It’s that time again – the time to reflect on the last human notation of time – the year. This past year, to be exact. 2011 under the scope of my brand new shiny, picked-them—up-in-July reading glasses.
The year started off innocuous enough. Working *TSSDJ, grinding out the gears in my personal gerbil wheel, and wondering how to bring it all together. We had hatched a rough plan that by September I would step aside from *TSSDJ, but by Valentine’s Day that was moved up to June because of my eldest daughter’s apartment lease. She was my primary child care, so new arrangements needed to be made. It gave me three less months to put aside resources. As of today, I can feel that lack of preparation, but we’re making do.
In April, my husband and I celebrated 5 years of marriage. Our blended family truly seeming blended after years of work, heartache, joy, pain, defeat and victory.
My father’s cancer resurfaced and there was a mad-dash plan hatched to bring him, my mother, sister and youngest brother to Washington to visit. It was a clan-strengthening move and I’m thrilled they all got the chance to see my urban farm home and glimpse into the people their grandchildren/niece/nephews will become.
Mid year was a time of changes for me and my entire clan. Some folks, as was mentioned this past holiday, are not fond of my use of the term clan. But to me, it’s akin to tribe, which imparts more than just family, especially where the American culture is concerned. Family evokes a scene, to me, where backs can be turned and people left behind. But a clan, you fight for them ala Robin Hood style. That’s how it feels to me. But I digress from the point – reflection on the year.
Yes, changes. No longer do I hold an identity that links me with an entity that people judge me for prior to knowing me. It was scary and freeing all in one and I have no regrets for leaving the corporate world. None. Someone asked me recently if in 2011 I had been: a) Happier b) Thinner or c) Richer. By December I was much happier and thinner, but I was poorer. Sometimes, there are things that money cannot buy.
I also learned about unexpected charity when I did the call out for Operation Baseball. I also set a silent goal that my work would be published before my 11-year-old becomes a pro baseball player. Doable, yes?
Much more doable after receiving my first acceptance for a PAID short story. Yes, friends and clans-members, this little urban farmer writer has a real street-cred publishing success. At Second Glance the 4th Anthology from Gay City Arts came out. You can support me and other emerging and established authors by ordering yours today. Don’t delay. Because, you know, then you can say, “I knew here way back when…”
The summer and fall brought extended illnesses and broken bones for my sons. Both, hopefully have learned a valuable lesson on staying healthy and how that particular life skill is of the utmost importance. We also changed family doctors and the staff of my children’s school really know who I am – especially for my special needs son. A goal of my going to work for myself and stepping away from the proverbial rat race.
On Sept. 8, 2011, I finally secured my Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch University Seattle. I didn’t walk the stage or any of that noise. I just flaunted my degree in my own face once it arrived a few weeks later. The sheepskin sits in a file in my writing desk, a foundation to build upon. I flirt with the idea of doing an MFA, but I want more publishing success before I do that. One day I’m hot for it; the next day it seems like a complete waste of time. Since there is confusion, I’ve passed on applying. I’ll get there in my own time.
The list of ideas, volumes of stories and just sheer creativity swells. I have a list of 34 things I’m focusing on for 2012. As the year progresses, I’ll refer to that list. I hope you’ll be joining me to see them all come to fruition.
Let’s hope the theme for 2012 is that art blossoms and proves a healthy harvest.
*The Soul-Sucking Day Job