(Not my photo. Duh. Grabbed it on-line.)
I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood. ~Calvin (Bill Watterson)
I'm just going to let it all out right here and now. This year was awful. It followed directly on the heels of a pretty bad 2009. But, 2010 was looking promising. I mean, really... how much more could we handle?
I'd say that the elimination of Jason's job was the catalyst of the train-wreck, but I don't know that to be true. It just happens to fall at the beginning of the longest year! When we knew his job was ending, we prayed and planned and prayed some more. Neither of us were worried. We had a plan. He's capable & educated. Time off & a new career? Surely this was a disguised blessing.
If so, we're sick of being blessed. 6 months of unemployment to end up with a less than desirable job dropping new issues on our doorstep. Thousands spent on fixing up the house to sell, just to have it sit in this dormant market. Hundreds of resumes/ applications sent on both of our behalves with so little response, I'm beginning to wonder what pox has been visited upon us! An emergency fund and retirement account depleted just to survive. Here we are... more than 9 months later. It's bad. And, I just am no longer optimistic that my life will return to "normal."
Could it get worse? Oh, sure. I do know what other life-altering events could be just around our corner. How dare I question this year's trials when real sadnesses mark the days of last year for many of our friends. Complaining seems sinful: just one more thing I'm failing at these days.
Will it get better? Of course. It always does. But my conversations with God aren't so sure. I'm scared that the life I never took for granted will not be returned to me. I miss it so.
Is this my fault? This is what I struggle with most. Did I not take care of the gifts I've been given? Have I placed too much faith in my own abilities and my own plans? Have I not planned well enough?
Let me say, all of this stress has sandwiched a year full of joyful things. I could list happiness from each month with pure exuberance! My friends & family have had remarkable joys and we've had many as well. Nevertheless, I have neglected so much to give so much attention to the ongoing crisis at hand...
So, as the new year is arriving, I am not optimistic. Nor, am I pessimistic. I just am. We have 365 days until 2012. I wonder what they hold for us. I pray that this time next year, I'll be able to announce some great lesson learned. Stay tuned...