An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.
A pessimist stays up to make sure that the old year leaves.
- Bill Vaughn
According to that quote I'm a pessimist. I am eager to see this past year leave. This has been quiet the year for us. None of it was planned for. Most of it was painful. I'm ready to move on. And I believe I will move on a bit changed for the better.
If you had asked me this time last year what 2009 would look like, I don't really know what I would have said. It probably would have been a bland predictable answer involving house painting and losing some weight. (Yes, I am the sap that sets out every year to lose some weight. In the past few years I feel that's been working in reverse, but not intentionally. ) My bland little answer would have been slapped in the face during the first week of January when my husband lost his posh big firm law job. However, the house painting bit came true in February when we realized that he would not be getting another big firm job and we would have to list the house in possibly the worst housing market our generation has seen.
While trying to update an outdated house to pique buyers interest, March arrived and delivered my husband's dream job. He didn't realize at the time that it was his dream job. It was just a job, any job, a job that payed the bills. But it turns out that he's found his niche. He's thriving at the DA's office like he hasn't at any other job he's been at. It turns out he's really good at this law thing. He's finally found his stage. I believe he sees a future in his career that he didn't see before. Plus he's home for dinner almost every night, so I'm certainly a fan.
We continued adjusting until April when my mom got remarried. I'm happy for her and we love her new husband. He's a good man and more importantly, he's good to her. This was a hard emotional time for me, though. See, my dad died five years ago and the loss still feels fresh. So it hurt. It opened up old wounds. Combined with the other stress in our life, I started to sink. I spent May sinking a bit more.
I watched my baby sister and my baby sister-in-law get married in June. Then in July I came home and sank to my deepest low. I started to feel a depression that I had never known. In between house showings and trying to be a mom that at least fed my children, I slept and I cried. My husband wasn't exactly in a happy place either. So prince charming and I fought. A lot.
Then in August I snapped. Not in a crazy kill the babies way. In an "I'm done with this" way. My husband called it my, "to-hell-with-it-all moment". I embraced my hippy, homemaker ways. I decided to not let my circumstances and the expectations of others define me. I took out my anger, my disappointment, my stress on my sewing machine instead of on my kids and my husband. A few dresses and some apple butter later, I realized I wasn't doing it to de-stress. I was going deep into old school homemaking because I like it. It fits who I am and my crazy old school ideals. It turns out I thrive on less. Not a bad thing to learn.
In September I started climbing out of the hole and we began to accept the possibility of foreclosure. In September we also saw our firstborn baptized, a moment not to be overlooked. This was a big moment. A moment I have prayed for all of his nine years.
In October our salvation arrived in the form of an offer on the house. In November, we sold the house and moved into a funky old cottage with a front door that opens only halfway and a wonderfully charming fireplace. In December, my husband ran a marathon. He ran off the year. And after the whirlwind of those three months we all ran to Arkansas to be comforted by family.
We have been here now for about a week. We have been resting and refreshing. Our shocked systems are being restored bit by bit. As we are looking at this coming year we are starting to realize that this fire we've walked through this year will leave us better than when we began. We will not be better off because we have sold the house or because my husband has found a better job or because I have learned that I am a totally hippy homemaker. We will be better off because we have learned that nothing is definite. The best plans in the world can fall apart in a second. But because of that we will cherish the small moments. Like orange fairy wings on the back of a little girl, the pride of finishing a race, a mama sewn skirt, or freshly made apple butter.
So what will 2010 look like? I don't know. But I know that God is good, I have a beautiful family, and a funky little old cottage to call home.