AYear in Review …

roar

Well…

Well, I spent $100 USD to renew this website. Which is approximately $136 CND at this point. Or, $70 ish GBP.

I haven’t been able to write at all. But this cash investment shows I have faith that I might. Just like an expensive gym pass.

When you’re a teacher, you tend to see the year in terms.

The terms will vary depending on the school When I worked at the university in Turkey, life was divided into 8 week increments, with a week or so holiday in between. The summer was a full 8 weeks.

Working in an office was probably the hardest. Only 2 weeks? How do you divide up your year?

I’m teaching High School now, so life is in 4 terms. September – December, January – April, May – June, July – August. The last term of 2015 is ending this week.

One morning recently, after seeing someones confused Facebook post, I thought it was 2016 right now. I’d lost 2016 entirely and was already moving into 2017.

I digress.

I can’t write, I don’t know why.

This year many things happened. Some were mundane and some were funny, some were sad. Sometimes I was very happy, very angry, and very anxious.

This past term I was obsessed with current events. I cried at school (quietly, more a tearing of the eyes really) because of terrorists and refugees and occasionally cute baby animals. I couldn’t believe what happened in Canada’s federal election, I can’t believe what a train wreck American politics has become. Daily, I’m surprised at the capacity for people to do kindness, and also spread hate and ill-will. I taught lessons about terrorists and refugees. I tried to talk to kids and co-workers about not delving into fear and mistrust of people that are different. I got frustrated. There were small gains and losses.

Gain: Following Pumpkin the raccoon on Instagram.IMG_20151202_073019

I spent the summer term convinced the world was ending.

There was a very awkward week long period in Vancouver in which the sky smelled like burning, and it looked like a regular afternoon in, say, Beijing. I decided that I no longer needed to worry about personal finances because it was the end times. “Hey – End Times” was something I said quite frequently.

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Beautiful End Times Sunset (because of all the pollution in the air from the forest fires)

I went to London a lot, perhaps as a result of this “Hey – End Times” mentality, or because of falling madly in love. Mad being what you have to be to decide to be with someone so far away (but really, I’d be even crazier not to). After the Spring term, and in between the Summer terms, and now again at the end of the Fall term – to London I went / go.

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Hampstead Heath from the “I Can’t Live Without You and Finances Mean Nothing Because the World is Ending Anyway” tour

*If you are going to try to be in love with someone long distance – it does help to have good passports, live in nice places to visit, and have your own apartment or accommodating roommates.

I also went to Alaska, to see an old friend and Alaska. It was gorgeous. People had guns, and unfortunately this is going to be one of the things that sticks in my mind about Alaska. The beauty, friendliness, and that random dude with a handgun sticking out of the back of his pants down by that gorgeous lake where we were trying to take those cool floating photos (where you time your jump in the air …)*See below.

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I did try to go skiing in 2015. It was depressing.

Many outdoor activities I enjoyed in the winter turned into weird introspective jaunts into the wilderness. “What is happening to the planet”, “Is it ok to have kids still?” “Where is the snowshoe trail?” *Snowshoe trail missing due to lack of snow. I missed out on the summer activities because I simply gave up. Which was sad.

The winter in 2015 at Whistler was like none I had ever seen. It was very, very cold initially. Then warm. Then cold. Most days the snow was a sheet of ice at the top and slushy near the bottom. I fell down a lot. I became a much better skier after two years off – just trying not to kill myself or others as I went down the hill.

I realise how this reaks of privilege.

But I really enjoyed skiing during university. During university reading week in mid – February there was A LOT of snow. There was quite a lot LESS snow during the same time period in 2015. Shit got real.

So, in 2015, I went to London (and Scotland) and Alaska. I fell in love. I decided to forgo responsible financial decision making for a few months, but am now back on track. I still think the world is ending, but I see some hope now. I know some people are calling the Paris Climate Change Agreement a game changer, but other people I know are saying no, no it is not a game changer.

I think that Canada is doing good things. I don’t think Canada is taking enough refugees, but, at least they are showing that taking refugees is something that people should do, and can be proud of doing and supporting. It is a start. We are being a good example and this is important too.

I was briefly afraid of terrorism. Especially going to London again shortly. But then, as my Australian friends would say “sometimes you are just unlucky” while they were talking about bull sharks and poisonous snakes, I think it is an effective when dealing with life in general. Unfortunately, sometimes we are just unlucky.

But, looking back on this year, however,

I have been very lucky. Lucky indeed.