December 31st, 2011

made for greatness, greatness

The End, The Beginning

So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self-assigned pennance
For problems with easy solutions

I've spent most of the day in disbelief - one more day left of the year and I feel so... lost somehow. Not lost in a bad, forlorn way, but as if the year had gone without being charted, without my taking a mould of its face as it perished as I have so often done before, in the same way that several cultures throughout history have made masks of their dead to preserve their memory. This is in large part due to my having blogged little this year, and the lions share of the reason for that was since I did less with friends than usual, besides my dearest now husbanded friend, and most of my time is immortalized in the photographs I have taken - the record I usually take for myself now lies outside myself, a record of other people's lives - and that is perhaps a positive thing, as my days of constant introspection have been tamed somewhat. I am become rather mellowed with these passing years. I was noticing the change not long after University, my harshness has been fading steadily since then - hard to believe that I graduated nearly four years ago now and life has swiftly passed. Married now over a year and a half, and looking forward to the two year mark with pleasure, as it will mean we are nearing the end of the educational journey that has taken us across a province and to the upper (or should I say lower) reaches of our ability to cope with the lack of money.

What I Have Done

My normal method of the year-in-review process has been looking back at what I wrote, both on LiveJournal and in increasing amounts, Facebook status posts, which I tend to use sparingly but for important moments. This is going to be a bit of a slim pickings year for LJ, but the introduction of Facebook timeline is likely to make its use even more pronounced in the year-end process. For tonight as I write this, I was considering the proud announcement that I am a very late adopter for my very first smartphone. It's a glorious little item, with uses from star charting the sky to keeping up with clients by email - which is the main reason I acquired it. An android phone, it synchronizes perfectly with the Google I know and love - the construct I live a great deal of my online life within. It will be a very useful tool in the organization of my life, and I am pleased to be the proud owner of such a wonderful device for what we consider a reasonable, though raised, cost. 

2011 was a hard year, and 2010 a hard year before it. It looks as though 2012 may start out hard and get easier in the middle and easier still in the end... 2011 was hard for a lot of reasons. Hard emotionally, hard monetarily, hard on relationships, and hard on confidence as we saw so many things go badly, and so many of those on account of lacking in funds. 

One thing I did do for the better this year was spend more time with family, and time dedicated to appreciating family, than ever. I even got a new niece, and unlike most people, I can't wait for her to grow up and talk and be her own person. And give me terrible childish creations that I'll keep forever.

I've made herculean efforts to make my Sundays, or some surrogate day each week, a hallowed time of resting and relating while so much of my time is taken up in other things. I've tried very hard to find a better balance, with some definite success, though small, it is a lifelong road and I keep reminding myself of that. 

I finally found a church in Edmonton, and I love it. I am starting to develop a pretty great community of people in each area of life, from photography particularly - I've got a whole retreat weekend planned with some other photographer ladies coming up in February - and also with some friends I've been cultivating from Edmonton. I'm also starting to keep up a little better with friends here in Saskatchewan. For instance, today I went for a relaxing lunch with my friend Amy from University - we've kept up on and off, and increasingly on when I'm back in Saskatoon, because she's a pleasure to be with and we always find interesting things to discuss. My friend Cathleen just happened to be in town while I was and we spent a bit of time together too. And in general, I'm trying very hard to connect with friends wherever I am and wherever they are.

A lot of totally random things happened. I re-did our whole filing system during tax season, which has resulted in a lot of great little moments where, on needing something, I am able to instantly pull it forth from its designated folder with a flourish - or to a slightly lesser degree, file something important away instantly as well. I received a "spocked five" which tickled my nerd side pretty well. I saw some of the most incredible rainbows of my life - at least half a dozen worthy of mention and three that were so spectacular they could take your breath away, and all of them with doubles. (If thinking about double rainbows puts a song in your head, it's your own fault for following internet memes, I'm just saying.) I went to the Okanagan for the first time and spent many hours having heart to heart talks with a dear friend. I went to New York for the second time - and it was Paul's first time to the States so that was really special too. My last sibling-in-law was married off, and all six of us get along fabulously, which is more than I could have asked for in a family-in-law. I started specializing in boudoir photography and found out that I was both good at it and really liked it. We had more money trouble than anyone should have. I got my second car (our Mazda 3 hatch) and it goes vroom vroom, as Paul likes to say. I had insomnia one night and got up to the sunrise over the city and the birdsong. Another night I couldn't sleep, but captured one of the most incredible lightning storms I had ever seen. There were, and still are, a lot of sleepless nights, but not hopeless, and not too horrible of a burden usually. I was loved every day and in a million ways by my husband, and we're hoping to have a baby-in-arms within two or three years of him finishing school, which makes me smile, since after having shot half a dozen newborn portrait sessions with exhausted, loving, glowing parents this year and spent a lot of time with a baby-on-the-brain sister, I am starting to get a bit of that baby fever myself.

