Reflecting back on 2009, I see that the year started with all the promise of the fattest pig at a county fair. After all, the house was still standing and the tribe was in reasonably good health. In truth, when compared to 2008, the year ahead looked mighty fine indeed.
But, like that pig at the fair, the blue ribbon is all well and good but in the end, you find yourself in a skillet (I really do see a vegetarian diet in my future)!
In my work, I had a fresh slate to work with. After dismal sales in 2008, I was off to a fresh start. I worked diligently to bring my numbers up and succeeded (though my end-of-year numbers are a bit sketchy!). I spent a lot of hours working and a lot of time away from my family. That just makes me sad. I know I would make a stunning stay-at-home millionaire if someone would just hand me the check!
The dear hubs also found success at work though it to came at a price. His price tag? Dealing with an absolute psycho. What should have been an open and shut home sale turned into a fiasco with a listing agent who I truly think had a mental disorder. I inspected my hubs when he got home at the end of each day to make sure his hide was still intact. The deal finally closed escrow and we finally got paid but it took months of agony and headaches to get it done.
In March, I competed in my first duathlon and had my first mammogram. The duathlon was called the "Spring Fling" and it took place on the most miserable day of the year. Rain poured out of the sky. The 400 entrants had dwindled to less than 100. I admit...I made the choice to compete. And, I didn't come in dead last...that honor went to the poor girl who got a flat tire on her bike and had trouble fixing it. I learned that there is a HUGE difference between a road bike and a mountain bike...guess which heavy, metal disaster I was riding. And, I learned that it is very hard to run in the mud...not just because the mud is slippery but because it cakes to your shoes so that you feel like you are running on stilts. I also learned that "playing" in a rainstorm is rewarded with a nasty sinus infection. So nasty it grosses out children.
About the mammogram, I just have to wonder why that upper plate on "The Squisher" is clear plastic? There are few things more horrifying that seeing one's boob completely smashed like roadkill (yep, back to the veggie diet)!
The summer was a nice change of course. We enjoyed a lot of family time and spent a vacation camping at the coast. Our camp was invading nightly by - according to legend - a 65-pound raccoon. I believe that first night we determined that the thing weighed 35 pounds but he has grown considerably as the story has been retold. The first night that bandit absconded with my best Tupperware which was pack full of brownies. The Tupperware was saved but the brownies, though untouched by the raccoon, had lost their appeal. It was our first adventure camping in our four person tent. With two small children we realized a bigger tent must be planned for in the future and that one bag of clothes is not enough for children who seem to have a magnetic pull toward the ocean waves.
In August, Mitchell started Kindergarten. He couldn't be happier to have finally achieved "Big Boy" status. Miss Ellie? Not so much. She was inconsolable. Mitchell had left her behind at preschool and her little heart was crushed. I took her to enjoy a Mommy and Ellie manicure and pedicure but the blues still weighed on her. After many tears and devastating morning drop-offs, Ellie finally accepted that it was what it was and set herself to being a successful preschooler.
We are winding up the year a bit weather-beaten. The kids fell ill with some nasty bugs and I found myself sick with the swine flu (that county pig!). We have struggled this year with finances in a bleak economy. But, have found that time and time again, God has been watching out for us. We settled our backsides into the skillet right before Thanksgiving but received the grace of our health being restored and a little kicker from work to make ends meet. So, we escaped the cooking, just like Wilbur in Charlotte's Web.
I guess that 2009 wasn't all bad. It was, however, challenging. I am not sorry to see it go. I look to 2010 with a hopeful heart and a lot of optimism. When things look bleak my son's words echo in my ears. Once, after falling down, Mitchell sprang to his feet and declared, "That's OK! My spirits are still up!" So, it is with those words I shall look to the New Year. 2009 may have knocked me down (better than knocked me up!) but I look to 2010 with my spirits still up!