A New Beginning…

I suppose it’s apropos that this blog posting be called “A New Beginning…” given that this blog’s name is of a relating nature called “Journey to a New Life.” I started this blog for one purpose – to share my daily…no, hourly…struggle with losing weight and getting healthy.

Now, I could spend an inordinate amount of time and blog space just writing about how poorly I’ve done with that “journey” and I’ve harped on those past failures before. But for this particular blog posting, I’m not going to talk specifically about my weightloss – or lack thereof – nor my failures to do so to date either.

What I am going to write about is a different journey of a sorts, but one that will eventually come back around to my weightloss journey.

At my age, I’m more than half way through my life. It’s a scary thought for me, really. I’ve shared little of this fear with very few people – I think only one actually. See, I can watch death on tv or in a movie and it doesn’t necessarily affect me that much. Likely because regardless of how well the actors perform, I still know it’s make-believe; I am still aware they are acting.

But there have been times – thankfully not that many – where my mind has drifted to death – mine, in particular. And it’s a deep thinking I’m talking about, not just a stray thought of getting old and eventually dying. It’s that moment when my mind goes incredibly deep into it and I physically feel fear. Fear of dying. I can’t even begin to describe it. I don’t have panic attacks, despite my anxiety-filled life. I don’t get so caught up in my worries that I ever feel this…fear. But it’s there, and my thinking of my own mortality scares me.

But I digress…

I bring this up because, as I’ve stated in past postings, up till now, no matter how badly things have gotten for me because of my weight, nothing has been incentive enough to keep going on getting healthy. I invariably fall back in the laziness; resorting back to the bad habits. It’s been a rough 6 months with this and that, culminating with the loss of my girl Ginny, and now continuing with other things.

So I am about to reach a precipice in my life, and it’s not one that is a surprise. Yet despite planning for this for some time, I’m still finding myself filled with trepidation. You see, after living in the United States for nearly 20 years now, I’m moving back home to Canada. It’s been a long time coming – longer than I originally had anticipated – but the time has come. In two weeks, I will be back living in my homeland.


And while I’m happy that I’ll be back to where I have always considered to be “home”, and happy to be back with my mom, my family and all my long-time friends, I’m also terrified.

I’ve had a lot of people giving me advice on this lately. They mean well, I know they do. And while I know that they are right – I’ll get through this as I do with everything else – and it’ll be better to finally be “home”, I’m not sure how many truly understand how significant this actually is in my life. A couple have suggested that it’s not a big deal, after all, Canada is my country and I’m moving back to my  family and friends. And I can see their point. But they’d be wrong.

This is a major life change. I did it when I moved here albeit the circumstances are different now. I left the only home I’d ever known, my mother, step-father, my large crazy but loving family and my closest friends whom are as much family to me as those related by blood. I left a job I’d been at for nearly 10 years, and I left everything and everyone I knew.

Now again, I could dwell on the past and talk about what a mistake it was to marry the man I did – the one who eventually cheated on me and then left me for another woman. But I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to, even in jest, be reminded of what a mistake that was. It’s not funny. Even if I joke about it sometimes, if you know me, you know it’s my mechanism for dealing with a bad decision. And it was MY decision. No one regrets that decision more than me, believe me, but I don’t want to dwell on that mistake. We’ve all done them, so I’m not sure why I need to be reminded of it as if that one thing defines who I am. It doesn’t. It never had. It never will. Going through that taught me – about me. It taught me that I’m stronger than I ever thought, and it taught me that no matter how well you think you know someone, you never truly do. But it also taught me that some people just don’t deserve to be in my life; they don’t deserve my love. And that’s their fucking loss.

Again, I digress…

Once again I find myself leaving a job I’ve been at for nearly 20 years, living in a town that is familiar for me. I’ve been living on my own since my divorce; I’ve got a certain level of comfort here. But I’m lonely. I don’t have many friends here, despite my sunny personality – oh come on! I know you just rolled your eyes at that!

