Another year in a worldwide pandemic. As my wise cousin Amelia said (and I couldn’t agree more) – I’m tired. It was a year filled with lots of good things but lots of challenging things too. I normally reflect on Dec 31 for a year gone by, but yesterday I wasn’t feeling it, so I honoured that! Here I am today reflecting and summarizing on the year that has passed – I’m ready for a fresh outlook and new year ahead.
Let’s start with the good things in 2021. I was surrounded by compassionate, patient and flexible friends – you know who you are, thank you for still being there! 🙏 My partner Kelly has been a rock, helping me through the rollercoaster of this year. ❤️ I finally got to see my family in July after almost 2 years! I surprised my parents for my Dad’s 70th birthday, and found a little cottage to rent with them on the ocean in NS for a week in September, spending quality time with everyone. It was wonderful and we had the biggest lobster feast we’ve ever had!
My career had a few big highlights this year too. I was promoted into a substantive Executive Director role in September and I continue to grow into the position. I also helped people through a plethora of change and uncertainty this year, and as a team we accomplished so many amazing things despite all the challenges thrown at us! We also received final sign off on a huge project that my team will deliver, something that I spent the better part of 2 years working on. I learned and grew throughout the experience, spending many late nights and weekends sifting through the details with colleagues. Last, I delivered a radio interview for our GetCyberSafe holiday campaign in early December that was broadcast across Canada. These things are not always glamorous – I am grateful to the team who helped me prep since I only had 1 hour of sleep the night before the interview due to kitty Mom duties. I did the best I could, and Kelly’s Mom heard me on a Montreal station so I was glad to know someone heard it!! 🤓
Other good things: I started singing again with Seventeen Voyces! It was weird, and nerve wracking for the first few rehearsals. I didn’t know if my voice would work and singing in masks made it extra tough to breathe. But we did it and with practice I was able to get through it. I felt like a reclaimed part of my soul with this restart as I hadn’t been singing a lot since the beginning of the pandemic. We recorded a concert in November with strings and performed a Christmas concert with harp to a small crowd a few weeks ago. Oh, and a fellow soprano and I were interviewed by CBC about our experience returning to choral singing. If you’re interested, the interview and some Christmas concert snippets are here.
Onto some of the challenging stuff. I’m tired and have been for what feels like the whole year. I’m not proud of this, but it is what it is. I’ve found it difficult to balance the demands of life and work this year, often having to say no to video calls and social engagements with friends because I needed the time to recharge after intense work weeks. I try my best to be a positive, caring and supportive friend/colleague/family member, but seeing people hurting, suffering, and going through tough times because of the pandemic or whatever the circumstance has definitely weighed on me.
Our little Gingy had a rough year. She started having seizures again this fall and they became more frequent, occurring weekly. We got her into see a neurologist and after a slew of testing they determined she has idiopathic epilepsy. We’ve spent the better part of December giving her two different types of medications (down to twice a day now from 4x per day, thankfully) and she’s slowly starting to come out of the fog. It’s been tough and stressful seeing her struggle and be so lethargic, but I am hopeful she will have better quality of life on the meds and at least we know what is going on now. Her sister is not a fan of Ging getting all the attention, so we’re trying to ensure they both get lots of play time and snuggles. They may have been spoiled by Santa this year. 🎅🐈
My health has been ok, but I had a bit of a scare mid year and had my first colonoscopy – fun times! Thankfully all is well, but that was a wake up call from my body to eat better and manage my stress levels. I also started seeing a chiro for my back issues and found out that I have an extra vertebrae – who knew? 😂 I keep telling myself to exercise regularly but it’s been tough so the occasional yoga class and walks have kept me going. Oh, and golf! We got out most of the summer once a weekend to play with friends, which was really fun.
Back to the positives – science! We were both vaccinated in April, which was a huge relief. Kelly also whipped our backyard into shape this summer with the help of our neighbour, and we continued to do small improvements inside the house. The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in February AND the Montreal Canadiens made it to the Stanley Cup finals this year! 😀 Also, when things were somewhat normal in November, we ventured to a Habs game in Montreal, which was our first outing outside of Ottawa in almost 2 years. I completed a Reiki course with my friend who lives in Germany and we’ve had some other fun times with friends too. After almost 2 years, we have mastered how to hunker down when needed due to pandemic restrictions. In short, we’ve tried to make the best of it.
As I sit here with my kitty snuggled in, messy grey hair, and watching football (the European kind) on this first day of 2022, I want to wish you all a very healthy, happy, prosperous and fun-filled new year! May we get through this pandemic together and become even stronger and more resilient on the other side of it. Sending tons of love, strength and positivity to you and your loved ones, where ever you are in the world!
Happy New Year! 🥳🥂