A Look Back at 2014

A year in Review

It has taken me a couple of weeks to look back over my journal for 2014 and think about the past year. My journalling process can be hit or miss sometimes so I don’t have a complete record. At times, I was just too busy doing stuff to worry about journalling about it.

Almost a year ago we moved into our new house on Saltspring Island. We didn’t look at too many houses before we made an offer on the one we now call home. This house was really the only one that met most of our criteria. We were optimistic about the year to come and felt fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

During the year, there were many highs and lows. I can say for certain that I learned a few things about the island life and about myself. The following list is just a sampling of the things I learned or experienced last year.

  • Combining households with a parent is stressful and hard. I continue to use the best of my negotiating skills and reinforce my personal boundaries.
  • I can let go of my expectations and look instead for the opportunities.
  • I can weather a storm, metaphorically speaking, and come out the other side stronger, knowing that I’m resilient.
  • Moving is mentally and physically exhausting.
  • If I can’t sell a house, I’ll rent it. Better yet, I’ll get a lease arrangement with the RCMP.
  • I can write a novel, or at least three quarters of a novel, in a month.
  • The deck of my house is the best place to be in the summer months.
  • My dog, Yue Yan is a constant source of inspiration, motivation for walking, and for being reminded every single moment can be one of pure joy.
  • I miss my friends since I moved to the West Coast.
  • Making new friends meant being willing to take chances like answering an online posting.
  • I don’t want to be in Ganges on market days because there are too many people in town.
  • While I’m always trying to downsize my things, the people I live with are not interested or actually want more things.
  • I’m very tired of caring for and maintaining stuff. I don’t want any more plants, physical books, or knick-knacks. I only want to maintain what is essential.
  • When you want to leave an island, your schedule is now beholden to the ferry’s schedule.
  • Joining a writer’s group has helped to improve my writing craft.
  • I live on an island that is a destination spot and I have more people visit me here than I ever had visit me in Edmonton.
  • I can re-invent myself, but it is hard. I waffle and back track because having a professional identity is a big part of my self-definition.
  • Going back to Edmonton now as a tourist is fun.
  • I have friendly, kind and generous neighbours.
  • Fresh water is an increasingly vanishing commodity on this island.
  • After 20 years of marriage, I love my husband as much as, or maybe more than, the day I married him.
  • The residents of this island are welcoming but I don’t expect to be considered a native until I’ve lived here for a generation.
  • Joining a knitting club has connected me to a group of caring, smart women.
  • The island has many beautiful beaches, hiking trails and places to enjoy the amazing views of the ocean and neighbouring islands, but the locals keep some of the best places to themselves.

As 2015 moves forward, I’m filled with delight at the potential a new year brings. I want to write everyday, lose some weight so I can be healthier, and publish a novel. Everyday presents an opportunity to move one more step towards those goals. I am truly one of the fortunate ones.

Cheers, Catherine  Location: Saltspring Island, BC
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