As the year 2021 is coming to an end, I am taking a moment to reflect on everything we have accomplished this year, resulting in this deep feeling of gratitude. 

Downtown Toronto

I am grateful that my daughter got accepted at a specialized art program at a Toronto high school. Last year around this time we were busy preparing the applications for art schools. My daughter was creating and selecting art pieces as well as writing her artist statements. It was exciting and stressful at the same time. When the acceptance letters came in early this year and she made her choice, we really had to get to work: packing and sorting while apartment hunting from a distance. Not to mention preparing to say goodbye to our friends in Alberta.

I am grateful that we were able to find an apartment in a beautiful part of Toronto with many options for my daughter to travel to school and back on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). Through virtual showings and a friend of a friend who would visit places for us, we were able to find a great place to start our Toronto chapter. Pet friendly, a bus/streetcar stop right in front of the building and only a 10-minute walk from the lake, plus great views of downtown and Lake Ontario. Some days I still have a hard time believing how lucky we were.

I am grateful that I was able to find a job fairly quickly, a job that enables me to help others in need and meet amazing new people in this diverse and bubbling city. The economy in Alberta was not in a good place and finding jobs in my field became more difficult, which became even worse with the arrival of Covid and the pandemic that followed. A pandemic that still has a firm hold on all of us. In a world that is unsure of which way to go, I cannot help but feel grateful to have found a job which enables me to work with some pretty great people.

Downtown Toronto

I am grateful that we were able to embark on this amazing road trip from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario and to experience the vast beauty that Canada has to offer. It was a trip I will never forget, certain parts of the trip deserve another visit as really we could have taken months for this cross country trip. Canada is so diverse and has so many wonderful landscapes, traveling through all the provinces has given me a new appreciation of this country.

I am grateful for all the support we received from our friends and family. We could not have done this without all their help! From helping us load and unload our U-boxes, preparing our car for the big journey to words of encouragement and a listening ear when doubt would set in and I just needed to get my fears off my chest: Thank you!

I am grateful for the courage that kept me going on hard days. On days where I could not see the big picture and I was drowning in fear and doubt. Those were the days where I just had to put on my “brave face” and keep going one step at the time. When things got overwhelming I told myself to only look at the next step I could take. I think it worked because we made it and we are building a new life here in beautiful Ontario, one step at the time …

~ I am grateful ~

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