Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good Bye 2009!

Well now it the time to say farewell to what has been a packed year of learning and friendship building for me personally - overall it has been an awesome year.

Here are some highlights of 2009 for me:

* In January I started going to my now home church and established a great group of friends. The first time in my life to go to church with so many people my own age. It's been cool to be a part of something from the beginning as I went to my home church the very first week it started in my city (it branched out from another).

* I also began doing my school placements in January which were tremendously eye opening for me as they were my first direct experiences working with people with various disabilities. At first I wasn't so sure I'd make it, but I stuck with it and found my niche and now couldn't imagine doing anything else!

* March gave Wally and I our 8th wedding anniversary.

* In the spring I learned that I have AB- blood and was a perfect candidate for plasma donation and I have since become a regular donor (at least when my body is well rested).

* In May I got my very first job that required essentially 3 interviews and was a real agency in the field of my choice.

* June marked our one year anniversary in Wrinkleville and the big city - we still weren't feeling an itch to move!

* In July I challenged myself to my '40 Things to try in 40 Days' which proved to be a wonderful adventure with lots of fun, growth and deepening of friendships.

* In August Wally and I went an our first summer vacation in the north and had the best time ever!

* In September I applied and was offered a 30 hour a week contract at my job, while also beginning my final placement and semester of school.

* October held the wedding of my sister in law Pumpkin to her now husband Gourd - wally and I had an absolute blast at the reception. (This was a first for us at a wedding).

* November marked a turning point at my job and a realization that I would not continue to build my career at that particular place of employment. (I experienced an incredibly traumatic few events one evening which I will write about soon).

* December was a month of relief. Wally and I both completed our programs - both of us making the Dean's List each semester we were there. Wally was offered a job before exams were even finished and my placement also offered me a job there, bringing me the gift of resigning from my contract.

If I were to sum up 2009 into one word I would have to say it is: RELATIONSHIPS. That is what I feel like the year has been all about. Establishing, growing, weeding out and the evolving of relationships with new and old friends alike. It has been incredibly cool to start this blog and feel connected to people near and far. To help actually made friends through strangers - what a gift.

My hope is that 2010 holds adventure, excitement, love, growth, healing and even more building of relationship in new and different ways.

Every year I look ahead and wonder what the year to come will look like. Will it be full of change? Will I be living where I am now? Will those closest to me still be alive and well? Will I still have my health? Will I have children in the coming year? Where will I travel to, if at all? Who will I laugh with and build fun memories with? What will those memories hold? How can I make this year even better than the last? That is a question I really wonder about. I honestly feel so blessed (sorry for the cliche) at the fact that I truly feel like I am living my life that I can't possibly have a better year than I just had. But I will because I am determined to live connected and open to seeing whatever God is up to.

At least that is my goal.

Happy New Year everyone!!

Live great this year.

Live great right now!

Eva :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One of My Favourite Things to do

Is purging.

No not food. Although I have had times that I have really wanted to do that - you know, after a binge. What I am referring to is getting rid of all of the unnecessary junk you have lying around in your closet taking up space for no apparent reason.

I LOVE to purge.

I LOVE to make room.

I LOVE to create space.

And not just to fill it. This year I actually considered getting rid of some of my Christmas presents before I even put them away. I sound horrible I know. Here's the thing: my mama is a giver. A giver of things. She loves through giving tangible gifts. For years I loved this, I'd be lying if I said there aren't times that I still love this. But for the most part these days, unless the gift literally peaks my senses (gives warmth or softness, smells really good, tastes good - this one's up for debate these days, can be listened to or watched) I don't enjoy it that much. I realize that really anything can be enjoyed by our senses to some degree or another, but what I no longer care much for are things that don't specifically relate to me.

Boy I sound very ungrateful and selfish, but it's how I feel.

Today as I was sifting through our clothes closet and dressers I was ashamed to have built up a gigantic pile (actually two piles) of clothes. Clothes that didn't have stains in them, or holes. In fact many of the clothes were barely worn.

I generally go through out closet every six months or so and each time I come out with at least one bag of clothes for charity. I have never really been struck by this at all, at least not like I was today.

You see, I'm the kind of person who doesn't get too attached to stuff. Unless the item has deep sentimental value I could chuck it any day of the week, no matter the monetary value. And usually if an item carries some sort of sentimental value to me it is more times than not worthless in the realm of dollar values.

