As the current year hobbles frailly to whatever afterlife years have, it’s time for me to join billions of others in the annual rite of passage of being introspective and musing over the highs and lows of the past year and trying to decipher what, if anything, they mean.
Without further ado, I give you my verdict on 2011: It sucked.
I don’t mean to be so dark and cynical; I had optimism this time last year that 2011 would be better than 2010, but the universe laughed and proved me wrong literally on January 1 when Jimmy and I woke up with colds/flu that kept us home from work the first two working days of the year. And it went downhill from there with a speed that would be fascinating if it weren’t happening to you.
- Jimmy’s father was diagnosed with Stage 4 gastric cancer and died suddenly a month later
- Colds and illness for all three of us throughout the year including croup for Daniel and the two month flu/sinus infection/bronchitis hell that was our Autumn
- The beginning of job uncertainty for Jimmy as his employer “merges” with another company
- Friends moving on (no longer my coworker) and away (to Florida)
- Preschool woes and the beginning of worry about what’s normal for my toddler
- Worrisome and expensive pet illnesses
- A speeding ticket
- An infestation of carpet beetles and/or moths that have eaten several suits and sweaters in our closet
- Jimmy’s grandmother being diagnosed with a gall bladder blockage, then pancreatic cancer. Chemo before and after successful surgery to remove the cancer. Then the discovery of a bladder polyp which is likely cancerous because they usually are. Sudden bouts of extreme confusion, lethargy and unconsciousness and several hospitalizations. This is where we are now. She was taken to the hospital two days after we celebrated Christmas, comatose and is still there. It might be a stroke. It might be a heart attack.
2011: A Few Bright Spots
- I graduated from grad school after 5 years!
- I still have a job
- I started blogging again
- I had a conference proposal accepted and will be heading to Florida in May 2012
- Seeing Daniel’s face light up on Christmas morning when he saw the train table Santa brought him
- Jimmy and I celebrating our 10th anniversary in December
- The stunning and awe-inspiring strength displayed by Jimmy’s tiny grandmother over and over as she encountered another hurdle in her recovery
I think it is safe for me to declare 2011 an awful year despite some wonderful things that happened, but I wouldn’t change anything about 2011. I believe that life happens how it happens and no one is owed or promised sunshine and roses; it is how you respond to it that matters. I can acknowledge that it was a really bad year with a lot of terrible events, but I hope that each one has acted as a crucible to make us stronger.
I started this post yesterday, and it would have been a lot darker, but I feel more at peace and with a tiny glimmer of hope for 2012. Jimmy’s grandmother is now breathing on her own and awake. We’ve been down this road before, but for now, maybe it’s enough.
I make no resolutions other than to be mindful and kiss my guys. We know too well how quickly things can turn to crap, and I want us to enjoy each other and each moment.
Good bye, 2011. Perhaps 2012 will be peaceful after all.