Friday 3 January 2014

Let the Love Affair with 2014 Begin

This past holiday season was one for the books!  Christmas week started with the anticipation and wonder that every holiday begins and what was even more exciting was that it promised to be a white one...finally!  Snow would have been nice treat but what we got was ICE.  Two days of just below freezing temperatures created just enough ice to crack trees, take down hydro wires and make it virtually impossible to maneuver through our delightful city. 

The kids and I lost power on Saturday night around 10:30pm.  I really didn't think much about it until I woke up really early the following morning and found that it was eerily silent in my building.  Looking out the window, it felt strange to see neighbouring condos dark, not one single light on.  There was no electricity humming through the outlets or any noise from appliances being used.  As much as it was an inconvenience, the calmness and tranquility of it all smacked me in the face like a breath of fresh air. It was nice to get up and not be faced with the long list of "things" I needed to do and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

We take things for granted so often in life and this quiet helped me reflect.  It was nice to see neighbours, who never ventured out, pop out from their eternal hibernation and talk. Neighbours were checking on neighbours and helping carry food and hot coffee up the stairs.  Despite being faced with the horror of no power on Christmas, people were happy and I figured out why. Communities pulled together!  People were once again engaging in off line communication and it was wonderful!  I saw families huddled together in local coffee shops, warming up, charging their phones and having dialogues with their spouses, their children, with anyone who would listen!  People's noses were pulled up from their electronic devices and eye contact was everywhere!  Maybe this ice storm was just what our society needed.

Venturing outside was just as spectacular.  Luckily, I don't live very high up and was able to move between in and outside without much discomfort or fatigue (although, I did decide that it was time to hit the gym again!)  My little neighbourhood had become a crystallized world captured in time.  The devastation that Mother Nature had imposed on us was evident in the sagging tree branches and fallen limbs that lay on every corner.  But the beauty that Mother Nature left was also very evident.  Under the late afternoon sun, walking along ice covered sidewalks, I felt as thought my world sparkled and dazzled like diamonds.  The beauty and devastation of one event left me in awe.  Take a look at what my world looked like...



Christmas Day was soon upon us but my excitement for the day was met with aching joints, painful bones, fever and an overall lack of energy.  Being the eternal optimist, I thought that two Advil and a blanket would make me feel better soon.  Well, I spent the next 5 days in bed, feeling absolutely awful.  With not much to do, I spent my days sleeping and thinking and pondering.  Funny how certain truths pop into your mind when a fever is running rampant within your body. 

So what did I discover about myself? About life?

Well, I figured out that despite all my life's lessons over the past few years, I was still making the same mistakes, only this time they were disguised with what I thought was my new found logic.  Life is about balance and keeping that balance is an integral part of maintaining your sanity.  Balance is about not accepting anything less than what you know you deserve.  And here I was making excuses for everyone around me and feeling off kilter for some time.  So what to do?  Make changes, no matter how heart breaking, gut wrenching and painful they will be.  Change is what propels us forward and keeps us managing that constant state of equilibrium our souls need.

Being sick and having a horrible cough also provided me with the opportunity to continue to sit back and watch.  I don't think we do that often enough because if we did we would see all the little nuances life offers.  Sitting on the side lines on NYE, I caught glimpses of things that I would normally miss and this was just with my own family...what else was I missing as I ploughed through my days?  I saw the love, the unconditional love between two people as they spoke at the dinner table - it was in his eyes for her and her eyes for him - a silent knowing between the two of them.  I saw how strong one woman was and how her laughter made everyone smile, even when times were bad.  It was her outlook on life, her abilitiy to continue to laugh and encourage throughout her pain that shone at the table that night.  I saw the sadness in another's eyes of a life he wanted to change but felt the hope he carried in his heart.  I watched my grandmother, who is suffering from alzhiemer's, try to make sense of all the confusion around her but saw a glimmer of hope when she looked at my children and called them over to her. 

This past week was not what I expected.  It was supposed to be filled with chaos and excitement and all the craziness of this time of year.  And it wasn't that at all. 

This week was the perfect end to a full year, a year that brought with it much joy and and many tears.  This week gave me time to reflect, truly reflect and I am ready to start my love affair with 2014, with a full heart, clear mind and open eyes! 

TALK TO ME!! What is going to make your year ahead the best year ever?  What did you learn in 2013 that you will apply in 2014?


  1. The photos are stunning...LOVE. Sounds like you got just what you needed over the holidays, my sweet friend. Your epiphanies are so true, and very profound. I think 2014 is going to be a stellar year for you. BTW, your writing is beautiful in this piece in particular. *HUGS*

    1. Beth, thank you so much for the kind words! They mean a lot to me! It was really nice to decompress and put things into perspective, something I probably wouldn't have done had the events over the holidays not happened. Sometimes life works in mysterious ways!!! <3