In 2019 our lives were turned upside down when John lost his job, we moved to Lethbridge, and dealt with a mental health crisis. This was an extremely difficult time for our family and so much was up in the air as we figured out what to do next. I’ve spoken about this a little, but not much because it’s still a little tender.
In 2020 we tried to pick up the pieces- we found a cute rental, John decided what to do next work-wise, and we fumbled our way through Covid restrictions and lock down. Even though 2020 was hard, it wasn’t as hard for us as it was for others, and it certainly wasn’t as difficult as 2019. The best thing to come out of 2020 was John’s deciding what to do for work after losing his job. John’s parent’s co-own and manage a golf course in Lethbridge, and when John was out of work they invited us down here to help them out at the course until John found something else. Well, it turned out that jobs in John’s field specific to his particular strengths and experience have not been abundant, but also that he really enjoys working at the golf course. It wasn’t a difficult decision then to choose to work at the golf course long term and take over the management from his parents. It’s been a huge pivot from his industrial construction and maintenance work with his P.Eng designation and background, BUT its been so good for our whole family. John is much less stressed, he has more time to devote to his own hobbies, he’s home with us more, but most importantly- he’s happy. Never did I ever think we’d be living in Lethbridge working at a golf course, but I’m grateful nonetheless.
Which finally brings us up to 2021!
Now that we had an idea of where we were going to be and what we’d be doing long-term it was time to settle down. This past spring we put an offer in on a house and much to our surprise the offer was both accepted and approved. We moved (for the fourth time in as many years and hopefully the last time for many, many, many years to come) on one of the hottest days of the year and spent the rest of the summer settling in. In September we began our fifth year of homeschooling with Porter in grade 4 and Wyatt in grade 2, we began the year strong diving into some new-to-us resources and curriculum and with more opportunities for extra-curricular activities than we had last year. I even began working at the golf course, in reception, and to my surprise I found myself enjoying it. I worked weekends and evenings, the opposite of when John was there, so it felt like a very busy fall. This year we also had the privilege of hosting Christmas for my family, our first Christmas in our new house. It felt like the cherry-on-top.
I still don’t love Lethbridge (yet). But there are a lot of things I like about southern Alberta- the proximity to Waterton National Park, the proximity to John’s family and my brother, the shorter Costco lines, our new independent book store, the warmer weather, and going for walk in the river bottom among the cottonwoods. I still have moments though, unexpected, where I think of our old life and what we lost, or where I miss the friendships we left, and the yearning and the loneliness becomes so deep I ache with it.
If 2019 and 2020 taught me anything, its the unpredictable nature of life. After everything we’ve been through and seen, I know how quickly things can change. How easy it for something to happen and then the rug is ripped from under your feet. Rebuilding is hard, and I’m not sure I’m ready to look too far into the future yet. Heck, buying this house filled me with as much anxiety and fear as it did hope and excitement.
Usually the end of the year finds me excited to dream about the next year and carefully set out intentions and goals for myself. I wasn’t up for this last year, and I don’t think I am this year either. If I have any hope for 2022, its that I learn to be a little more content where I am, live a little more fully in the present. (And also lose weight, if I’m being perfectly honest.)