Monday, December 27, 2010

Ring Out the Old, Bring On the New

Welcome, Pixies, to the last edition of 2010! What stands out for you about this past year? Or decade? What are your hopes for the coming year?

Remember Y2K? I'll nominate that for the top non-catastrophe of the last 10 years. Another decadal event: Saturday was 30 years since I met my beloved. That's a big round number, suggesting a certain amount of ancientness, but we're still having fun.

There are things about 2010 that I won't mind leaving behind. Rough year economically and politically; rough times for many Pixies and other friends. An unbloggable family drama stretched over nearly the entire year, but is finally, thankfully over.

The biggest anti-whine is that my kids are doing well, moving forward, happy. We had a very exciting time visiting daughter when she was in Japan. And this coming year, she'll graduate college and discover whatever it is she will do next.

What's on your mind as you review the old year and look forward to the new?


kathy a. said...

OK, we're old. Just got a holiday card from the parents of a girl we've known since she was 4, announcing grandbaby's first Christmas. And a cute baby she is! but OMG, where does the time go?

Sue said...

I am hopelessly inept at understanding technology. I feel like I need to find a 12 year old to help me set up virtually any new program on my computer. ~sigh~

Two university degrees does not qualify one to operate a laptop.


AW: New camera - a freebie because I patiently saved up points at our local drug store for over three years. I discovered last week that I had enough points to buy the uber nice camera.

I had to buy a lot of TP and diabetic syringes, but it was all worth it. Free! Camera!

W: It's going to take another three years to figure out how to use it.

AW: I've got time.

kathy a. said...

oooh, new camera! i'm pretty hopeless with newfangled things, too. have never figured out the features on my cell phone, for example.

W: just visited my cousin and her daughter; the daughter has been over a week in ICU. respirator. nasal feeding tube. fever's down and pneumonia clearing up, but she is so weak; she only really moves her hands.

redzils said...

Hi Pixies!

I have been reading and sending chocolate and cluesticks all year.

May 2010 end smoothly and 2011 help me figure out what it is I want to be when I grow up, since a year and a half in "the real world" (i.e. not academia) really hasn't done it...

kathy a. said...

hi, redzils! wishing you well in the career search!

sue said...

A woman who has been a member of our church for over 40 years died yesterday. Her funeral is Friday.

At another church.

With another minister conducting the service.

I read the obit in the paper - that's how I found out she was dead.

I have no idea what's going on and why I'm not involved in any way with the service.

I called the surviving spouse - the city's most prominent defense attorney and a VERY big name in our church - but got the answering machine. All day.


I know this isn't about me. It's about a woman who has died. But that obit speaks volumes. Not about our church, which would never have been big enough for the service anyway, but about me.

This one might be a job killer. And I have absolutely no idea why. I saw her two weeks before Xmas and she wished me a happy Xmas and talked about her grandchildren.

I'm just numb. Every. Single. UCC person in this city is going to read that obit and ask "Why isn't Sue doing the service?"

All of them.

emily said...

Sue--so sorry about the funeral angst--hope there's some logical, non-personal explanation (like the other minister is a family member? unlikely, but something like that?).

kathy a.--hope cousin's daughter gains strength quickly once the pneumonia is cleared. Your poor cousin!

Redzils--good luck--I wish I had some sage advice, but I'm middle aged and I'm still trying to figure it out!

kathy a. said...

oh, sue. i can't imagine it is personal, since he's a big name and she saw you just recently and was friendly. perhaps they went straight to the other church, thinking they needed the space? people often don't think very well when they are making unexpected arrangements. xoxox

Sarah at ratatat said...

Oh Sue - grief compounded by unpleasantness. Hugs.

redzils - the only career advise I'd have is sort of circular. My husband said to me when he was in grad school that you can't have your dream job until you know what it is. And once he figured out the dream job, he got to it. 5 years later - maybe not so dreamy, but he's still in the right orbit. I have no idea what my dream job is, so I am drifting. Good luck finding a place that makes you happy to go.

Kathy - aw, 30 years.

On the year end philosophizing - I started dating my now-husband on Jan 1, 17 years ago, when the Badgers were in the Rose Bowl. And they're back this year. Go Bucky! (we're alum, although we weren't then)

Anti-whine: there was no facebook then. The time between his last relationship and our relationship was very very brief (it gets more embarrassing as I get older). I think FB would have made that whole time much less dreamy and much more gossip drama.

liz said...

(((Sue))). Maybe her kids go there?

