Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Time for Reflection

As the year comes to a close it's that time again. Time to reflect on the last year and what it has meant. What we've learned, how we've grown - or not grown. Time to list all the things we'll do different next year and swear to stick to the changes we promise ourselves.

2011 has been an incredibly intense year for me. There have been many changes, losses, new adventures and lessons learned.

In February my mother passed away after a year long battle with small cell lung cancer. Her illness, or rather our different reactions to it, caused a huge rift between myself and my brother and sister that is still healing and mending itself.

Shortly after that my little brother's phychotic now ex-girlfriend ran him over with her car. Yes literally. She mowed him down then took his wallet and left him lying in the street. Thankfully someone witnessed the whole thing and called 911. Praise God he was ok other than some seriously nasty abrasions and a messed up shoulder. The worst damage is the kind that is not visible.. and takes the longest to heal. It turns out he was the second boyfriend she'd hit with her car and is awaiting trial.

We also moved into a new apartment, in a new city in February. My work on the BP oil spill response relocated to Gulf Shores and after staying in a hotel for 2 months and only visiting our apartment in Mobile one day a weekend we decided to just relocate. Matthew found a great job with a company he loves & I left working as a contractor for BP and began work - still on the spill - as a contractor for the USFWS.

In March my husband and I went on a 10 day belated honeymoon to Scotland, London & Paris. Our second time ever to travel out of the country and we had an AMAZING time. Even getting lost - literally - for 6 hours in the forests of the Scottish Midlands couldn't take away from the beauty of our trip.

I had a combined 8 months of health issues and illnesses which took an enormous toll on me physically, mentally and emotionally. Being sick is hard.. being sick for over half of the year is brutal. As soon as my doctor would get one health issue fixed another would show up. 4 months of female reproductive malfunction, followed by 2 months of severe intestinal issues, followed by 2 months of bronchitis and upper respiratory gunk is enough to make a girl want to go mad. I'm still not 100% but I'm getting there.

Last month we attended a combined family reunion, Thanksgiving, my dad's 50th celebration and I was reminded once again how different I am from the rest of my family. It was a four day trip but after two we left to come home. An evening of witnessing underage drinking ruined it for me & I just didn't want to be there anymore. I often wonder how I ended up being the only person in my entire family who has such a strict moral code. Not to say my family doesn't have morals.. they're good people.. but they are much much more laid back about things than I am and it often causes conflict and tension. There are some things I will just never be willing to "relax" about.

On Friday Dec 23rd my work with the spill response will end and I will join the ranks of the unemployed, which in a good economy is scary enough... in a crappy one it's terrifying. We also live in a resort/vacation city and unless you have experience in hotels, restaurants or retail there is really not much work. I have 15yrs experience in a professional environment - it just doesn't happen to be any of those 3. Thankfully Matthew has the ability to transfer with his job so if worse comes to worse and I can't find work here we have the option to move to somewhere that has a more diverse job market.

And those are just the big things... this truly has been a beyond belief eventful year. There have been so many twists and turns, lessons and hardships that I'm honestly surprised I survived it.

I'd like to say I have this great hope for next year, that things will get better, and I'm sure after the holidays pass and things settle down I'll get to that place, but for now.. I'm just tired. I feel like I've been running a marathon for the past 350 days and I just can't ever catch up to the other runners. I feel bruised and battered and like I just need to crawl in my bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep for a year.

Doesn't paint a bright picture for a jolly Christmas, I know. *Shrugs*

Like all things.. this too shall pass. I just hope it passes quickly. I'm ready to stop feeling like I'm watching my life pass by and start feeling like I'm actually living it.