Well, where do I begin?!
Firstly, I hope everyone has had an awesome holiday season - regardless of what you celebrate - and that you were all able to take some time to enjoy the season or just to relax and unwind a bit. I know I may not be overly present in everyone’s lives, but know that you are in my thoughts just the same. My life has a way of getting away on me, and I find that I get caught up doing the same things, and then all of a sudden the year has passed me by and here we are.
For me, 2017 was a pretty decent year in a lot of ways, but it certainly wasn’t without ups and downs. The biggest thing for me this year was going through the W1 training with the Temple of Witchcraft. When the class started in October of 2016, there were 7 local people in the class, but just 3 of us finished the course. It’s kind of sad to see that so many people ended up stepping down from it, but if it’s something they really felt drawn to, I think that they’ll go back to it when the time is right. I consider this to be a huge accomplishment for me, though. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years but I let money get in the way and so I didn’t really even try to consider that it could be something I could do. I’m really grateful for all of the experiences I had with it, and for all of the people I met along the way. I knew I felt a connection to the tradition when I first found it, back in its infancy - I think only the first 2 Temple books had been published at that point - and so it’s humbling to be able to say that I am now apart of it. I’m also really excited to say that I get to continue my studies with the Temple in March, when the next W2 class starts. I’ve come so far already, so I’m really interested to see where this next course takes me.
In keeping a with the Temple tradition, I was able to get to Templefest again this past August. It was in a new spot - at a retreat centre, complete with cabins, dorms, and on-site food. I have to say that I did miss the old spot, but the new location was quite nice, and I will be happy to get back there next August - although I’m not exactly sure how I’ll be getting there. I met a lot of awesome people though, so I’m hoping that I’ll get to reconnect with them again next year.
I’m still at the same job that I was this time last year, and I’m ready for a change. It’s not the absolute worst, but it was really only meant to be a bridge until I found something a little better, but that just hasn’t happened. Not for lack of trying though. I think I’ve had 3 or 4 job interviews this past year, none of which panned out, unfortunately. It sucks, but I’m hoping it means that 2018 will bring me a career that I will be happy with, instead of a job I can tolerate. I really need a higher paying job though...money is really starting to become an issue for us, all because my job pays me half (ish) of what Heather’s job pays her. I’ve also still been getting split days off, and although the past 2 weeks or so I’ve been getting mostly 8-4 shifts, my schedule has been all over the board. It’s time for something better.
There were some familial losses in 2017, mostly late in the year, and the latest of which wasn’t actually my relative, but a relative of my childhood friends. She was a wonderful woman, who had been living with ALS for the better part of 5 years I think, if not longer. The one that hit me hardest though, and is still hard for me to wrap my head around, was an amazing man whom I’d not seen in almost 15 years. He was the kind of guy that would give the shirt on his back to a stranger if they needed it, and you could see that in the way he smiled - in the way his eyes twinkled. We didn’t know he was sick until he was gone, and for the past few years I’d really wanted to go down to that part of the province and visit those relatives, so that’s just making it harder for me to deal with. The silver lining in all of that, was that I was able to see many relatives at the funeral I hadn’t seen in a very long time - some of whom I wasn’t sure were still around. It’s sad that it took a loss to get us all together again, but it seems like the older I get the more and more that happens.
On a slightly strange, yet happier note, our family grew by a member this year. Her name is Scarlet O’hairy...and, with too many legs and eyes, she is an animal I never thought I would see within the confines of my walls. But, here we are, with a tarantula sitting atop a gecko tank. During my work with W1 I discovered - much to my dismay - that one of my guides is tarantula. You don’t have to know me for long to realize how much I dislike spiders, so to have a pet one is pretty absurd. I was at the local reptile expo back at the end of October (may as well say it was November), and a snake breeder who has an interest in tarantulas had a few with him. He was clearing some specimens out of his collection to make way for a bunch of new ones he was getting, and after an internal debate, some talks with a friend that works at a zoo, and the approval of my wife, I made the guy an offer. It’s been an interesting road so far, but with any luck she’s as happy as she can be in her new home. It’s something I’ve been keeping quiet about, because as unusual as a pet as she is, it’s really weird for me of all people to have her. I just don’t want to have to explain myself over and over to people that don’t really get why I have her. The main reason is to help me work out my irrational fear of spiders, but I also want to try and work more closely with an animal ally, even if it means not really being able to physically interact with her much.
So yeah...2017. Had some great moments, and had some shitty moments, but all in all it wasn’t a bad year for me. Something else that happened, which I forgot to mention, was that my brother got engaged! It surprised us all, but we’re really happy for him.
So here’s to 2018 and to the hope of a wonderful new year, not just for me, but for everyone! <3