And Christmas, glorious Christmas, as the long separation we had ended, Paul returned to Edmonton, and then we returned to Saskatoon, where I have met with and enjoyed friends and family daily. This Christmas ought to be recorded, however, as the Christmas of Minecraft. After Andrew bought the game for Paul for his birthday and I subsequently fell in love with it and bought it for myself, we started loving it more and more. I went to the trouble of creating a server for us to play on, meaning we have our very own world to play in, and this Christmas we explored a great deal of it for four or more hours a day for a week, both above and below ground level - finding a snow biome and two abandoned mines to enjoy and having a grand time doing something that's only productive in its own world and not in the real one. It was a glorious way to spend a Christmas, and I don't see Minecraft fading from our lives anytime soon. 

Kehrig Family Christmas the other day was as awesome as ever, and being my third, I've finally found the groove of it and started enjoying it more and more. I was, I confess, rather distracted by my brand new phone, but socialized with others, sometimes on account of it, since many of the cousins are android users and had suggestions. I also had several conversations with family members I hadn't had much of a chance to speak with before, which I really enjoyed. It was a good time. Christmas with my family was lovely too, and we continue to enjoy playing board games together and discussing all sorts of things.

What Is Coming
The Hobbit movie! Okay, there's tons of cooler things than that. I'm guessing that this will be "The Year of the Smartphone" in a lot of ways. And the awesome new E-reader my Mom got me from the Sony super sale, which has already been sparsely populated and is being used quite frequently (though sometimes merely as a dictionary, which is bound to increase my vocabulary substantially) and will allow me to bring many books many places without a large bookbag. A year of better record-keeping to make life easier. A year when our finances will, if all goes well and Paul nabs a job straight out of school, go from dire to comfortable. A year when my beloved will cease this educational nonsense and go back to having a steady job, a steady routine, and a good deal of happiness on account of it. A year when we'll become even closer to family and watch our little niece grow. A year when we will try again in earnest to do something we talked of recently - become more active. A day when either Paul or I go for a good walk or go to the gym is a day when we are better, happier, and more energetic. A month where we do that frequently is very good for our emotional and (I would hazard to say to a lesser degree) physical health. So along with our hopes that we will make more time for prayer and meditation and grow in faith, we've plans to swim and gym and walk our path to a better life together. A summer that will hopefully be filled with weddings is desirable and certainly possible, as well as many other business areas. Several months of temp work will hopefully find me happy, as I really love my co-workers in the current temp secretarial job I've taken on to offset the costs of life. I return there in the second week of January after this needed rest time. Many things are coming, and despite there being a great deal of work, there is also a light at the end of the tunnel in 8 months that will truly make our lives better. I have high hopes for a great many positive changes. 

I have such high hopes for the future. And I can't help but feel that next year could be a whole lot better than this year... I hope it is. 

Some general notes that are sort of about 2011:

This is a notice that if you've commented on my posts in the last year or so, I might not have seen your comment at all. At some point my email forwarding system copped out and I was posting so little that I only sort of noticed it, and tried and failed to fix it a few times... I've now got it forwarding through an even more elaborate system that's working this time, since it's going through my totally different paid web server where all my work email goes through.

I'm going to try and go through all the spam and find anything I might have missed now. This isn't a super pleasant process, as the fact that I leave the anonymous comment posting online has some disadvantages, not the least of which being someone of Paul's old acquaintance who's been posting nasty things for several years after he decided, and obviously rightfully so, that it wasn't an edifying relationship for him to keep up. Ah well. They've merely joined the legions of spammers who don't really get any of my attention. My stores of patience are vastly larger than they were when I was younger and the growth of the internet has made my tolerance for the mounds of crap-type ads I have to pass by in the streets in Internet City quite resilient.