I did this two years ago when I started blogging and I decided to write it again today, a reflection of my year. There's a lot of negativity about 2020, it being the worst year ever, but it's all perspective. I had some difficult moments and some hard days, but nothing worse than I've experienced in the past five years.
Photo 1, my birthday photoshoot
For my 40th birthday, my daughter, Sarah, did my hair and makeup and we went to my old middle school to take a few photos. I love the dress I wore, I broke my favorite shoes (must replace them in 2021), and I adore the photos Sarah captured, I used them often for profile pictures and my blog's bio.
Photo 2, my camera
I've been dreaming and wishing for this camera for a few years and Kirk got it for me in May. It is a beautiful pink Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Camera Kit with XC 15-45mm Lens.
Photo 3, my desk on May 17
It's a reminder to me that I was overwhelmed and I didn't reach out for help. I felt the world was ending (in my personal world) and I did not handle the situation properly and I suffered because of it. I had support afterwards as I was working with my fibromyalgia coach and taking the Fibromyalgia Advisor program. I put my focus onto myself. Things didn't seem so dark afterwards.
Photo 4, 5, 6, Graduation
My three children graduated from high school, middle school, and elementary school (respectively).
Photo 7, Kirk + CeCe
I fell in love with him, again. I don't know how it's even possible but I loved him even more this year. It was amazing that we were able to take a few days in August for an anniversary road trip around southern Ontario. That's when I fell in love, again.
He's such an awesome, understanding partner. He believes in me even when I can't find the light in my darkest times.
Photo 8, CeCe & Kate
Probably the biggest highlight of the year for me, was that I was able to hug my best friend, Kate, for the first time in over 10 years. I missed her so badly and I am grateful that we were able to reunited for an afternoon. Anxious for vaccines to roll out and COVID restrictions to be lifted so I can travel to see her again.
Photo 9, IFCI Grad
It's now hanging on my office wall, my International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute Fibromyalgia Advisor certificate. Around the time I earned my certification, I started mapping my plan and goals for the next few years to achieve my dream job. It's a longer road but I know it all will be worth the hard work when I am able to display my certifications and diplomas on my wall.
Today was my first session with my fibromyalgia coach. I was assigned a task before hand, a SMART goal.
I was given an assignment for this upcoming week and be able to report it back in our second session: wellness vision (p.5-6) and a smaller/micro-SMART goal. I want to drink as much water as I was drinking when I was in classes at college, approx. 70 – 80 oz. per day. Water fill my tumbler at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
“I will drink 40 oz. water each day, at 10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.” I feel confident that I can achieve this goal.
PRO TIP from my coach Journaling and taking a little bit of time to reflect after a session.
I chose a walk with Miley. We went in the trails; I was curious to know if there was trilliums growing or in bloom yet. Miley and I found a patch of trilliums almost ready to bloom. I had my “ah, spring is really here” moment, I heard then saw my first bumble bee. I found my peace in my walk.
*Spirituality in Nature*
In my session, I told my coach out how I've lost my spirituality since 2015, and she mentioned that it didn't necessarily needed to be religious but could be in other forms, and I feel that I could find this in nature.
As I was finishing up my volunteer week at Camp Woolsey, I signed up for a month long contract to be a camp counsellor for Adelaide. I had about 33 "off" with travel to and from camp (twice) and time to clean my gear, repack, and head out to Adelaide for the rest of August. AND celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary! (we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary of being a couple in September)
Before I left for Girl Guide camp, I quit drinking pop. Cold turkey. I had my last Coke Zero on August 4 and knew I would be away for three weeks, which would be the perfect time to stop drinking pop to see if my sides stop hurting so much. I believe the pop is affecting my kidneys, and I can feel the intense pain in my lowers back & sides. I still haven't drank any pop but I do not feel better, my pains in my kidney area is still there, almost daily.
I returned home from working at Girl Guide camp and I needed several days to recover; I was not sleeping properly and was in constant pain. It hurt to wear shoes when I was working, it was too painful to wear my high-tops, I would wear my sandals or rainboots. When I got home, I cried and slept so much. I couldn't even walk downstairs to my office two floors lower from my bedroom (I barely even went one floor down to the kitchen/living room). I had a medical appointment with my family physician, and she sent me for x-rays; I felt like my feet were broken or fractured. That session at the x-ray department was so hard, I cried in every position the technician placed me into, poor thing was so apologetic during the whole process.
When I was alone at home, in bed trying to recover from camplife; I went into thinking spirals and I fell into a depression again. I felt that I wasn't able to be strong enough for my final year of my Administrative Community Leader term for Community 34. That I was letting people down. I wasn't able to make time to volunteer my ACL role while I was working from 6:45 a.m. to 11 p.m., my downtime I made sure that I did selfcare and rested for that hour and a bit I had off each day. I felt that I was unappreciated by my camp director at Adelaide. She purposely avoided me the last two days when my condition was worsening. I was falling into a very sad state of mind, I had given up precious weeks that I could have been spending with my eldest daughter who was leaving for Italy for a 10 month student exchange. I was at my saddest when I missed her Italian consulate visit in Toronto and her 16th birthday. I was grateful for the support of the Red Shirts (Staff) who had hugs and kind words to help me through and help me find strength.
My mind wasn't clear or sharp during my last few days of work: One morning when I had first session off and my sleep-in morning, I got up and I was making myself breakfast and tea, and I ended up pouring freshly boiled water over my right hand while I was holding the mug for my tea. I didn't react quickly and poured a fair amount that cause a burn more serious than I have ever done before. I went straight to first aid/wellness center for help, but I was brushed aside and told to run cold water on it. I did but it wasn't enough. By lunch time, I was becoming zombie-like because of the intense pain and lack of treatment (besides running cold water on it twice). The camp had some special guests visiting and grading the camp for their Ontario camp status, and the camp director suddenly was sincere and concerned about me, it felt like she didn't want me around the guests because I was unwell and injured; I was rushed into another section of the building, away from the dining hall with the campers and guests, and into a quiet area and was given treatment for my burn, which she said she was concerned about the severity but didn't bring me to the hospital or even wrote a incident report. I had a hard time understanding why I would work so hard, as a volunteer and then as a contract employee for them to mistreat me and not appreciate my dedication to the organization and the camp.
Wednesday afternoon, I gave my notice to the second in command in the director's office, camp director was M.I.A. whenever I needed her that day. I had 24 hours to reflect at Camp Adelaide about my wellness, my life, my roles as volunteer, etc. until the time I was scheduled to be picked up for my weekend off. I was just going home for good. I took the time to encourage the women who were tired and starting to feel the drain. I went to different places I wasn't able to explore before. I said goodbye to my camp, my home. I made peace with the idea that this was my last sunset at Adelaide.
Today, I was falling apart and it broke my heart while I wrote my letter and I gave my notice to the GGC - Ontario Council Deputy Provincial Commissioner, my ACL Advisor, and my Community Planner. I could not continue my role as ACL for C34.
In two days, I go for my CT Scan and I have my follow up with the doctor and specialist. Next month, I start a mindfulness program with a psychiatrist: The Mindfulness Solution to Pain.
Chantal \shahn~ TAHL\
A devastating beauty with a fiery personality. Part lover, part fighter.
Chantals know how to make it rain. Your life is incomplete if you lack a Chantal. A completely magical girl.
- Urban Dictionary