Posts Tagged ‘year in review’

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2013: Three stories to tell

December 31, 2013

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Often I write these year-in-review posts and go month by month through the ups and downs of my year. This time around, I look at it in three distinct segments. Let me tell you some stories.

1. A foray into politics

I started the year with two new jobs in a new field. I reluctantly left broadcasting behind to try my luck at communications. One job was with a private public relations firm and the other a political party preparing for an election. Very quickly all things political ramped up and I was swept into the tide of a campaign. Two jobs became one and that one became my life.

I was happy to put everything I had into the campaign. At one point, I spent 50+ days at work in a row. We were putting in 12+ hour days and my boss, even more. Almost everyone I worked with had been campaign staff before. I was the new kid, so I took orders and completed tasks as best I could. I rewrote text over and over – the words lost all meaning and the meanings were diluted. The edits would circle back around to where they had started. A phrase that worked once would be discarded the next time.

But I did my job and didn’t say much about how I thought we could do better. There was a plan made by greater political minds than I. And there was a leader who decided how that plan would (or would not) be implemented.

That plan failed. We lost. It was devastating. I just felt empty. And I was out of a job.

2. Getting personal

Last year, the engagements started to roll in. This year, that trend continued. It even included me.

I had the pleasure of watching two of my oldest friends get married this year. One was streamed over the internet after a quick engagement and the other I travelled across the country to attend. We also had the pleasure of watching two Vancouver friends get married. Interestingly enough, they were with Orgle and I on our first date at a Whitecaps game.

I’m not a particularly sentimental person, but it is nice to see my friends so happy.

I am part of the 2014 Marriage Class. Our engagement a product of a romantic Quebec City hotel, some “California Love” and a nice bubble bath. The wedding is a small affair planned for May. In fact, we’ve cut so many traditions, it will seem more like a barbecue than what the wedding industry is trying to make me plan.

Maybe more exciting than my own engagement is the addition to my family. My brother and his wife had their first child. My nephew is the cutest thing ever and not just because I’m related to him.

So that’s the middle third of my year. Watching friends marry, visiting with my nephew, getting engaged and as summer wound down, welcoming Orgle’s mom to Canada for the first time.

3. Our Nation’s Capital

Following the election loss, I really didn’t know what to do next. My foray into politics had left me feeling empty and I wasn’t sure I could go through that again. So as other members of the campaign team returned to the fold, I looked elsewhere. And I found a job in Ottawa. Go figure, I flee from politics to the nation’s capital.

I now work in international public diplomacy. It’s communications, but also research and event planning – two things I’m really excited to do more of.

I don’t work for the Canadian government, but I’m sure if you really want to figure out what I do, you will.

Orgle started over when he moved to Canada. Now, as a pair, we are starting over in Ottawa. The move was stressful and there are lonely times, but I know it was the right decision. Orgle is loving the real winter weather and I am happy to have a whole new set of restaurants and shops to explore.

But I miss Vancouver, or at least the people there.

Overall:

It was a good year. Except the Oilers, they were rubbish.

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2012: A Year in Review

December 27, 2012

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January.

Stuff we did: Went to the Vandusen gardens for the first time, it was also the last day for the Christmas lights there, so it was busy.  Attended the wedding of one of Orgle’s coworkers. Apparently, I attend one wedding a year, this was it! The biggest snowfall of the year came and went, to Orgle’s dismay. I saw my favourite band, Fitz and the Tantrums for the second time in less than a year. We got free tickets to an Oilers-Canucks game here in Vancouver – even getting to sit in the box of the Oilers’ owner. (With whom I’m less and less impressed.)

Travel: A terrifying trip to the interior to go skiing – from freezing rain on the way out to white out conditions on the way back.

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February.

Stuff we did: Strapped on cross country skis for the first time since I was a child.  It was NOT like riding bike.  I have forgotten everything I once knew. I got really sick midway through the month. I also got around to finally printing some of my pictures in a darkroom.  A lot of fun.   Sad to think this hobby will soon be difficult – or even obsolete.

Travel: Up to Whistler for a week to ski (I end up only getting one day in due to pneumonia-related symptoms). We went because Orgle’s dad and brother were visiting.

Life events: Meeting Orgle’s dad and brother. Later that month my mom retired – joining my retired dad on the Island full time.

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March.

Stuff we did: This was probably the most relaxed month of the year. Some skiing (both downhill and cross country), lots of cooking, dinners with friends…

Travel: Off to Vancouver Island to celebrate my dad’s birthday and to ensure my parents weren’t driving each other insane, living together 24/7 for the first time in many years.

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April.

Stuff we did: I was a speaker about online legalities at the RTNDA BC conference. I joined a women’s team for a soccer tournament in Squamish.

Travel: We went to Seattle and Portland with my parents, my brother and his wife.

Life events: Celebrated a year with Orgle (with dinner at Chambar). I sincerely can’t say enough nice things about him. His unwavering support through my unemployment has been monumental. He is a caring soul who believes in me even when I do not. I didn’t know I could love someone this much.

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May.

Stuff we did: This is as active as I got all year.  I bought a bike to ride to work, I’m still playing soccer and now volleyball a couple nights a week. This would come to a crashing halt six weeks later. I was a speaker about the future of news online at the BCAB conference.

Travel: Third annual take-over of my parents place in Cedar.

Life events: At the start of the month, Orgle tears his ACL playing soccer. Eight months later and he is still up to 5 months away from surgery and another 8 months to a year from recovery.

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June.

