2014 has been... interesting.
The Grumpy Old Man told me this morning that 2014 was disappointing for him. He was disappointed that our previous home was sold from under us when they had given us assurances we could live there for a few years. He was disappointed that the big boys didn't make more of the opportunities their high school affords them...
Me, I don't feel disappointed. I guess I didn't have many expectations when this year began. I did think we'd still be at Leeds Street at the end of the year, but yesterday I realised I've well and truly settled into this new house. I don't want to move from here now. It's not as perfect for us as the other, but the other house is gone now, and we've made this house a home, so I'm happy with that.
As for the boys, well, yes, it's disappointing they don't value the opportunities laid out for them the way their father and I do, but they're teenagers, and quite frankly, at this age, I was probably no more enthused by classroom work and assignments and the school schedule than they are. I have to believe they'll figure it out sooner or later.
Parts of this year have been very sad. A friend's son drowned in February at the age of only five years. That has impacted me every day. I worry more about my kids now than I used to. Life seems more precarious and precious. I have lost a degree of innocent I wasn't even aware I had.
My grandmother also died in March this year. That was very sad, and at the same time it was a relief because there is no doubt she suffered in the last few years of her life. She believed she was going to a better place beyond this life and so I choose to believe she is happier now than she was for a long time before her passing.
2014 has also been marvellous. Midway through the year I passed my colloquium with no ammendments, which was a huge relief and quite affirming. I have also travelled, on my own, overseas and presentation a paper at a conference, and said paper will be published this coming year (I hope).
I have made some awesome new friends and acquaintances in a wide variety of pockets of life, which is always a surprise to and always a bonus!
I have learned some of the basics of reading braille and how to use a white cane.
I received a whole lot of fantastic technology through a Vision Australia Education Bursary.
And as of Christmas I am learning to play the ukulele!
With regard to the kids, Lukas and Ari both started new schools this year and they both seem quite happy where they are. Lukas has probably done better socially than he has in a few years, though his academics have suffered. Ari has had a few bumps socially, but academically is going gangbusters.
Erik has not pursued his painting as vigorously as he did last year, but has also be preoccupied with relationships and a new love of film.
Bryn struggle a bit for the first 2/3s of 2014 but seems to have found his feet in the last three or four months and generally seems to be a lot happier now, which is a relief to see.
On the whole, 2014 has been exhausting, but in a good way for me. I feel as if I'm finishing the year ahead. I'm in a better place in many ways. I can feel I have gained ground on some of my life goals and it feels good.
2015 looks to be just as interesting. I'm expecting to get to Iceland later in the year. It'll be 30 years in June since I was last in Iceland, so this will be a coming full circle sort of experience. I'm very excited and have almost none of the anxiety about this trip that I had about going to New Zealand.
In January I have a lot of creative writing to get through, but also I need to get my resume sorted and sent an email to the head of school to try and secure some sessional work. If I get the sessional work, then February through to June will be very busy with thesis research and writing and teaching - it is a challenge I'm chaffing at the bit to take on!
July/August will be all about the Iceland trip.
September to the end of November will be about the AAWP conference, writing a paper for that and hopefully presenting. As well as more work on the thesis as well.
And the first half of 2016 will be about the final throws of writing up my thesis and submitting it.
So, the next eighteen months are going to be a whirlwind of activity! There are many mini-projects in there I haven't written about (two other papers I'm working on, as well as other creative work I will work on getting published), the broad strokes are exciting enough, I think!
In the back of my mind is the lingering knowledge that for every passing month, the GOM's mother becomes more dependent on us, and there is a strong likelihood that during this next year she will come to live with us. Part of me hopes that somehow her progressive dependence will slow and she will remain in her own home for the next 18 months. It might happen. We have expected her to move in with us for years now and she hasn't. Time will tell. We will work through whatever comes, I'm sure!
Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve and I'll see you in 2015 for my 2015th post!