It feels like 2018 started at the end of May. I barely remember any of what happened in the months before that. What I remember is the contrast of events in the months following May.
What happened in late May and early June is going to carry over into 2019 and possibly beyond. While I’m not looking forward to dealing with what’s coming and the fallout, I will be happy to have it finally behind us.
“It never rains, but it pours”… Wow is this so true.
My phone died and had to be replaced. We don’t have a household land line, so my phone is the number everything related to myself and our daughter uses… doctors, family, other agencies we’re dealing with. Fortunately, I was able to get the phone I wanted without laying out a fortune up front and without having to change my monthly plan.
My laptop died. We were able to have everything on it transferred to an external hard drive and a friend has loaned me a laptop which works adequately for the moment. My husband has promised me a new one come income tax return and I’m looking forward to that.
The nephew of a woman I’ve gotten to know through church was critically injured in a single vehicle accident. While not directly affecting me and mine, it’s still a shock and I’ve listened to her talk about how it’s affected her and her family. Miraculously, this man has recovered enough to return home and get back to his life, even if it isn’t the same as before.
But then came word of a multi-vehicle accident which killed two, a father and son, and left a third in hospital for months. The boy who died was a playmate of my daughter’s from the time she was two. He and his father were people I knew to see… and was used to seeing around. It’s so strange to see the surviving members of their family without them now. News of deaths, even of fictional characters, affects my daughter strongly right now and I’m grateful for the supports we have around us.
My husband was diagnosed with a testicular cancer and had his fifth major surgery. He has recovered well and the doctors believe they got it all, but the follow up will continue over the next three years. As a result of the surgery, he spent six weeks off work.
And then the head colds and flus resulting from a lack of extreme cold weather to kill of the bugs. I’ve had a cough for more than a month that just won’t quit.
And yet, through all this we’ve had incredible support from family and friends around us. We’ve had desperately needed financial assistance from a variety of sources. We’ve had people we’re able to talk to, who listen and support us. We’ve been able to get the things we need, as we need them. Through everything this year, I’ve had an incredible experience with the way God Blesses us.
For everything that’s happened (I may have missed some of the less glaring issues here), it has not felt like a bad year. 2018 has been an eye opening year. A year which has highlighted what is most important to us and the ways God is able to provide no matter how bad things feel at the time.
Thank you, 2018. And Thank you, God.
A lot has been happening in the months since I last found the time/energy/inspiration to write a blog post. I’m an intermittent blogger at best, I know. But life goes by cycles and undoubtedly this will continue to do so as well.
Today is the 15th anniversary of my marriage to a man I appreciate more all the time. This morning, for example, I came downstairs dreading the mess in the kitchen. Doing dishes requires not only energy, but the wherewithal to tolerate pain in my back, hips, and/or feet for the duration. But when I walked into the kitchen, I found my husband had done up a load of the things we need most somewhere between getting home from work and coming to bed. I love him. And all the things he does for us.
I’m writing on my phone… A definite first for me. But my laptop started randomly turning itself off. When it is on, I can’t get it to open an internet browser. While there shouldn’t be any reason I can’t get everything I need off the hard drive backed up onto my external storage devices (I have more external storage than internal,) the laptop itself is nearly as old as my daughter and easier to replace than attempt to get fixed. Of course the next trick will be finding funds.
And funds are tight right now, even with the insane amount of overtime my husband has been working due to co-workers taking time off. Our roommate had to go (long story involving an open police investigation, which isn’t going to appear on this blog ever due to the nature of what happened) and we lost the help paying the rent and bills. We can survive where we are. Which is a good thing because finding cheaper accommodations isn’t happening in this town. And I’m not sure I want another roommate. It’s been nice to be just our family, without anyone extra. The biggest issue is the money. (Isn’t it always?)
While I may not be writing much until my laptop is replaced, I have plenty of other projects. The house needs a certain amount of cleaning up/out, as always. Also, there’s a growing pile of unfinished crochet projects and another of cross stitch projects I haven’t looked at in years. But, due to a switching around of rooms, I have proper crafting space again. (There’s a picture on Instagram if you’re really curious.) So there’s lots of work to do and no reason for me to spend as much time playing games on my phone as I do. (Not even getting into library books to finish reading.)
