100 Things I Love Part 4: 61-80

I know it’s been a little bit since I last published for this project. Family Christmases got in the way! I have a break from gatherings now, and thought I would continue on.

Welcome to Part 4 of the 100 Things I Love project. Reflecting over Christmas and being away from work made it a bit easier to come up with some additions for the list, which was pretty awesome.

  1. Any kind of cool nerdy coffee mug
  2. My TARDIS collection
  3. Wiggling my toes in new warm grass
  4. Sitting around the table chatting with the family after a big holiday dinner
  5. Sitting on my back patio/landing reading a book in the sun
  6. Finishing the latest project
  7. Wayne’s snickerdoodles – Gluten Free and AMAZING
  8. Quiet days to myself with no expectations
  9. Yummy-smelling candles
  10. When plans go off without a hitch
  11. Feeling prepared (this one is helpful for my anxiety too!)
  12. A glass of ice-cold water
  13. A nice, brisk walk.
  14. Great conversation
  15. Bookstores
  16. Having a library card
  17. Collecting Classics (the books, that is)
  18. Holiday leftovers
  19. Learning to manage my money effectively
  20. Treating myself from time to time (It’s just good self-care.)

I hope you had a great holiday! I did, for the most part. I find it a bit more difficult these days to really get into it as the majority of my family are adults or are nearing adulthood. There is less emphasis on the excitement of gift-giving, and more on just being with family. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really great. It’s one of my favourite parts of the season. It’s just hard to get pumped up and in the “holiday spirit” when that’s the case. I am back to work for the rest of this week, and then we are on to New Year’s Even this weekend. I have plans to go see some friends and spend the night playing board games and eating and drinking lots of wine. I am very much looking forward to it. I hope you have some exciting New Year’s Eve plans as well!

Keeping Busy

I’ve had my new computer up and running for just over two weeks now and I must say that it has made a world of difference in my life. It is wonderful to have a computer that is fully capable of doing all the things I need it to do. Programs are opening within seconds and not taking close to a minute like they used to on my old MacBook Pro. I understand it was 7 years old, and its age was catching up to it, but it doesn’t make those kinds of things any less frustrating. I just have a few things left to transfer from my MacBook to the computer, but I need to get my hands on a flash drive, as I seem to have misplaced both of mine. I have started playing my games again though, and it feels fantastic to be back at it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started playing again!

I was back in World of Warcraft within days of getting things all set up, and I admit, I was quite surprised at how much the game has changed, meanwhile at the same time having not changed at all. Talents and specializations are completely different now, but the overall gameplay and the quest grind is the same as it ever was. I started a new Horde toon on a new server because that’s where my friend who is still playing the game is now playing. No one else I used to play with is left! That’s okay though, as long as there is someone! Because of the changes though, rather than use the Level 90-character boost for my first new toon, I am leveling it from the beginning to become familiar with the game again. Two weeks in and I am at Level 38. Not too shabby for working full-time, and doing school part-time as well! I created an undead Warlock and I am playing it in the Destruction spec. I love me my warlocks and I also love playing the Destro spec. It’s just so darn much fun! I haven’t run through any dungeons yet, but that is up next on my list of things to do in-game.

I’ve also downloaded Path of Exile, so I can play with Jen and possibly Wayne as well. I haven’t started on that one yet, but hopefully we will get to once our final exam is done. That’s happening next Wednesday morning, and we will get about a month break before our next class starts. Hopefully we can get some game play in during that time. It looks like an interesting game; I am excited to try it out.

Next step will be to get Steam going so I can try out a few other games I’ve been keeping my eye on! Looking forward to doing that hopefully early in the new year.

Tobi seems to have taken a liking to the new computer as well. She is always laying near it, probably because it’s a bit warm. I’ve also caught her licking it a few times, which was just kind of funny to me. I imagine the novelty will wear off soon. I will just have to wait and see. She’s a kitty after my heart, though. Even for all her oddities, she’s still my baby and I can’t imagine my life without her. We have been together since she was just a tiny kitten – over 8 years, and I hope we have many more years together ahead of us. Sorry. Always the cat-ramble. I just love her so much I can’t help it.

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Things are starting to look up for me these days. I mean, sure, I am super broke now, but after this month, everything will finally fall into place. And here’s the best part: starting early in the new year, I will start saving for a down payment on a house! This is a very exciting thing for me, because I never thought it was something that would happen. I honestly thought I would end up renting for the rest of my life. It just goes to show how far I really have come in the past year. My goal is to have a minimum 20% down payment when I start looking. It will probably take me a couple of years to get to that point, but it will totally be worth the wait. Now some may ask, “But what if you’re in a serious relationship before then?” Well, on that, I’m not actively looking for a relationship these days, and I’m going to make plans for myself as things are now. If things change somewhere down the road, I will change my plans accordingly. It’s as simple as that!

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Final exam for my course is in less than a week, and I’ve now been studying for it for about a week. Needless to say, I am a bit stressed about it. I am hoping all goes well, and I pass, but these courses are like nothing I have ever taken before. They are NOTHING like the courses I took in university! I have taken an extra-long weekend off this weekend to study and catch up on things, and I can only hope that it helps me out in the end. I will just have to keep preparing and then hope for the best when the time comes. My goal is to pass the course. I don’t want to have to rewrite the exam!

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The busy Christmas season is about to begin for me. My work Christmas party is next week, and then I am babysitting for some friends that weekend while they attend a work Christmas party as well. Then comes the family Christmases. I still must figure out how I’m getting to them all, but I have time to figure that out. I am hosting a Christmas dinner of my own on Boxing Day and I am kind of excited about it. I’ve already started planning dinner! I never plan things this far in advance… Usually not more than a week before for something like that usually. Probably better that I am planning now though. Things are pretty busy for the next month!