Or perhaps Husband's staff is putting it together and just went for the space?

Redzils, I know what I want to be when I grow up, but the road to get there is a bit jammed at the moment, so I'm in a job I really dislike, though I love my team-mates.

One thing I think helps when you're looking for what you'd like to be when you grow up, is to break down your current job into its component parts. Which components of your current job do you like (if any) and what do you like about them? Which components don't you like and what is it about them that you don't like?

What in your life gives you good emotional feedback and makes you feel confident and happy?

And is there a job description that includes the pleasant aspects of what you do and your areas of good emotional feedback?

Sue said...

Hugs and good pixie vibes for this end of year whineage...

I spoke with the other minister. It turns out she was pretty much ambushed. The funeral home called her, making no indication that this family had any church connection, so she agreed. It was only when she met with the family last night that she found out how connected they were with our church.

The deceased served as our Council Chair for years. They are still officially members. When the minister asked about this, the surviving spouse said, "I don't want to talk about it." So they proceeded. My colleague did the right thing by letting it go. This isn't the time for church politics, but she felt badly.

It's good of her to be so frank with me and in many ways I feel badly for her also. The only difference is that she's not being publicly skewered. I am going to attend the service, in my clergy collar, and hold my head high. Neither I, nor my congregation, have done anything wrong here. We are not mind-readers. If this family had a problem with our church, but not the courage to bring it to me, I can't do anything about that.

All I can do at this point is grieve with the rest of the mourners tomorrow morning.

And I will.

kathy a. said...

((( sue ))) i'm glad the minister was open with you. and glad you are going to offer comfort, albeit not in the capacity you would have expected. xoxo

redzils, i stumbled into my career by accident -- really! it began with a job i didn't think was "it," because i could not find another, and i got stuck on it. nice advice from liz and sarah.

whines will stay open until sometime tomorrow, when i'll add my whine of daughter leaving again for school.

Sue said...

AW: The high road feels better than feeling sorry for myself. Just sayin...

I went tonight to the pre-funeral visitation. The husband looked so overwhelmed, it was just so sad.

Perspective. It's everything.

I gave him a hug and he looked at me, not knowing what to say, so I said, "G, you did the right thing. S always loved that big old church didn't she?"

He smiled and looked visibly relieved. He thanked me for my call to the house yesterday and for my prayers - then asked if I would offer prayers at our church on Sunday. I told him I would definitely do so and would be at the service in the morning. He gave me another hug and greeted the next person.

W: While waiting in the looooong line to greet the family, I heard that she died of a brain aneurysm. Her symptoms over the past 8 years or so: severe chronic headache pain that no one could quite get a handle on either diagnosing or treating. Vertigo. Fatigue.

Sound familiar?

When my doc gets back from running his marathon in Disneyworld next week, I'm going to ask him for another MRI. It's been four years since I had one. Seeing S in that casket at an age only a few years more than my own, with all the same symptoms.....

Yikes. Kinda freaked me out a bit.

kathy a. said...

(((( sue ))))) you handled that so well.

yes, get the mri. but also know -- my kids lost their longtime caregiver when she was young, 49, [and the kids were 3 and 4] to an aneurism. she had no symptoms. none. the things are most likely unrelated. but it does not hurt to be careful. xoxo

Name Under Development said...

Hugs, Sue. You’re right, the high road does feel better. And I’m right with you, Kathy, on feeling old. First-born finished her PhD in 2010 and is now a *COLLEGE PROFESSOR* so I am officially over the hill.

I spent a lot of 2010 on what turned out to be productive introspection. I also spent the fall months interviewing for jobs, concluding (sadly) that my current employer was never going to make me full time, at least with respect to pay or benefits (though they are VERY willing to give me full-time duties). I’m hoping that I’ve now figured out what I want to be when I’m grown up because I’m starting a new job early in 2011. That’s right, pixies, the major antiwhine at chez NUD is that one of those interviews yielded a job offer, at the top of the salary range, no less! Assuming the board of trustees rubber-stamps my hire as expected, I will start at new college (pseudonym not yet selected) on 1/31.

The other major antiwhine is that all three daughters returned to the family home for Christmas. Firstborn and her husband came for the weekend and left Monday to spend time with his parents. Middle Daughter (MD) left yesterday. Dancing Girl is here thru the 7th. All three girls have become women I’m proud to know and love—not every parent can say that.
I usually lurk rather than whine, but the pixie community is one I cherish. Hugs and festive New Year’s treats to all pixies!