Reflections on 2011


The last year has been one of the most eventful years of my life. There were times I was ready to scream in primal rage and go running into the hills, but there are other times that make my heart swell in pleasure and pride. They say you need to experience the bad to appreciate the good. Call me selfish, but I would like to spend more time appreciating the good this year and less time learning to appreciate it by going through the bad spots. So, to review, here are some of the highlight moments:

January

  1. We started the year under the shadow of a DHS investigation for possible child neglect and endangerment.
  2. I was gainfully employed, albeit through a temp agency, with a very real expectation that the job would become permanent.
  3. Shortly after the start of the new year the brakes start to fail on the Durango, requiring taking out a line of credit to get them replaced. Not a big deal since I was earning some good money.
  4. The day after getting the brakes fixed I get served my walking papers at my temp job.
  5. Shortly after that we get served with an eviction notice while we are in limbo with trying to get unemployment benefits restarted.

February

  1. My in-laws agree to take us in, and purchase a travel trailer for us to use as our primary living space.
  2. We sell off, donate, or simply give away the majority of our furniture and a good share of our belongings, boxing up the few things we are keeping for storage in the barn or to have out for daily use.
  3. Our expected two weeks to make the move out to the farm is suddenly cut more than in half when the landlord decides that we need to be out sooner than the final date on the eviction notice, forcing us to pull some long, stress filled days trying to get the move done. Stubborn pride took hold and we decided to not call on the kindred that we had been visiting to see if they could help. For some foolish reason we decided that we needed to prove to ourselves that we could do this move ourselves, especially after so many people chipped in to help us move into this place a mere four months prior, and now we were being forced to move out again.

Things were pretty quiet for a few months while I worked at finding a job. Finally I got a call from a recruiter at Comcast asking if I was still interested in working there. That led to a phone interview, then a face-to-face interview, and finally a job offer. I started with Comcast in June and am still working there. Sarah says she has never seen me happier, even on my bad days.

August

  1. Looking forward to spending a weekend with the folk at the annual Jambermoot event, which would be on my birthday weekend this year. We had actually paid our way in with tax return money back in February.
  2. The transmission in the Durango goes out on Sarah while she and the kids are on their way to Jambermoot. I was at work and planning on joining them when I got off shift later that night.
  3. Sarah’s folks rescued Sarah and the kids, tracked down and purchased a replacement transmission, and Tim (Sarah’s father) spent the next several weeks working on removing the now shot transmission and replacing it.

September led to me getting an earlier shift, much to Sarah’s delight, and I was finally able to be home in time for bedtime with the kids for the first time since I started my job. Better yet, I now had days off together rather than the split days off that I had when I started.

October and November were relatively quiet, with one exception. That exception being on the drive to the other side of town to spend the evening before Thanksgiving with my family since I would be working the holiday. We were headed down Germantown Rd and hit a patch of wet leaves on a sharp corner just as I was braking going into the corner. End result was no traction, minimal steering, and us headed across oncoming traffic and into a bramble patch on the wide shoulder on the other side of the road. The other side of that bramble patch was a sheer drop down into the ravine that Germantown Rd climbs down. Thank the Gods we had functioning 4-wheel drive in the Durango and were able to extract ourselves from the brambles, especially since nobody headed up the road bothered to stop and check on us when we had the Durango’s nose buried deep in the brambles. Our nerves were shaken, but the vehicle was undamaged, and we made it to the family gathering in one piece (with the exception of our nerves).

December was the capper for the year for us, culminating in Sarah and I oathing to the kindred, becoming the newest full members of the kindred. This is a huge item for me, and something I had wanted for several years. At one point I had actually contemplated the concept of moving out to Kansas just to be close to Jotun’s Bane Kindred, a group of folks that I had started to bond with online. Now I am happy that we managed to find a group that fits us here, though I still long to meet Mark and Rod and the rest of JBK someday, hopefully at a Lightning Across the Plains event one of these years.

So, as you can see, we had an eventful year. My schooling has taken a temporary back seat while we sort out finances, and we hope to get me back in and finally finished up this year. Last year was quite trying when it came to my education, and there was far too much going on with that to try to cover it in the above list. Suffice to say that it added a completely different layer of tension and stress to the mix.

My hopes for the new year are simple in concept, though they may prove challenging in execution:

  1. Get me back on task with my education, and finally graduating, finishing my 2-year degree completion program before it takes me five years to complete it.
  2. Continue working at Comcast, improving my skills, and hopefully getting into an analytical or support role within the company, ideally with a nice pay increase.
  3. Be able to afford to move back into town so that we can be closer to friends and work.
  4. Visit my father more often, especially as the Parkinsons is hitting him harder now. I want to spend as much time as possible with my father before that is no longer possible.
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