December 20, 2007

Happy Holidays from Stuart, Kate, and Nellie the family Pooch

Off the top, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Kwazy Kwanza, and happy new year to everyone. We are in awe to the many of you who have managed to get out Christmas cards and photos. Thank you for sending them to us; it's great to hear about how your year has been! We admit our complete and utter failing in this department, and in the same breath thank you for your success! consider this your letter... without a stamp, envelope, or paper... and really, isn't that what we need in this time of environmental consciousness?!

Okay, time to get serious:

One of the obnoxious things about the human condition is that we like to look back on time spent, and try to rate the quality of that time. I say that because the past is full of…well…the past. Stuff you can’t change, can’t give back or can’t take back, no matter what.

“Wow”, you’re thinking right now. “Such a cheery start to the letter. Seems a bit ominous for the ol’ holiday piffle, doesn't it?”

Well to be honest, there is only one thing this year that was a truly negative experience, but it weighs heavily on us right now; that ‘thing’ being dad passing away. Christmas was without a doubt his favourite time of year. Dad was the type who would, on Boxing Day, eagerly pronounce that there were only 364 days left until next Christmas.

And right now, we miss him terribly. Even his musical Christmas tie, spitting out its tinny holiday tunes at each press of the button. We’re a bit scattered to the four winds as a family this year, in part perhaps because we’re old enough to be able to share the time with others than just ourselves, but as much as anything, I think it is an acknowledgement that things ain’t quite right, at least for this year, and we need to do our own thing.

As such, Mum is headed off to England to spend a few weeks with my sister and her boyfriend’s family. My brother is headed to Prince George to celebrate with his in-laws, which will be followed closely by a near month-long trip to Hawaii with Dina and wee Aria. And Kate and I have two weeks off of work, which we plan to split between time here in Vancouver and time up at Whistler. Kate also has her birthday this weekend, and we have our wedding anniversary on the 30th (I save money all year, for the grand week that is the Merry Annibirthday).

All in all, we have much to be thankful for in 2007. I started a fantastic job back in February which presents me with ever-changing challenges and is by no means short on interesting issues, and it is a job I look forward to continuing through the coming year.

Kate transitioned out of her speech language pathologist job that she held for a year, opting to focus her attentions on early behavioural intervention for pre-school aged children with autism. Not to be one to start on the ground floor, nor take a break, Kate essentially entered into a partnership role with a private firm, and started it the day after she finished up at the Centre For Ability. This too, is a job that presents her with ever-changing challenges and is by no means short on interesting issues. And like me, she loves what she is doing, so we’re very fortunate in the employment department.

Other highlights of the year are well enough documented on this blog: the wonderful arrival of our first niece, Aria. The beginning and end of many a pocket of renovation on our house. A shift in lifestyle choices as we have endeavoured to eat local. A great week puttering around Vancouver Island in the summer. Jaunting up to Kamloops here and there to hang out with family. And lets not forget the simple things that make every year great, like taking the dog for long walks on Saturdays, dinners out, sleeping in now and again, visiting with friends, staying healthy (save the odd bout of the sniffles here and there), taking time to get to know the neighbours…. And the list could go on.

So, as I said at the start, the past is what it is. Stuff you can’t change, can’t give back and can’t take back, no matter what.

But that’s okay.

We can at least learn from it, appreciate the experience for what it was, and never have to do it again.

And when things have really gone well, we can remember those things fondly, be glad for who we are, be glad for who’s with us along the way, and be glad for what we have going forward.

Happy Holidays everyone. All the best for 2008.

P.S.—for those who missed it last year, I’ve elfed the household. It seems everyone is doing this this year, so while it may not be all that novel, if nothing more, Nellie looks funny with a human body .