Out with the old, and in with the new

My day began with a day off…on a Saturday…which is very unusual, and must mean it’s a major holiday. Anyone who follows my blog knows that I’m not off on Saturdays, with the exception of christmas, new years, and easter weekend. Christmas has come and gone, as have all of the cookies, and there are no Cadbury caramel eggs anywhere near me, sadly, so clearly it is new years eve.  Here I am…all set for the evening…showered, snacks prepped,  bubbly chilling in the fridge and in sweats and snuggly socks, ready for my wild night at home.

Years ago, very  briefly,  we spent the night with some friends, but, before then, and immediately afterward, it was always spent with family and food, hors de ouevres, some chinese food and later, sushi, and everyone slept over…no great plans, no driving, no night on the town. When our children were small, it was no different. Though, having British roots, we watched the stroke of midnight on Big Ben, and called it a night at 8 pm and got the kids into bed. Sometimes the two of us made it to watch the ball drop, and sometimes not.  I’ve spent several unwell… bronchitis, pneumonia, recovering from surgeries, etc., or caring for my brood from similar issues, and more recently wisdom teeth removals, as each has reached that rite of passage and procedures are scheduled over breaks from classes. I’m content to be at home,  as planning otherwise has proven that it doesn’t really work out as hoped.

This year, it was an easy decision, and there was never really any discussion. It’s been a rough year for us, on many levels, but we are here, with a roof over our heads, and mainly intact, so to speak, and for that, I am truly grateful.

January brought great promise, as the start of a new semester began for each of our kids upon their return from traveling overseas all at once, which challenged my heart to no end while they were out of the country.  A good friend who’d been unwell began her journey back in the right direction, and I looked forward to the new year. Early February brought the truly devastating loss of a dear friend, most unexpectedly, as she had now been doing well, and for some time, and I, a grief clinician, struggled greatly with this loss. Two weeks later, my husband lost his job and I came down with the flu, but had to continue working….not the smartest thing, or the easiest, but my hands were tied between lack of coverage and lack of income. In march, though still sick, a little weight lifted, when I realized that my husband was lighter in spirit, no longer waiting for that other shoe to drop; Spring was around the corner, we began to regroup, I saw this as temporary, and we even spent more time together. Dance competition season kept me busy through march and april; applications and resumes kept him busy, and spring break brought our kids home–for the most part. I was able to see my son perform on the flute twice, and was absolutely awed by his talent. I was able to witness my daughter receiving her heritage class ring,  and be a part of the ceremony, and marveled at how close to graduation she was. We were so blessed. May brought the addition of prepping for sleepaway camp, where I’ve worked for over a decade, and some hopeful job positions, and I kept my fingers crossed. The kids were set with jobs for the summer, my daughter got a research grant and with it, tickets and an itinerary to do most of it in England…her dream come true. Then came June, a dead, top of the line,  8-month old, refrigerator, where the company refused to replace it and the numerous hours of back and forth to rectify the situation, while I constantly threw out food and money, and we lacked an appliance…and then, a BIG birthday, no celebration, the rest of my family, including my husband, traveling, and me working. I did take matters into my own hands though, and brought cupcakes and party hats into the studio for my dance students every night that week to make it a party atmosphere. I craved a celebration and being surrounded by love, which I so desperately needed, but it didn’t happen near home. I did have one friend force me to go out for a drink, and she brought me roses, bless her soul, and another friend who brought lunch and a cupcake while I waited for the second (out of 4) repair teams, each time… stumped. …And then I left for supervisors weekend at camp, where dessert was a custom made cake for me, shaped like a jalapeño! (I’m allergic to peppers; best surprise ever!) The summer came and went, and none of those jobs came through…I began to lose my faith, and then lost another friend, who succumbed to her illness. 2016 was throwing me for a loop…jerking me around, and just not being fair.  I ran away…just to change my perspective. I visited my parents in Florida, and then cried when I left, fearing that this might be the last time I’d see them. I visited my daughter, who was/is working on her thesis, and saw her being pulled from me in ways I hadn’t realized, and knew that her life has been launched like an ejection button pressed from under a seat. And then, I stopped at my brothers home on my way back, and soothed my soul by cooking the entire 3 days I was there. My kids were tucked away where they belonged, and I jumped, full force, into a new academic year,  with everything I had, while I watched my husband continue to struggle and try his hands at a business opportunity that I feared would be more of a loss on a few levels. He saw me as unsupportive, and that hurt…still does. My hunter and gatherer was struggling, and didn’t want my opinion. I questioned lots of things, and we lost our connection. The latter part of the year, being caught off guard again by election results, hurt for my family and friends, and now a master at cutting costs, cutting services, stretching leftovers like Dash’s mom in the incredibles, and feeling like everyone thinks I’m scrooge, because of it, I am somewhat bitter. Yup. I’m hurt, and bitter. My blood type really is B+, and I try to live life that way, but I am struggling.  Adulting is difficult. I’ve stretched in ways that I never knew I could. I’ve watched my friends and family struggle, and I’ve watched others go on expensive vacations, and I’ve been jealous. I’ve tried to keep my perspective, and have still given to others in any way that I could. So many others have it worse off than we do.  We were already living modestly, and way away from the Jones’.  Something truly has to give.  December brings a little bit of light again…Our extended family got together for a celebration, and I saw my family and truly spent time with them.  All are well, and I am again, very grateful, as life is precious.  We took lots of pictures together, and I’m doing a good job talking to my parents by phone, and often. I’m grateful to have them, for however long I still do, and for my kids to have all of their grandparents. Lucky, lucky us.

I, like so many others, am hopeful for a better year ahead; I am hopeful for our family, our friends and neighbors, both near and far, and for our country as a whole. I am hoping for good health and prosperity. I am hoping that love truly trumps hate, that we unite as a community, and that the world recognizes that love is love, is love, is love, is love and that it spreads faster than a computer virus. Please 2017, be kind to all of us, and let it be a happy new year.

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Hopeful“>Out with the old, and in with the new

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