you picked up regarding van dwelling in Vancouver? Mainly... places to avoid, best places to park without being disturbed. We have a few ideas already but it would always help to hear from local people with experience!
This isn't my regular email but you can reach me here:
(I'll forward my "real" email after hearing from you).


cyberangel said...

Hi India, thanks for the awesome words of incouragment, good luck with your goals.You have the right attitude, one step at a time.

cyberangel said...

Hi Laara, i'm so sorry, I hadn't checked my blog for awhile, had no idea someone had left me comments.

I can put you in touch with a few friends who live in their vans if your still interested. To be honest I don't think it's that easy in this city unless you have friends who will let you camp in their driveway. My friends are all doing that, some of them shift between a few friends, some stay at one address. It is illegal to do here( living in your vehicle) and I think most neighborhoods would be likely to call the cops if they noticed you in front of their house with your lights on at night etc.

I've seen people hiding in their vans in out of the way spots along the river but these locations can be scary as they also attract vagrants and other trouble makers.

I think this is an easier lifestyle in warm climates or the summer when you can live outside to some degree like in a campsite. I lived in a van in New Zealand but they are ok with that there and we could cook outside, sit around a fire etc, not cooped up and hiding in the van. They had toilets and showers available in town center parking lots which really helped as well.

In Vancouver you have to find a place you know is safe( someone driveway most likely), still manage not to have the neighbors notice, find somewhere not too expensive for showers etc, ( I believe UBC has a free shower at one of the gyms or something. If you want to have a cell phone etc, you need to keep it charged so need access to electricity or invest in solar panels for the van.

Just because your friends let you camp in there driveway, don't kid yourself, it's an imposition for them esp when you want to hook up to their water and power and come inside to cook, wash up, use the bathroom, collect your mail etc. I've had a few people camp in my backyard/driveways in the past and everyone of them was annoying to some degree no matter how inconspicous they tried to be.

Trying to cook nutritious, vareity of food can be a challenge as you don't have alot of storage room for tons of food and ovens etc to cook with, And again you have to cook without the neighbors being too aware ( smells, doing dishes with water draining out etc) We basically ate the same thing every day...made a big stew at night with a cut up chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and rice with tabasco for flavor and any leftovers mixed into a big omlet in the morning. lunch was fresh fruit, snacks. We cooked this outside on a propane stove. (wouldn't fly here in Vancouver, this was in NZ) I know my one friend is a Vegetarian and usually only eats twice a day. Cereal for breakfast and a veggie stirfry at night.

You only have room for a few changes of clothes and extremly limited personal possesions. Remember if you leave your van to go and do anything....everything you own is in there ( laptops,cameras etc) you are just as likely to be broken into as anyone else, so think carefully what you can afford to lose.

You will need some kind of address to recieve your phone bill, tax statements that kind of thing, hard to look for work if you can't provide an address, everyone will want an address for example if you plan to apply for a credit card etc.

Not trying to talk you out of your dream, but its hard to live without the basics, sitting in internet cafes and laundry mats is boring and expensive, being cooped up in a tiny space in winter, or because you cant just throw out a lawnchair and hang outside is hard, living in fear of being discovered, harrassed or broken into is hard on the phsyche.

Good luck with your endevours, if I can help in any other way let me know, I'm sure I left out some things.