Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008: Rewind

So, just a few days from a new year and as usual, I am excited about that shiny, glitter-laden (at least in my mind), January 1.

In last year's 'end of the year post' I wrote this:

If I am able to avoid the e-bay bankruptcy, I have trips with friends, more intense dog training, the start of competing with my own dog, family weddings, and just maybe another marathon in the works. If I'm really lucky I'll get to meet some new people and make some new friends along the way - there's a Bruce Springsteen fan in Austin I'm dying to meet, and a chance I'll be in Austin next fall. And then there's the best part - there's stuff I don't have any idea about that's coming.

I was indeed able to avoid e-bay bankruptcy, albeit barely.

The trip to Hatteras was all I hoped it would be and more. The picture on this post is from our very last day there. I can only tell you that 7 days like that, with those folks could never be enough. Plus, Hatteras was awesome from start to finish.

As for 'more intense dog training' check, and more to come... and oh hell yes, a shiny (first) and new title for the Mojo-dog and I (picture of trial day above!).

I didn't make it to the wedding - my niece had to throw it together very quickly (No, shotguns involved, people, please) her husband was heading off to training - he was an ROTC graduate and they had about 6 weeks from graduation to him being shipped to somewhere, and her needing to be in base housing in ALABAMA. The timing was bad for me, as I had already planned another of those trips with friends.

No marathon this year, but '08 did bring me the return of truly regular running, an introduction and hard and fast love-affair with speedwork, and the loss of 47 lbs. (Thank you Weight Watchers). I'll be looking for 26.2 in '09 because running is so much easier with those lbs behind me (or maybe, no longer BEHIND me -- heh).

I didn't get to Austin, this time it was money that kept me home. While I'm not one of the many dealing with a job loss my purse string grew tight and remain that way. I'll be looking for ways to end that in '09 as well. Cuz, damn., this sucks.

The stuff I didn't see coming.
The biggest, bestest one one has to be the horses. Thanks to a new friend I started riding again after a 17 year hiatus, and taking lessons and jumping, and jumping and jumping. I'm still at it eight months later, and I only know I want more time to do it, more money to spend on it and yes, Santa, a horse for Christmas would be awesome. I've met some wonderful people at the farm, and I have learned so much about myself it's embarassing. When I started riding there I told people it was the only place I didn't think about the problems in my life.
When this wasn't the truth, the horses told me. The horse you are sitting on knows when you are lying, and will show you whether or not you are tense or tired or distracted. These animals respond to the clenching of a buttock, the pressure of a calf, the tightening of a finger on a rein. They know if you're having an off day and will show you what it gets you.
Be here right now, is the lesson. Every time.
It has been an amazing ride, it every sense of the word.

My dad co-wrote a book this year, about the little coal-mining town he grew up in. I can't fully describe how wonderful it was to see this part of Pennsylvania through his eyes. It is likely this book changed something in me. My dad knew from a very young age he never wanted to go into the coal mines, and he worked very hard to get away. To write about this place with such love, and not a hint of bitterness for the father he lost, or the fathers of his friends lost in the mines, to only remember the good people, the good places, it is the definition of peace. I am proud of him.

The not-so-good stuff.
My dad had quadruple bypass surgery this year. The surgery was fine and went as planned, his recovery was really rocky and had prolonged complications that I could have done without.
My mom had a scare as well with anemia and kidney function.
Listen to me universe. It is not okay to screw with both my parents in the same year. BACK UP OFF 'EM.

I lost my friend Dennis this year. I have yet to fully deal with this. I can't erase his phone number from my cell phone. I go to his Police officer memorial page. I think of him randomly. I got a text message from a friend telling me they caught the guys. It helped.

In 2009, I hope to have more of the good, less of the bad, and just plain old hope for the unexpected.

I'd be a fool to hope for a quick cure to the economic trouble the country is facing or for peace in the middle east, for not one more solider to die, or the end to hunger and poverty, a cure for aids, and MS, but I'm going to hope for it anyway.

Happy New Year to all of you.


Mojo said...

All of those are great things to hope for -- foolish or not.

Finally meeting you in the three-dimensional world (without the locusts no less!) was close to the top of my Good Stuff That Happened This Year List. That just confirmed what I already knew... you're good people JC, and I hope 2K9 (Get it? 2 K9? nevermind...) is exactly you want it to be.

Tracy Lynn said...

I heart you, too, Binky. 2009 WILL be better. Or it will have to deal WITH ME.

justrun said...

Great post.
I'm going to hope for it all anyway, too.

Doctor Err said...

they just get better, sister because you've decided they should.

kenju said...

2009 has no where to go but up. It just has to.

Good post - I like retrospectives. Happy New Year!

Maria said...

What a fantastic post. Happiest of New Years to you!!!

utenzi said...

Happy New Year to you also, and your reduced bootie as well. I hope that this year is a wonderful one for you and that your parents both bounce back 100%.

tiff said...

Yeah, Universe, cut it out!

'08 sounds like a real banner year for ya, my friend. Here's to more bannering in '09.

Socttsdale Girl said...

:) 47lbs? You didn't have 47lbs to lose! Are you a skeleton now?


Carmi said...

I'd love to read your dad's work. Where could one find the book?

Praying that your parents' health troubles are behind them. My dad had his first cardiac surgery - also quad-bypass - just over 11 years ago, and it's been a roller coaster ever since. Thankfully, we still have him, but the fear is always there. You are all in my thoughts.