Five

Five is how many blog posts I wrote for all of 2015.  

I started this blog in March of 2011 which means it is coming up on it’s five year anniversary.  Here is the breakdown of blog posts per year over the past five years of daddyjake.com:

  • 2011 – 4
  • 2012 – 72
  • 2013 – 37
  • 2014 – 15
  • 2015 – 5

Anyone who has followed me over the years (which is probably no one), would know that I have been blogging on and off since 2001 and that I still (obviously) struggle to blog on a regular basis, save from a couple of good runs over the past 15 years.

Last year was not a good year for me and my family and because of that, I had no inspiration for blogging, photography or sewing because I was in survival mode.  While I did write a few posts last year, including some of what I endured, I have tried very hard to keep posts on this blog of a positive nature.

Now that I am slowly but surely crawling out of survival mode, I have been missing my Sunday morning blogging and have really been wanting to get out with my dSLR that has been collecting dust.  This winter has been so dark and ugly that I have not gone out because I am a photographer who prefers natural light and still haven’t taken the time to figure out how to properly use the settings on my dSLR.  

I seem to oscillate between programming and blogging.  I either get very focused on programming on my projects or I don’t touch them at all.  For the past two months, I have been nose to the grindstone with my programming.  I was supposed to be out this morning blogging and yet again, slid back into programming for the first 1.5 hours I was out.  I need to see if I can code something up that anytime that happens, my keyboard zaps me or something of that nature.

While I am not entirely sure that I *lost* my passion for programming, I certainly lost *any* desire to ever work a corporate job again.  I started my first post post secondary education job in April of 2000.  I questioned my whole career if I enjoyed my work knowing I went home from work and worked for several hours more on my own projects.  Somehow, it wasn’t until some time in the past year that I realized that I had always worked in a technology department (IT, IMIT, IS) and never for a technology company that’s sole purpose is doing development.

I have been feverishly trying to get back up to speed with some programming languages that I am not as familiar with while also brushing up on advanced programming theory.  I have also been working on re-building my portfolio (something I haven’t done since graduating college) with the intention of getting back to doing web development.  I have had stacks of books out from the library and have probably read a few thousand pages in the past month or two.

The problem I seem to be struggling with is of course, what I preach to a lot of people:  work/life balance.  I love to blog, I love to sew and I love to take photographs.  (And of course, I love to program.)  I have been (again) in the process of cleaning up and re-arranging the house to help facilitate this.  

Time to sit down and get back to setting goals for blog posts and photographs posted to my Flickr account.  The sun is shining behind me for what feels like the first time in weeks!

My word for 2016 is: Recovery.  Recovery of my career, my finances and my health.

What is yours?

Getting Back on My Feet

While it was certainly not an easy decision to resign from my Office Manager position, the pros certainly outweighed the cons in terms of what I was needing in my life.  I wanted to be working downtown, closer to home, a transit pass, off earlier in the day, a schedule that worked with school and to get back on my feet for more exercise while I was working.

The downsides of having left are that I worked with some amazing people, witnessed amazing transformations in their clients lives and my having finally put my business skills to use has come to an end, at least, for now.

The worst part is the Biology class I was wanting to take over the summer was at an absolute crap time (right in the middle of the day!) which unfortunately would not have worked with either work schedule.  Biology will have to wait until September when I am hoping to get an afternoon (if not evening) class.  

For now, I am quite happy to have secured a morning shift that has me working Monday to Friday and I am off by 12:30pm.  I start my regular shift tomorrow morning and rode transit to work on Friday for the first time since before my son was born in September of 2007.  It felt great to be back on transit for my ride that was a whopping seven minutes short.  

Being back on my feet to work has felt great so far!  Even though my body has ached in protest.  I know it will take a few weeks for my body to adjust to having to wake up so early, be on my feet for so long and of course, the 15 minute walk up to the bus stop on what has to be at least a 30 degree incline.

Because I will not be taking any classes over the Summer, I will focus back on studying and working with the holistic healthcare classes I have taken.  I am excited that should everything work out, I will finally be getting Reiki training next month!  Reiki is something I have been wanting to learn for years.  I have several friends who are Reiki Masters willing to teach me but the timing has never been right.  Ever since taking my crystal healing courses, I have wanted even more to add Reiki to my tool belt for use with the crystal healing because the two pair really well together.  

The space is now cleared in the office for me to set up my massage table.  I have put the “door” back up that I took down a few years ago and the baby gate to see if they will stop the kitten from getting into the office.  I am fearing if either of our cats gets into the office, they will tear my massage table to shreds.  I want to be able to set up the table and not have to take it down with each use.  So far, so good and fingers crossed that it means they are officially kept out of the office.  My goal is two practice sessions per week.

Now to find a few bodies that I can practice on!

Happy New Year 2014!

