I started writing, occasionally, about my personal life on this blog to explain the large gaps of time between blog posts. To stay with the theme of an annual update, here is part three of the series I began to write in 2011.

(In case you missed them, here are the links to parts one and two: Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 1 & Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 2.)

So, what happened to our heroine in 2012? Since I followed a theme touching on every main aspect of one’s life; wealth, health, and love, let me do the same here. I’ll begin by saying I sure didn’t envision 2013 starting as it would: unemployed, stressed out, and still married.

At the beginning of 2012, I was working at Global Financial. It was a maternity leave contract that was to end in June. Since it had taken me 20 months to find that role, I thought it would be prudent to begin seeking my next opportunity at the beginning of the year. Three months later, a colleague sent me a job posting for a part-time six-month contract at MacLaren McCann as a Contest Manager. I had to apply. How could I not?! I got the job. Even though it cut my salary in half, I wanted the experience of working for a large advertising agency. I had hoped, once in the role; I could parlay the job into a full-time permanent position. It was not to be. Last summer, I began to seek the next marketing opportunity. I am still looking. I would be grateful if you can help me in any way.  (My profile.)

The bankruptcy forced us to delay the divorce process. We were finally able to move forward, or so I thought, at the beginning of 2012. I retained legal counsel. So did he. Then the back-and-forth paperwork began. After months and months, we were no further ahead. This week we finally started mediation. As I refused to move out until our separation was final, we are still living together. I hope to be moving into my own home this spring; however, I need income to move forward.

The stress of the divorce finally took its toll, and in a three-month period, I gain 30 pounds. In the summer, I got back on my yoga mat on a daily basis after an eighteen-month hiatus.  When my savings dried up at the beginning of December, I began to work out at home every morning. My weight didn’t shift, but at least I was moving. This month I began to shift my diet. I believe I will be completely back to optimal health and my ideal weight at some point this year, specifically when my stress levels are reduced.

Last fall, we discovered our daughter Nicole had scoliosis, and she began wearing a brace in January. Over the course of the year, her back got a tiny bit worse. Last month she got a new brace. She will probably be wearing one until she is 14, so we have a few more years of many visits to Sick Kids. That said, I am grateful her health problems are easily manageable as the hospital is far too large and much too full of very ill children.

Since the separation and divorce didn’t happen in 2012, as either of us thought, legally, we were still married on January 1st, 2013. At this point, the marriage is only on paper. Craig has been in a long-distance relationship for almost two years, and I have been dating off and on, more off than on. I am enjoying the adventures and the people I am meeting. I do know when the timing is right; I will be in a long-term committed partnership.

I wanted to add a section on the hobby for two reasons: 1) because many of us use the hobby as a wonderful distraction from the daily grind, and 2) I did something I never thought I would do.

I stopped entering contests on a daily basis for six months. From June 2011 until January 2012, I might have entered a grand total of 10 giveaways as I didn’t have the time, but more importantly, my heart wasn’t in it. (Why I didn’t write about this last year, I have no idea.) I knew the hobby would always be there when I was ready to start entering again. I also knew I would know when the time was right. Last January, a Kindle arrived unannounced in the mail from one of the handfuls of contests I did enter. As I did a happy dance around the kitchen, I was saying to myself, “I’m back!!”

I began again slowly. Entering one-time-only contests. Then added in a few dailies with prizes I really wanted to win.  Over the next several months, I kept adding more and more sweepstakes until I had my full Online Contest Entry System up and running.

The prizes began to trickle in. I didn’t track my wins for the first time since 2004, so I have no idea how much I did win in 2012, but my biggest prize was a Toshiba tablet. WOOT!

Life’s path never seems to take the direction we think it should, but just like the hobby, that’s the adventure. You never know what’s around the next bend or what your next win will be. Isn’t that the joy of life, or entering? I wonder what 2013 will hold?!