Sunday, January 15, 2012

Update on my 2011, two weeks late

My son has been saying that he’s had a bad year, although he is not seeing the forest for the trees.  He graduated from college, got to go to Florida for a very enjoyable spring break,  has no debt, is healthy, and has a place to live.  He just can’t find the kind of job he wants (I have to avoid comments such as “Join the club”). 
But since I went on blogging hiatus for three weeks after Christmas, and have returned, I wanted to update on my 2011.
  • We experienced tornadoes in our town of Ringgold, Georgia.  While the damage was nothing like that of Tuscaloosa, AL, and Joplin, MO, last spring, tragedy is not relative.  If you lose your home, or a loved one, from a swirling wind coming down from nowhere; if you see clouds moving faster across the sky than you ever thought possible, and then an explosion on the horizon where you know the town is; if your son calls you four hours later frantic because the news has shown what the town looks like and he hasn’t been able to get through to you because the power is out and the cell towers down; if you drive past the places that have become a part of your life and existence, where your child went to school, where you have voted and played tennis,  and they are no longer there, or twisted, or flattened; if you look up at the ridge behind the town and see where the tight funnel of wind skipped over a ridge leaving the woods looking like a razor mowed them down; then you know what a tornado is like.
  • My brother died.  I watched him.  I held my mother as she watched him.  After that and the tornado, nothing else seems very hard.
  • A family member was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and then went, quite unexpectedly, except to God, into remission.
  • My son graduated from college, in four years, debt-free.
  • Two family members divorced.
  • We met a large branch of my husband family we didn’t even know about, his great-grandfather’s other descendants.
  • We goy two dogs, at different times.  I took one to two obedience courses.  It is amazing how quickly all that training can disappear if you don’t stay on top of it.  Both are rescue dogs and they totally run our lives.
  • A dear friend, John Economidis, passed away.  It seems like so many people I respect and love are going, and I am only 56.  I am thankful for friends.
  • I learned that I need to use H.R.Block for my tax preparation.  The processor found me over $10,000.
  • I was nominated for two awards at the college and lost both competitions, but I appreciated that my colleagues would be kind enough to nominate me.
  • My novel was republished as the first of a trilogy, but I am iffy on the status of the other two parts of the trilogy.
  • I wrote two other novels; one I am shopping around, the other I am revising because it was done in one month and the hastiness shows.
  • I came out of the “closet” (hating that expression) about my Kallman’s Syndrome.   People do not understand when I talk about it, but I connected with other people on Facebook who had it.
  • Places I went:  Orlando for the SACS annual meeting; Baxley, Georgia, for the Campbell Family Reunion; Gainesville, GA, for a conference; Atlanta several times; Nashville to visit the Cheekwood Museum; Jefferson City, TN, to see my son graduate; Upstate South Carolina to visit my husband’s family.   I guess I need to get out of the region.
  • I heard Garrison Keillor in concert, one of his last, I think.
  • I taught two new classes at the college; gave up my Sunday School class for a while; gave up nursery work for a while.
  • I applied for doctoral work at the University of Georgia.
  • I participated in a course redesign effort, led the QEP efforts, took on more of a role in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries at the college, and presented at two conferences.
  • I joined the Chattanooga Writers Guild and started my own group in Catoosa County (fourth Thursday of month, 3:30, Colonnade Library).
  • I stopped getting perms and decided to keep a short hairstyle for the rest of my life (which means more frequent haircuts).
  • I attended Confluence, a BCM conference.
  • We proposed a communication major, which meant I wrote five or more syllabi.
  • My husband and I bought a Volvo and gave away a truck.
  • I blogged almost five times a week but gave it up for a while. 
  • I read some phenomenal books, especially spiritual classics.  These helped me spiritually with peace, acceptance, stress, forgiveness.
  • I gardened.
  • I found a doctor for my husband.
  • I saw two cousins whom I haven’t seen in years.
  • And I don’t think I accomplish much!

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Attention, Ego, Spirituality, and Drugs

This title may seem really odd coming from me, but this article has some interesting things to say.