Thursday, December 31, 2015
The Year It's Been
I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions but I do like to take a look back and evaluate things as I move forward. December 31, as it has been rather arbitrarily chosen to end the year seems to be just as good of a time to take a look back as any other day, so here goes...
The price of oil falling quite substantially has obviously been a big story this year, affecting not only our economy but my community. It's certainly given me a few moments of angst and I find myself checking the price of oil on an almost daily basis once I get home from work. I count myself among the fortunate and while I don't mind things being a little less frenetic here, particularly compared to how it was when I first moved here, I certainly don't want to see things flat-line completely. It will be interesting to see what 2016 has in store for us.
On a much more positive note, I finished paying off a lot of debt this year, particularly timely as it turns out given the down turn. I can head in to the new year breathing a sign of relief with a little less stress and not having to fret so much about the lack of overtime. In short, I can enjoy life a bit more, which, while I haven't exactly blogged about it a great deal, is something I've come to understand as something I need to focus more on as I get older. On the plus side, I've proven to myself that I can take on adversity and that I'm much tougher than I sometimes give myself credit for.
It was a great year for birding, as I mentioned in my previous post. I had hoped for a modest 40 sightings this year and I managed to do that, thanks in part to a couple of timely visits to British Columbia. With luck I'll be able to squeeze in a couple more outings in the new year and with a little luck, hit 50 sightings.
I've also figured out a nice way to see some concerts, although the ACTUALLY SEEING THEM part won't start happening for another couple of weeks yet. I'm eagerly awaiting my first ticket to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to arrive and hope they did get too caught up in the Christmas mailing rush. I have a feeling I"m really going to enjoy a few concerts over the coming months. Rather than just thinking about going I decided to get down to business and come up with a plan to get down to see some good music.
And while surviving potential layoffs, expanding bird lists and seeing great music are wonderful things, they still pale beside the best news of all this year....namely, that my mother can count herself as a cancer survivor. A year ago, things looked rather bleak and up in the air. Being three provinces away while Mom did her chemo and made countless trips in to Toronto and having to rely on phone calls and social media for updates did have its stresses at times. Mom's cancer was inoperable and aggressive. Asking the dreaded question about what would happen should the chemotherapy fail is not easy since you know what the answer is going to be. Skipping along merrily through life and then all of a sudden being faced with the potential loss of a very close family member has a way of forcing you to re-evaluate your priorities and not sweat the minutiae of every day life. The only drawback to the chemo was that while it killed the cancer, it also wreaked havoc on her salivary glands which makes eating more a challenge but given the alternative...
In short, 2015 was a roller-coaster of a year. Plenty of ups and downs to be sure but given some of the personal challenges I've faced in the past few years, fortunately nothing I can't handle.