Only Child and son Martin in better weather conditions
I was going to stay up late tonight to kick out one of the worst years in my life and also in the lives of all but two of the people I asked. But 2013 is not worth it.
Instead I’m saving that bottle of wine for New Year’s Day 2014 with the hopes that 2014 turns out much better.
Before I get into my year end diatribe I want to apologize for a mistake I made in last week’s post which a commenter corrected me on. Benedict is not the present Pope – he is the former Pope of the Catholic Church. Benedict is still writing the book on the life of Christ and in his research discovered that Christ wasn’t born on Christmas Day. So Xmas it is to me.
The year 2013, from a personal perspective, could be my year of living on a precipice. No matter what happened, attempts to solve it led to more problems and complications; new problems kept popping up and many are still hanging in there waiting to be solved. It was a year of little money coming in most times and that only picking up in the last couple of months when work came in. Now that I’m officially senior, I should be getting my first OAS check near the end of January 2014. Note the year. I know the government has set it up for seniors to receive the first cheque the month after turning 65. Not complaining about that but I am stating that it is my “luck” I was born in December.
The expenses with the house including repairs and utilities, particularly the latter are awful. Hydro and water rates in Toronto are unbelievable in their escalation the past year – two rate increases this year alone in Hydro and water rates are on a schedule of increases every year – 9 per cent. I know with a boarder we use more hydro and water – but the bulk of the increases are those rates and with hydro the delivery of the hydro is $79 with each bill (every two months). Hydro rates are because of the screw-ups made by the provincial government and water because the Toronto finally decided a few years ago that maybe it should fix an outdated water and sewer system. Not arguing with that but even as a senior I’m stuck paying the bills – although with water I can get it transferred to monthly deductions from my bank account. (My late Mom and Dad must be turning in their graves – they didn’t have such nonsense). Then there was all the fuss with Rogers Cable but with me yelling “bloody murder” (so to speak) at their corporate communications office (after the billing office refused to comply) I have $10 off per month for the next year only. But I did find out they have a pilot project (not in my geographic area) for seniors. There has also been dealing with Canadian Revenue Agency and having to pay extra for something I missed in the guidelines (yes, I paid; they were correct).
The list goes on and on, leaving me floundering around in overwhelm. However two things are consistent for all:
1. Lack of enough time to deal with all of these things (I blame that for my tax return error). Focusing on the paperwork for becoming officially senior, which is where my focus should have been, got railroaded by all the other crap thrown at me, some directly connected with the senior paperwork (like trying to get an Ontario Photo ID card and not having a valid laminated birth certificate accepted as backup document by Service Ontario clerks). The ice storm and other extreme weather conditions and what it did and could do to my property land in here big time.
2. Not being listened to when I prayed to God. Gee, a little help from the almighty might have helped with all these problems. I’m not asking for a perfect world but the ratio of good to bad is well, bad.
I figure that ratio for me is 25 percent good (and most of that is because of the help from my son and my friends Tanya and Alex next door during the ice storm the past week. The rest is my garden and gardening, my writing, promoting my book – the readings were and are a lot of fun, being still physically able towalk so going on long walks, and to a certain extent having a house to live in). That leaves 75 percent for the bad stuff that happened. And here I’m expanding a little to include what also affects others – like the weather, terrible consumer service, health problems, money problems, etc.
Something is wrong here. Shouldn’t the good be much higher than the bad?
Despite all the crap I intend to make the most of 2014 but there will be some changes. Among those are I am changing praying to God to using my instinct and intuition. During the daylight hours before the lights went out here I kept getting the “urge” to get a lot of things done as if it was the last day to do so – everything from laundry and other housework to getting a plumbing problem fixed. And in the days before the ice storm I kept worrying and talking about it and it happened – worse than I thought. So I need to develop my intuition, not just to avoid trouble, but for the more positive as well. Clearly what is inside me can work better than asking help from blocked ears.
I am also focusing more in what I do with my writing, editing and teaching writing and also in what else I will do. Time management will be a big priority and it will be used for what I need and want. A lot will be deleted or ignored and if certain others don’t like it – tough. They’ve infringed on my life enough. And I will use my senior status to get whatever bargains and discounts I am entitled to and raise the roof (if necessary) to do so.
If I sound like a hard-ass only, think again. I intend to spend time with the softer nicer things like reading, listening to music, spending time with family and close friends, and my garden – the latter once this “f****** winter is over.
And don’t tell me to move to BC or Florida for better weather. The former has hurricanes and BC – well it’s earthquakes that could happen, but BC has an evacuation plan as my ex-husband now living out there tells me.
Let’s hope 2014 is much better than 2013 for everybody. And not as this so-called psychic on CP 24 TV news predicted– that 2014 will just intensify what 2013 had. Let’s ship this psychic out to Pluto. We don’t need her negativity.
Happy 2014 to all.
Sharon A. Crawford
Only Child Writes