One year ago right now, I was sitting in a car with mercifully well behaved Moe and Joe, technically homeless for 4 hours, waiting for real estate closings to finish up.

I was up and about for a couple of hours this morning before I remembered that today is that anniversary…a big milestone in the difficult journey of the past few years. Closing day for the sale of our house — the house that was supposed to be filled up with all my dreams — and closing day on the purchase of this condo that still doesn’t feel like home.

I’m not where I want to be in my personal life, I’m not where I want to be in my professional life. I’m still mourning Joe’s death in January and the loss of my dreams that went out the window as this marriage fell apart. I still fear that my self-confidence is eroded, that I can’t trust myself to make good life decisions.

When I need to escape, my happy place is imagining being back in my little west end house, my pride and joy, never having sold it, never having gone down the wrong path. Back in that adorable house where on a day like today, I’d be raking leaves then coming in for hot tea and cookies, and cuddles with my cats.

But I can’t go back there. And I’m so very far from where I want to be.

So when I looked up from my laptop and remembered that it’s been a year since that big milestone, I was surprised to find a tiny soupçon of a grin at the corner of my mouth. A tiny upward pull of cheek muscle.

Because there have been good things in the past year, too. For all of this, I am truly thankful because all of this helps me carry on:

Cats make me smile every day.

Cats made me smile every day.

Winter wonderland.

I still pulled off Christmas.

Fun with two of my favourite monkeys.

I had lots of fun with two of my favourite monkeys, and their awesome parents.

I have the best friends in the world who've made me laugh and let me cry.

I have the best friends in the world who’ve made me laugh and let me cry.

I got to spend my birthday here with those awesome friends.

I got to spend my birthday here with those awesome friends.

Bonds with YMCA friends got stronger.

Bonds with YMCA friends got stronger.

Steady progress continued on my masters degree.

Steady progress continued on my masters degree.

I had fun cycling in the Maggies with friends old and new.

I had fun cycling in the Maggies with friends old and new.

There were lattes alone and with bestest friends at the market.

There were lattes alone and with bestest friends at the market.

I was treated to several kayak outings, and got more comfortable than ever on the water.

I was treated to several kayak outings, and got more comfortable than ever on the water.

There some kayak and crustacean antics.

There were some kayak and crustacean antics.

I've had lots of delicious cat naps, with cats.

I had lots of delicious cat naps…that is to say, naps with cats.

I've enjoyed the great outdoors in this beautiful province.

I’ve enjoyed the great outdoors in this beautiful province.

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