2009, A Year in Review

The year past was one of the toughest ones I can remember. It’s been a year of extreme highs, some pretty darks depths; my share of awesome joys, mixed with an unhealthy dose of stress. And that’s not when you consider the economy, I might add — things are even worse when you roll all that in.
The year closed out on a more sombre note for me, in many ways. Much quieter, and I got to spend a lot of time with my family (which I cherish now, and cannot regret in anyway), but the future is a little less certain. I’m less concerned about that fact than I thought I would be, however.
On with the year that just was…

  • Rang in the new year watching fireworks go off all over the Central Valley in Costa Rica (a spectacular sight, if you ever happen to be in Costa Rica at New Year’s)
  • Had numerous run-ins with illness between The Monkey, myself, and Alex (and some far less pretty than others, lemme tell ya!)
  • Experienced my first, bonafide, scare-the-crap-outta-me earthquake, measuring in at 6.2 at its epicentre
  • In Costa Rica, travelled to:
    • Villa Blanca (Los Angeles Cloud Forest), three times
    • Arenal (for my very wet birthday)
    • Parque de Diversiones
    • Playa del Coco
    • Playa Hermosa
    • Playa Chiquita
    • Puerto Viejo
    • La Paz Waterfalls
  • Had a few troubles with our trusty Suzuki, Dave, and spent more than a few bucks getting ’em all fixed
  • Managed to avoid becoming totally addicted to coffee, but still drank a lot of it
  • Took pride in The Monkey starting school (yes, even though she wasn’t even 2 years old yet)
  • Worked through the challenges of getting a startup business up and running; the stress took its toll on me and my family, and likely all lead to where I am at this very moment
  • Travelled to Canada for a visa run, though it was originally planned as a family visit:
    • Barrie
    • Bolton
    • Oakville
    • And wee bit of Toronto (I had to go into the Toronto office) just for flavour
  • Saw far too few sunsets on beaches
  • Discovered great Indian food in Costa Rica
  • Moved from our first apartment to a new apartment, after our condo management company couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract extension
  • Got utterly screwed by the aforementioned condo management company, to the tune of about USD$1,500
  • Celebrated 20 years of journalling/blogging with post #1,000 (total coincidence, I swear!)
  • Did a Stampede-style breakfast for my co-workers
  • Finally acquired my Temporary Residency visa … after realising that staying in Costa Rica long-term wasn’t an option for my family, and we’d decided to go home
  • Waxed poetic on management and management style (perhaps too much so?)
  • Cringed as The Monkey crossed into “The Terrible Twos” (which, thankfully, haven’t really been that bad)
  • Finally snapped after running into a “Perfect Storm” of difficult project, dealing with the relocation company, organising the family, trying to sell the car, cancelling services, and making sure that what little money we had saved was properly moved out of the country before we left — I was an utter wreck at the end
  • Ate far too many of our last meals in Costa Rica in a Denny’s
  • Managed to survive the 19-hour ordeal of moving from Costa Rica; flying through Houston with a few bags, an irate cat in a bag, and a toddler hell-bent on doing her own thing; finally arriving in -18 degree weather in Calgary after 22:30 at night
  • Moved back into a house we hadn’t seen in a year and a half, finding things we hadn’t seen in probably over three years
  • Bought a 2006 Jetta TDI
  • Critical Mass and I parted ways after about 9.75 years
  • Landed a wonderful case of Benign Positional Vertigo on Boxing Day
  • Realised that, yes, there are many things that Costa Rica has better than Canada … beyond the weather
  • Rang in the new year year to come with a visit to the Calgary Zoo’s “Zoo Year’s Eve”, at -22 degrees Celsius

I’m missing easily a couple of months’ of detail in there, but the simple fact is that most of Q1 and Q2 last year were chaotic, busy, and stressful. I’m proud of what we all achieved, and I miss the people I left behind in Costa Rica. Time changes, and people have to change with them. As such, 2010 will be a year of change for me. I don’t see that as a bad thing, just that as with any human, change ain’t easy.
But change is exciting.