If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.
Without struggle, there is no progress.
Tough times never last, but tough people do.
Now, what do these three phrases have to do with my blog, you may be asking? Well, I think these are some great quotes that describe my current situation over the last six weeks, and ways I'm trying to think positive for the future. Because let's face it, I haven't had the best summer of 2018, and while it hasn't been life-threatening or permanently damaging, it's been a bit of a bummer. I don't usually share these things on my blog but I wanted to give a bit of insight into what has been going on in my life, because you never know what is happening with somebody else, and can resonate. So here we go!
It started very generically. On a sunny Friday in late July, my bike was stolen. It was stolen right in the middle of the afternoon, with a good lock, in sight of multiple cameras and across the street from a courthouse. Bike thefts in Toronto are truly things of wonder, the thieves just get bolder and bolder every single day. I actually managed to track down footage of the theft, but the Toronto Police have neglected to update me on whether or not they even picked up the footage from the security office of the building that supplied it. And it wouldn't matter, I guarantee my bike was taken apart and sold piecemeal by the day. I know some people might say "It's not a big deal, bikes get stolen every day." But if you know me and my daily life, this is a HUGE deal. I bike absolutely everywhere. This bike in particular was 11 years old, going from shop to shop to buy this bike was actually something I did with my partner when we were just still in the first few months of our relationship. AND, I had just spent about $300 this season putting new gear on it. So yeah, this sucked a bit.
Fast-forward a week later and I found myself part of a mass layoff at my company. It wasn't a complete surprise but I wasn't totally prepared for it either. I survived a layoff when my previous department shut down a few months earlier and I was transferred to a different team, but it looks like that luck didn't last and this team was also shuttered this summer. I'm not personally offended, it's the type of industry I work in, it's in constant flux, I've still got some friends at the company and I wish them well, but it is what it is. Since then, it's been a busy month getting my EI figured out (Employment Insurance in Canada), sorting out references, applying for jobs and just figuring out my next career steps in general. I've done a good job reaching out to prospective companies for coffees or phone interviews, but I'm expecting that to find my next great role in my career, it's going to take some time to find the perfect fit.
And last but not least, I had to say goodbye to one of my longest fuzzy friends, my good lil' kitty Charlie. I adopted this cat over a decade ago, and while I've had cats all my life she was my first all to myself. Our family eventually grew to include two more cats but she was always first. Her age was a mystery, to this day we don't know whether she was 2 or 5 or what happened to her in those years, but I had her for ten years and those ten years were fantastic.
And then just this past April she was 'upgraded' to kitty retirement with my mom. My mother's cats passed away a few years ago from old age (both were 20!), and she was finally ready for another cat. I decided Charlie should get the chance to be spoiled because my other cats were younger and more active and this way she would get my mom's condo to herself, every cushion and sunbeam would be for her to take advantage of. Unfortunately, despite being in pretty good health all year, she took a turn a few weeks ago. It turned out she had tumors in her abdomen and lower legs, the only way to deal with it would've been a full surgery that would be a lot of pain and the likelihood of her surviving was low. So we ended up putting her down on Tuesday to minimize her pain as she already had lost a lot of weight and wasn't going to get any better. We took a drive to a local beach to walk a bit and get some fresh air, but it's been a tough week without her. At least she's not in pain any more.
So as you can see, this summer has been a lot of things. But with the hard stuff, there has been some light too.
This year I've been to two weddings so far with a third just a few weeks away, I've helped friends celebrate successfully getting their PHDs, new apartments and new jobs, and I've also simply reconnected with people over many drinks, snacks and coffees. I've also had my share of entertainment! I've seen a few concerts this summer including Stone Temple Pilots, Bush and St Vincent, participated in the Lole White Tour, traveled to the Toronto Islands, hung out on the Harbourfront, and lounged at some Toronto pools. I've read like a fiend this month, picked up some crafts, and am currently finishing up the requirements to take my G2 test and FINALLY be a driver. Yes, I am THAT city mouse who still can't drive.
So I guess what I'm saying is that even when some things seem big and hard and painful, there are always good things on the horizon. It's amazing what something as small as a conversation can do to alleviate some frustration and pain.
If you're also having a hard time this year, I hope you have some things you're also doing for self-care to keep yourself going until it gets better.
Until next time.