As always, we tend to get nostalgic as one year ends and another begins.
Me, maybe more so than most, as I continually traverse this never ending, ever changing journey towards recovery.
In late 2013, I had a major break through on the road to recovery, my pre-workplace abuse personality, that irrepressible, sometimes irreverent, frequently extroverted and usually outgoing part of me came back - in full force.
It was a major breakthrough but not a total cure as the events of 2014 showed as they unfolded.
There were some really neat times when I felt on top of the world ... and there were some really down times with the negative emotions overcame me and threatened to knock me down for the count.
Below are the highlights, the significant parts of 2014 in photographs.
2014 began for us with a fireworks display at the local ski hill - something we've never done before. But somehow it felt right - even though hubby and I don't ski.
Gazing at the ski slope from the balcony, I felt like I was watching a Currier and Ives print in the making as people began walking up the snowy slope towards where the fireworks would begin.
January brought snow, snow and more snow. Also bitter cold. What is now begin called the never ending winter began.
In February I had quite an adventure when I went to Belize with my sister in law aka sister in love. I was thoroughly fascinated with everything I saw and experienced.
April came and while there was increasing evidence of spring in the area, winter was still showing its handiwork in certain areas as in this Good Friday photo of an ice column in the Elora Gorge shows. We called this time of year last year "sprinter" - spring meets winter.
In May another sister in love along with one of her friends gifted me with a special prayer quilt that they'd made just for me. A special gift. One that gladdened my heart and made me realize just how precious the people in my life are.
In June, there was than one event to commemorate. One weekend we went back to the little town on the lee of Lake Huron where we spent our first winter of married life. I hadn't been back in years, so this was a special treat. Also being well enough to drive myself was a sure sign of continued healing.
The second event was The World Wide Knit in Public Day at Shall We Knit? I have avoided contact with people, especially "strange" people, people I don't know, but for the first time ever I was well enough to attend on my own ... and thoroughly enjoy the event. No anxiety. No fear.
The third significant event was going to Write Canada! The largest Christian writers' conference in Canada on my own. No companion needed. No anxiety. I felt free and on the verge of something significant in my life.
In July our "Western" daughter came home for a visit and took us to a favourite place: Tobermorey, Ontario on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula.
In early July, we took her to Niagara Falls.
In August, I celebrated my 65th birthday at the CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario with family combatting my twin fears of height and elevators.
In September, we went to Parry Sound for a few brief days. Another favourite spot of ours, I felt fully alive for the first time in years holding a canoe paddle in my hands and wandering around with camera in hand.
In October, there is always the annual Oktoberfest/Thanksgiving parade in our town in Thanksgiving Day. For many years I was unable to attend, but a few years ago I decided to make the effort. Family and friends willingly "enabled" me. This was the third year I went and the first time I was feeling fully alive.
November brought a craft sale at a senior's centre. I had done two craft sales before, one in 2012 and one in 2013, and both were dismal failures. No one looked at my handiwork let alone bought anything. This time, I plotted a new strategy, focussing on one items - hats and headbands - and a better display and did reasonably well. The best part of all was that my exuberant, pre-workplace abuse personality was showing itself in full force. I was alive! And having fun.
December brought the experience of a lifetime which is now being dubbed the "Great Poultry Pageant" (written about in a previous blog entitled "Loss and Laughter") where a little guy dressed in a turkey costume stole both the star and the show.
And now, as the sun rises on the first day of the new year of 2015, I look forward in anticipation. What will the new year bring? What further challenges will I face on the road to healing? What significant breakthroughs will I have?
Until next time ... Happy New Year's!