My daughter can’t wait for back-to-school, so she can see her friends and classmates again. Also because we’re getting too much smoke and ash from wildfires for her to play outside. While she’s happy the two week break from taekwon-do is over, I think she’ll be happier to be getting out more.
Here in Canada, Thanksgiving falls on October 9th this year. A date which is rapidly approaching and I find myself calculating what more needs to be bought for dinner and when I have to pull the turkey out to thaw.
Turkey dinner is all fine and (usually very) good, but the point of Thanksgiving is to pause and express gratitude for the harvest (originally) and all the things we have. A time to stop and take stock of how much we really have in our lives.
Gratitude has become one of those words. Overused, too often to try to sell some service or thing. And when a word becomes one of those, it’s actual meaning seems to get lost in the buzz.
Because Gratitude is actually very important, provided it is combined with sincerity. It’s easy to say (or post) that you’re grateful for something or someone or some event. But are you actually feeling it? Are you really grateful for what you claim to be? Or are you merely caught up in the latest self-help trend?
What we are sincerely grateful for we are far less likely to take for granted. We’re more likely to remember to acknowledge its affect on our lives.
I know some things (people, events) are hard to feel true gratitude for. Blessings do come in some really obnoxious/unpleasant/upsetting disguises. Sometimes it’s a matter of doing the best we can now and finding the sincere gratitude in hindsight.
What are you sincerely grateful for in your life?
For myself, I’m incredibly thankful for my husband and all the ways he supports me and my work; for our beautiful, active, strong willed daughter; for my high strung fuzzball of a Bandit kitty; for all the resources I have to draw on to build my life and business; and for Life in Jesus Christ.
I didn’t post last week because I spent last Thursday on the road, doing the approximately ten hour drive required to get from home to the Okanagan. Because, last Saturday, there was a party to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. And because it’s been nearly two years since I was last able to see most of that side of my family. Fortunately, the wildfires plaguing British Columbia this year weren’t an issue along the route we took.
Being down there, seeing family I haven’t seen in a while, learning things I never knew about my family’s history, visiting with family and old family friends… I wish I had more opportunity than it feels like I have now. I hate living so far away from them. Most of them don’t text or Skype. Telephone is hard for me, for several reasons. If we could see any clear way to do so, we would happily move closer to them.
When I was growing up, family and family history were all around me. Vacations were used to visit relatives and attend family reunions. Family stories were brought up all the time. I wish I could remember more of the stories I have heard. I wish I could’ve heard more from the people these things happened to. I’ve lost four of the six grandparents I knew as a child. The other two are into their 80s and not in the best of health, which was partly why the summer celebration of an anniversary which actually falls between Christmas and New Years.
Heritage is such a huge part of personal identity. Family and family history often serve as a tether… a place to go back to when life gets too overwhelming. It’s what we build on, whether better or worse, when we create our own lives and stories. It influences our perception of ourselves. It influences how we relate to all kinds of aspects of our lives.
I watch my daughter grow and learn and I wonder what she’s learning about the meaning and history of family. She’s grown up surrounded by grandparents and aunts and uncles (biological and named) and she’s hearing some of the stories, whether she understands them now or not. I think about what I would like her to learn, how to pass values to her, what she will think of it all once she’s old enough to seriously consider what she thinks of it all.
How do I tell my daughter what my life has been like and how it influences the way I’m raising her?
How do I tell my daughter all the things I would like her to know about family and life and her options for the future?
What will my legacy to my daughter be?
I’m both looking forward to and dreading this weekend. Three days of family gathering sandwiched between two very long days of travel.
This has been an annual trip for several years now and normally it’s an eight to ten hour drive. Not for me this year. This year I’ve been told I’m going on a detour which will add as much as six hours of travel in a black car without air conditioning. My daughter will be traveling a shorter route with her grandparents and I may not see her until the next day, depending how things go.
I look forward to these trips because it’s a chance to see some family who live on the far side of the country, who I wouldn’t otherwise see. And who I like the chance to catch up with.
I dread these trips because I have to deal with a side of the family where expectations of ‘proper’ behaviour are high and tolerance for any deviation from those expectations is almost non-existent. This is the ‘Christian’ side of my family.