Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review

Time for my annual New Year’s Eve post…wherein I do the “year in review” by publishing the first couple of lines from the first post of each month of the year.  I decided to do the first paragraphs this time around, since some of the first lines were no more than a couple of words and were rather cryptic.

So here it is…my 2012 in review.  With pertinent year-end comments in the margins, so to speak…

January--It’s happening. I’m beginning to brush up against the downside of the aging process. The everyday aches and pains; the capacity for the mere sight of a bowl of pasta to instantaneously expand my waistline; getting on a train of thought only to have it de-rail, mid-ride. Still, I’ve earned my stripes. I don’t believe I would trade these badges of honor for the opportunity to go back twenty years. Except for one thing: Let’s call it the “Time-Compression(ish) Phenomenon.” That quality of advancing age that makes days, weeks, months, years fly by ever faster. What I wouldn’t give to have two weeks seem like more than the wink of an eye; to have a month be long enough to plan, anticipate, execute and savor. ANYTHING.  (Boy, the holidays flew past in a blur!)

February--They say life is a refining process. Theoretically, the older you get, the more you have learned. The more you can apply past experience; perhaps even use what you know to create a better life, going forward. “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better.” I wish it was that simple.  (Whining…)

March--This morning I got to indulge in my fair-weather morning ritual for the first time in 2012: I took my coffee out to my greenhouse “deck” (a collection of old warehouse pallets covered with wood scraps) and let the morning sun revitalize my vitamin D-starved self from the outside while the coffee did its work from the inside.  (Yay!  Spring!)

April--I rose late this morning, since one of my hormonally triggered bouts of consciousness at a less slackerly hour had informed me that “bright and early” was not going to be a concept congruent to the weather. Tousled blankets and a lumpy pillow won out over greeting the gray and drippy dawn.  (Whining again!)

May--I find I don’t have a lot to say these days. I think my brain is on vacation…I did so much thinking and ruminating and analyzing earlier this year that I just had to…quit. Step back for awhile.  (I’m tired of writing and no one is reading anyway… Oh, Waaa!)

June--Looking back on my writings of discovery, I am surprised to see that it has been well over two years since I began to move in a seriously shamanistic direction. One of the first encounters I wrote about here was with “Elk.” Back in March of 2010. I noted that I had been visited by elk in unusual numbers, in unusual places for several months. My research uncovered that visitation by Elk bade one to “stand strong with pride.” And that Elk’s main attributes included stamina and strength. (Well, at least this one isn’t a whiner…)

July--Now that I have set myself the task of using my own story to demonstrate the abuses suffered by middle class Americans, I find that I have an entire notebook full of experiences at hand to illustrate my point. To avoid overwhelming my intrepid readers, this has sorted itself into a series of posts. Let’s call this first installment “The Erosion/Disappearance of Middle Class Employment;” as illustrated by the saga of the Little PDX Pillow Factory, at which my husband has worked since 1994.  (More than half past the year and we finally get a dose of some political commentary!)

August--Back to enjoying my home and yard after another ten-day stint away. This time, I was in Lane County tending to the Scandinavian Festival and its attendant folderol. My high hopes for the event were unfulfilled, at least from a fiscal standpoint. But as I dejectedly ruminated over this on Sunday evening, a little voice in my head whispered, “Remember: Money isn’t everything…!” and I realized that not only were the husband and I still speaking, but we appeared to be cooperating and enjoying each other’s company. Trust me—this is not a state in which we have found ourselves when engaged together in any undertaking, for a really, really long time. It was…nice.  (Hmmm…maybe hubs and I might like each other again?)

September--In reference to that resume I lately lamented having had to revive:  I’ve sidled up to this job-hunt thing in an anything but conventional way. I’ll confess: As much as I’ve declared my intention to embrace the “p” word (pro-active) when it comes to obtaining an income, I’m still half in love with the idea of the Universe dropping a job in my lap if It really wants me to have one. By way of making some move in the “right” direction, I have conceded to perusing craigslist once a day. If I find a posting that even remotely appeals, I copy and paste the contents of my resume into the “respond to this post” email and hit “send.” No niceties, no research, no painstakingly crafted cover letter. Just, “Here it is. You’re interested, or you’re not.”  (Nope….I really DON’T want a job.)

October--Last week, my little campsite seemed to be located in the middle of an “Ax Men” set. (Much of the footage for this reality show is shot around these very parts.) Every morning, as I sat outside with my coffee watching the birds, a parade in celebration of the logging trade took place up and down Highway 47. Empty log trucks flew past from the north, and trucks laden with piles of fresh logs chugged up from the south. The logs were headed, I believe, for the port at Longview, where they are then shipped to the Far East. In their raw state. So we send both our logs AND our jobs to China and Japan. A pretty crappy deal, really.  (Musings from the woods.)

November--Anyone carrying this picture in her sidebar for four years would certainly be expected to have something to say about the 2012 election results. So I will not disappoint…  This year, I made a tacit agreement with myself to keep as far away from campaign coverage as I could possibly get—from the primaries to the conventions and through the nationally televised stump-speech duels erroneously billed as “debates.” If I’ve learned nothing else from closely following the two presidential elections previous to this one, I’ve learned to loathe the hype and mistrust the fickle whims of the American electorate—or at least as those whims are reported by our intrepid sensation-starved media.  (On the ONE GREAT THING that happened this year…)

December--So many things that were imperatives not long ago, just don’t feel very important any more. The election is over, the post-election wailing and gnashing of teeth have subsided (well, at least I’m not paying attention to it any more…) Peace inhabits a corner of my life that was decidedly NOT peaceful a few short weeks ago. Perhaps it was the last little corner of non-peace in my life. Because once the ripples from that last rock thrown into the pond dissipated, peace spread across and throughout my life.  (The calm before the AR-15 storm…)

I started out with fourteen posts in January of this year, and petered out to three in November.  For the moment, anyway, blogging has taken a vastly different place in my life than it had occupied for more than nine years before that.  In fact, writing of any kind has kind of lost its luster.  I don't know if it's that I've lost my muse or I've lost my passion.  I do my best writing from a position of passion, and I just can't muster up a whole lot of that elusive commodity about anything these days.  I want to hope this is just a temporary thing.  I need to scrape together a pile of new reasons to write, and maybe a pile of new experiences to write about.  Hoping to apply myself to these tasks in 2013.

Until then...

Happy New Year, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Writing ebbs and flows in me too - and sometimes I am just too busy to take the time it takes me to write something. And anyway, whenever I try to write something of real substance, aside from a light reflection on my life, no one (except maybe you) comments. So writing is an odd expereince indeed, one inwhich I too wonder why, and what. It was interesting to read your year in review. I may try to do something like this, too. Or maybe not, I'll be in the car all day today returning our daughter's dog to her and tomorrow back to work with newsletter articles to write and and a funeral to plan (parishioner died last night) goes on.

    New Year blessings to you!