08 January 2010

a look back at 2009

i've never done one of those "year in review" posts before.....but seeing as i didn't post all year it's the best way to sum up and move on. the last time i blogged i was trying to catch up, and that didn't get very far. unfortunately, i'm the sort that has to catch up at least minimally, or i always have the nagging sense that i forgot something. so, here goes.
  • the first few months of 2009 are a blur. work sucked and i sort of zoned out to make it bearable. this was a bad thing - apparently once you start zoning out, it's hard to stop. 

  • in march, i got laid off. this was ok by me. my superiors were never planning work for me and the atmosphere of uncertainty was slowly driving me mad (as was the boredom, see zoning out). how mad, i didn't quite realize till i was laid off and felt like a huge burden lifted. 

  • in may, my brother graduated college and we got to travel to massachusetts to see it. he's a single dad with 2 daughters and he's worked while studying for a lot of years. my nieces' were so happy for him, and i was so proud of him for persevering, it still chokes me up a bit.

  • while in massachusetts, i got to attend my first ever wool and sheep fair-festival-deal. lots of wool, spun and unspun, all of which i was too overwhelemed to take home with me. my mom tried out a spinning wheel and made a pretty good show of almost making yarn for the first time in her life. even chuck had fun. we also made it to webs' tent sale, where i was not as disciplined and made off with several kinds of laceweight.

  • also in march, i had a wisdom tooth erupt and got it pulled. fairly painlessly, in fact. it had been sticking into my cheek for 3 days before i could get to the dentist and having it gone hurt way less than its presence. there's still 3 left though......

  • for six months, starting in june, i worked in delta junction. it's a town just over an hour south of north pole. work itself was much better. living away from home, and only coming home on the weekends to unpack, do laundry, repack and leave again sucked.

  • shortly after starting work, i said "whatever" to the field supervisor. this got me relegated to the lab, which while better than being fired, still left me feeling imprisoned and very twitchy. luckily it only took a month to catch up to the artifacts pouring in from the field, and i was able to work outside again. most of the time.

  • my stepson moved in with us in july. he was arrested on father's day (while with his kids - o, the irony!) and my husband became his third party supervision while he's on bail. third party supervision is glorified babysitting at it's finest. glued to the hip is a good way to describe it. luckily, he was granted house arrest when he couldn't work anymore (in november) and me and chuck could go on dates again. it was wonderful. trips to the grocery store were exciting.

  • our finances are shot. there was bail and living/traveling expenses while i worked in delta. then there was our house in delta that wouldn't sell when the renter moved out in may - 2 mortgages, anyone? and repainting the whole interior before a new renter moved in.

  • i worked in delta right up to thanksgiving. that was mostly good. it was best after the field supervisor left at the end of the summer. lab work is not my cup of tea, but it was bearable. we had some good times, discovered some good music (great big sea, dropkick murphys, KT tunstall) thanks to online radio. 

  • thanksgiving was good. we had some good food. i made yeast rolls rather than biscuits for the first time in my life, and they were really good.

  • then we caught a wicked virus from bratling issac, who doesn't cover his mouth when he coughs. we were sick a week and didn't get to enjoy the thanksgiving leftovers at all. major bummer.

  • did i mention that the bratlings (chuck's 2 grandchildren, one boy, one girl, 9 and 6 respectively) have been over almost every weekend since their dad came to live with us? i used to think i liked them, but now i'm not sure. too close proximity and all that. makes me glad all over again that i don't have kids. 

  • i signed up for facebook at the urging of some work friends and feel like i interact more with my family that's on there. since we're not the best at calling each other, it's lots of fun.

  • december was a whirl of cleaning and decorating and baking and getting amped up for christmas. holidays just aren't the same without my huge family, but everything was relaxed and calm and peaceful. just seeing my husband everyday for over a month made everything great. christmas has this special, strange and deep happiness for me, i wish it lasted all year.

  • we ended the year with the corpse bride, ocean's 11, lots of junk food, the bratlings and some fireworks. we picked some good fireworks this year. the best was a setup of 25 shots that went off like a finale. somehow chuck managed to light them at 12.00 exactly.

  • just before the end of the year, my brother, jeremiah, and his wife had their first child. he's named after his dad, but with a different middle name which they're calling him by. the best part about him being named for his dad is we can continue all the bullfrog jokes into another generation. they live in guam though, so i keep trying to figure out how i can get over there to see the "little frog" in person.......he looks good in pictures!

which gets us to present day. i'm blissfully unemployed for the moment. there's a lithics analysis course being offered at UAF this semester that i'm working on attending, on the theory it will help me do my job better, perhaps in the winter, even. something that my masters in viking archaeology doesn't quite manage, sadly.

and i'm doing lots of housewifely stuff: cleaning, decluttering, baking, laundry, doing dishes, and cooking. trying to make my house into more of a home. enjoying being home, and realizing how much effort goes into making it a home, making it beautiful and comforting and welcoming. and also realizing that i enjoy making my home pleasant and appreciate it more after being away so long.

balance is a word, an idea, that is often in my thoughts right now, and often is when i'm out of work. a friend asked me yesterday if i had a whole hour to myself, what i would do. i asked if it was a trick question - after all, i decide what i do all day right now as it is. but i always struggle to balance things that must get done (like dishes or laundry), things that would be good to do (like organize the library so we can actually use the room) and things that are important to me (like emailing my friends and spending time with God). somehow the necessary things, the chore-like projects i have around the house, end up on top of my list, while the things that truly matter to me come last. it doesn't make much sense, and it's deeply frustrating. even more so because it's me frustrating myself. i'm not sure what i would do with that one hour. but i'm hoping to learn to balance all the demands i put on myself, to do what my heart says is important yet not neglect the cobwebs.

over the past year, i've thought a lot about blogging, why i do it, how i write, whether a blog ought to be narrowly focused on one tiny aspect of my life, if a post has to have pictures, and whether i'm able to balance blogging with spending time with people in the flesh. not too sure i have good answers to all of those questions, but i do miss blogging. it's sort of a message in a bottle, a shout-out to the whole world to see if anyone thinks i'm worth listening to. sort of like scanning space, hoping to find lifeforms to connect with, that understand our stories and broaden our lives with their stories. i still have messages to send it seems, i can only hope they're relevant.

and that someone is still listening besides the aliens.


Tanya Sio said...

Yeah. An update. :) Sounds like a pretty eventful year. I also love trying to make my house feel more like a home....too bad I don't know how to decorate.

Anonymous said...

I'm here! Keep talking. :-)

Sorry about 2009. It sounds like it ended well, though.

Carole Knits said...

I'm still listening. I'm glad you posted and got us caught up on what sounds like a difficult year.

Anonymous said...

Hej mitt troll!!
J├Ątte roligt att se att det fortfarande finns lite drag i dig.
Har saknat dig. Kramar/Lasse

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Lynleigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynleigh said...

(sorry...made a typo on last comment, so had to delete) I'm glad to see you have been blogging more and to hear the update! Ever since Tate was born, finding balance has been very difficult for me, but I'm not giving up. I know I'll figure it out someday; I'm sure you will too. Wish you could come visit us in Guam!