2014 – WHAT A YEAR!

Yesterday marked the beginning of the last month of 2014. It marked the beginning of advent and the Christmas season. But, it left me wondering where the other eleven months went. I know I’m a few days early for reflection on the year that has past, but December is a month of celebration and doing once a year things.

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] @ FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] @FreeDigitalPhotos.com

In our family, I should probably dub this year as “the year of change.” So many changes have occurred this year, and if you believe those that research stress, change causes stress and we all deal with stress in different ways. Me? I handled stress by sleeping, vegging out to Facebook or television shows/movies, eating, and music.

The seeds for the first change were sown in October of 2013: I decided to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year after a 34 year career that covered teaching at four different schools in three different school districts. In the last few years, teaching English/language arts at the high school level did not afford me the time or energy to pursue much writing. In addition, neither did all the changes in the field of education. So, June 10, I closed the door to my classroom for the last time.

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My department head (in tie dye) giving my retirement send off. I’m in the tank top.

In addition to this, I was working diligently to clean out my mother’s house (4 stories and two garages) so that my oldest son and his family could move into the home. The Northern Illinois winter weather that dumped more than normal snows complicated this task. Instead of organizing and boxing up her belongings, I was shoveling and clearing snow for two residences leaving me many days completely exhausted.

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Out my front door.

When April and spring break arrived, I was finally able to return to the cleaning out task. My son and his family were slated to move in at the end of June giving me about three weeks for my complete attention. As usual, when everything seems to be falling in place, something becomes a speed bump in the road of sanity. The speed bump? My son and his wife needed to move in at the end of May due to the many problems with the landlord and the place they were renting.

Add to the mix the fact that my husband and I decided to purchase a truck, start our own trucking company, and lease on to a company as an owner/operator over-the-road driver. (He drives the truck; I do the book work.) This venture was supposed to begin after my retirement date, but when opportunity knocks, one must answer. We purchased a truck, set up the company, and he started driving for a company as owner-operator.

June should have been my opportunity to start writing with some consistency, but as most Junes, Julys and Augusts go for people in education, I crashed and burned: catching up on sleep and catching up on house upkeep. Add to that was the learning how to keep trucking books and running our own company. Better to let the full writing career wait as a business until January 2015. Starting one business was complicated enough.

To add to the clusterf@%$* of boxes that contained my mother’s belongings and family history a new puppy. Nutmeg, a brindle Plott hound, was not necessarily house broke. It’s like watching a toddler, making sure I know where he is and getting him to realize that my carpets are not the place to poop or pee.

November finally sewed the seeds of the writing itch once again with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I started the month with the goal to finish the 50,000 words in 30 days, but as all of us know, life interferes. It doesn’t mean that I won’t finish writing the story; it just means that it is going to take more time.

Now, as the month of December progresses, I am excited to decorate the house for Christmas, bake cookies and breads, write Christmas card communications to family and friends, and develop a business plan that gets me writing consistently.

 

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