Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My 2015 in Review

It's been accustomed at the end of each year to kind of summarize what the years been like. Since it is now one day from the end of the year I guess it's time to recollect and see what I can remember about this past year.

It was a quick year. In December I felt like it should only be April. It was as if time were speeding up and I wasn't going with it. The days were long period, but the months seem to roll by so fast it was almost incredible. I guess that's one of the benefits? Of getting older.

I guess I've become more bionic that in this past year. I did have some teeth replaced so now that I can chomp again with my upper teeth I haven't had the nerve to try one of my favorite dishes, corn on the cob, nor apples. But there are always ways around that. In October -November I had cataract surgeries on my eyes and as a result I can see things that I haven't really seen that clearly in years, and colors seem very strange. When I had the first I done it seems like light was bluish-white whereas with the other I things was still in a haze of yellow. I get new glasses in about a week and that will be a good thing, especially since I can see close up, fairly well at a distance, but the middle distance I am hopelessly out of luck. That will be helpful when I start working and, I'm led to believe, that it will help with the computer work, which I may or may not be doing more of in the future.

One very positive thing this year was reconnecting with my family. I'd been in sporadic touch for years, but since my brother died four years ago we have seldom talked or communicated. This summer I got the joy of seeing my sister-in-law and two nieces for the first time in years. It was a good if brief visit, and we've kept in touch since. It's made a world of difference.

I've got sort of an adopted family here now, and some friends that I've made over the past several years. They mean the world to me, and I'm grateful to have them in my life. Shannon and the family are real joys, and Julie and Alex are people I can trust and count on. Then there's Mouse, a friend who's been a rock in my life for the last 38 or so years. Our twice-or-more-weekly phone chats keep us both connected and civilized. We've solved a lot of the world's problems, we are sure, even if the rest of the world hasn't paid any attention.

With the making and growing of relationships with friends I've lost some friends this year. Ron was a friend of my late husband, and the trailer Ron bought from him had been my dad's before that. I bought it from Ron about eight years ago,  and he became a friend, maintenance consultant, and handyman. Losing him was losing another tie to Ray, as well as being a nice guy that I could be friends with without any strain or undercurrents.

And then there was the loss of JJ. That was a week before my birthday. JJ was a rock when I needed a one. She always listened to my problems, gave me sage advice, and enjoyed sharing pizza any time we could get together to have it. I'm glad we had one a week or so before she died. I still have mad urges to call her up and just pass on some news or just check in to see what has been going on, but she's not there. I miss that.

It's been a year of increased expenses, and I've been a little profligate with my funds, which makes living a little tougher,. But the boys and I are surviving, and nobody is starving to death or living under a bridge — yet.  I'm learning to ask for help when I need it, and finding it isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Still, I want to do things myself if I possibly can.

Today kind of summed up the whole year and I'm still digesting it. Being called into the publisher's office of the newspaper where I worked for the last 11 years, and being told that I was being terminated for financial reasons was a bit of a shock. I've endured three cuts in that place, and feeling that even though my customers depended on me doing my job, it meant little or nothing to management. I'm still a little hurt and a little puzzled by the whole thing, but then the wound is still new. I did the best I could, I tried to work honestly and honorably, and I guess I will still struggle to understand for a while yet. Meanwhile, I now can look forward to being able to sleep in in the morning a bit more, if the boys allow it, but I will also have to learn to squeeze pennies until they hurt. This is never one of my favorite things to do. But I've made it through this long, and I will find a way to do it this time.

On the plus side I marked three years of being what I hope is cancer free. My oncologist's office doesn't want to see me until May so I guess I have permission to live that long. At least that's how I joke about it. I got a tattoo in September to remind myself of my three years. It's a pink ribbon on my left forearm and for me it was an impulse but it's a reminder that I am a survivor at least for now. That's not to say I won't have a problem later on, but right now, I'm surviving.

I've kept good friends this year, I've lost good friends this year. I'm looking at the next year and wondering how things are going to go. I guess if I had to be let go, the end of the year is better than the beginning of the year. At least I can say the end of the year closes a book and now I have to find a new one to open. I'm still writing my Soul pieces for Episcopal Café, something had been doing for the last four years and going on five. I enjoy doing it and I am always pleased and flattered when people like what I write. I'll do more writing this year, I hope, and also continue with my co-mentoring of two Education for Ministry groups that often become my community and my church, my friends and my learning experiences.

I'll try looking for another job since it will be hard to go on without it, but that's after I have taken a week or so for vacation, something I haven't really taken in about eight years. Time off from work for surgery doesn't count. Even though I won't be going anywhere, it will be nice to be able to just stay tucked up in my house with the boys for company, lots of books, and a computer to keep me connected with the world.

All in all this year's been a mixed bag but almost over and a new and will begin. We'll see how that one goes.

Happy 2016.

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