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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year 2010: 2009 Review

I don't know if I will ever get used to writing 2010, feels so weird. Remember watching futuristic movies back in the 80's? it was usually set around our present time, but with all those flying cars and high tech things. Wow! we must be way behind or something...

Today, I wanted to review my own personal 2009. Some very big things happened to me, for me, and around me all year long. It was a rough year in a sense, but also somewhat of a success for me in other ways. Financially, it was strange; job wise, also strange; home life & relationship, ups & downs, but overall it was a nice and new experience for me.

To details some of that.... It was a rough start in January, I remember New Years Eve. I was at home all day, cooking lots of food, for a party that never happened. Sooo cold, and lots of snow.... and at the time I worked outside for 9 hours a day. However, due to my Workplace injury the previous summer, I was struggling just to get out of bed on those bitterly cold days. Broken bones that have not healed and bone chilling cold temperatures with wind chills are not a good combination. I worked for a total of 8 days throughout January, staggered and completely weather affected. I would work for two days, in the weather, then I wouldnt be able to move for three days afterwards.

They eventually laid me off, telling me I couldn't come back until I received doctors clearance. After talking to my Doctor, He says that I dont have medical clearance and gave me a medical note good for six months plus. So, I had to get E.I. for injury & Medical reasons.

EI started out OK, but then WSIB decides to issue a check, so I have to report that as income on my EI.... The end of March comes around, EI is on hold; WSIB, not planning on issuing more.

Febuary I was finally able to get into Physiotherapy for my arms(WSIB), and my Physio for my MVA was coming to an end.

After a few months of doing job search, I see that I am getting nowhere. On top of my medical problems, we are in the middle of the economic meltdown. I have no income coming in, I start going to job workshops and seminars at the Resource Center. Near the End of March, I was introduced to a work experience program called a Practise Firm. I decided to sign up for it.

I have to keep myself busy, get some experience in my own field, as I will not be returning to my old industry. I begin a 8 week practise firm, not training, not paid, but a job where I go to an office each & everyday and use my skill set to not only gain experience, but also get better at it. Extendable up to 12 weeks. Start off learning, as I progressed with the day-2-day, I began teaching to new people that come in, how to go about what they need to accomplish.

A couple weeks into the Practise Firm, my girlfriend finds out that she is pregnant, about 8 weeks in, and that was very good news for us both. We in April now, going strong, keeping busy. Physiotherapy, Practise Firm, Doctors, Preganacy stuff & NO MONEY.

Around Tax time, My final weeks of E.I. injury benefits are finally processed. So I am able to pay my bills, have a phone back, etc. But, I have to to reapply for regular benefits and when I do, It turns out to be less than half of what I had previously been getting. Whatever, it's something for now.

Middle of May, or so. I receive a call from a Marketing Company looking for some demonstration people for a product called Tasimo. Two Nights during the week, and an afternoon over the weekend. Didn't interfere with my Firm, sure why not. Another way to stay busy. It only lasts for 4 weeks, I have five left at the Practise Firm.

During the fourth week, late one night, my girlfriend starts bleeding heavy, so we have to go to the hospital. They say she's having a misscariage, and advise her to have a D&C... We lost our baby, 13 weeks, in the last couple weeks of May 2009. It was hard, for me... I cant even imagine what she was going through. 2nd Misscarriage since about the same time in 2008, this time was twice as long as the first, but that only made it harder for us both.

I ended up missing a whole week of the Practise Firm, and losing the marketing job, apparently, the fact that I wasn't the one physcially having the Misscarriage wasn't a good enough excuse to get out of my shifts. I only missed one shift, and the made me cancel the remaining three I think.

.... that's about half way throug the year... I really still have a hard time even thinking about all that...

June, we missed out of May 24, just because we weren't up for anything, but we made plans out of an idea to take a little road trip sometime through the summer. Lucky for us, the City of Toronto Workers, decide to go on Strike, and let the garbage start piling up all over the city's parks and rec center parking lots.

