2010 has come and gone, and in defiance of all odds, I did not channel my inner Sylvia Plath, and did not gas myself in the oven. In a twisted homage to the annoying adage “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” I not only managed to deal with the heaping helping of stress that was piled on my plate, but I whooped it good, and made it my bitch. Yes, the last 356 days have been perversely and acutely maddening here in Chez Sourpuss, but my very dumbed down inner optimist is banking on 2011 bringing blue skys, unicorns, sparkles and rainbows in abundance. Let us revisit the year that was, and is now dead, shall we?
What began as a benign year (the promise of Chilliwack’s corn season being the most exciting thing to look forward to on the calendar) January 2010 would be utterly forgettable if it wasn’t for drama back home in Kitimat. Eurocan Pulp and Paper, one of Kitimat’s largest employers, shut its doors, and left 400+ people in my hometown out in the cold. Amongst the people suddenly having to pound pavement looking for work: my father, brother and uncle. In the midst of the sadness, my brother and sister-in-law learned that their long awaited baby was on it’s way. A bitter-sweet blessing, their news was a welcome distraction from the heartbreak going on back home. Facebook was a very unpleasant foray into the havoc the mill closure was playing on old friends and their families. Uncertainty became the norm. I remember feeling so blessed that my husband was gainfully employed, that we lived in a beautiful house, in a beautiful city, and were not scrambling to move across the country to find a job.
On February 8th, around 7 in the morning, I was sleeping. My husband, who is an early riser, had got up earlier, and was working in his office. At some point, I heard the door open, and The Old Man crept in to the room. “I need to talk to you. I just got off the phone with work (in Toronto) and, well, they want to transfer me to the prairies.” I thought he was joking, and snickered into my pillow. As IF. Only, he wasn’t joking. They wanted him to take some time to consider the offer to relocate to Saskatchewan or Manitoba, and let them know. We spent a very, very unpleasant morning, cursing and swearing, crying and yelling. We picked apart all scenarios possible. I did NOT want to go. We’d only purchased the Chilliwack house a year earlier, and I was in love with the house, the neighborhood, my friends, the school…I was heartsick. Employer d’Old Man didn’t feel that BC was a good market to keep him in, with the ever increasing costs of doing business in BC, the olympic wrap up on the horizon, slowdown in construction, and looming HST. By the end of the day, we came to the decision to accept the offer, and were prepared to start moving on finding a home in Regina or, more likely, Winnipeg. I was not happy but I was accepting of this change, because I was utterly powerless to change it. Hubby let his employer know we were willing to go. We were told that they’d like us back east by end of April. Holy shit! Now what?
Natasha turned three.
I turned 32.
We heard nothing from hubby’s employer.
Still no further information from hubby’s employer. Panic, suspicion and paranoia set in. Plans to stay and do something different started to roll. Why were these people so insensitive to the chaos and hell they’d put us through? Or maybe they didn’t want us to move? Hubby would ask for more info, and none would come back. Nobody at HQ seemed to care, or was worried that they’d dumped this bucket of shit on our lives, and then left us to clean up the mess with no tangible solution.
Julia turned 5. We celebrated our 9th anniversary. We still didn’t know what the hell was going on with Old Man’s work. I had decided that we probably weren’t moving, and continued on with planning for Julia to go to kindergarten down the street in the fall, and for Natasha to go to preschool. Got to know the neighbours better. Got back into gardening full tilt. Took up hot yoga. Spent more time with my girl friends.
Julia wrapped up her final year of pre-school, and many days were spent on the beach at Cultus Lake, Harrison Lake and Chilliwack Lake.
I finally managed to find a family doctor, after years of not having one due to shortage in BC. Got referral for a breast reduction, since it looked like I was never moving anyway. Scheduled surgery in Abbotsford for August 19.
Fate laughed in my face.
The Old Man got word that they wanted us to be in Winnipeg by September. Employer sent out transfer proposal and new compensation package. Chilliwack = finis.
Made first of two week long meccas to Winnipeg and Steinbach to try to find a house. Came up totally dry. We could agree on nothing, and what we liked was too far away, or wrapped up in bidding wars.
Our house in Chilliwack went on the market.
Spent most of the month crying.
Flew home to Kitimat to visit the folks, the grandparents and let the kids play in Oma & Opa’s yard with abandon. Spent time visiting extended family, re-exploring familiar stomping grounds like Hirsch Creek, learning of a long-time neighbour’s recent diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease, and tried to soak in what was left of home. While in Kitimat, our house in Chilliwack sold.
Flew back to Winnipeg for a week, and made an offer on a house that I hated. Offer was accepted. Move in date: September 3rd. Stress about school for Julia and not being able to get in touch with school board due to summer vacation drove me batshit insane.
Had major surgery on August 19th, electing to lop many pounds of excess boobage off for the sake of my back, shoulders and vanity. Much discomfort and recovery ensued.
Then we moved. Cleaned ALL the things. Movers and packers did the grunt work.
My beloved home was handed over to strangers.
I tearfully, snotfully, chokingly said goodbye to Chilliwack.
Spent first week in hotel, alternating between recouping from surgery and trying to move into the new house.
Electrical wasn’t completed in time, and the painting contractor was delayed. Furniture arrived from BC, only to sit amongst plaster, paint cans and drop cloths. Place was left filthy by former owners, and I was left to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS.
Julia started French Immersion kindergarten in the local public school, after much debate about whether to go public or private, French or English.
I cried a lot.
Natasha started preschool twice a week down the street.
I interviewed for a job. Was deemed over qualified.
My very first nephew, Logan Dexter, arrived safely, making me an Auntie.
Old Man celebrated his 42nd birthday.
Thanksgiving was unseasonably hot.
A puppy came home with the Old Man without my permission. The kids named her Daisy. After I calmed down and stymied my desire to commit husbandicide, I fought to call the dog The Mango, but was vetoed. She became Daisy Duke Von PomPom, and has since grown into a snuggly, cuddly, affectionate, strangely quiet pomeranian that refuses to housebreak.
Went to a job interview, was deemed over-qualified.
Dogs and children grew.
Heat was turned on in the house.
Late in the month, a chance encounter lead to me applying for a District Sales Manager position with a large international cosmetics company. I was invited to proceed with the interview process. I jumped through hoops, and kept moving on. Was this going to be it? My triumphant return to the workforce after nearly 4 years of “maternity leave?”
I was informed that I was the newest member of Team Big Beauty (name omitted, because I can) and would be coming on as District Sales Manager in January. Panic ensued. So much to do! Find childcare! Style hair! Get clothes! Set up office! Panic! Panic!
Childcare was procured fairly quickly. Appointments were booked through the month to avoid Chicken With Head Cutoff-isim that I’m prone to.
Hubby booked trip to Cancun behind back. Went to Cancun for a week at Christmas. Got crispy in the sun, drank more tequila based drinks than I had a right to, had fun with my husband and kids in the Carrib sun. Contemplated just staying in Cancun.
Started new job. Crazy hours. Major adjustments for everyone. Training, training, training. Learning how to rejoin the workforce, and manage 400+ reps in the field. Head is spinning, and the internet has been mostly abandoned. Looking forward to Barbados in March for work, and actually feeling like I have enough knowledge and skill in my role to just breathe.
So, while I haven’t abandoned ye olde blog, I haven’t had time to put fingers to keyboard to actually write anything other than call reports and expense reports.
Here is hoping that 2011 is a major step up from 2010.