Can't believe it's that time again, time to recap the year past, otherwise known as The Big Whine. This post covers the personal part; the reading part is to follow. If you're of a depressive bent it may be best you skip past this and go directly to that. Or, give it a go. You'll be glad to have your own life once you've finished. It's a great benefit to not being me - something few give enough credit.
Losing my nephew Michael, to a freak accident at age 23, was by far the most awful tragedy we endured. It still doesn't seem real, probably because we didn't see him all that often, so it's hard reconciling his absence being due to loss, rather than his living in another state and being busy with his own life. Not to say we don't miss him, and feel the gap his loss has left in the family. We do, but the reality takes a bit longer to sink in.
Next up, my ongoing troubles with my left knee, due to the arthritis that's 20 years more advanced than it should be at my age (so my orthopaedic doctor tells me). My surgery to alleviate this was in March, the week before we lost Michael, so I was on crutches and in excrutiating physical pain while also enduring the unimaginable sorrow of burying my nephew. Not to mention I fell out of bed, onto my bad knee, while we were downstate for the funeral, adding insult to injury. Literally. Leaving my purse at the hotel when we left for home was just the icing on the cake – not anything in the big scheme, but wearying nonetheless. And the knee surgery itself proved more painful than anticipated, and didn't do the trick at all.
Forcing myself to find a bit of upbeat to the year, there was our Maine vacation, though my husband wasn't especially glad to be there. This was our third visit out East, and his preference is the western part of the country. We've tried remedying that by alternating east then west, going a different direction each year, but that doesn't always work out that well. At least four out of five of us enjoyed it. Or parts of it.
To be honest, four out of five of us consider an ideal vacation to include a lot of rest, hanging out and not all that much activity. Then there's Paul, who loves hiking, sightseeing and general moving around. The rest of us are happy putting our feet up, in this year's case sitting on the deck of our rented house, gazing out onto the gorgeous harbor in Corea, Maine, taking the occasional short trip for a restaurant meal or souvenir shop, and that's pretty much it.
How do you reconcile the two? We argue, creating frustration and bad feelings all 'round. So no one gets to enjoy anything due to the guilt of knowing you're making someone else miserable. They call that "compromise."
Maybe we should stop taking vacations and just stay home. Why waste money (and therapy) when you can be just as unhappy in your own house? At least that way no one can say they miss their own bed, our animals, bathrooms aplenty and all sources of electronic entertainment.
And for Paul? Maybe a trip to the outback with friends, while the rest of us enjoy long, uninterrupted naps on the new hammock we'll buy with the money we'll save. I think I've just hit on the perfect solution, though it doesn't allow for family photos to frame or memories to share.
Otherwise, over the summer Paul painted the part of our house that's cedar (around half, the other being brick), we had a new driveway installed (Paul landscaping the edging and planting hostas, etc.), and we've ordered new carpeting for the upstairs of the house. We got a new kitten - wee Oliver - whose favorite place on earth is my chest, right beneath my chin.
Did I mention the new garage door, necessary because it came down onto the back of our van and did mucho damage to the van itself? No? How remiss of me! And the van's still not repaired. The damage is only visible if you're looking for it, anyway, the only immediate problem being the window washer fluid dispenser is completely ripped off. So in icy weather it will be difficult clearing off the snow enough to see – another fairly high priority that's been rendered low by life events. With all the road salt on it you can't even see the scratches and dents, though. Works for me.
Aside from bits here and there, this was our 2010. Not exactly a stellar year for Clan Guidarini. Maybe it's paranoid of me to say few of them are, but it doesn't help hearing my doctor affirm we are beset by more disaster than most. Thanks for the affirmation. We needed that.
Feeling better about your life yet? If not I feel very, very sorry for you. At least we're overall healthy, the kids are doing well in school, and Paul and I are employed. And coffee! Someone made another pot of caffeinated coffee this morning. Never underestimate the power of that God-given beverage. It's discouraged me from committing a wealth of felonies.
Hope for a better 2011 springs eternal, even if I say that every year around this time and so far the crap truck has backed up to dump on us every, single time. I don't know much about statistics, but isn't it probable life owes us a break? I can't help thinking "one of these years" we can get through 365 days without anything major sucking like a Bangkok whore.
Once? Just once? It would make for so much sweeter yearly wrap-up posts. At least we know I have my priorities straight. It really is all about blogging.
Goodbye, stinkin' 2010. Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you. And stay out!