So I finally get my tax return, and I also get a settlement for my MVA, together it's just enough to pay down some bills, and pay off a loan I have against my car. Works for me, now I just have to pay down the rest of my debt. I think the Strike started around the end of June, so July 1st, was a stinky day in Toronto, so we decide to take a road trip last minute style, up to Ottawa.

What a party they had in Ottawa, we got there just in time to see the fireworks, and eat a nice meal and go for a walk through the City. That was just an overnight thing, we forgot all our stuff, kind of just got in the car and drove. I even forgot my Map.

In July, I was able to pick up some temp work at a Book Publisher for close to four weeks. 4 hours a day, in the evening, four days a week. It wasn't too hard on the body. But just enough to leave me with almost nothing after E.I. reports.

Just before the August long weekend, I received another settlement from WSIB for my permanent injuries after a long wait and a lot of Doctor appoinments. This was enough to pay off all my credit cards, and replace the windshield in my car, Which is another story entirely.

So, by chance, my debt is reduced by thousands, leaving only my student loan. We had made the plans to go away for the long weekend, but not really planned for accommodation of any kind. So we left Toronto, Drove up to Sudbury, ON. Stayed the night, saw the Big Nickel, looked around a little bit, and made our way to Manitoulin Island to catch the Ferry. Along the way stopping the to look at the sights a bit, since I had never drove through "
The largest freshwater island in the world" during daylight hours.
Nice looking place, not much there though... we made our way to the ferry, and as we start boarding, it starts raining. It made for some rough waters and dizziness on board.

When we got to the other side at Tobermory, ON we started looking for a place to spend the night, not realizing that the Bruce Penninsula is all sold out for the long weekend. So we drove in a rain storm down the Pennisula, stopping at every hotel, motel, campsite, etc, with no luck. So I went in a different direction towards a town that I thought wasn't very well known, but what do I know. South Hampton, ON - NO VANCANCY, two towns over from there, we find the last room, in the second last Motel in the town. Lake Huron seems to be a popular place.

Along comes September, as I had started a Pardon Application some months ago, and just finished using my settlements to pay off debt, the Pardon service calls me up and tells me I have an outstanding Fine from 2002 that I have to pay before they can Proceed. $600, that I no longer have. A fine that I forgot about years ago because I had no money. They tell me, as soon as I pay it, I have to wait for three more years.... before the Pardon can be Processed.

On Labour Day, we decided to head down to Port Dover, just to wander around, nice little place.
After all these settlements cam through, My treatment was discontinued. I was advised by my doctors that they had recommended that I get a gym membership to continue working on myself.

By September, I was into a full and regular routine, of weights and cardio, both to keep my weight down from the injuries, and to maintain them enough so I'm not in Pain 24/7. That was all I could do to stop thinking about the baby, and everything else. Nine months into the year and I haven't worked a job for a long while.

September to December, my daily routine is basically, go to the gym, get home and do more job searching. Not very exciting, but it kept me going. I have litterally applied to thousands and thousands of jobs over the last year. In previous years, I would have had hundreds of interviews to go along with that, but in 2009, I think I had 4 interviews in the whole 12 months.

Christmas come along, I wanted to do something nice for my girlfriend. This is our second Christmas together, a milestone for me. She has broke my relationship record. If I take all my relationships in the last ten years, and add them up, this one is still longer. She makes me happier than I have been in many years. I bought her everything she wanted for Christmas, and a little more. Maxxing out two cards this time, but it was worth it, it won't take nearly as long to pay them off this time.

My EI exhausted itself, in the first week of December. Earlier in the fall, I began doing some bookkeeping as a home business, on top of my other business endeavors (MUSIC & Entertainment) and the week before Christmas I landed a crappy job, as a way to pay off my Christmas Debt, good luck with that.

Happy New Year, Happy New Decade, and Happy Second Anniversary to me and my Fiance

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