Seriously, one of the worst years of my life. It wasn't all bad, but the bad definitely took its toll on me.
I still have my house and progress is being made on the renovations, but I have spent most of this year in a panic looking for a new location for it.
We were terrorized the entire year by crazy, death- threat- uttering tenants, an enraged landlord, the entire police force and cranky neighbors.
We lived under the constant threat of death and destruction from the huge football- field- size barge that broke loose from its ties every other day for 8 months until the new buyer finally got around to taking it out of here.
I lost four of my best friends to cancer and am praying for a few more fighting the same battle.
My body HURTS like never before. I have suffered with bulging discs pressing on nerves, excruciating pain in all my joints ( possibly fibromyalgia), a huge weight gain since quitting smoking a year and a half ago which isn't doing my numbers any good and tendinitis in all the joints I need to do my job. I have spent about half of this year under the influence of Demerol and Advil just to get through my days.
I have battled depression, exhaustion, fear by the bucket load and way too much grief. I have alternated between wanting to give up and being fueled with rage to stand my ground.
About the only really positive thing to come of this year has been my work situation. At the beginning of the year I was working in three different clinics all of which were quite slow. I ended up working 6 days a week, treating a few people a day just to cover the bills. It really cut into my time to get anything done as I was always having to stop and go to work.
In April I was approached by an old colleague to do a locum for him so he could take a break to be with his newborn son. I thought it would just be for a few months but as the year wore on it became obvious he wasn't in any rush to come back. I was still juggling all my other shifts as well as taking on more days and clients at the new location. I finally asked him what his intentions were, and he said even if he came back it would only be part time so I could keep my shifts there. So with that in mind, I slowly over the months quit all my other jobs until I was only working at the new clinic in Steveston.
My last shift in Kitsalano was last Sunday. Christmas day marked the first time I have had a full weekend off in years. I took an extra day on Boxing day as a gift to myself. My resolution for this next year is to get out and attend as many events as I can. I have lived in Vancouver for 20 years and have missed almost every event, parade, and festival that happens here. So far I have been to the Solstice lantern Festival in Sun Yet Sun Gardens, the German Christmas Market on Christmas Eve, followed by a visit to Stanley Park that evening to see all the lights. Christmas day was a wonderful dinner at Shelley and Todd's place followed by a day in bed with leftovers.
I love Steveston, the small village where my clinic is. I like it so much, I realized I didn't want to leave when work was done. With that in mind, I decided to try and find a way to get my house moved down there. I am close to realizing my dream, just waiting for the slow-moving wheels of city hall to get a few things in place and hopefully I will be moving there soon.
It is the neighborhood I have been dreaming of all my life. All the stores are in a 2 block walking radius. Everyone knows your name and are happy to see you and be of help. It gets the best weather in Canada, the sky is almost always clear there. The air is fresh as it sits on the edge of the ocean and there are miles of walking paths along the dike.
My favorite part of this town is the fact that it is working hard to keep its heritage as an important fishing and canning town. There are maritime museums and Japanese heritage sites all around Steveston. It has kept its quaint seaside character which separates it from all the rest of the surrounding townships which are overrun with condo units. I can't wait to finally have my own home in a beautiful location, be able to walk to work and the shops and have clean fresh air and a park in my backyard to explore.
I have already signed up for a few courses at the local community center which start in January. One is called Taiko fit and is a course in Japanese drumming which is supposed to be vigorous enough to be considered a workout. The other is a yoga for plus size people course which sounded less intimidating to me than a regular one.
I have met the neighbors who share my building at work and have traded services with a few of them. I have had my astrological chart professionally read, acupuncture and cupping done and am getting my old age sun spots lasered off my face all in trade for my massages.
Manifesting a spot in Steveston for my home is what has kept me going. I see a paradise and I want to be part of it so bad. I can't wait for 2012, it couldn't possibly be any worse than this year, and if all goes according to plan, it should be a stupendous year where I finally get to realize my dreams and aspirations.
I truly hope that none of you had to face such burdens and that the new year is filled with grace and endless possibilities for a new future filled with love,light and laughter.
May your health be good, your pockets full and your heart glad, bless you all xoxo Rhianna
PS here is a link to a wonderful photo essay on Steveston, hope to see you there someday!