So terribly sorry to be so scarce in recent months. Life continues apace and wildly busy, at that.
Taking stock of 2013, QEII said it best when she said 1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. Probably six or more months of the year were spent in a relative fog following my December 2012 maxillary osteotomy. I wasn't in pain, but I had no idea of the general malaise one feels after protracted general anaesthesia. A wise man told me a good rule of thumb is about one month to recover per hour you were under, so that was 7+ in my case. Mind you, I'm so glad I had that surgery - the repair of the deviated septum in itself was worth the attendant inconveniences and discomfort, but it comes at a price. Then again, not a day goes by without great gratitude that my teeth fit together and really work properly for the first time. I wear my retainers at night religiously, and after years of my teeth not resting comfortably together in any position, my jaw hinges (and ear) no longer have a constant ache. Nice!
I have to say a hearty thanks again to my lovely parents for their kind and constant caring for me after the surgery. Because of the bones in my face re-knitting, it was important that I have peace, quiet and no dogs jumping into my face, so for three weeks I stayed there from December 13 into January. Mom lovingly Alpo-ized my food in a food processor when I was finally off liquids-only. Dad drove me hither and yon, and they generally waited on me hand and foot. Dad also sweetly didn't watch the screaming stock-market guy much, so that helped me heal!
Also much gratitude goes to Himself for keeping my home fires burning and being constant attendant to the sweet puppies, who I'm sure were sad and bewildered that I abandoned them. It must have seemed a very long time to them, and when I came home, they were amazingly careful with me-- they seemed to instantly recognize something was fragile about me, and they were quiet and lovingly snuggly. Himself was and has ever been supportive and helpful, and he's such a lovely gentleman. :)
Thank you for your constant friendship to my dear, dearest Lin. If they kept therapy tabs on friendships, I'd be found deeply in your debt. Your encouragement has been a great help to me in keeping on point with my school goals.
Upon return to work after the surgery, I was very discontent with the job and when I went full time to school in the Fall, I reduced hours to one day per week, but issues at the job (and not the work itself) continued to plague and leaving at the end of October was the best possible thing I could have done for myself. Ironically, shortly after leaving that job, I got a call to go to work at as a part-time/relief dispatcher at a small PD in the area, and I'm still in training, but I love it. The town is very quiet and I'll be able to get in at least a few hours of actual study time per shift. The people there are fantastic, too, and it seems the perfect fit, if I am to work while continuing school.
School finished up last semester with me solidly in the middle of the pack, to my satisfaction. Nursing school is one of those endurance situations where you just need to tuck your chin and hang with the big dogs and cross the finish line. I learned from a fellow student who failed the semester that she was one of 10% of our class who flunked the first semester.
Yup. Middle of the pack is good enough. I do hope to do better this semester, though.
The puppies have all been in fine fettle for 2013, and there were no snakebites and no splodey-butt trips to the vet, thank goodness. Mochi has discovered how to plunder Mummy's handbag for verboten treasures on which to munch, so I have to be more careful where I leave that thing! Mochi is mellowing a bit and seems to be less traumatized with time. Her early puppy-hood was one of abuse and neglect, so I'm thankful for her to be feeling more safe and secure. She is a little urchin, but never lost her joy in spite of whatever ills befell her before. She has a fine spirit. Chuy is looking skinny to me, but Himself insists that Chuy is just less fat. I take umbrage at this mis-characterization of Chuy's fine physique. Thick or thin, Chuy is my love-lump. I have come to recognize that Praline is a Momma's Girl, and it really touches my heart, because she is such a perfect little specimen that she looks like a toy, and it's easy to forget she has emotions when she is such a marvel of a squirrel-killing machine. One week this Spring, Praline killed a squirrel every day. I'd let her out the back door and in she'd come 60 seconds later with a carcass, dripping scarlet on the yellow linoleum. *sigh* Praline had a fracas with a cat in the yard and then under the house, and the poor varmint died under the house this Fall. Up under the house. Too far under the narrow crawl space to be reached. Joy. The stink abated more quickly than I dared hope for, and fortunately Praline didn't conclude the event with an eyeball dangling from a socket. I felt awful about the cat, and I'm not thrilled for her to be a cat killer. I love my little dogs so very much. They are content and exuberant, and daily illustrate for me that joy may be found in most of life's moments, if one but seeks it.
Several lovely friends came to town last weekend and I had a splendid time visiting and catching up. I was very sad not to go to Blogorado this year, but one thing I've discovered is that with school being as intense and stressful as it is, my immune system becomes depressed rather easily, and travel compounds this issue, so I'll be laying low as much as necessary to survive the coming 4 semesters. It was painful and sad, but the right decision for that moment.
I've gotten a lot of rearranging and organizing done in the past few weeks. I've ticked nearly all my priority items off the list for MUST DO during the break, and I plan to get the final two completed by Sunday evening. I feel that I'm poised for a more successful semester with my home much more organized, and my feathers seem much less ruffled. I cleaned my car out for the first time since (not exaggerating) summer of 2012. There wasn't a lot of garbage in there, but things like coats, scarves, bits and bobs picked up at yard sales and stuff for the recycle bin and charity bin. It feels very good to clear the decks and feel less crowded in by clutter.
I'm always going to default to a sort of clean clutter/semi-chaotic atmosphere, with all my projects and momentary fancies erupting all over the place, but my ardent hope is that having home a little more organized will help me to focus my energies on studies and to make productive use of my time. By the end of this weekend, I'll have kicked a bunch more stuff to the curb. WOOHOO!
I'm not optimistic about what's going on in our culture and country for 2014, but I am personally optimistic for myself. I figure it's that act-locally equation, and I'll just to the best I can do with the resources at my disposal, and that will have to count as my contribution to making the world a better place. I often think of how we run on rails in life, how we have to function within the constructs of society, and I wonder when are the perfect moments to flout convention. This is why I wear obnoxious shoes. Life is too short to dumb it down and hide it under a bushel.
I want to extend my gratitude to the folks who keep coming to my blog, be you a commenter, friend or lurker. I appreciate that you find something to enjoy here. My blog has always been for myself and a way of marking my moments since I started it in 2002. I never imagined so many folks would find something to merit frequent visits here, and I'm honored by your time and attention.
Thank you, truly.
They say that any year you walk away from is a good year.
Yeah: pretty good year.
Wishing you and all your dear ones much health and many blessings for 2014. Make the most of your moments. I intend to.