Twenty fourteen, eh? That was a bit of a big year now, wasn’t it? It flew, of course, like so many years do these days. The older we get, the swifter time feels like it’s passing. But despite the fleeting nature of time, 2014 will always be a landmark year for me.
At the start of last year, Seán was in Dublin studying for his masters. We had a wedding to organise, and a bunch of close friends’ weddings to attend. We had no plans for after the wedding or even after Seán’s masters apart from a general desire to go and live somewhere besides Cork for a while. I don’t think I could quite picture how the year would go from there.
By the end of January we had decided we were going to go to Canada once Seán was done with his course. In February we had sent out our wedding invitations. In March we applied for the Canadian visas (I got mine very quickly but it would be a few months before we had both visas confirmed). In April there was the most decadent of stag parties when we gave Good Friday a “Life of Brian” theme. May saw the wedding of JP and Belcy, followed in June by Cathy and Aebhric. July, of course, was our own big day and August saw my brother marry his long-term partner and saw Niall and Angela finally make the trip down the aisle. Seán finished his masters in September and I finished work in October. We stepped off the plane to Canada at the end of November and here we are now at the start of 2015 staring down the barrel of a Montréalaise job hunt. Fun times!
I still can’t believe I’ve left Cork, and in particular UCC – my very own comfort zone. But this is one of the things that I love about being married to Seán. He’s always challenging me to do better, be better, to not accept the conventional way of doing things. I don’t always agree with him, but in this I am glad I saw the Seán-way. This past month in Montréal has been a real adventure. Getting to grips with a new country, a new culture and a new language, even, have been frustrating at times, but ultimately rewarding.
And so now, we look toward the coming year. What’s it gonna bring? It will certainly be different from the past year. But no less of an adventure. So I suppose, as is tradition for the start of a new year, I’m gonna set me some goals for renewal. Resolutions by another name.
Since October, there has been a constant stream of excuses for nights out. Even though I probably drink less per night out than I was doing this time last year, I have had more nights out this last quarter than the previous three quarters of the year. So I’m gonna try a dry January. I don’t think I’ll ever give up the booze completely, but I can definitely stand to cut down.
Montréal has free swimming pools. I am going to enjoy the heck out that particular state-funded initiative. In the absence of a gym membership, I want to be hitting the pool maybe 4 or 5 times a week. The nearest open pool is about a 20 minute walk, which will also be a help.
We all over indulge over the Christmas period, and I am no exception. The move to Montréal has played havoc with my routine, making it hard to stick to a sensible diet. And of course, there is the poutine. So it’s time to get back on the sensible-eating-wagon. This will also be a boon financially cos food can be a bit pricey here. ‘Specially if take-away is a factor several times a week. Ultimately, I want to see myself consistently under the 98Kg mark (I’m currently scale-less which might be for the best – I don’t want to frighten myself into a take-away binge).
My scribblings took a bit of a back seat last year with the busy-ness of the wedding prep and the Canada move. It’s my goal to push past this and get back into the swing of regular keyboard mashings. A first draft of a book would be a serious accomplishment so I’m gonna try for that.
I need to get my French on this year. I’m starting off on the 13th of January with 6 hours a week for 7 weeks. Plus I’m gonna complement that with various apps and homework and things. The aim is to be as comfortable in French as I am in Irish by the end of the year. If I take nothing else away from Montréal except that, I’ll be a happy Mush. And that would open up a whole range of opportunities for our eventual return to Europe.
We want to make the most of our time here. It’s a vast country, sure, and we’ll barely get to see a fraction of it. But we’ve a whole heap of opportunities here that we wouldn’t have back home. So this year, I want to:
- Do some skiing
- Do some jumping out of a plane
- Do some trips to the US
- Do some Just for Laughs comedy festival
- Do some convention attending
…and so on
So yeah, that’s the plan, those are the goals. There will of course be other things cropping up over the year. But if I achieve most of these goals this year, I’ll be a happy man. We’ll see how it goes.
And here’s some photos of Christmas for those who have read this far!