Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Passing of Time...

Some years seem uneventful when glanced from a distance - I can remember much about 2005 (good, bad, good, bad, good), but there are few noteworthy moments from 2006 and 2007. Yes, they had a couple of wonderful trips and memories made, but those are just a few days of each year. 2008 has proven to be a memorable year.

As far as finances, I'm much poorer at the end of this year than when I started. Buying a house will do that to you. I'm much richer in my home life though - having a home will do that to you as well. I love my house, truly, madly, and deeply. I'm thrilled that my basement holds heat and my scrapping area is cozy and inviting. I'm adoring trips to IKEA for fun, albeit tricky, bits of furniture that have come to adorn my rooms.

I found that I enjoy gardening this year. Walking outside to check the green beans put a smile on my face each day this past summer. Mowing the lawn isn't even that much of a chore - self-propelled lawn mowers are a blessing. The spots of dirt next to the steps were perfect for flowers and walking around the farmer's market picking them out was a happy experience that I loved sharing with my mom.

At the beginning of the year, I made a couple of goals. Not New Year's resolutions, but just goals. I wanted to buy a house (check!) and I wanted to FINALLY finish my degree. Eleven years after graduating high school, I found my self a college graduate. The look of pride on my dad's face when he held my diploma was worth all the extra work on projects and stress of poor learning groups. I have yet to decide what to do with the degree, but I made it. In a few years, I may consider graduate school - if only to say I did it. It is weird not going to class (online) anymore, but it is also nice to have completed my education.

In the late summer, our family lost a beloved family member. Our dog of 16 years, Chip, left us and I'm still having trouble with that fact. As odd as it seems, I've been very private with how much this hurts. Losing him is probably the closest I've ever come to depression and I'm still in mourning over him. Mom got another dog shortly after - a beautiful female Corgi who needed to be rescued and deserves a happy, loving home. She is a darling - a princess to say the least - but she is not Chip and I don't have a connection with her like I did with him. Chip was the happiest, nicest, and most selfless being I've ever known. He had such joy in just being able to make you smile - I admired that and will always miss him. It is just really hard knowing that I'll never hold him again and never get to scratch his back again.

During the year, I went to the doctor a couple of times for this shoulder pain I've experienced for the last year and a half. What a waste of money that was. The second doctor, the one who actually bothered to do x-rays, prescribe some muscle relaxants, and refer me to a physical therapist was slightly more interested in the problem than the first guy (who may or may not have been 12), but none of those things actually relieved the pain. I'm coming to believe the problem may be a side effect of spending 6 days a week in a bowling alley for my high school years. The type of injury I'm experiencing would make sense, but I still have no clue how to make the pain disappear. I have a funny story to share about my mom's advice, but it is more suited for a post of its own. Pretty soon.

Work has been work this year. Nothing really exciting, but that's how life can go sometimes. Our department is constantly changing, which can be interesting, but also can be tedious. There are moments that make me proud and moments that don't. I don't have much else to say about the work front.

Vacations brought opportunities for pretty pictures this past year. In March, DM and I headed to Duluth for a couple of days. We managed to not lose any fingers or toes to frostbite, but we may think twice next time we decide to watch a sunrise over a frozen Great Lake when it is below zero Fahrenheit. Yeah, we're crazy.

In September, I went on the second annual trip with my mom. We stayed a little closer to home this time and found ourselves in Chicago for the week. Chicago is a great city - lots to do and see. I was thrilled with the trip and enjoyed spending the time with my mom.

I hope that 2009 brings happiness to everyone. Life has wonderful moments that we need to appreciate and savor. I wish moments that take your breath away in a positive surprise. I hope for days that stand out because of wonderful moments to each person. Best wishes for 2009.