And That’s a Wrap 2017 Retrospective

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This blog is very young. A few months old to be specific. One of the features of Word Press is the Year End Review they sometimes provide. I missed it last year, when on New Years Eve I sat here and waited for it, to no avail.

A Happiness Engineer said that they had invested those monies in system and feature upgrades so NO year-end review for 2016. I was shattered.

We do have stat pages within the blog that has the numbers, but I loved the way Word Press would present your blog, in the grand scheme of the Word Press World, with little bits of trivia and live numbers as the system recorded it.

Eighteen months ago, June 12th, 2016 to be exact, a gunman walked into Pulse Night Club in Orlando and shot and killed 50 young LGBT kids. Well, not really kids, but young adults, the same age I was, when I stood in that bar myself at age 21.

My life was shattered.

In the past twenty-six years, I’ve only had three cataclysmic events that elicited the kind of emotional response that this latest tragedy caused.

My sober world view was tilted heavily in the I HATE GOD way. I was so angry. That anger was not abated. It just kept running at full tilt.

An entire new sober experience opened up to me. Long Sober men and women turned their backs on me and ridiculed me, and asked me to leave meetings, because like I have said already, many sober people LIVE IN FEAR MODE.

In the Fall of 2016, I was on a Metro platform coming home from the doctor’s office and there were two young Mormon Elders standing near me. They approached, and said hello in French. I said hello, in English.

Elder Sorenson wiped his brow and said, “Oh Thank God you speak English.” Elder Christensen was with him. That began a relationship that has withstood the months of trials and tribulations, that took place as I was investigating becoming LDS.

That journey did not pan out. Elder Christensen went home to Idaho in November of 2016, and the other elders here in the city were shuffled all over Canada at the same time.

To This Day, Elder Christensen is part of my life. His youthful progressive heart and mind, kept him in my orbit. And today he is a faithful spiritual director for me. That is in addition to Elder Friesen of the Mennonite Church out in Wetawiskin Alberta. When the chips were down, God was front and center, in these two men of faith.

If they had not been in my life, I am not sure I would have survived this emotionally vulnerable rough period of my life. I was introduced to Brene Brown. Via Oprah and her work on Vulnerability, Guilt and Shame.

Brene Brown changed my life.

In July I turned fifty years old. Having spent the entire decade of my forties sober, life got very interesting during that past decade. My mind opened up and I realized that I just “knew things” intimately.

A while back a young lady at the hospital asked me what fifty felt like, and I really did not have an answer for her, because it was too early to tell. What I can say is this: I’ve lost a great number of people, I thought were friends, who, in the end were not.

No love lost there.

I’ve changed up my meetings. and I’ve reinvested with our young people. Many people whom I was emotionally invested in, in the past, I am not invested in any more. I just don’t have the mental energy to devote myself to people, who aren’t invested in return with me.

I know who my friends are today.

I have good people in my life. I have three best friends. Rafa, Elder Spencer and Elder Randall. They are good men. And have devoted themselves to making sure I am good.

We celebrated 13 years of marriage this year. And the holidays were simple and uncomplicated. My in-laws are aging, and not in a good way. Hubby went home for Christmas and was very saddened by what he witnessed. Heartbreaking for sure.

I’m not quite sure how long that ship is going to stay afloat in the future. With people growing old and infirmity a constant problem, we’ve tried to get my in-laws to sell the homestead and move somewhere a bit more accessible for them both, yet again and again they refuse. And if the ship goes down, the one left in the lifeboat is going to have a hard time of it for sure. Which would call us to go to Ottawa to finalize those issues.

My best friends mom flew to Canada from Brazil for Christmas and we all made sure she knew that her son was safe, protected and loved. That emigrating here was the right choice, even if success across the board has not arrived, we are all working towards that point in time, one day at a time.

We hosted Christmas dinner for my friend Juan and his fiancée when they returned from Toronto on Boxing day. We dined the following Wednesday. It was a grand affair. Being friends with “couples” is important in sobriety, because we learn from each other how to be married and what marriage looks like, before and after those words are spoken.

2017 was a good year for everybody, one way or another. It wasn’t stellar, and we all had hard times for sure. But we all survived those hard times because we were together, and united.

When the chips are down, friends come to the rescue and that is how things panned out.

We all might not be in the same place, at the same time, all the time, but when the opportunity to gather arises, we take every opportunity to get together if only for an hour or so, or for a meal.

Goodbye 2017. May you not return again.

Hello 2018. May you bring us prosperity, love, and a couple of weddings, Please !

There are two couple waiting in the wings for that day of matrimony.  We are working hard to make them happen. One has a date, and the other is not quite there yet.

Let us hope for our friends.

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