2013 was a busy year for me filled with surprises, many learning experiences and one huge discovery…my love for writing and I am getting better day by day!
I have written about my surprise and gratitude in receiving the Queen`s Diamond Jubilee Medal and to be able to get to Toronto to receive it with my colleagues made it all the more special and meaningful. I can`t find the words to say how grateful I am and to be among many wonderful amazing people who were also honoured that night. One woman whom I admire for her courage and her compassion is Pam. She has suffered such a tragic loss and yet with her compassion she found the determination and the courage to go to schools to give a powerful message…there is help…suicide is not the answer and Kids Help Phone is one safe place that youths can reach out to. Bless you, Pam, for doing what you do…you have no idea how much you have touched so many hearts. I feel privileged to have met you in person.
2013 was a difficult year in that more youths reached out with very very serious issues. I am not sure if that means youths are struggling more OR if it means that they are finally realizing that there is a youth line that may just be able to support them. If it is the latter, I say, good on you for the courage and trust you put in this help line. I feel privileged being a part of this support and honoured to listening to youths who are looking for guidance and a helping ear.
I am grateful for having 2 amazing adult children and a grandson in my life. I know may sound mushy and a bit old to them when I get all weepy thinking how much I love them, but hey, that`s the way it is when you love your kids, right?
This past year I was fortunate winning 2 tickets to see Oprah on her grand tour with her inspirational message. WoW! What an experience. I am pleased I was able to share this with my son and that he even accepted to go with me. I think 98% of the people there were women…so, yeah, he was pretty brave too…hehe.
After 4 years of searching for an organization to volunteer my services, I finally found a great place. Ami-Quebec which has run for 35 years is the ONLY anglophone agency in Quebec that offers support to families and friends, counselling and peer support with those suffering with mental health conditions. Over the years it has widened its outreach outside of Montreal by offering webinars and teleconferences so English-speaking people in areas far from Montreal can receive the same educational services. I feel privileged to be volunteering here and to have received some enriching training as well.
Friends are family to me. Life could not be as fulfilled or enriched without these special friends both in Quebec and in Ontario. They make me laugh and they hold me when I need to cry. I am so grateful having them in my life. Thank you for being in my life, merci d’en faire partie dans ma vie…vous ne pouvez savoir à quel point que votre appui me touche.
Speaking of Ontario…well, my cousin and his wife who is really like my sister and their son who is so precious and amazing and of course their parents…(my ma tante and uncle) my second mom and dad away from home give me so much and more. Their home is like my resort where I can unwind, get pampered and just “be”…yes, I would say I come back feeling Zen!
I am grateful having the health to be able to continue working fulltime in a career that is so fulfilling and gratifying.
I have to say that the WordPress community has also touched me in so many ways. It is a support, encouraging and enlightening. I have learned and continue to learn about many issues especially mental health with my blog Stigma Hurts Everyone and reading about experiences people are generous enough to share. Now why would I even think of going on Facebook when WordPress is feeding so many facets of my life? Oh, yeah, I know…to keep in touch with friends and to share my blog posts…yeah, that`s why.
Last but not least, my lovely feline friend who loves me unconditionally and if I don`t give her attention, she definitely lets me know!
I don`t quite believe in making New Year`s resolutions but I will TRY to walk more, would like to start Yoga again and perhaps swimming as well. Let`s see how well I do there. I do have a spiritual outlet however, which is writing more poetry and narratives. Some day I may even compile some to self-publish…or at least to give to my close friends and family.
Happy New Year and wishing everyone peace and health in 2014. Let`s get a bit more involved in the environment…that would be nice if we all did our part.
Cheryl-Lynn, January 2, 2014