To say that 2013 was a year that was on the rougher side for me would be an understatement.  I was unfortunately left rather unmotivated to blog throughout most of the year.  The worst of 2013 was the loss of my companion and somehow the best was declaring bankruptcy.

I still have not got the tooth fixed that broke last February after my Greyhound trip from hell, thankfully we have had no more ER visits (*touching wood table as I type with two arms*) and I am hoping to now be past what has probably been the poorest I have ever been in my life.

On the plus side, I was able to take six courses, watch my partner accept her doctoral degree, start the process to a fresh financial start and fall in love with the sweetest kitten:

Domino

We celebrated New Years Eve on New York time in downtown Kelowna.  After having such a rough year, I really wanted to go out with a bang.  I was supposed to go out after the 9pm fireworks but went home for the midnight drop of the ball.

I had a new bottle of Carolan’s chilling in my freezer.  After three small glasses on ice and turning on the original Star Trek movie I had PVR’ed, I fell asleep on the couch from about 11:15 to 12:30, missing the change of the calendar year.  

The realization that 2013, one of the roughest years of my life, was behind me, made tears well up in my eyes and stream down my face.

After crawling into bed, I awoke at 3:30 and could not get back to sleep.  I tossed and turned for an hour before returning to the futon where I was met with the bestest of cuddles from our kitten.  I crawled back into bed around 6 and slept until 10am.

2013 was a roller coaster year of emotions for me.  From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows and one day of the year in which I felt both extremes in the same day.

Moving on.

In another 47 days, I will be discharged from the mountain of debt I have been buried under since before graduating college in 2000.  In another 47 days, I get to start rebuilding my credit back up to what was near perfect before a massive drop in income and my no longer having the means to pay my creditors AND feed my family.  In another 47 days, I will start to put to use the knowledge gained from my credit counselling appointments to hopefully remain in the black rather than being so, so deep in the red.

Heading into the end of 2013, we had started to purge and clear space in our office to be able to transform it into a place where we can work on our crafts and hobbies.  A few nights ago, I took it for a test run as I had started to cut out the patchwork for my boxer quilt.  So far am loving it!  The ironing board is setup perpendicular to the table making it very easy to iron, move the fabric to the table and cut.

Now that we have the space created, I am anticipating us doing a lot more painting, drawing, sewing, crafting and whatever else we come up with in 2014.  It all has me very excited!  So much so, that I cut up the patchwork pieces for my quilt in the first two nights of having setup the space (which still needs much work to clear out the rest of the junk).

I am still on the lookout for a few more pieces to add to my dreamboard collage but feel pretty good with where it currently is at.  I have a pretty clear picture in my head of where I want to be and some of those pieces are already on the board.  The rest, I am on the lookout anytime I have a magazine open.

Dusting off my dSLR camera and guitar is high on my list of what I want to accomplish in 2014.  There are many tutorials online (not to mention books on my bookshelf) that I will be delving into this year.

After having taken so many Specialized Kinesiology courses last year, I really don’t know what, if any, I will take this year.  I will audit a few courses at work and if Ian Stubbings comes back to Canada, I will for sure take more SIPS courses.  But for now, I am feeling well equipped and instead want to focus on practicing and learning more about the body and nutrition.  I am registered in the ABE program at Okanagan College to upgrade/re-do my high school science classes (tuition free!) in an effort to become more knowledgeable about the body and how it works and brush up on quantum physics.  Now that I have practical applications for the courses, I figure I will do a lot better than I did in high school.

When it comes to my own health and wellness, I finally feel I might be in the head space to make some progress with weight loss.  Since the Fall when I had done a lot of healing after my cat died, I have had several people comment on how “good” I look and asking me about the weight I have lost.  The weight loss has been negligible and I note that what they are seeing is most likely the emotional weight that I have lost.  Funny thing is, any time someone has commented on how “good” I look, I actually feel like a bag of shit at that given point in time!

Last year I upgraded my LG Optimus One smartphone to the Nexus 4.  I was wanting a better camera to have with me in my pocket because quite frankly, the LG Optimus One’s camera is crap and took mostly crappy photos.  I am certainly taking a lot more photos with my phone since.  Most of which are from me documenting things such as cooking.  As we delve into more RAW, paleo, gluten free and clean eating, I will blog about our adventures in cooking/baking.

I will properly formulate and document my goals to help me achieve all that I want to get done in 2014.  I have been thinking a lot about 2014 over the past six weeks to decide what is most important to me and what (if anything) should be dropped.  Over the past few days, I have been also reflecting backwards.  Initially the thought was just to “coast” in 2014 but over the past couple of days I have reframed it to:

I am just going to enjoy life and be happy in 2014.

What about you?  Have you set goals for 2014?  Are you happy or sad to see 2013 behind us?  Do you set New Year’s Resolutions?  Are you successful with them?