motown music

Year In Review - Can't Keep a Good Blog Down

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day
When it's cold outside I've got the month of May

A lot can happen in a year.

I shot my coveted Pirate Ship wedding at the West Edmonton Mall in January. We were enjoying some dog-training classes with Murphy and getting used to having a puppy who was fast growing into a dog. I was working on my hermitage and trying to see new people. I was just trying my hand at a few more dishes to cook. I was in preparation for my first attempt at taking a big work sabbatical, upon therapist recommendation and personal reflection. It was scary, but it was so worthwhile!

I also declared 2013 the year of Snowclone blog titles, which has been a lot of fun!

I lived the whole year in our rental house, which we really love, and I know I will remember it with a lot of happiness.

I was staying at someone's house in Edmonton quite frequently around this time, and struggling a little with depression after a really awful 2012. I posted about a cool abandoned house in Edmonton, surprised to find that I felt encouraged by it, that it seemed opportune rather than mournful. I tried yoga for the first time, and while I did like it, I couldn't get in the permanent groove of continuing. It did inspire me to consider more physical activities, however. I read The Happiness Project, which was really influential to me, and still highly recommended reading.

I began my sabbatical, a slow incline with a lot of work going in. Paul took some time off at the beginning to spend with me and it was great!  I developed some Sabbatical Focus points, which I am proud to say I feel I adequately addressed, which will lead to different goals in this year's version.

I had been so looking forward to taking Sabbatical that I kind of forgot that it was going to be really challenging. I challenged myself on nearly every level of my life that I was struggling with, and that's a major thing to do. I saw the The Price is Right Live Show with my parents, which was fun. I finally got myself a super-nice work desk, I upgraded my computer and Paul upgraded the laptop. I was planning to travel a ton this year, and I did. More than I ever would have wanted to, in the end.

We sold Paul's condo, our first time selling a home, and our finances really started to even out. I went through a fairly painful "friend divorce" situation. By April, however, things were really looking up. I finally stopped kidding myself about anti-depressants and I now have no intention of ever going off them.

In 2013 I shot over 40 sessions, 10 weddings, and several events and things otherwise. I had a lot of struggles with staff, going through two ladies before I finally got a fairly permanent placement late in the year. As a result I am behind but I know I can get ahead soon, and that makes all the difference.

One small step for man, and the other one for me
Send myself up to the stars
You know it can't be that hard
Dissipate into the dark
Don't even try to stop me, I'm already gone

I made 15 full trips to Edmonton in 2013, one to Calgary, and two other work trips that didn't take me quite as far away - well, one I technically have one of those trips to Edmonton yet to make, but I'm leaving for it in 2 days. I also went to Vancouver, Toronto, Prince Albert, Regina, Drumheller where I finally saw the Badlands Passion Play, and lastly, Las Vegas, where I gambled less than $5 on a vintage horse racing game and won it all back, but spent over $40 on pinball and other vintage arcade games.  Paul and I started a habit of going to the beach together with Murphy in summertime, which was awesome. It was my first full year of dog ownership, and Murphy is a wonderful part of our family.

I've made quite a few friends in Edmonton, which is good, now that we're planning for sure to move back. I've been married 3.5 years, and in July next year we'll have been together for 5.

I dressed up as a medieval lady, as a flapper-era photographer, and as River Song from Doctor Who, among other things I might not remember as well. I've rescued three stray dogs. I photographed a stunning aurora. I developed a hobby of buying things at the auction, which I really enjoy doing and it has greatly improved our lives on a small budget. We experimented with gardening. I made some personal breakthroughs in understanding where I was at with a bunch of really important things - I grew. I took Paul to Edmonton to see BodyWorlds and we went to Fort Edmonton Park. We went to Drumheller and had a big conversation about taking pride in where you live which has resulted in quite a few incrementally-incorporated changes to our housekeeping procedures.

I learned how to drive a school bus, but realized I couldn't make it happen with the crazy life I was leading for work. Regardless, I now have a professional driver's license, which is pretty cool. My best friend and her husband had two babies - their first - and I've fallen in love with them, and it doesn't hurt that I live a 4 minute walk away. I started regularly attending Tweetups and Awesome Foundation pitch parties and other social-media driven events where I've met some pretty cool people. Speaking of cool, we made a snow-bot this year. I hosted another epic birthday party, a Carnival this time. I packed half a dozen Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes with the leftovers. My iPod of many years died. My second photograph so far has gone viral, and I have some plans for more things that should also make it on the viral scene.

Multiple family Christmases and more are making me feel in the spirit of Christmas here at the end of the year, and though I haven't listened to a lot of Christmas music this holiday, I have a feeling of contentment and joy that is unrivalled in my previous life.

It's been a good year.

You are all four seasons
Rolled into one
You're like the cold December snow
In the warm July sun

Like an old guitar
Worn out and left behind

There's stories still to tell
They're of the healing kind