What is your problem, 2013?

Unlucky 13I am not a superstitious person. I don’t feel the need to throw salt over my shoulder, I don’t avoid walking under ladders, I like black cats, and I think the best way to dry an umbrella is to open it inside the house. But after the number of terrible things that have happened to me, my friends and my family so far this year, I am just about ready to turn around my thinking on the whole number thirteen thing.

At the end of last year, I wrote a blog post about how grateful I was for the state of my life at the time. Things were going so well I could hardly believe my luck. Then we took a Christmas trip to Australia, which was fantastic – we even managed to drag our two and a half year old to the other side of the world and back without so much as a single airport tantrum or piece of luggage lost. But when we got back, well that was when it all started turning to crap.

Without going into too much detail about each thing (there are so many stories, and not all of them are ones I’m ready to share here), the following happened over the course of the next six months:

  • My company was downsized and I lost my job (okay, not an entirely unwelcome situation, but still scary)
  • A friend from work took her own life
  • A nasty falling out with a colleague in the new business I had been involved with outside my regular job caused me to consider walking away from the entire thing (I didn’t)
  • One of the cats I had to leave behind in Australia wandered away from her foster home and is presumed dead (she was eighteen years old)
  • We were unjustifiably sued over the handover of our apartment after we sold it
  • We had to pay for our daughter’s daycare place through July even though she would be leaving in March
  • We got a new daycare place for August, meaning we had to hire a nanny for the interim, which costs double what one normally pays for daycare (so now we’re effectively pay three times what we normally would)
  • In renovating the kitchen in our new house, the electrician found faulty wiring all over the place and we had to replace the entire electrical system
  • A further falling out with the aforementioned colleague left the business in ruins (this time I did walk away)
  • My boyfriend’s business was subjected to an audit by the tax authorities (luckily everything was fine – he’s the least dodgy person I know)
  • My daughter was mistakenly given a peanut and was rushed to hospital with anaphylactic shock
  • I was swindled by a logo designer who, it turns out, stole the design I paid him to create
  • My website was deleted with no backup
  • The other cat I left behind in Australia also passed away
  • A family member was diagnosed with cancer

And that’s just the stuff that happened to us! Everywhere else this year I’m hearing about long-term relationship breakups, money problems, depression, loss of jobs… it goes on and on. Without wanting to sound whiny and petulant, it’s just not fair! These are good people – WE are good people – and we don’t deserve all this crap.

Fighting back

In ten days 2013 will be halfway over, and I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to take this rubbish anymore. Okay, 2013, I get it. You’re a badass. You’re the devil’s year and you’re out to prove it. Seriously, get over yourself! You want to push me? Then you get to find out what happens when I get pushed too far: I start pushing back. And you know how I’m going to do it? I’m going to kick some ass of my own. By the end of this miserable, cursed year, I will have finished the two novels I’m concurrently writing, I will get that damn publishing contract, my new businesses will be thriving, and you can go flex your big, fat, unlucky muscles somewhere else. And while you’re at it, think about this: you’re only going to survive another six months – is this how you want us to remember you? As a mean bitch who can’t let people live their lives and be happy? Get a life, 2013, and back up off mine.

Thank you, Networked Blogs!

Sunshine through the cloudsLast week I discovered something unbelievably sucky: I went to post a new blog, and I discovered that my blog had disappeared. I checked my host account and not only were all the files gone, but the database had been emptied as well. I immediately contacted my hosting company, but unfortunately this problem had occurred more than a month prior, so they had no backup to offer me (that’ll teach me to visit my own site more often!). I was devastated. Six years of posts, gone. I tried various internet archives, but no luck.

I was so depressed I considered just forgetting the whole site. I have another blog I use for my writing career, maybe I should just use that one. But no, it wasn’t enough! I might not post to this site very often anymore, but when I do it’s usually for cathartic purposes; I use this site to rant, complain, express joy, share news about my personal life… I didn’t want to lose it! But the idea of starting over from scratch just depressed me. So I left it.

Just this morning, I logged into a tool called Networked Blogs, which I use for disseminating posts from my various websites via Facebook and Twitter, to remove this site from my dashboard. I almost did a double-take when I realised that I could see some of my old posts. But I feared that these cached posts would be in the same situation as the archives: only the first few lines of each post and nothing more. But no, when I clicked, there were the last two years of posts in their entirety, images and all! Never has anyone copied and pasted so fast! Within minutes I’d copied all the text and saved it to my hard drive with cloud backup.

So today I’ve resurrected the last two years of posts. I do still have an old backup with the older ones, but the ones that matter to me today are here and that’s enough for me. And all those who were devastated to lose my zucchini slice and rogan josh recipes, those little gems are here too. Thank you, Networked Blogs. You saved my site.

Perpetuating lies

FrustrationI am increasingly concerned about the sorts of things some of my Facebook friends are sharing and circulating – not because I disagree with them (though I often do), but because they seem so willing to perpetuate blatantly untrue statements, quotes and news pieces just because they grab onto the emotive nature of the item, which, frankly, is the intention of the originator.

I’m sad to say, that it is most often my Australian friends who are guilty of this practice. It could be a result of living in a culture that feeds on and actively encourages sensationalist journalism – my recent trip home to Australia reminded me of how true this is – but it’s concerning to see people I care about and respect irresponsibly spreading lies and perpetuating the wider world view that Australia is a country full of racists.

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