Getting back to the clothes. When I realized that I was being brutally honest with myself while parting with the pants I wouldn't be fitting back into in the next 2 months - or at least if I could, I knew I wouldn't likely choose to wear them. (Even though I bought them last boxing day and they have only seen day light maybe two or three times.) I was saddened by how wasteful I am. How easy it is for me to spend money on clothes and anything really, and not use it. I know that this is an age old lesson but for some reason today it got to me.

Hmmmm... now I'm thinking how this lesson could translate into a possible adventure of sorts. I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking 'Go to Goodwill for the next year and don't allow yourself to shop in a mall or regular store'. To which the pleading me would respond with 'I always get deals - ALWAYS!! I never pay full price! Leave me alone!'

Oh dear, I don't know...

Ok so another thought on purging.

The other night I had a meltdown in front of Wally. This definitely doesn't justify a news flash - it's been a fairly regular occurrence in our marriage through the years. This one was not unlike the others. It was related to over eating, my guilt, shame and physically ill feelings at that point in the evening. The funny part was that I wanted to fix it by throwing away all of the 'junk' in our apartment (I don't mean food either). The sight of the unwrapped stuff under the tree annoyed me, the pile of disheveled papers on the filing cabinet overwhelmed me, and the yet to be eaten mounds of chocolate scared me. My solution that night was throw it all away, just get rid of it.

It's odd though. After I got the third box of the same chocolates within a week from yet another adoring relative, rather than sticking them in the freezer or merely giving them to someone else that may like them, I felt obligated, since they were given to me, to eat them so I downed the whole box in one sitting until they were all gone and felt even worse for wear. All week I've been eating my Christmas chocolate with one thing in mind 'Gotta get rid of this stuff ASAP so I can start over'.

Sounds like a real gift eh?

By no means am I blaming the givers of these fine gifts but pointing out how many gifts can become burdens. Though I speak with lust so often about yummy foods (especially those of the sugary persuasion). Inside I am torn. Though my taste buds love them, my heart hates them because they truly torment me. People joke so much around the holidays about over eating and indulging and they are so light hearted about it. When I say I've gained ten pounds, I mean I've gained ten pounds. When I say I've eating an entire box of Toffee chocolate candy I mean I've eaten the ENTIRE box - in one sitting no less.

I'm not sure why I struggle so deeply with these issues. I don't know why some people can eat one or two chocolates and can put the rest away, while I obsess about such things all the day long and feel an absolute obligation to devour the evil splendor until it is gone and I can breathe again. I'm sure I could take a psych course and try to figure it out ... actually I already have but couldn't.

This year I want freedom from this. Not in a magical way that melts the now 30 extra pounds from my body and turns me into a bikini model (although I certainly wouldn't be entirely depressed if this happened). What I want is for one to be enough.

I know that during any overwhelming moment in life, it's easiest to bail. To run from it. To separate yourself from it, to throw it away so you don't have to live with it. But I 'm wondering if sometimes purging needs to be a mental activity. Purging old thoughts, old ways of thinking. To make room for new patterns, new beliefs, new ways of living. Maybe sometimes we aren't supposed to get rid of what is our biggest challenge. Maybe we are supposed to learn how to live with it until it isn't our biggest challenge any more.

I wonder ... am I up for this one?

'You can be a house wife now!'

So I just had a most interesting conversation with my boss. Well my barely boss now. The one I worked under while I was doing my 30 hour contract. She phoned a couple of hours ago and asked if she could pop by so that I could fill sign some paperwork. I really have no idea what I scribbled my name on but I did. As she was leaving she asked how my Christmas was, blah, blah, blah and as I was mentioning how I've enjoyed not working, not doing school and just hanging out she asked if my husband was off too. I said 'Yes, until Monday when he starts his job.'

She replied with lit up eyes and a high pitched 'Oh! This means you can be a housewife now ... if you want to.'

I say 'Yeah ... I guess maybe ... someday. I kinda want to work though.'

'But it's nice to know you have that option.' She says.

'Yeah, I guess it is.' Then we said our goodbyes, I got on the elevator in utter disbelief at her initial reaction.

I guess I shouldn't be offended or 'ruffled', especially considering the source (no disrespect intended, but she's human and has 'issues' like everyone else). It really struck me though that her first response wasn't congratulatory but rather assuming.

It's kind of funny because the person I was before I went to school would have openly said ' Actually, you are right! I am so relieved. I have really always wanted to be a house wife and now my dreams can come true!' To be honest when I first got married those were exactly my dreams ... maybe that's why her comment annoyed my so much.

