Year-End Observations

     I love the idea of resolutions. I’m a list-lover from way back and there is something primally satisfying about making a list of grand things to work for in the fresh new year. I don’t even mind much if I don’t quite get to everything on the list. I’ve noticed, however, that things creep off and on my resolutions list so that the end of the year can be about what I did instead of what I didn’t do. Priorities change. Things happen. The quiet shift of the mind in response to the hum of the life makes a difference.

     Professionally: I started a new job with the same company I’ve been with since last fall. I don’t hate this as much as I hated teaching English at a girls’ high school, but…it’s pretty close. There are near-daily resolutions involved with this job – I resolve to get up and get to work like a responsible adult. I resolve to ignore the rampant favoritism and self-aggrandizement that seems to be part and parcel of department. I resolve to find ways to make this job work for me rather than wear me out. In the coming year, freelance is going to take more precedence.

     Professionally, as a writer: I slacked off in the published writing department this year. I wrote more fiction but none of it was published anywhere since I didn’t sent it to anyone to publish. This will change in 2009. I wrote a few articles for various local publications but I would rather like to write for something larger this year. I’m going to re-invent my little freelance business this year.

     This was our fourth year of marriage and considering what’s going on in the world, I count it a smashing success. People are confused and upset and scared (I’m including myself there) about the economy and politics and the world in general. Every relationship is strained, I think, if you are at all paying attention to the world beyond the end of your nose, so if you can maintain ties at some level of proficiency  you’re all the better for it.

     In general. I wrote four short stories and started a novel. I played a PC game which I enjoyed thoroughly but probably will limit in the future because it takes up time I want to use for creating my own worlds in writing. I worked out at the gym far more consistently than I have in my whole life. I found a haircut I really like. I went to the doctor eleven times to talk about my eczema and it’s still lurking – no, those aren’t needle tracks on my elbows, and I do not have poison ivy. The house is slowly become more interesting with the addition of more lighting in the bedroom, a ceiling fan, a tin backsplash, a kitchen table, and a newish fridge. I’ve switched almost entirely to caffeine-free diet Coke.

     I am fragrance- and nickel-free. I don’t eat nuts, beans, oats or whole grains. I don’t use perfumed anything.  It sucks.

     I reconnected with old friends this year. I’m not ashamed to admit that it is almost all thanks to Facebook.

     This year, one of our ferrets had a huge tumor removed. It was big enough that the vet techs were certain Leo would not be saved. But our vet is very good and I appreciate his skills with our animals more and more every time we see him. Another ferret crossed the rainbow bridge, as we ferret-owners say, and her passing will weigh heavily on my heart for a long time.

    As for our human family, we lost some of Scot’s family members including his dear grandmother. My father’s health is strange and difficult and it makes me sad to think about it, but he continues to walk the dogs and bike, garden and watch history programs on TV.

     This year, I have been humbled by the kindnesses of my friends. I want you to know that I’m not taking you for granted. It makes me uncomfortable, sometimes, because I’m afraid I’m not returning the kindness appropriately or paying it forward as I should.

    I watched several friends this year make tremendous life-changing decisions and it made me happy for them all.

    I participated in history by voting for Barack Obama.

     This year, I made a fool of myself a few times. You were probably there for it, too. I said the wrong thing a few times and I’m sorry. I did make some people laugh, too.

    2008 is in the books and 2009 soldiers on.