December 30, 2010

The week between Christmas and New Year's has always been one of contemplation, reflection, and usually depression. Have I grown in the past year? Have I accomplished anything? I gave up New Year's resolutions several years ago, but never gave up the end of year scrutiny. That scrutiny was always harsh, and ultimately unproductive. This year has that same sorrow, but I think I'm a bit more realistic in the review. It's been a very hard year in a lot of ways, but there is good mixed in there, making the pain worthwhile.

Both my boys are now moved out and moved on. One is in Germany, one on the other side of town. I'm still adjusting to the joys and sorrows of an empty nest. That nest also happens to be completely and utterly underwater. I read somewhere that the housing crisis did not hit my area, but it certainly hit my neighborhood. I paid almost $50K for a little 2-bedroom condo in 2001. When I tried to refinance my mortgage earlier this year, it was appraised at >$20K. I heard someone sold theirs for $1,200 a few months back. This isn't a huge issue right this minute (other than paying interest over 2x the current rate). It does, however, push out plans to move in with Superman once we get both our houses sold and find one we both like (he doesn't like mine, I don't like his). It may be another 5 years before we can both get our houses in shape and sold, so we can move on with our personal plans.

This year I was fired from a company that at one time liked me enough to hire me back, after I left in 2002. I haven't been fired since I was 16 and lied about being on break at Corn Dog on a Stick. This time, I found myself on the wrong side of a person who had no problem blaming me for her mistakes, in an effort to look perfect for the decision makers. I understand, had she been held to the same measure she held me, she would also be out of a job. I understand the person I replaced was in the same position, and only avoided being fired by finding another job first. I understand the person who replaced me is also having issues. This has been a difficult adjustment, but in the end I believe it's actually for the best. I no longer have the stress of working with an unreasonable person who expects perfection, without knowing what results equal said perfection until I'd somehow managed to come close.

I was already working on a degree that would allow me to change careers. Jobless, I can now focus more fully on that degree. As this is an on-line degree with no real-life experience to show on my resume, I'm also working toward a certification I hope will open the doors I need. I will have to do some fast talking. I will have to start near the bottom. It's worth it though, as this is the field I've wanted to be in since I started working for corporate America. Both degree and certificate will be complete in 2011.

Jobless, I can help my parents fix their house, which has severe water damage and is in varying stages of repair. They've put on a new roof and windows, but my father is not as strong as he once was, and the interior job is daunting. So far we have completely remodeled the 3rd floor. He had the walls stripped and replaced several years ago, but with declining health and depression over the market never finished the job. I helped scrape, mud, paint, and replace the flooring. We've moved on the 2nd floor bathroom, which was left as unfinished drywall something like 6 years ago. Again, the job was too big for my father alone. I spent 2 weeks sanding and mudding, sanding and mudding to get everything smooth. I sanded and stained the woodwork. This past week we papered. We still have to level the floor and lay tile. We will then move on to bedrooms, all of which need ceiling and plaster work before paint. If I were working right now, I would not be able to spend this time with my parents, and I'm not sure how they would get the work done.

This year also started my running career. I'd run off and on, a month here and there, over the past few years. It wasn't until I signed up for a race that something clicked and I started running regularly. I've been sidelined for the past 2 months with hip and knee issues, but I still have races to run. I've given up on the February trail race, but am signing up for the Y so I can work out in the pool until my hip and knee can support running again. I have races on the calendar for April and May, and fully expect to toe those lines.

This year I also started blogging again, and found a world of insight and encouragement I hadn't found in all my previous attempts. This is officially the longest I've ever blogged continuously, and I fully intend to continue into the new year.

I don't have resolutions for 2011, but I do have goals. Yes, I'd like to eat healthier. Yes, I'd like to lose weight. These are not on the top of my list, and I know if I achieve other goals, these too will come. This year, my goals are to finish my degree and certification, and to get a job in the field of my choice. To help my parents finish remodeling their house. To race several months out of the year, and hopefully to PR. They are modest and achievable goals, built on plans already in progress. Come this time next year, I will have concrete accomplishments to list. That's the plan.

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome to 2011.


BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

I hope your new year brings you peace and joy!

misszippy said...

You have a great attitude about your job--the right answer is out there, I'm sure. Good luck with 2011!

Megan Colyer said...

Dear ShebaJC,
I’ve been following your blog and have noticed you write about all the craziness of life and over coming obstacles.

The reason I'm leaving you a comment is that I'm the intern for, and I am looking for bloggers who might be interested in guest writing on our site. Could we feature you? We work with talented writers and bloggers to build a network of stories, crossing all stages of life, that will help make the world a better place, and I think our readers would gain a lot from your life perspective.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration and I look forward to hearing from you if you are interested. My email is Thanks!