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But it’s a major deal to not only leave a long-time job, spend months going through 20 years worth of things to decide what to keep or not…to all the things I need to do before I move and after. There’s no checklist in your life for this. It just is. It’s been up to me to nearly single-handedly do everything, save for some help from some friends on yard sales and importing my car back home (which is so appreciated!!). I physically am not always able to do all the physical things required to do this. Nor was I prepared for just how MUCH stuff there is to do.

And for how much more emotional, and how much crying I’d be doing these past few months.

So while I appreciate the pep-talks and people’s unwavering believe in my abilities to get through this, I have had moments where I wasn’t sure I could. I’ve been stressed, overwhelmed with it all, and just completely ill at ease for months. Rarely does a day go by now that I don’t have a headache or a stomach ache. But I get through. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I know I’ll get there. But I really don’t want to hear the obvious stated to me over and over again. It wears on me. First, because I’m not stupid, despite things I’ve said or did to the contrary. Stating the obvious to me implies I am stupid. Second, I, more than anyone, am well aware of what I need to do and how much time I have left to do it. It doesn’t make me feel better to be reminded of this. I have enough pressure put on me – by me – that I don’t need others adding to it. Well meaning, sure…but please… just stop.

What’s waiting for me on the other side is what else that’s so scary. Sure, family and friends will be there. I’ll have a place to live, be reunited with my boy Finnegan, and I’ll still have a job for 3 months while I get more “settled”. But the unknown of what I’ll do after that is really what scares me. My hometown is not well-to-do with the job market – in fact, it’s probably one of the worse in Canada. That’s what happens when a city is nearly reliant on one industry for so long – the auto industry.

My job that I have – it’s very unique and specific. It’s not likely I will find one in my hometown like it. And where do I start? At the bottom again? The idea doesn’t appeal to me at all. Not that I have any problems with the work or people who do the work – legitimate hard work no matter what kind is admirable. But it’s not for me. I need to be stimulated. My mind needs more to do than things I did 20 or 30 years ago when I was first starting out.

So I don’t know what I’m going to be doing. The idea of taking a job just for the sake of having a job doesn’t appeal to me either. Nor is being in a job I absolutely hate. But alas…just like everyone else, I have bills to pay. I will have to pay rent, or a mortgage, feed my cat, pay my car insurance etc. I am not the type of person who can be carefree and not know when their next check will come – but good on you if you are – because that takes some courage. So what do I want to do?

Again, I can hear some of you saying things like “A job is a job” or “No one likes their job” or “At least you have a job”. This shit…this is obvious. I’m well aware of it. I know all about this. But that doesn’t meant that I have to accept the status quo.

I really want to write. But until I actually do something about finishing my book and doing the others, which I’ve had to put aside while I get ready for this move – as I said above, I still have to support myself.

And therein lies the rub – the scary part – a new beginning for me. At this time in my life, I’m doing an about-face and basically starting over. Does anyone really think this is easy?

Having been so preoccupied with all of this, I haven’t even been trying to lose weight. And it shows. But the worse is that my summer fun of water weight gain is hitting full up. It’s actually disgusting how the heat/humidity affects me so badly. Others think that it’s not hot when it’s 80 or 90. To me, it renders me virtually catatonic. I have cankles. My fingers are swollen and sore. And I’m just a big bloated beach ball. Even the slightest exertion for me in this weather and I feel like my lungs are filled with water. This has also hindered me in my preparation for packing/moving. But I’m storming through. Whether I get done in time or not is another matter.

I have 12 days.

12 fucking days. See…I know how much time I have. Or how little time I have actually. Not a math person but this I’ve got.

But I do hope that once I’m finally settled back home, and no longer having so much else on my “plate” that not only will I get back to finishing Kiwi Kiss but also with the help of my mom, she and I can work together to actually have decent meals at home and have the weight start coming off.

It helps that she has air-conditioning. 🙂

So that’s my life right now in a nutshell. Okay…not really a nutshell. Remember…Dani doesn’t do succinct. But you get the gist.

Dani = crazy busy

It’s like my hamsters all had babies and the wheel is over-flowing. Bad analogy but you get the picture.

The next time I write I’ll be Canadian soil. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with me through everything until now. The new journey is about to begin…and I promise you…

It won’t be boring.

Love and blessings to all,




The “Big” 50. A Half Century.

