It would be nice if I were a musical person, or a songwriter and I could just write a song that would sum up my year. I am thinking of that Billy Joel song, We Didn't Start the Fire. But I am not, so I am trying to reflect upon what I have learned this year and as a whole, how I feel about the year.
Bad things first, so I can finish on a good note. As I think through the items that tally up on the bad side, I find it ironic that some of them will appear on both sides of the list. Life is full of irony.
Financially this was another staggering year. It is just not going to get better for about another year, or possibly two. We are working so hard to get back on top of everything that went wrong in years past that is so hard to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I find us still in a position of receiving charity. I am humbled by this because my foolish pride wants to be in a position to GIVE to others. It is much nicer feeling. I am embarrassed by how low I have fallen. It is ever so much harder to receive charity than it is to give it. I hope someday, when I am again in a position to give, that I will remember how it feels and be sympathetic and sensitive to others. God is working on my on this. I can see what he wants me to learn, but I am stubborn and thick headed, so it is taking a long time for me to accept it.
Pride makes an appearance again in this item. Jacob. He has decided to drop out of school. That was a low blow for me. I have probably been in denial about this for longer than I care to think about. He has just not been a committed student for the last several years. But he always told me that he WOULD graduate, no matter what. I held onto that. I took comfort in that. But now it changes. Upon examining my motives, I can see that pride is driving me again. I did not want to be the mother of a drop-out. To be honest, I still don't. I know that Jacob has above average intelligence. It hurts me so much that he won't apply himself. But I guess that is back to me. I have to move that pride thing out of the way and try to let Jacob focus on Jacob and what he wants from life. I have to let that go. It has to be his choice. I can no longer chose for him. Sigh.
Work. I want to quit my job so bad it hurts. The pressure and stress just seem like too much. I find I don't pretend to get excited about it any more. I won't play the games any more. I am just so negative about this part of my life. I know it is time for a change, but referring back to the financial paragraph above, making that sort of change at this point would be self destructive and stupid. I need to keep my focus for a year or two longer. At that point I will have more flexibility. I just keep chanting to myself, you can do this, you can do this. I am strong. I can do almost anything that has to be done if I keep my focus.
Enough of that painful stuff! On to the good!
I am blown away by the generosity of others. My brother-in-law paid to fly my sister and I to Pennsylvania to see by brother and his family. I know there were dozens of other ways he could have spent that money. I am so thankful for the chance to get to know my 2 nieces and nephew there. They are amazing and I will never forget how much fun we had there. Even the time spent with my amazing sister is an incredible gift. We usually see each other when we are surrounded by family and distractions. We had a lot of fun during our trip and I am so glad we had the time to talk and laugh.
We were nominated by a work friend. Kristy to have a new furnace installed in our home. Hopefully they will be doing that this week. What a blessing. I did not know how we would be able to do that for several more years. The cost of a new unit would be beyond our reach for several years. I am so thankful to Kirsty, Channel 6 and Airco for chosing us. Just WOW!
Health. This has been a much better year for our health. I had surgery last year and it dramatically improved my health. I feel so much better. When I read what I just typed, I am at a loss as to how to convey what a difference this surgery made for me. I feel like I can do ANYTHING now! I feel better than I have in 20 years. I don't think I even knew how bad I felt. Kim is doing well too. No more problems with his foot. He keeps a close eye on it, and is constantly baby-ing it so that another problem will not crop up. But he has been able to keep it under control for most of this year. That is a big deal because his diabetic ulcers have ruled our house for the past 5 years or so. I am so thankful for good health.
Jacob. I am so proud of him. He always makes me laugh. Even when I am mad at him. I am so filled up with love for him, and am so thankful that God blessed me with him. I hope I have been a decent mom to him. I wish I could do parts of his childhood over. I wish I could give him more. But I know I could never love him more, so I succeeded at that!
Friends. Amy, Necia, Kathy, Nettie, Emily, and so many others. What would I do without you? Thank you for keeping my feet on the ground and talking me off the cliff of despair so many times.
There you are, the good and the bad, all together. Goodbye 2011. Thanks for the memories. I am glad you are leaving, but thankful that you were what you were.