Deep Thoughts

2013 in review

Well, friends, this has been an interesting year, hasn’t it?

As it was for most, this year was filled with ups and downs for me.  But, in the grand scheme of things, 2013 was a better year than I had anticipated.  I was a bit shocked by that realization, to be honest.

I guess it’s sort of true:  if you set your expectations low enough, you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised.  Huh.

Let me get the “bad” out of the way.

In February, I had to have my precious Calli put to sleep.  She had cancer and the vet said that treatments wouldn’t be pleasant and we’d just be putting off the inevitable.  She’d be alive longer, but the quality of that extra time would not be good.  So, the decision was made.  I got to spend time with her before it happened.  And I got to hold her when it was done.  She fell into her eternal sleep in my arms while I told her how much I love her.  It was hard, but it was peaceful.  I felt especially bad for Joxer, who didn’t know where his big sister went and why she didn’t come home with me.

Also in February, my great uncle passed away.  Uncle Jimmy was the last of my grandmother’s brothers.  I was able to visit him at the hospital a few days before he passed. What was very unfortunate is that he passed the day he was supposed to come home from the hospital.  He’d been doing better…but then took the fatal turn.  I see Uncle Jimmy every week when I visit Mom at the cemetery…he is right next to her.

I still haven’t made a significant dent in the “purge the house” department.  It’s been difficult for many reasons.  First, I have been somewhat busy this year.  Between work and GCLS and just…life…it’s been difficult to carve out that time to just go through things and purge.  Second, it’s still difficult to do.  I did spend one morning quickly going through closets to collect clothes for donation to St. Vincent DePaul.  I tried to make it as fast and as unemotional as possible.  It was still hard though.  I think I’ll be able to do more this year. That’s my plan for the first quarter – the weather will likely have me staying inside more often than not.  So that will be some motivation.

Okay…on to the good.

In January I was asked to join the Board of Directors of the GCLS.  I’m in the middle of a 2-year term as Director of Communication and Technology.  It has ended up being more work than I had anticipated.  And, quite honestly, there are a number of things that seem to fall under my job description that really shouldn’t be there.  But, it is what it is.  So, we get it done.

In June I attended the GCLS annual conference in Dallas, TX.  As always, I had great fun at the conference.  It’s always fun to hang out with the women who attend each year – and to meet the “Con Virgins” who are at their very first conferences.  One of the really great things about the conference is the chance to meet people that I’ve only known on Facebook and to get introduced to new authors.  I love that aspect of the conference most of all.  I often call the conference “The Annual Lesbian Hug Fest.”  Because that’s exactly what it is.  I hug more people, more often in those few days than I do the rest of the year. The whole conference is energizing and reaffirming.  I can’t wait to go to Portland this July.  We broke attendance records in Dallas. We’re hoping to do the same in Portland this year…and New Orleans in 2015…and _______ in 2016!

In April, I brought Mario and Midi home from the shelter.  Joxer had been really lonely after Calli was put to sleep – he’d never been an “only cat” and he was sort of depressed. I knew I needed to find him a new friend.  Well, imagine my surprise when I got to PAWS and spent a few hours playing with their cats. I couldn’t decide between Mario and Midi! They were both so precious.  Mario had been abandoned – he was left in a box on the picnic table outside the shelter.  He’s fully declawed, so he was someone’s house cat.  He’s just this big bundle of love. (And I mean BIG – he’s huge.)  Midi is a 9 -year-old, beautiful girl.  She reminds me of my grandmother’s cat, Spooky.  Her previous owner had passed away and the family couldn’t keep her (severe allergies).  They have her registered as a domestic short hair, but I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion – she’s a long hair cat!  (In fact, I need to take her in to get groomed.  Resolution!)  It took a while for all of the cats to get along and tolerate each other, but they all get along now.  Each has his or her special place on the bed and MUST get there as soon as I climb into bed.  They keep me company, shower me with love, and keep me warm.

On the work front, things have been going pretty well.  I mean, yeah, there were some turbulent times.  But, all-in-all, it’s been a pretty good year.  There’s been some restructuring at the upper levels and I think that’s going to benefit me in the long run.  Both of my clients expanded their business with us.  My biggest client also renewed their contract for TWO years…and their expansion is supposed to double business in 2014.  So, I got to hire more people.  The client services team has now doubled and I added 5 new people to the recruitment team.  I now have a team of about 20 people.  And these folks are good!!  When I go on vacation for 2 weeks in July, I know things will be covered! It will be nice to return from vacation and not have to repair the relationship with my client!

I survived an entire calendar year without my mother.  Honestly, at this time last year, I didn’t know if I would.  But I did.  A big part of that is knowing that Mom is still with me.  I can feel her.  I talk to her constantly and she finds ways to answer me.  I go visit her at the cemetery every Sunday and on special days.  I missed only two Sundays while I was in Dallas at the GCLS conference.  I’m positive she understood since she loved the GCLS and all of my friends there.  Sure, I still have those moments – those days – when I miss her more than usual; when I forget and think, “I can’t wait to get home and tell Mom about…” But, overall, it’s getting a little easier.  I’m sure it will continue to get easier as the days go on.  Though I know there will be times, like tonight, when I will find things – a picture, a note, a keepsake – and I’ll feel an overwhelming sense of grief.  And I’ll have a small breakdown.  But I’ll also feel my mother and my grandmother there, each with an arm around me, to let me know that they are with me and that I’m not truly without them.

So, 2013 – while not fabulous – didn’t completely suck, either.  I’m grateful for that.

Thank YOU, readers – few, though you are – for taking the time to stop by my frivolous little blog and read.  For those of you who joined in on the conversations, again, you have my thanks for participating.

Just for fun, you can take a look at my stats for the year…check out what you all viewed the most. 🙂

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,200 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

3 comments on “2013 in review

  1. Pingback: Catch-Up Link Round-Up | The Lesbrary

  2. Carleen, I remember when you lost your Mom. I’m sure this has been a tough year for you. I love that you keep the photo of the two of you on your blog header. Wishing you a good 2014, and more healing as time goes by.


  3. Candleshoe

    Happy new year! May 2014 bring you more of the good stuff…


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