Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blogging out the Old Year

A lot of people get hopeful and philosophical this time of year about the year to come. I prefer to reminisce. This is gonna be a long one.

So here we are. The end of 2008. Tomorrow starts 2009… a year all shiny and new. My hope for 2009 is that it will bring great things to the people who matter in my life… and that for D and I it’ll be better than the 2 years that precede it.

What does that mean? That means healthy relationships, marriages, and kids for my friends who are on those paths. It means prosperity for all our friends. It means the absolute minimum of grief. It means hopefully finding a job (or two or three or whatever it takes to not lose the house). It means steps forward on our personal project (in whatever direction necessary) with no more disappointments or losses.

The last few months have been an unusual mix. I’ve been out of work since the end of May, and have yet to uncover any realistic prospects for employment, it seems. There have been a few positions I’ve applied for and been excited about… many more that have been applied for as “at least it’s something”… but nothing’s panned out yet. So it’s looking like I might have to let go of the ideal of finding work close enough to stay living where we currently are… which brings a whole other bunch of complications with it. Like not wanting, ideally, to try to sell our house in the current economic climate. Like not wanting to abandon the kidsicles. Like D having a good, fairly recession-proof job and it’d be better if we didn’t have to give that up, too. (I say “Fairly” because I doubt that any job these days is truly recession-proof… but he’s got a good reputation with the company, and people aren’t going to stop dying any time soon, so that’s an advantage).

I’ve been attacked verbally. I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that someone I counted as a friend has said some pretty harsh things behind my back that they’re too chicken shit to say to my face, so they let someone else act as their mouthpiece. I’ve seen friends welcome new additions to their families with the mix of joy and sadness that goes with that… but I’d like to think I’ve been happier for them than I’ve been sad for us. I think. I hope.

But I’ve made some new friends who I think are truly wonderful people, too. And possibly acquired a new pastime. And this is where I sing their praises ;)

I think I may have mentioned that back in spring D took up a new hobby. Paintball. Now, those of you who know me from University days will probably remember I had a stalker. And those of you who were familiar with the situation will remember that he was an avid paintballer who, along with his paintballing friends, had serious issues recognizing boundries… any kind of boundries. And he did stupid-ass things like shooting up my residence house with paint and pellets after I went to the campus cops to report him etc. etc. etc. As a result of that, I developed a very bad mental association where paintball was concerned. I figured if this guy and his buddies from the sport were all asshats, then chances were pretty good that most people drawn to the sport were asshats. Ah, early-20s logic at its finest!

Anyway, D took up the sport. I made it clear to him that I had absolutely no interest in anything paintball related. At all. None. Zero. But he started talking about some of the people he met… and they sounded almost normal *laugh* (whatever ‘normal’ means ;) ). And then he joined a team… but not a competitive team… one that’s all about making it a safe and fun outing for everyone. And he went to their end-of-season banquet and came home with more stories. So I figured I’d like to meet these people. So I signed up on a forum they frequent… and I poked around, and observed (‘cuz it’s what I do), and posted a bit (‘cuz that’s also what I do ;) )… and attended an event with D that these guys run for kids to introduce them to the sport and train them right from the get-go. And I felt like a complete outsider, but I was intrigued, too.

Well, a month or so has passed now… and I’ve gone to a couple more of these things, once even without D! And I’ve met a bunch of the guys, and some of their better halves. And in another couple of days, I’m taking another step and taking the field with D and these guys (and some of their ladies). The mind… it boggles *laugh*. But as I said to D the other night… I already feel like I’ve inherited a bunch of “big brothers”. These guys have made me feel welcome… they’ve made me re-evaluate my view of the sport and the people who play it… they make me feel like part of the family. And that’s pretty damn cool.

So, in spite of all the bad of the past 18 months, I think I can say that 2008 is ending on a higher note… and that’s a nice change.