Christmas wishes to you all.
I have had a very quiet month online. This, of course means that my life has been overwhelmed by my work, my kids, my husband, my extended family and the world at large. So much so that my thesis has sat untouched for several weeks as has my blog. Amongst all the usual chaos of kids finishing school and Christmas shopping, my husband ended up ill in hospital for 4 days (he’s out now and slowing getting better) on the same day that I found out my favourite student was killed by a(n alleged) drunk driver. Nicole was sweet and gentle and so keen to be a librarian – I have no words other than to say that she should not have died in such a way.
All these events have drained me. This year was tinged with sadness to begin with as my favourite uncle died in July. There have been a number of other world and family events that have deeply impacted me and left me with a cumulative sadness that I would never had anticipated at the beginning of this year. I would not call my sadness depression – it is just downheartedness. I’m feeling the losses of this year.
Last night, at 8pm I realised that for the first time since my husband and I have been married, we still didn’t have our Christmas tree set up. So we brought it out of storage, my husband went to bed, my sons helped me decorate it, then they went to bed. I filled the stockings with small token presents (no big presents were bought this year due to spending the past week in hospital with John) and yes – there were socks! The tree sparkled with 20 years of Christmas decorations. Balls, lights, dolls, birds (doesn’t everyone have a faux feathered parrot perched beside their star?), tinsel, Santas, boxes, bells and so many more. This made me smile.
I looked back on my year. Sure it was filled with sadness. But it also was filled with happiness. I had a journal article published, one that I toiled over and angsted over for much too long but one that I feel strongly about.
I published a book (not my own) and Shallowreader is officially a publisher. Even if I never publish another book, I loved discovering this process and I will be eternally grateful for my late uncle giving me the opportunity to publish his book before he died. It was a deep labour of love.
I read favourite books.
I still love romance fiction (37 years and counting!).
I discovered How I Met Your Mother.
I watched (and loved) Bridget Jones’s Baby twice!
I listened to my kids’ music choices.
My youngest son started at a school whose care for students comes before their school ranking – the principal so far has demonstrated all that one would want in an education leader. Fairness and kindness.
I swim at Fairlight beach.
We caught up with old friends once a month and the four of us are surprised that we let the busyness of life let us fade apart for so long. Our once a month will continue next year.
I love Sydney.
I twittered and blogged with wonderful friends. I do not consider the online communities that I chat with to be virtual. There is nothing virtual about the warm, wonderful people with whom I chat. I appreciate every single one of them.
Miss Bates introduced me to Sister Vassa – a Greek (Russian? USian/New Yorker?) Orthodox nun/sister with her own Youtube channel where she talks theology and throws in sweet zingers – she is the only light for me in a religion that I love yet feel constantly exacerbated by its patriarchal institutional failings.
I spoke with Miss Bates – this thrilled me as much as the day that I spoke with David Sedaris.
I spoke with Valancy – she be so interesting and funny.
I might go to Canada and the US. Planning, even if the end goal is not in sight, is fun.
I got a permanent part-time job at the library I had been working at as a casual. I love my library and I have wonderful colleagues who make me laugh all the time. I love going to work.
I meet great borrowers.
I have the best book group EVER!
I have wonderful friends both close and far.
I am especially grateful to Anna, Rachel and Sandra for putting me up in their homes this year. All three have blood worth bottling (in a good, allegorical way not in a creepy houseguest way).
I do love long train rides.
I got a new bed with a wonderful mattress that is ever so comfy.
I have good teeth (my dentist told me!).
I have grown my hair out and it is long enough to wear pigtails again.
My clingy, needy dog Cleo who sheds ridiculous amounts of white hair all over my black floors is ever so cute and I am so glad that she did not die from her mystery illness at the beginning of the year.
I have a great romance fiction PhD cohort.
Bookthingo and co are just excellent even if they have cut me and interviewed two librarians who are not me (talk to the hand!).
I love my Shallowreaderbingo because the few people that play make every square worth creating.
My mum and aunt Vasso and my three sisters just fill my life.
I absolutely love love love my family. My husband and two boys are funny and smart and kind and worldly and devoted and all-round great – everyone should be so lucky to have men like these in their lives.
Despite the sadness, there is also plenty of happiness in my life. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Καλα Χριστουγεννα and a Happy Sameach. Let us all be aware of the light and joy in our lives.
Thank you for reading my blog. I deeply appreciate you.