Monday, 2 January 2017

Welcome to 2017

January has arrived at last!  After a year which can only be described as my annus horribilis, I was glad to see the back of 2016.  The old year was full of trials and tribulations and more than a little unexpected change.  Mr Candytuft was in a car accident in January which saw my car written off in a head-on crash on the highway (no central reservation on the Trans-Canada Highway in rural parts of Canada), but thankfully he walked away shocked but uninjured, as did the other driver.  I had to stop work in Febrary due to work-related stress and subsequently left my high-stress job, which impacted our lives, forcing us to give up our home and make yet another move (this one across Canada in winter).  I spent the rest of 2016 trying to get over the trauma of workplace bullying which had gone on for more than three years, until I threw up my hands and said 'I can't do this any more'.  We had to tighten our belts and completely change our way of living with the loss of my income and I had to deal with the enormous amount of guilt that I felt for putting us in this position.  Added to this mix was a health scare through the summer, then surgery in November and the relief at receiving positive news when I had my follow-up visit for the results.

During the last couple of months, I have noticed a shift happening - a huge sense of relief.  It is as if I were on a countdown as the end of December approached.  I couldn't wait to see the back of 2016.  The new year seems full of as yet undiscovered promise and possibilities.

I have decided to undertake the 1,000 mile challenge, which you can learn about here.  The goal is to walk 1,000 miles in 2017.  How hard can that be?  It is actually about an hour per day of walking if I can motivate myself to go out every day (not always easy in this climate), or I suppose that I can plan to do some longer walks if necessary and avoid the worst of the winter weather.  My biggest fear when walking in winter is ice - especially after two bad falls last winter.  Still, after investing in some grippers for my boots, I am at least better prepared.  Of course, walking in winter boots brings its own challenges, as they are not really intended for distance walking.

I am also going to spend some time reflecting on the year ahead with the help of Susannah Conway's Unravel Your Year workbook.  (If you visit her site and sign up for her newsletter, you can access this.)  I used this tool in 2016 and the Find Your Word  course: my word for the year was joy.  As the year was somewhat lacking in joy, I have decided to continue with this word for 2017 and see where it takes me.

I'm still working away at my proofreading and copy-editing course through Chapterhouse and I'm hopeful that I can complete it before the end of the 12-month enrolment (that's if I can get myself motivated again after a Christmas break).  Time is running out and I had little idea when I signed up that it would take me a year to complete, but life got in the way.  At least I have the option of extending if I don't achieve February's deadline.

Keeping with the literary theme, I have also signed up for Open Learn through the Open University, as I would like to have a go at their free writing courses.  I've been saying for a long time, that I would like to write, so I thought that it was time that I did something about it.

Now that I've come through those dark days, I can finally see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.  Here's to a very Happy New Year!


Rosie said...

No wonder you are glad to wave farewell to 2016, Marie. What a tough and troublesome year you and your husband have had. I'm so glad that your results were good and that you are begining to feel well again after the challenges you have had at work. I did a couple of creative writing courses with the OU (I did my BA with them in the 1980s) and thoroughly enjoyed them. Good luck with all your plans and best wishes for the new year:)

Tracy said...

Oh, Marie... how much my heart goes out to you! So much I understand that relief of turning a new corner, as 2016 was my very own annus horribilus as well! :( Fun that you will be using the Unravel Your Year workbook too. I've been using S. Conway's workbooks for years now, and find them really helpful for closing an old year, and opening up a fresh new one. VERY exciting about your plans for the new year--especially with a literary focus! Good lick with your writing courses... and finishing up your proofreading goal! :))) Your walking challenge is fantastic! Do post sometimes on your walks and how you are doing with the challenge. Hubby & I have plans for being more fit in the new year as well, focusing more on healthy bodies. After a very stressful year this one past, I feel a great need of detoxing of all sorts! Wishing you all the VERY BEST in 2017, my friend! JOY is my word for the year too. Here's to the JOY-full days ahead!! :))) ((LOVE & HUGS))

Candytuft Corner said...

Rosie - thank you for your kind comments and good wishes for 2017.

Marie x

Candytuft Corner said...

Tracy - thank you for being such a great friend. I look forward to sharing 'joy' with you in 2017.

Marie x

Mrs Tiggywinkle said...

Marie, I thought I had commented on this post when I read it last week but I obviously didn't. My thoughts are with you. In 2012 I lost my job after four years of systematic bullying. Losing the income was hard and we live a much simpler life now, sometimes it's cold and hungry and embarrassing, but I am more content. My husband and I are closer to each other than we have ever been and are able to spend time together and look after one another. It's a different kind of life, but it's not bad. I hope 2017 will be full of blessings for you. x

Candytuft Corner said...

Mrs Tiggywinkle - thank you for your kind words. Isn't it surprising just how many people are affected by workplace bullying? There seems to be a perception that bullying stops in the playground, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I am glad that you found contentment, as that is what matters most. Marie x