Every year I do a recap of what I have accomplished the previous year, and I always feel a bit disappointed that I did not get enough done. However, this year there were some serious health issues, so I refuse to judge myself for following doctors orders and basically taking the last quarter of the year off. It was a dark and stormy year, to some degree, but there were many moments of pure sunshine.
I performed two spoken word features, hosted the Art Bar Poetry Series 7 times, finished my time as Interim Director there, and hosted the annual Toronto Haiku Head to Head Deathmatch.
I was the VJ at Subspace six times, alternating between The Opera House and The Great Hall, at the Kee to Bala in Muskoka in May, and I also mixed live visuals at Architectures at Round in August.
High Heels Lo Fi played 13 shows, including all Tuesdays in February with four different sets. That was a massive turning point for us, as we were adjusting to being a four piece band with two brand-new members. It really helped to solidify our sound and energy, and forced us to learn a bunch of songs very quickly.
I co-hosted a rock ‘n’ roll carnival with my super fun drummer Doug Lea at the Silver Dollar with Goodnight Sunrise.
I threw the inaugural “St. Pa-Tiki’s Day” Party at The Shore Leave! This is a fabulous alternative for people who want to go out for a civilized cocktail with their friends on March 17, but don’t want to run into hard-core green beer swilling animals along the way. Watch for it in 2017!
I also threw a pirate party at The Shore Leave (for no reason whatsoever) in August.
In October I spent a week at Artscape on Toronto Island. It was very therapeutic for me, both physically and artistically. I worked on my new poetry collection the old-fashioned way, with paper and pen. I went for long walks and took photos of ducks. I watched the waves every day. This was remarkably healthy for me, since I had a second concussion just a few weeks before hand.
Yes, it has been a weird year healthwise. A sprained ankle (the afternoon of an important High Heels Lo Fi show at the Bovine, but I toughed it out, sticking tinsel on the top of my cane for added glamour), and two concussions. For those of you who have never had a head injury, I don’t recommend it. Apparently second concussion syndrome is incredibly bizarre – the second concussion can be many times worse than the first, as it is a compound effect. I dealt with the stuttering, the dyslexic hand writing, the incessant headaches, the random twinges in that side of my head, the lack of balance and total clumsiness, the complete inability to focus or remember anything, and the inability to watch bright TV with any fast motion scenes.
But the incredibly disturbing part was that I was unable to really use a computer for several months. Staring into the blue-white light of the computer screen is the worst thing ever for brain injuries. I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my time. So I actually followed the doctor’s orders and rested, both physically and cognitively. I have recently been given the go ahead now to do lots of yoga (it reduces inflammation, and a brain injury is basically an inflamed bit of the brain, plus it is greatly improving my balance) and I am gradually increasing my computer time, carefully noticing at what point the pre-headache clenching begins, so I can avoid the severe headaches as much as possible. It is a long, slow, boring process, but steady progress is being made, and that is the best I could possibly hope for.
Although I feel like I have 4 months of catching up to do, no. I am pacing myself, I am listening to my brain and body. I am going to do this healing thing correctly, so that even if I come back from this process altered, I will know that I did everything I possibly could. I hope that people will continue to forgive typos, misremembering, brain misfirings, and other strange behaviour as I continue to heal.
My goals for 2017 are going to be far simpler. My health, my band, this site. That’s it. There will be many coffee hangouts with friends, and gardening, but I’m filing those under “health” as well.
What did you do in 2016 that you’re most proud of?
What are you working on for 2017?