January 26th, 2015
2014 came in like a lion and went back out like a lion too and 2015 appears to be coming in like a lion as well. Where are the lambs? The lambs have been all the moments in between that make this story, my personal story, worthwhile
I know that you may only know me as "Louise" or Patti, the woman who makes and sells the stuff out of a vintage glamped up trailer named "Thelma". The lady who can occasionally be found at her pop up shop inside the Peaceful Ponds & Water Gardens building during the winter or on the grounds of the new Cheapside Market on Sunday's during the nice weather. Some may know me as that lady with ever changing hair color~ black, red, plum, turquoise, brown, blonde! Many of you have heard the story of how Dear Thelma, Love Louise came to be, the story of a friendship lost when one friend succumbed to cancer, and the shared love of adventure, thrifting, festivals, camping and road trips which led to the idea of a mobile thrift boutique. Some of you know me well, and have supported my journey along the way knowing what goes on in the lime light and behind the scenes! You have donated your time, resources, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and words of advice. If you are on my personal Facebook account which I reserve for family and friends, you have been subjected to my rants, photos, and raves! On occasion, I have had the honour of a good chat with the people I meet, and have heard pieces of your own stories, struggles with illness, loss of partners, loss of children and friends to cancer, struggles to make ends meet, fall outs with family members, journeys to better health and lifestyles, new loves, great adventures, stories of your own new business plans, social enterprise ideas, and plans to save the planet. I have enjoyed the jokes shared, new ideas suggested, the drumming, guitar playing, taste testing, hula hooping, turtle watching, bartering, and fellow-shipping experienced along the way.
This year, I want to be a little more candid with you all. Some would tell me not to mix my personal life with my public (business) life but I am not heeding that advice any longer as it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep the two separate and the struggle to keep on top of everything some days is adding a lot of stress to my life. I have lived my life saying "I gotta be me" here I am like it or leave it, but this past year I have tried to keep my personal life contained in a neat little package and my public life in another neat little package, and some days the juggling of these packages wears me out!
2014 was a challenge. In 12 months I lost my full time job as the Program Coordinator at a Disability support centre due to poor health (Diabetes, Anemia, and what we expected to hear was the early onset of MS). So, not being deterred, I started a new dream business following my passions, and planned for a grand opening of Dear Thelma, Love Louise in June. And then, in April, after an MRI, my husband and I were called in to see the doctor where we were told that I had a brain tumour wrapped around my brain stem. Over 40 medical tests and appointments Including MRI's with intravenous contrast, Cat Scans, angiograms, barium swallows, x-rays, upper GI scopes and biopsies, colonoscopy and biopsy, eye pressure tests, hearing tests, ear scans, balance tests, and tons of blood taken, all proceeded after the diagnosis, while a decision to not operate was made by the surgeons due to the fact the risks of removing the tumour currently outweighs the discomforts caused by it, or the impairments that could be left with me if they attempt to remove it. So, the decision was made to just keep an eye on it and leave it be and hope for the best. During the testing another benign tumour on my liver was discovered and a diagnosis of Diverticulitis was also made. 2014 also saw us lose half our household income, watch my husband change jobs and still find no relief with his physical pain from his car accident, and I was given the news I may lose my home in the new year. These are The Lions I mentioned.
In 2014 I also hiked, fished, had bonfires, grew sunflowers and herbs, made cool stuff, traveled to many festivals, markets and events, made new friends, was inspired by many creative and passionate people, helped to run a new market, had a successful first year with my new business, played the guitar and ukulele, planned parties and events, visited with old friends, loved my husband, kids and grand kids, hiked, explored caves, played with butterflies, baked bread, tried new foods, photographed a beautiful world, explored new places, and made new memories. These are the Lambs.
I like to look at my life like one would look at a good book. There are many chapters and, many build ups and let downs and satisfying accomplishments or disappointments. You love the characters, you hate the characters, you are thrilled or you are bored or angered with parts. This is life, this is my life, this is my story, it is one big chapter book, some chapters are better than others but when one chapter is complete, I move on to the next until my story ends and I face or embrace the challenges and experiences that come my way.
Here is a review of 2014 in journal form if you are interested. If not stay tuned and read about my plans and life in 2015!