From one year to another: endings, beginnings and carrying on

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Laura Wiebe
Laura Wiebe

Despite the calendar, January doesn't seem like the best month to start a new year. On this side of the globe, I think I'd feel more inspired for fresh starts in the spring, when the first signs of new life start to show. But I was a winter baby so for me this season really does kick off another turn around the sun.

Now January is more than half over, and the new year doesn't feel so new anymore. Most people have already shared their old year/new year reflections, if they have any. But really, such reflections ongoing. Lives don't get reset on January 1, and the process of self-reflection doesn't get wrapped up all in one day. I'm certainly still reflecting, still processing... considering the parts of my life with longevity or continuity, new things I've embraced, other things I've left behind.


My life is full of constants. I remain an animal-loving vegan metalhead at heart. I garden and crochet. I consume science fiction and mysteries. I co-host a campus/community radio show devoted to metal music and edit a metal website*. I volunteer at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I indulge my more recently acquired passion for podcasts and basketball and #catsofinstagram. I try to spend as much time with as many people dear to me as I can.


The most dramatic ending I've experienced in the past year is saying goodbye to my identity as a university instructor and aspiring professor. I've turned away from this path but I don't in any way regret the time spent on it. I'm still deeply interested in and care about education. It's simply that my role in and relationship to academia has changed.


The most marked newness in my has involved new volunteer experiences. As I transition from one career to another I chose to set aside time for new volunteer opportunities. This has included helping out with Supercrawl 2017, with the 2018 NBA G-League Showcase in Mississauga, and now with the ongoing care of the birds at the Hamilton Aviary.

But that's not all, of course. Several years after my gym became a mosque (a much more successful use of that particular space), I decided it was time and joined Momentum Fitness. I reimagined my personal website (resulting in posts such as this). I enrolled in ASL 101, an American Sign Language course offered by the Canadian Hearing Society. We've travelled. I've developed new friendships. And I expect to try and to encounter more new things in the year to come. I'm looking forward to it.

* If you're interested in my take on the heavy music released in 2017, I can direct you to any or all of the below: