Monday, December 31, 2012

That's the Way it Goes

I stare at my keyboard wondering where I ought to begin. Maybe with an apology for not updating since April! Well, an awful lot of things have happened this year that have steered me away from blogging for a while. I lost my impetus and focus. Let's hope I get that mojo back in the upcoming year.

The curtain is falling on the show that was 2012. For a lot of people I know, I can't imagine a standing ovation from the audience as it did not live up to the promise of the hype.

This is not going to be the most entertaining post as I will be writing about some negative aspects of the year initially. You may want to skip. It's just therapeutic for me...

The beginning of the year saw me lose a lot of weight - I got down to 77kgs - however, it was not all due to walking and weight-watcher frozen meals, alas. No, stress was a factor. My weight is often affected by stress. I can either react by binging on food or do the complete opposite. I thought the weight loss was a good thing, but a number of people told me I looked ill. The stress came from a friendship that deteriorated and died and ultimately made me question myself, my behaviour and my demeanour. Having said that, I had great support from other friends who encouraged me to realise that I was, actually, quite a decent person. I thank them all for that. Enough on that subject as I could easily go into greater detail and regret it later. (one day, maybe...)

Look at me when I was skinnier!

Secondly, as reported earlier in the year, I had to move out of my lovely apartment having lived there for eight years. I moved out almost eight years to the day that I moved in. This move was one of my biggest mistakes. I moved to an area called Brooklyn (no, not that one!) and, despite being a large house with a garden, it was a nightmare. The locale was an absolute dive with drug deals on the street corner, fights on the buses and burglaries de rigueur. Each night on my way home from work I would be worried about being stabbed on the bus or find my home invaded. Once again, I was stressed, but this time I began binging. During the Australian winter, I managed to stack on the weight I had lost the previous summer and a little bit more for extra comfort.

I went to see my doctor when I was feeling extraordinarily low and he prescribed me some anti-depressants. The first batch didn't work and just turned my palms into sweat sprinklers. We changed to a stronger medication which dried up my hands (that wasn't attractive!) but my body soon became used to them.

If this wasn't all stressful enough, work decided to move offices. The location wasn't a huge problem with me, but the whole 'Open Plan' aspect made me deeply unhappy. Cries of "You'll Adapt!" on numerous occasions did nothing to allay my fears and it seemed that very few people gave a crap about how this change would affect me. 'Open Plan', I believe, is a nasty trend that some evil bastard/bitch in HR once came up with and every company decided to leap onto the bandwagon because a pamphlet was once written saying that it increased work productivity. I say bollocks to that. It may do for some businesses, but one glass slipper doesn't fit every foot. We are a publishing industry where people need privacy, quiet and focus. But who am I to say? Anyway, the move happened and I have become tense again. Rant over.

Me in my Old Office...

My New Office "Space"...

Anyway... When my (beautiful) doctor saw the state I was in and I explained my situation, he not only prescribed the drugs, but also suggested I move again. I took his advice and immediately went out to find a pet-friendly, secure apartment in the city - bugger the cost. Eight weeks after moving to Brooklyn, I moved out. I found an apartment in the city which was asking twice the price in rent, but I knew I would be safe and happy.

Then, once I felt settled and the work and home moves were complete, I received some more bad news. My aunt Jane had passed away. It was very sudden and deeply shocking. I felt so distant from my family. When my grandfather died, it was very sad, but it was not unexpected. Losing Jane was an intense feeling. I simply could not afford to return home for the funeral and that made me feel worse. However, the support and contact I had from my family was incredible. They kept in daily contact by either phone or email and the planet did not seem quite so large for that period.

During this turbulent time, Fizzgig (my beautiful baby girl) developed a nasty rash on her back and she began licking it to the point of bleeding. Once the infection cleared up, she continued to attack the area compulsively. She has been on a variety of medications and calming influences, but she is still not completely back to normal. It has been costly and stressful, poor baby. :(

My beautiful girl...

Also during the year, I felt myself become a little detached from some of my friends and I can only hope that these problems are merely temporary. We shall see.

OK. Enough of the doom and gloom! If you have been skipping, you can stop and rejoin the party!

Let's take a look at some of the highlights of 2012...

At the beginning of the year, my Aunt Jane and her partner Nigel came to visit and we went on a fabulous wine tour. This was the last time I saw her, but it gave me such marvellous memories.

I may have lost a couple of friends along the way, but I have made a number of new ones through work or through play. I have been far more sociable than I have ever been before. I have to keep an eye on this new habit as it whacks me hard on the wallet.

The double move did see me having a massive clear-out. I hired a skip and chucked out a lot of junk I had been hoarding for so many years. It was incredibly cleansing for my soul.

One of the best things about 2012 was the birth of my friend Nola's baby, Reid. This joy came at a price, it meant maternity leave took her away from being my colleague, but I am so happy for her.

This picture was taken on her last day at the office - look how thin I was! Gosh!

...and this is me with baby Reid!

As ever, I spent a lot of time reading various books for work and for pleasure and I watched a lot of films and TV shows (not a lot changes).

The Walking Dead continued to impress. We said goodbye to the grand dames of Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives and welcomed new characters to community service in Misfits. Doctor Who improved slightly after last year's garbage season, but not quite as well as I had hoped. I have higher hopes now that the Ponds have vacated the TARDIS...

I have seen some good films, but my two favourites of the year have to be The Artist and Skyfall.

My favourite book of the year has to be This is Life by Dan Rhodes.

So, in less than 12 hours, 2013 will be upon us! Will I be able to make the changes in my life that I failed to achieve due to various circumstances during 2012?

I am currently at a shocking 92kgs. That is the heaviest I have EVER been. I simply have to lose the weight. I am going to eat less and exercise more. (Edina: "If it was that simple, everybody would be doing it!")

As for work..? Well, who can say. There are changes a-coming and they may affect me without me able to stop it. That's the way it goes... Where's that bloody windfall, eh? Come on lottery, help me out.

Goodbye, 2012! You were a bit shit. At least the world didn't end though.