Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Condensed Year-In-Review

I've contemplated doing this post for a while. Mainly, since New Year's when it would have made more sense, not at the end of January. So much has changed. There's been good and bad; emotional ups and downs. But I've been kind of forced to journal lately and it's reminded me how therapeutic writing can be. I want to make time for it - I need to make time for it. So, though I could write a book on this past year I'm going to give brief bulleted highlights. I'm trying to move on and not dwell. I also think I've been away from blogging so long none of my family will read this anymore, unless I tell them I've posted, which I won't.
  • Sis got married to the right man this time. I cried a lot before her first wedding and not out of happiness. This time I cried out of happiness. He completes her and makes her whole. I have a relationship with my sis I never thought I'd have. We talk now and don't fight. We support each other. I can cry on her shoulder. She's confident enough now with who she is that she isn't defensive all the time which makes it easier to talk. At her wedding the MC came up to me and asked if I would like to give a speech. I hadn't planned it. I had nothing written down, but looked at Sis and said "Sure, why not." So I spoke and brought the room to tears, including myself and sis. It was a speech for BIL (brother-in-law) not so much for Sis. I spoke from the heart, things I've felt for a long time and how he changed both of our lives for the better. I love him for what he's done for her, and me, and for how much he loves her.
  • Last winter we went through Snowpocalypse. It was ridiculous. I've never seen anything like it, the city was so disorganize and unprepared.
  • I've been to Atlanta several times this past year. All of the conferences I need to go to seem to be down there all the time. I like Atlanta, don't get me wrong. But part of the fun of traveling is getting to go different places, not the same place every time. And part of the fun of going down south is that it's warmer than up here but every time I've been down there it's had the same weather.
  • I reached my breaking point last year with Fiance. I've spent a lot of time getting strong enough emotionally to let go of him and our dreams. I no longer could handle the drinking. I wasn't happy, he wasn't happy, we were making each other miserable. It wasn't a good life. I was done. He entered out patient rehab for alcohol abuse in October and finished a couple weeks ago. Today he's been sober 112 days and we're dealing with the aftermath of years of emotional abuse. I'm in therapy and so is he. I've spent so many years pretending everything is OK to the outside world that it's hard to get it out and I need to get it out if we're to have any chance of making it. Hence the journaling I mentioned above. It's an order from my therapist because it's almost impossible for me to verbalize. So, we're working on it one day at a time.
  • My Omate was hired 50% on my part of the Grant. I had a talk with Boss about my job and how I have way too much admin stuff to do. I'm getting bored with my job. So we hired her to help so I can focus more on the research aspect. We get along fantastic and are great friends. We have complimentary skills, she enjoys the admin part and I enjoy the research part. She keeps me organized.
  • I got a second job at OnlineU. I always stayed away from online universities but because a couple friends of mine work for different ones I've gained a greater understanding and appreciation. I'm teaching various classes in the biological sciences and the first term just ended last week. I've always enjoyed teaching but I'm honestly surprised at how much I love this venue. I think I'm interacting more with my students in the online arena than in person. For in person classes I may only see my students during class time. For OnlineU I have to interact with them all week long, not just during the synchronous, live, once a week seminar. I really get to know them quickly. I've changed some perceptions about science. I get an amazing feeling of satisfaction teaching them why biology is important in their lives, that it may be hard but they can do it. And to have students tell me they've enjoyed my class, learned a lot, and what they've learned makes a difference in their lives - well, nothing compares to that. My grandma always said I had a God given gift to teach, to get people to understand concepts, to break down complicated things and make them easier to understand. I always thought I did, but now I really believe it. The next term begins next week and I teach two classes this term.
  • Fiance and I decided to move. We can't stand our landlord and I'm tired of living in the city. It's a nice neighborhood, but it's still in the city. It will make my commute to work longer but it will be worth it. Fiance's will be shorter. We had wanted to rent a house, something stand alone with a yard for gardening however we ended up with a townhouse. I'm actually moving into a place owned by one of my friends. She and her husband wanted to move closer to where they work and they knew S and I were looking. It makes their lives easier because they dont' have to sell it now, and it makes my life easier because I know my landlords and they don't care about my pets. She knows I take care of them, they're behaved and don't do damage. It's great having someone who doesn't care about my pets. We can even get a dog later if we want to.
  • I got a car and his name is Stewart. I've been told by many people I had to name it and that's what fit. It was my aunts and she finally decided to sell it to me. For super cheap too. That's part of the reason we decided it was a good time to move. I now have a car to commute. Well, it's a small AWD SUV, not a car.
  • I started Weight Watchers (WW) this past week. I used to do it. I had even lost 43 pounds but then, as happens, life got in the way. Dealing with personal things became more important than tracking what I was eating. I'm a stress eater so it hasn't been good. Now, I'm trying to focus more on myself.
  • We rescued two black and white dutch bunnies. It was unplanned. My not-so-bright neighbors (and know I'm usually very generous with people but in the case trust me that the statement is well earned) had them but they were neglected and abused. I made up a story and talked them into selling them to me. They are a source of constant entertainment. All they want is to be petted and fed and they're happy. They usually want petted more than they want fed.
  • I'm still the Project Director for the Grant at the NewCen, though that's not my official title it's what everyone call me and it matches my responsibilities. My responsibilities have grown immensely, hence the need for additional help. I enjoy my job. My boss appreciates me and most of the time I get along with my colleagues. I'm still the only PhD that works here so my position and responsibilities are unique. I've been added to another grant, which I'll call Grant2. I love it and can't wait to get more into the research.
  • DH and Setta are doing good. DH still takes his heart meds and we're still trying to find cat food that helps both DH's hairball problem and Setts's sensitive stomach. I am so sick of cleaning up vomit.
  • I've decided to take up crochet. We'll see how it goes. I might be too much of a perfectionist for it to work.
  • Now that I have a car I can truly be active in my local CART (County Animal Response Team). I'm looking forward to being more and more involved.
I'm sure there's stuff I've missed but all this is a lot anyway.

So I'm finally getting my life back together after earning my degree. First, the job. Then when I was OK with work I was mentally prepared to focus on my personal life. Life is getting better in all areas. The future is uncertain. I don't think too far ahead any more. Life is day by day, but I can't complain too much because it's getting better.

1 comment:

  1. I just started reading this blog, but I wanted to let you know that I think it is awesome that you are getting your life back together and that there seem to be a lot of positive things occurring in your life. I think that therapy and writing are great ways to talk through problems that seem impossible to talk about. I went through therapy about 5 years ago for something that happened when I was a child and there were many days in the beginning where I just sat there. I chose to go, but I didn't know what to say or how to say it. Fortunately, it got easier for me.

    Also, I just started WW in January if you need a buddy :) I find the new program really easy to follow so far and it seems really healthy to me.

    I look forward to reading your blog and getting to know you through the blogosphere.

    So although we just met (I hope you don't think this is weird since we just met), I'm sending you hugs of support.