Holiday Spirit… And A Blogiversary

I wanted to write a post this week about the holidays but it is proving to be very difficult. The weather is nothing like winter and as a result, not very “Christmasy”. The temperature outside has been well above zero for almost all of December and what little snow we’ve had disappeared almost as soon as it arrived. Things are a bit drab, and the holiday spirit seems to be lacking in many people. Unfortunately, this seems to be translating to me as well. I usually get pretty excited about Christmas and actively participate in local and family holiday festivities with great fervour. This year, not so much. I am finding it difficult to get excited about Christmas itself, even though I am very much looking forward to participating in our family’s traditional Christmas Eve gathering for the first time in many years. This year things are just “meh”. Things in other areas of daily life have been difficult and frustrating as well, so I think that has a bearing on things as well.

I have a wonderful friend though who has helped to try to liven the Christmas spirit in theimg_1888  Lindsay/Tobi household here and we are thankful for it because it has definitely helped.  She and her husband sent me an adorable little Christmas tree because I told her we didn’t have one. There is a small amount of the spirit now creeping on over here.

I’m also having a bit of trouble thinking of things to write about at the moment in the first place. Unfortunately as a result, there was no post last week. I just couldn’t think of something worth writing about. So I apologize to those who were expecting something. I am trying to make up for that this week by actually writing something, even if I’m not sure where this is going. Through the week, little things here and there have happened and I think “Oh, maybe I can write about this.” And then it just doesn’t happen because I end up dismissing it as a lame idea or something not so worthwhile as I may have originally thought. This may be something I will have to get over in the future. It could make blogging rather difficult if I don’t. I need to remind myself there is nothing wrong with writing about little things that happen, because they could always turn out to be great things after all.

In other news though, this blog was four years old on Friday. I was too busy and too stressed out to realize it at the time. But happy 4th blogiversary to A Mad Woman with a Box! It’s very exciting, and I am very proud of myself for having kept this blog going for as long as this, even if this is its second incarnation. To celebrate, I am linking to some favourite posts from previous years. Enjoy!

A Trip Out West

I Want to Write

Serenity Back in Theatres!

My Life = Made

 

Thankfulness

On this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I have so much to be thankful for. These past few months have been difficult, but they have helped me to realize what I have and how lucky I truly am.

So here goes… The cliché “I’m thankful for…” list:

  • Friends: for giving me a reason to laugh again, and in one specific case, a temporary home while I got my shit together.
  • The support I have received from coworkers over said past few months. I wouldn’t have come as far as I have without it.
  • Family: for coming to my rescue emotionally, and being there first to help me pick up the pieces and get started on starting over.
  • Coworkers: specific ones, you know who you are; for being so patient with me while I was struggling and upset at work, and for helping me with tools to begin again.
  • My small but faithful group of readers: you keep me wanting to write.
  • Discovering groups and forums online where I can be the real me, without judgment. (Team Hooman, I’m talking to you!)
  • Tobi, my cat: I love her so much. She makes the quiet nights on my own bearable.
  • Everyone in my life, you have given me so much faith in humanity. You are the best of the best.
  • Meeting my hero, Felicia Day, back in August. It was one of the best days of my life.

So there you have it. I really do have a lot to be thankful for. And I am so incredibly thankful for everything.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Reflections on the Season

I’m sitting here tucked in on my ratty but cozy couch looking outside upon what has become a winter wonderland right outside my window. The Christmas tree is up and the lights are sparkling and all seems well with the world.

This past year has been a trying year in more ways than one. There have been financial woes, health problems, family emergencies… All of which we have gotten through little worse for wear. BUT good things have happened too: birthdays, family milestones and just love all around. The result of which is I think we are better people for it.

For a lot of this past year I lost sight of those little things that make life better. I was only focusing on the negative things we were dealing with. Over the last couple weeks it feels like I have come back into myself and my past optimism is returning. I’m remembering other things. Good things. Sure, life isn’t easy. It has its struggles, but we can’t focus on those all the time otherwise, what’s the point of life if not to enjoy the little things that make it worth living. In my case, things like:

1) my cats and their unconditional love
2) our family being there for us and vice versa
3) amazing friends who help me see the good when I seem to be missing it
4) nights in with Jay – relaxing, great food, great company, watching football or whatever
5) the little local events we attend together
6) my perfect little home – it may not be big or fancy, but I look forward to walking in the site at the end if each day
7) the city I live in – there is always something to do, and it’s kind of pretty too
8) my blog – even though it has kind of fallen to the wayside lately. That will be fixed and I hope to evolve the blog a bit this year.
9) I have my own little bit of nature in my backyard in the form of a woodlot – great for photos!
10) there is an end of sight to the current struggles! I just need to be patient.

I’ve learned over the past several weeks that there are much better things to be concerned with than worrying about the bad and not so good things that have happened, may happen or are happening. Why not think of the positive things? I have a few things I can think of this moment including the fact I am finally taking control of my health, and Jay is as well. There is also the fact that Jay is no longer working his “fly-in fly-out” job 13+ hours away, and will be home from here on out. And too, I have my best friend to remind me of all of this on the rough days as I do for her as well. 14 years will do that I guess!

As I continue to sit here and enjoy and appreciate the snow, our holiday decorations and our home. I know it had been a tough year, and a right holiday season as well. BUT I have my home, family and friends to make life great, and I know next year will be better than this one.

With that, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year as well.