Now I have to say right off that I think being a housewife is an amazing job, hard and often thankless work, running a ship of sorts. I respect any woman who takes this job on and seriously devotes herself to her home. I consider myself a housewife, to a degree, even though I work outside of the home. But I have to say since my recent 70 hour work week experiences I had to give up that job and allow my husband to take over completely, leaving me jobless in the home. And even now returning to that position it won't be the same, as my husband had to step up and take over for several months and now takes some degree of ownership of the duties that need to be done.

I suppose much of the reason I get bothered when people say such things is that it is assumed that the goal of every woman is to stay home to work. I used to think it would be my choice, then I realized that there were gifts and talents within me that could now bloom in that environment. Gifts no more important than that of a housewife but things that for me specifically couldn't be fulfilled (at least not at this particular point in my life) while solely at home.

I realized in the past few years that my aspirations to be at home were predominantly selfish and based in fear. Fear of what I thought I could do and what I thought I couldn't do. Fear of confrontation, fear of failure, fear of the big wide world. After several years of financial struggle and having to provide for Wally and myself I learned that no matter where you are you need to learn and grow. You cannot hide away and still grow. For me staying home would be hiding, at least while I was as immature as I was in life. I have one close friend in particular that is a 'stay at home mom' and I have to laugh when I think of that being her title because she is anything but 'at home'. Sure she doesn't hold a job outside of her family but man, that woman couldn't hide away if she wanted to. She has two wee ones and is constantly one the go with them, traveling, trying new things, going new places, meeting new friends and so involved in her community it tires me.

then there are those like another friend I have who is house bound. Not going outside much, afraid of the outdoors, other people, and so many other things I don't even want to go into. I would've totally turned into that girl. I am so thankful for how life has turned out for Wally and I. I truly feel like I've learned so many lessons I wouldn't have if I'd been a housewife from the beginning.

I won't lie though. It does give me a sense of comfort knowing that my husband can provide for us on his own. It gives me relief from the years when it wasn't enough and I had to work full time too to make sure the bills got paid, the car got fixed and the food was on the table. For the moment I do feel that I've been given the gift of little pressure to work, however that does not mean I want to abandon my passion to work with people in a formal setting. It's interesting that we assume that the preference would always be to not to get involved when given a choice.

After saying all of that I have to add that someday my natural reaction or desire may be to work because it is what I've done for so long. Fear of not working, providing, or fulfilling a career outside of the home may be what I have to overcome to answer a new calling to stay home with my family. Who knows? I aspire to be someone that is open and willing to follow whatever path I feel lead towards and become the woman I have been created to be no matter what fears may try and hold me back.

That my friends, is what can make life such an adventure!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I am getting very excited for the new year. I am getting very excited about blogging again. I am trying to think about what fantastic journey I want to go on in 2010. The thing is I want to know before 2010 comes to find me.

Perhaps I need help.

Perhaps I need suggestions.

I LOVED doing my 'Forty Days' of new experiences in 2009. They seriously changed me in a million little ways and a few big ones. But it's a new year and a new adventure. I really want to do experience big things. I just don't know what.

I have a mini list going that I'm thinking about. Maybe I'll share...

Maybe I won't.

Just kidding I will.

* Wally and I are going to host a HUGE party in celebration of life.

In efforts to make memories and thank those who have supported us through our journey so far. There will be a dance, cash bar, wonderfully fun decorations, a photographer to catch the memories, fun center pieces, thoughtful touches, and great food. Oh and don't forget the party favors and nice invitations. Oh yeah and the interestingly diverse party goers. We are so excited!!

* Wally and I are planning to go on a hot air balloon ride in the summer.

We've talked about it lots but have never conceived doing it because of cost - since my last adventure we've come to realize these experiences are worth it. At least we hope they are.

* I want to learn how to jog or run.

I'm really not aware of the difference but have always wanted to be the person that does 'that'.

* Wally and I are going to join a gym together.

This is something Wally has only recently began to show an interest in and to me is miraculous. I'm sure this will hold great stories to.

* I want to have a dinner, inviting a group of amazing women and honour them at it.

Really to celebrate them and to inspire eachother. Who does this?

* I need to go somewhere on a plane again, on my own.

Or at least travel and experience something - even if it's a learning experience. I've wanted to do a trip somewhere in the world to 'give back' for years. I don't know if this is the year to go over oceans, but somewhere new would be nice... we'll see.

* Go camping (like with a tent)

Some people like it.

* I would love to give up my addiction to sugar foods for a year.