Stuff we did: I was interviewed to be the head of the new Huffington Post BC edition. (The first of many interviews through the rest of the year.) Finally got Orgle to the Alibi Room – a big deal after some failed attempts.

Travel: Camping on Orcas Island.  Boy did it rain.

Life events: In a soccer game, I badly sprained by ankle. Six months later I’m still recovering. Hoping to play again in January. Also, this blog turned 7! (Meaning two months later I celebrated 7 years in Vancouver.)

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July.

Stuff we did: My balcony garden really started to take off. Sure, I planted my tomatoes too close together, making them tall and skinny instead of bushy.  I also accidentally put the mint in with other things.  I think I managed to separate it out, but we’ll see what sprouts in the spring! I started a cider blog and Orgle reconfigured our wine fridge to fit in more beer as he keeps cellaring it.

Travel: A trip across the country to Newfoundland (More pics here and here), where the people seem warm and welcoming even if you’re not entirely sure you know what they are saying.  It’s a beautiful, rugged landscape and every meal seems to be served with fries. We also are off to Vancouver Island again, this time to celebrate my mom’s birthday – my oldest friend, Sabrina, happens to stop by!

Life events: Tell my boss I’m quitting in August.

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August.

Stuff we did: It’s Orgle’s favourite day of the year – Dog days of summer at Nat Bailey.  It’s a night where people can bring their dogs to the stadium for baseball.  Orgle loves pups.  We wander the Richmond Night Market, gorging ourselves another night. We officially become Whitecaps supporters. We bought a five game pack with friends and watched most other games on TV. We head up to Britannia Mining Museum – familiar ground for Orgle who once worked at an underground mine.  Despite his knee and my ankle, we get out for some hiking through the summer. We hiked near Whistler and then went to the spa afterwards. Some of my final shifts at the radio station are spend working at The Fair at the PNE.  Orgle wanders the grounds for the first time, even taking a zip on the wooden rollercoaster.  He also goes to his first (and last?) CFL game.

Travel: Whistler for hiking and spa.

Life events: Walk out of the radio station for the last time.  I spent nearly five years working there and it was time to go. On the last day of the month, we head to the airport, Australia-bound.

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September.

Stuff we did: More than half of the month was spent in Australia. The rest was spent celebrating birthdays and, well, starting the process of figuring out what to do with my life.

Travel: Having been with Orgle a year and a half, it was time to fill in some of the knowledge gaps.  In other words, it was time to visit his homeland, meet his mom and other sister, see pictures of him as a baby and get to know his friends. We spent just over two weeks in Australia. (Pictures: Brisbane/Sunshine Coast, Melbourne/Great Ocean Road, Adelaide/Wine Region, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary), It was a painfully short visit (planned as such with the hope that I would be able to get it off work, which in the end I quit over).

Life events: Celebrate my 31st birthday and Orgle’s 29th. We’ve also been in our little apartment a year which, if my moving history suggests anything, is a milestone.

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October.

Stuff we did: I read career help books and applied for dozens of jobs. Orgle worked.

Travel: Taking advantage of my unemployment and Orgle’s decent vacation day allocation, we drove down to Seattle and caught a flight to Iceland for just over a week. It’s a beautiful country built on lava rock. It’s like they say, Iceland is green and Greenland is ice. (We flew over Greenland.) – If you consider Australia an island (which technically, it is not), it was our fifth island in less than five months. We also went to Vancouver Island for Thanksgiving.

Life events: At some point you realize your relatives aren’t going to be with you forever. I’ve lost my dad’s parents and the inevitability of my mom’s parents passing is upon us.  I have a grandfather who doesn’t remember me, nor the answer to a question less than five minutes ago. My mother recently made an astute comment that modern medicine is keeping his 87 year old body in relatively good shape, but is it worth it if his mind is going… going… gone?

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November.

Stuff we did: We watched Obama win again. That was pleasant. We were hiking North Shore mountains into November without snow or legitimate cold (this would soon end). Other fun things included hosting a clothing swap, convincing Orgle we needed to go to Ikea, learning how to make bread and going up to Squamish to look for eagles and dead salmon (finding a great out of the way meal too!).  I signed on with CBC to do some casual fill in as an associate producer for current affairs programs. I also got more involved with volunteer and political work.

Travel: Our second annual group getaway to the Sunshine Coast. It’s an excuse to sit in a hot tub and play board games (not at once).

Life Events: Three months without a full-time job. To be fair, if I wanted a job, I could have one by now. But I don’t. I’m terrified by the idea of taking something I will hate again.

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December.

Stuff we did: Started the month at Orgle’s company Christmas party, then woke up early the next morning to catch a ferry to Nanaimo. My brother and his pregnant wife were there visiting my parents. Unfortunately, I was only able to spend a day there before heading back to Vancouver for an interview with CUPE. Alas, it wasn’t worth it as I didn’t get the job.  Like November, it was a month of lots of interviews, meetings and rejection calls.  In less depressing news, Orgle got himself a case of Westvleteren – I’ll let you google that one. Friends joined us for a potluck on the 15th and karaoke on the 21st. I’m blessed to have such wonderful friends (and more Christmas cards than ever before!) We even got a little snow just before Christmas, and more presents than I deserved under the tree.

Travel: Took Via Rail to Edmonton to give Orgle the real Canadian winter experience.  It was -23 degrees when we got off the train. Christmas lights are better in the snow.  Also spent Christmas in Cedar with my parents and relatives.

Life Events: Another year over.

Next post: Looking forward to 2013.

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One hundred pictures: My 2010

December 24, 2010