O, Year of the Fire Monkey, let me never live you again!
Before this batshit crazy year pours out of our cups onto the ground flooding the yard where it will freeze and congeal into a dull stain on the patio stones, let me gives thanks for this unbelievably tiny and insignificant life that have the privilege of living on earth during the year of our lord 2016.
Okay, you know how everyone and his stupid sister says they feel “lucky”? But statistically that can’t be true? I actually don’t feel lucky. I never have. I mean sometimes I make the bus/subway connection seamlessly in the winter but mostly, no; mostly I have average to bad luck. Except at the beginning of this year! As the clock struck down the last 10 seconds of 2015 I was filled with a sense of purpose and relief and excitement and gratitude. I sensed that 2016 was going to break the mold. Or I was going to break my mold. I was both right.
Shortly thereafter I went to the bathroom and ran my fingers through my hair causing my gold earring to attempt suicide and jump into the sink drain. Now try getting a staff members attention in the early hours of New Year’s Day. Not happening, so I resigned myself to the fact that earring was lost.
But I was wrong! A kind person fished my earring out a *few days later*. For this I am soooo grateful.
Also, I got a flat tire fixed during a mechanics strike (?) — only at Mercedes, amirite?
In 2016 I bought my first piece of art. This first of many hopefully. If you follow my Insta, or tonytaylorart, you know what it looks like.
I went to Carnivale in Quebec City and had the best snowboarding of my life at Mont Ste Anne. A special shout out to my instructor/friend who came for the ride since conditions were *heavy*.
Unfortunately I had to say goodbye to a relationship this month, but I’m eternally grateful for having him in my life.
Finally, I completed my financial designation that I had been working towards and three new letters now follow my name.
This month I was grateful for a hodgepodge including sunshine, my friends and receiving my tax return (lol! the government asked for it back later in the year!). I did start my book trilogy The Blood Bather and I’m so grateful for the time to devote to that.
But this month really stands out for an interaction I had with a stranger on the sidewalk. She rushed out of her home, ran across the street and asked to hug me, while reminding me that Jesus loved me. It was short and sweet. It’s important to remember that when people do this, they often need the same support themselves. I’m grateful she reminded me of this, and for her most generous blessing.
A lot of much needed house renos: the kitchen, bathrooms, new carpet, basement electrical and paint, etc. Nothing feels better than getting your home in order.
I had A LOT of trouble with my tenants this year and I had to evict them, formally complain to Immigration Canada and switch my real estate agent. I thought I had chosen honest people but I couldn’t have got it more wrong. Truly, I was devastated. But I found the new best person for the job and in turn she found the best tenant in the city. I’m so grateful!
While Spring was slow to get started here in the North Country, we had some beautiful weather towards the end. It was so nice, in fact, that a misguided neighbor became convinced that he had the right to plant stupid-looking indoor plants on my lawn. He was being encouraged by a local lesbian who had a crush on me. She loved me so much she actually *threatened to have me killed* if I didn’t let the flowers happen. Love does funny things to people, I’m the first to admit. But the plants weren’t to my taste – and neither was she. So for this month, I’m grateful for my lawyer and the police.
This month I was grateful for voodoo hex I found on the internet to create ‘War Water’ against a person who needs to go. It must have worked because it caused a shockwave and they all withered and died. Kidding! They just moved away. (But there was a shockwave…)
(It all kinda bleeds together, doesn’t it?)
I’m grateful for summers spent at Lake Simcoe, the stars in Bala, McDonald’s and long walks in the cedars…And the installation of a new fence. Ha
I became hopelessly smitten with the wrong person this summer, but it’s nice to know those things can still happen.
This month I was grateful for the smallest things. My fav boss bought me my fave drink at Starbucks and I went to the fancy movies with my friend S, which I never find enough time to do despite being a film major.(It may be because they don’t make films anymore, but I digress) They served us deluxe burgers with avocado and we crushed a bottle of wine. Yee-Haw!
I was also grateful for the big things. This year marked my 20th high school reunion– I had never been before and thought I should check it out. Readers Note: I went to a fairly fancy little finishing school nestled in the Swiss alps so this was not just some party in a school gymnasium- this was a gala event of 1100 people held at a convention centre. The night was so emotional for me because seeing these faces twenty years down the road was so … not sure. I made a big deal about it because it is a big deal and because –well, we won’t be here again. This isn’t something you attend every year or even every five years. What I learned that night was to not treat my whole life like a cocktail party. I’m so grateful that I decided to search for a life of meaning and purpose so I don’t have to sit around talking about my divorce. To any young person reading this, remember that one day you too will be sitting at a 20th high school reunion, yours or someone else’s, and know that you will have two choices: 1) you can be really jaded, or 2) you can be really hopeful about the future and joyful in the moment. And those will be the two choices you face in every situation for the rest of your life.
This month I felt hopeful, I would describe it as a divine sense of hope. Being broken open by shock or big changes can make you hungry for the simple things. I hang out with some nuns (when they’ll have me!) and one suggested I read Psalm 139. So I hunted for my Bible, a precious gift I had not troubled myself to touch in 13 years, and…the bookmark was already(!) at Psalm 139… remember how that lady all in red greeted me in the Spring? It was like that moment all over again. Read it, I would love to know your comments.
Which brings me to you!, Dear Reader, who makes my blog and socials entirely worthwhile. Your support gave me the confidence to enroll at The Second City and perform in my first improv show this month.
And so, with gratitude, I say Thank You Thank You Thank You