I want to see if I can transfer my love for chocolate into something more healthy. That would be interesting...

Well that's all for now. Does anyone have any other cool suggestions? Feel free to add them.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Beginnings ...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to any and all readers that may potentially still be stumbling upon my blog after so long of me away. I very much hope to resume writing, at least every few days now. I have to get back into the knack of things and remember how to write or at least how I like to write down what I am pondering. I remember LOVING it and the constant communication it brought to my world. There's something just so fun about being 'anonymous' or maybe just 'read' that feels so great. It's probably the narcissistic side of me...

I guess it might be nice to update you on my (our) lives up to this point. I'll give it to you in short:
* As of Dec 26th my contract at work was over. For those who don't know, I resigned 2 weeks ago after we got news ...
* Wally is employed in his field - a computer programmer analyst!!!!
* My placement offered me a job and I accepted!!! I have been given 24 hours permanent (meaning they are my own!) one week and 8 hours permanent on the opposite week with plans of going up to 35 hours a week. (Oh and I'm being trained at every place the agency works at to fill my hours in the mean time - which not every body gets the chance to do!). I'll explain more about my new job later.
* The past few days have been all about getting reconnected with Wally and it's been (for the most part) great! I have no earthly idea how I survived and even did fairly well during the past four months now that I am getting back to 'normal'
* I have just realized how desperately in need of an apartment purge Wally and I are. I love to purge.
* I have begun loosely planning 'THE Party', more to follow on this.
* I have gained an unreasonable amount of weight during my placement and will definitely share more about this... blah
* I suppose I could mention one of the most obvious updates: Wally and I are finished school! well at least part 1. I am seriously considering getting an honours BA through a University that will accept my 2 years at college towards 2 years at their historically 'hands on' University ... however I'm going to take a few months off before I get into that (if I even do)

I think those are all of the most important events of the day. I have so much I want to share over the past few months but I'm going to let it trickle out slowly. I am so very excited to get back into life. I'm not sure that I would ever trade truly experiencing life for a challenge again - but I did and I have learned SOOOOOO much.

I'll be back soon!

Love Eva :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm still alive ... just not sane

Well it's the truth. Ok so I'm probably not yet technically insane but I have certainly felt the potential to fall off of the tight rope at times.

There's so much I would love to share. So much I would love to say but the brief ten minutes I have to receive some therapy here is just not enough time to release much.

Here's the long and the short of it...

* I am 13 days, 1 assignment and 1 exam away from completing my college diploma
* 20 days, 9 shifts away from celebrating Christmas
* 12 days from being eligible to work for my placement agency which has indeed hired me on the day following my last day of placement (even though they aren't technically allowed to do that
* 17 days away from seeing an old friend who lives far, far away

Living in a countdown isn't really my style at all. I really believe in living in the moment, enjoying every second and learning through every mistake. By I have to say taking on a 70 hour work week in the field of my choosing doesn't produce feelings of philosophy they provide a desire to just survive. I am now more in tune with most of humanity - or at least most of North America. Something I'm worked the past few years to get away from.

Oh well right now my pursuit in life is to survive mentally sound, then indulge in philosophy and living after. Not recommended but sometimes necessary.

Here's a brief list of the things I have learned in the past 13 weeks of my crazy life:

* I will never, ever have issues with changing a baby's dirty diaper
* nursing homes are generally (in my opinion) cruel punishments
* a good co-worker is invaluable
* no your limits and play within them
* you can function with only 5 hours of sleep on a continuous basis but not forever
* your boss can indeed be that insensitive
* there are amazing places to work that knock your socks off and you are allowed to be selfish and take those jobs
* call the 1-800 counseling hotline - the first step is the hardest but the most necessary
* my husband can learn how manage the house completely on his own
* I like the lady I support with dementia, she makes me smile (in a nice way)
* you can forgive someone when they don't know better, but it's hard to forgive those who do
* the system is broken and it grieves me
* I still have the ability to grieve
* human services can be the most inhumane system there is sometimes
* there are places that put philosophy into practice
* I am strong even when I'm broken
* no one understands a traumatic event you've been through as well as the one who goes through it with you
* I miss cooking
* Just because a place has a wheelchair ramp by no means makes it wheelchair accessible
* I miss working out, even though it does little for my waistline
* I picked the right job
* I miss my blog family :(

Well I've used up more than my ten minutes. I look forward to returning regularly soon!!

Not that many people read this now but whoever does, may I ask for your prayers (in whatever form they may come)?

Eva :)