Everyone talks about getting older. It’s a fact of life. And while it’s true that as we get older, we get wiser because of our first-hand experiences and how we’ve lived up to that point, it’s when we’re hitting certain milestones that some of us (ahem…me) start to freak out. Just a bit.

We typically recognize some milestones for what they represent:

  • 16 is “Sweet Sixteen” – at least it was when I was a kid. I’m not sure I want to know what they call it today. It’s also when we could get our learner’s permit to terrorize the streets of our cities
  • 18 is when we could vote.
  • In Canada, 19 was when we could legally drink.
  • After that, it’s usually just the decades milestones: 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90…

You know the old adage: Age is just a number. Sure it is, but when you’re body is telling that you’re actually older than you are, it’s time to make some changes. And I’m doing that. But it’s hard to not look back in the past and wonder the “what ifs”. Believe me, I’ve had those thoughts for many years whether it’s about losing weight or my failed marriage. It’s been a struggle but I’m trying to live my life to its fullest and no dwell on the past; the “what ifs” because right now – today – there isn’t anything at all any of us can do to change that. That’s why it’s called the “past”. It’s behind us. Let’s leave it there.

Many look to the future in their planning of their lives. Some say to only look at the “now”; what’s happening to them today, and look no further beyond that. I’m somewhere in the middle of those thoughts. I’m concentrating on where I am today, but I’m also trying to look forward to my future. That I’ll not only HAVE a future, but that I’ll be healthier in my future – more than I am today.

And maybe there’ll be other new things in my future: moving back home to Canada, having a relationship, spending more time with my mom, family and friends. Nothing drastic. Nothing unattainable. Nothing that’s impossible. Even the weight loss.

So, while age is just a number, the next number in line for me age-wise is one of the BIG ones. The Big Five-O. The Half-Century. <—And holy does that phrase give me chills!

That’s happening in 94 days or 8,121,600 seconds or 135,360 minutes or 2,256 hours or 13 weeks and 3 days. No matter how you slice it…it’s coming.


So yep, on May 25th I’m turning 50. 

I really am trying to not let that stupid number bother me. I’ve tried joking that I’m too immature to be 50, which incidentally, is the God-honest truth. I’ve tried joking that even if I’m turning 50 that nearly all of my first cousins are older than me. I’ve even tried to suggest that because I don’t look like I’m about to turn 50, the number must be wrong.

But alas, it isn’t. I’m turning 50. And immaturity aside, I will do what I can to come to grips with it. 🙂

One of the interesting things about getting older is that your body starts to rebel. There’s a line and once you cross it, there’s no turning back. Just some of the things that happen to our bodies as we get older:

  • menopause (obviously for women only)
  • brittle bones
  • graying hair
  • lower metabolism
  • aching joints

Even losing weight the older you get becomes harder. So when you’re my weight, most people don’t live to be very old. Their bodies give out on them long before their minds might. And I’ve said it before – I want to live as long as I possibly can.

So, I’m doing something about it now. Because 50 isn’t really THAT old. Is it?

Yes, it becomes harder to lose weight as you get older, but it’s not impossible. With determination, passion, guts and courage – we can fight this battle. And win.

I can win.


So, that’s not to say that you can’t at least enjoy getting older. That you can’t, at least, still play and have fun. Why can’t you? What’s stopping you?

Nothing. Abso-fucking-lutely nothing. Because…

What’s the point of continuing living, if you’re only living to die.

No matter how you feel physically, find the joy in something. Let you mind overtake your body and rule your happiness. Because it’s usually your mind that is telling you that you’re old – not your body. Aches and pains are natural. Everyone has them.

It’s up to you to decide how to live the rest of your life from this point forward. Choose wisely. Choose to live your life to its fullest, no matter your age right now. Choose to enjoy the journey that you have left – for however long that is – so that not a minute more is wasted.


That is my wish for you and something that I am going to strive to do every day for the rest of my life.

Let the negativity go. Don’t dwell on the past. Find the funny in even the most ridiculous situations.

And above all else – Love. One. Another.

Blessings and joy to all. I’m ready for 50.

Bring it!