2008 was such an odd year for me. It was a year of high highs and low lows. I could almost call it the Bipolar Year. I am grateful for the highs, not so grateful about the lows but it is part of life I guess.
Some of the highs were that I broke out of the depression and stinking thinking that had been plaguing me for several years. I actually put myself out there, made new friends and business associates, and forced myself to take chances and do things I never would have had the nerve to do in the past. For the most part, I was very successful. Much more than I had imagined. Yes, I did get my hand slapped once or twice. That's the chance you take when you actually start to open your life up to new things. But you know what? I'm still here. Those few little hurts are nothing compared to the wonderful things I received by actually taking the chance. Now I wonder about all the things I missed over the years because I was afraid to try. I think that's why I always get tears in my eyes when I hear that Lee Ann Womack song "I hope You Dance". It just hits too close to home. I didn't dance.
Some of the other highs was that I was laid off from my full time job. Now on the surface, that may sound like a low. And it was in a way. I'll discuss that when I get to the lows. But this job was suffocating me. I was very good at it but I hated it. I wanted to cry every morning when I woke up at the thought of having to go there for another day of micro management and drudgery. I felt like I had no choice. That I couldn't make it with just my business. But guess what? So far I have! In fact, it's been my best year yet! And I couldn't be happier being my own boss. Yes, I can be quite the slave master but I love what I do & I can't wait to get up in the morning to work on my business! How many people can honestly say that? I anticipate that 2009 will be even a better year for my business as I'm fine tuning things and discovering what's really profitable AND enjoyable.
My oldest daughter who had moved back home, moved out. Yes, that makes me sound like a horrible mother not wanting her here. But she is 23, has her own way of living and was sacked out on my living room couch for several years. It was time for her to go. We get along so much better when we aren't living together. And I have to say that I am so proud of her! She had such a rocky youth, I often wondered if she would even make it to see 23. She seemed hell bent on self destruction. In the past year, she has gotten a stable job and worked up to a supervisory position, gotten an adorable duplex down on the oceanfront (wish I could live there!) and has taken responsibility for her prior actions. She has finally become an adult!
The lows were pretty low at times. I started out this year extremely tired, depressed, worn ragged and at the end of my rope. I was working a hated job, trying to keep my business afloat, having problems with both of my daughters and being the caretaker of my father who was fluctuating between the hospital and the nursing home and taking care of my demanding, wheel chair bound mother. I have always been a Daddy's girl and to see my strong, sweet dad, who always took care of everyone deteriate into a tiny shell of a man who had multiple medical problems and the mind of a 3 year old was just heart breaking to me. When he died in June, it was actually a blessing. His last few months were so horrible for him and for us. His loss has really been hitting me hard the last few months when I'll see him in my dreams, healthy and strong and then wake up to the reality that I will never see him again. At least not in this life.
I also lost my dear, sweet 18 year old kitty. I can only assume she died. She was a beautiful, but tiny Himalayan that was with me through my childrens' growing up years. She had had a problem with an urinary tract infection which is common in cats, specially older cats. But she had gotten better with the help of the vet. Not long after, she started crying alot again. The vet could find nothing wrong this time and thought it might be psychlogical. The crying continued for several days until she just dissappeared. We assume she got out through the doggy door. She had always been afraid to go outside in the past, so we never feared her escaping that way. I can only assume she ran away to die. We looked for her and my son thought he saw her at one point; but she ran away from him. We never really had any closure with her sudden dissappearance.
And then we come to the job I alluded to earlier. I worked for a large ministry & because of the economy, almost half of my office was laid off. We had heard inklings that it might happen but frankly, I wasn't worried. I was the fastest worker in my office, learned things easily and could do any job in there with no supervision. They'd be crazy to let me go, right? Well, they did. And what hurt was they laid off the 4 slowest, least productive people and then me, the most productive and fastest worker. That's a slap in the face right? It's like saying, "We laid off the others because of their lack of productivity but we laid off you simply because we don't like you." Actually I knew they liked me. I'm easy going, friendly and get along with everyone. But because my life had gotten so sucky over the past few years, I was questioning my faith in God. And that's a no-no in a ministry where they actually grade you on your spirituality, (yes, I'm serious, you get graded on that!). Because I refused to play the game anymore, (it would feel like a sacriledge to fake it when I didn't mean it) I was now a liability to them. I understand where they were coming from but part of me kept hearing the words of one of my friends who said that Christians tend to eat their own. I didn't know what she meant until this happened.
As this year closes, I wonder what 2009 has in store for us. I have so much hope and anticipation for the future. There is so much to be grateful for and look forward to. And it's so nice to feel that way after so many years of dreading the new year. I hope it's a wonderful year for you too where you make your dreams come true!