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Monday, December 14, 2015

Annual Catch-up

It's been almost a year since my last post, which should say something about the way life has been going lately. Breakneck speed mixed with bouts of freedom, revelations, and tons of change.I've interwoven some photos here from Life this year.

Traditional Medicine training- field school.

Noel and I hit a really tough spot last winter just as I was starting to really get into running. We've been through the gamut and after some amazing therapy (individual) and honest, nothing-to-lose talk, compromises, and recommittments, we are stronger than ever in a REAL way. I'm sitting next to him right now and am feeling blessed to have him in my life.

Doing the Duck Dance at the 2015 Indigenous Studies program Social.
My messy living room.
I stopped running in the spring when my Achilles became too strained to withstand a short run. RICE'ing it doesn't help. I never completed my No BS Run Club half marathon and feel like a failure. But I know I'm not, I'm just like every other person who became enchanted with running in the honeymoon phase but didn't make it a sustainable part of my life. Now I'm dealing with some really intense chronic pain, major fibromyalgia flare ups, and two injured knees (more on that in a bit) that has me really rethinking what exercise looks like, and has proven to me how important movement is to a healthy body. I'm starting physio as soon as exams are over.
The Aunts.

My favourite tree on my running route- I imagine I'm passing under a dinosaur.
  "Exams?", you say? Yes. Exams. After finishing my Chartered Herbalist diploma in June (yay!) and my first year of Traditional Medicine training (double yay!) I decided to try out other avenues of edumacation. So I enrolled at McMaster University for a summer Anthropology class and fell in love. I researched and fought hard to get my financial life in alignment with full time school, and on September 8th I left a full time working life for full time school. It's been the hardest transition of my life outside of, well, the last hardest transition in my life. Pick one, they've all been hard. There are no easy transitions, usually. But then, if they were easy, they'd be kind of boring, innit?

Emmadog at Dundas Valley.

 Amidst the beginning of school, on Day 2 actually, life took an unexpected turn. I hurt my knee at school, bad enough to have to go to the hospital (hence the two injured knees) and Noel raced home on his bike to pick up our car and drive to the bus stop to come get me. On his way there he felt sort of odd, arm tingling, chest-tighteningly odd. Heart attack odd. Basically, Noel stole my knee thunder with a mild myocardial infarction. He was a trooper through the whole ordeal, and is now on the road to better health with no need for surgery, thankfully. 


It's now December and I'm in the throes of writing exams. I'm pretty much procrastinating by writing this post, but what the hell? It's been almost a year and I can't leave this blog empty for an entire year! I know no one reads this, it's mostly my own accountability to myself and sort of a fun expression to get out my thinkythoughts, so I don't feel bad. Sometimes it's nice to see who I was a year or two ago and see how much I've changed, what's important in life at that moment, and how things evolve.

Emmadog cursing me for my impulse purchase. She's totally giving me #slightsideeye
Where I spent most of my spring, summer, and fall this year. My favourite back yard.
The Aunts visiting Noel in the Cardic unit.
My life for the past 3.5 months.
Light painting at Turkey in the Woods.
Epic bonfire at TITW.
I have a few hopes for 2016. 

Hope #1: I recently decided to reduce my courseload to part time and take another full time job, mainly because I love my home and don't want to lose it. That, and I am totally BROKE and need to make more than nothing, which is what I'm making right now. I shouldn't say that, I do get funding through my band (Oneida, SixNay all the way!) and it's super helpful, but it's not enough to pay the bills. I just accepted a position with a cancer hospital as their first ever Aboriginal Community Outreach coordinator. It pays well, has benefits, and most importantly- they want to support my education, so I can still move towards that end. It's an important decision for me. This is the only position I would have said yes to- mainly because it deals with cancer and ethnic disparities in health. I hope that the work I do prevents what happened to my mother and my family to some other family.
My favourite tiny store in Vermont- the East Warren Community Market, just down the road from our old place.
 Hope #2: When I lived in the Red Light District in downtown Hamilton I became familiar with several Ladies of the Night. I saw them come and go, do the Crack Dance on the corner for more hours than anyone should have to work, and disappear altogether to an unknown, uncertain, and most likely dangerous future. I want to give back to these women. They may be damaged, they may be shells of themselves, but they deserve love and compassion, just like every other human being. It's so easy to write them off, slut-shame them, and believe that we're somehow better than them. My hope is to bring them a small spark of peace and gratitude. I'm enrolling to volunteer to being clean needles, water, condoms, and food to these women, and to be armed with compassion and resources for safe space and respite.
FUNdy Bay summer vaycay.
Hope #3: I'm 40 years old and have thought about the idea of children for, well, pretty much my entire life. I had 3 miscarriages with my ex and decided that was enough and that I would stay childless by choice. Since we split up I have thought about the potential for Noel and I to raise a family, but he's been snipped, so I sort of gave up on it again. I finally have a job that offers benefits, IVF included, and we're seriously considering it. Or adoption. I want to try IVF first, but we might end up adopting anyway. My hope is that by the end of 2016 I have made a decision and followed through on making it happen (or not).

Shrooms (or something!)
Emmadog being all Continental in Old Quebec City.
Magoose- those LIPS!
I played with purple a lot this year.

That's about it. I've procrastinated long enough. Happy solstice, happy Christmas, happy Hannukah, and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I love to read your blog posts honey and I love all that you've said and all that we have and all that we've become and are yet becoming, still.
    I'm so grateful and blessed to have you along side me in this journey.
    I am so proud of your determination and you inspire me to excel when I get into school, which I hope is soon.
    Love you baby!!!