“anything done for the first time releases demons…”

Taken from a blog post of Neil Gaiman’s from the other day. My brain’s been coming back to that phrase as I’ve been pondering my year, as we inevitably do, and mulling over what I’ve learned.

One of my goals for this year was to get better at focusing on and taking care of myself. Progress made? Yeah, a bit. But I’ve also pretty much accepted that I can’t focus on myself and keep the focus there for any major length of time. I do okay, though.

It occurred to me the other day that every year seems to bring with it a new box of “how to be a grown up” to sort through. This year’s learnings include apartment hunting, car buying, layoffs/job hunting using one’s network, adventures in baking, cat husbandry, and babies.

February and August were my most momentous months. In February I moved after six-plus years, and adopted Anatole (aka Barney from the Guelph Humane Society). And just before Valentine’s Day was when I found out about what I would come to call the “nie-phew”, who, in August, showed up in the form of my niece, Cadence. And just a week before her arrival I obtained a new job after having been laid off in June.

Funny, in my head June isn’t one of the big months, despite the layoff and my birthday and the publication of a book I helped bring to fruition.

Speaking of kids, quite a few joined the fray this year. My cousin gave birth on the same day as my niece was born, and several friends had babies. Another is due shortly. Violet and Coffee welcomed their marauding horde, and are finding their stride. Let us hope the honeymoon phase continues. I continue to take care of whomever needs it. šŸ™‚

I stopped volunteering at the Humane Society this year as well. I just didn’t have the motivation to do it anymore. Perhaps that will return some time. I do miss the animals, particularly when Anatole is being excessively A Cat, and I haven’t had much dog time.

Despite my concern, I found that I don’t mind living alone nearly as much as I thought I might. Only sometimes do I find myself lonely (like this evening). But I manage.

France got put on hold once again, due to my job loss and Sherry’s house purchase. Angela’s death in early December, however, cemented our resolve to go, come hell or high water. This will also necessitate another of my goals: better fiscal management. I’ve found myself missing Sydney and San Francisco, too. Two cities worth living in, I guess.

There were engagements, weddings, and separations, both in my immediate sphere and out. I remained a non-member of any of those clubs.

Overall, this was a year of people. Coming in and going out, as they always do. The advent of the Facebook phenomenon whereby anyone from any time in your life can find you (and you them, whether anyone wants it or not). Casting out for help to my network of friends, relatives, ex-co-workers and others and being amazed and strengthened at what came back. And, of course, a few dull to terrible dates that reinforced that I remain an acquired taste, and made me ever the more grateful for those who already love me. šŸ™‚

For some reason a little while ago I was pondering lists of life goals. A few people have blogged such things, which made it occur to me that I didn’t have any. A few things, which I think are good plans and reasonable goals for this year are (in no particular order or for any particular reason):

  • Conquer yeast — never baked with it, but am intrigued… I think bread and sticky buns are reasonable targets.
  • Write something — doesn’t need to be a book, but… something. Sherry and I have seen enough other people doing it, and there’ve been things stuck in my noggin for a long time.
  • Decrease bum width substantially. Three-fold reason for this — Dad is diabetic now, and let’s face it, at my current dimensions I’m not decreasing the odds of joining him. Also, I want to be able to take on anything and everything we want to do in France. And thirdly, I will not EVER AGAIN have the same problem I had on the flights to/from Ireland, where the Air Transat economy seats were just narrow enough to be uncomfortable for the width of my hips. To the point that we had to give up our nice leg room seats on the flight back for slightly wider seats in a regular row because I would have been in considerable pain after the seven-hour flight. (As it was I still had bruising on both hips.) Being fat people doesn’t bother me that often, but times like that are pretty brutal.

Of course, I have other goals, like teaching my niece many wonderful things, and making Gordie a better canine citizen, and getting myself into a position where I look forward to work, but those three are concrete and achievable, so there you go.

Anyway, I started off 2008 with a kiss, followed soon after by curling up with a warm dog. Not a bad way to kick things off.

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