Now that I've recuperated from the 6-hour drive and Christmas is over, I’m starting to decompress and I’ve had a chance to think about this past year.
It's been a year of transitions, that's for sure.
I moved into the house I’m currently renting on January 1, 2009. Before that I was living in a house I owned, struggling for three years to keep it. I eventually sold the house in a short sale, a process that lasted nine months. I left that house feeling that I had gone through a war. I was exhausted and depressed. I hadn't written anything in months.
I had two weeks last December to find a house to rent that would take three animals. I got lucky – I found a house, but it was a dump and from the minute I moved in, I knew I wouldn’t stay long. But while I was there, I wanted to make it comfortable. The backyard was completely barren – nothing but dead grass and dog crap that had not been picked up in a year. The first day, my best friend and I got busy and picked up the dog crap. I eventually planted a couple of trees. I started a vegetable garden. I watered the yard and the grass came back lush and green.
In the backyard there is a fenced off enclosure that the previous occupants had used for an enclosure for their dogs, but left it full of junk. I cleared it out and found myself a project. I turned it into a flower garden. I planted roses, lamb’s ears, foxgloves, black-eyed susans, daisies, lavenders, gardenias, columbines, sage, yarrow, herbs and Queen Anne’s Lace that grew five feet high. Morning glories completely covered one fence. When things had been planted, I put my wicker chair in there. I sat in there all spring and summer, reading, dabbling in a little writing, and just reflecting on how I got to this place in my life.
Over this past year, I made some wonderful friendships, both here locally and on the Internet. Some friendships deepened. Sadly, one friend died very suddenly. She was my movie buddy for many years, had mentored me in my previous job, and was there when I bought my first house.
I went to Pulp Fest, not expecting to meet as many wonderful people as I did and make as many friends. I reunited with some people, after many years, on Facebook.
I started to write again, slowly. Most of the writing was on my blog, and I found a community of people here on the Internet that supported my efforts and wrote comments. That kept me going. I began to get interested in some topics and started to feel excited again about writing. A lot of that is because of the comments I receive on my blog.
I’m still working, although my company went through three rounds of layoffs this year - over 25% of the company. I’ve spent most of this year trying to keep my head down and worrying about whether I will be next. It’s hard to get excited about work and stay focused with that going on.
Guess what. About a month ago I found out that the house I’m renting is now in foreclosure, so I’ll have to move again eventually. So the transitional house has fulfilled its destiny.
Although 2009 was a difficult year, some good things happened too. I’m looking to 2010 feeling more excited about a new year than I have in a long time. I’ve been through the war, have learned some valuable lessons, and have once again been reminded that as long as I have friends, I will be able to handle anything.
So, once again, I’d like to hear from you. Now that 2009 is almost over, what has this year has meant to you? What do you look forward to in 2010?
And thanks again for being there.