Sunday, December 27, 2009
I know that it is a cliche' but really, where did the time go? I remember waiting not-so-patiently to turn 16, to turn 18 and to turn 21 years of age. The waiting to drive a car, order a mixed drink, vote and finish college seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Now, with each passing year, time seems to fly by way too fast to suit me. How did this impatient girl turn into a reminiscent lady? It seems like yesterday that everyone was buzzing about Y2K!
I am not sorry to see 2009 go but I did learn some amazing lessons; and for that, I am grateful. My dad told me last January that this would be a defining year for me; and I think he was right.
January 2009 started with a bang. I returned from Christmas vacation and on my second day back to work over forty people were downsized. Yours truly was one of them. I had been there six and a half years and thought that I would retire from the company. I had become wrapped up in my job and it had become my identity. Almost all of my friends were work associated. The financial concerns of losing my job were also quite scary. How does one recover from such a blow? Quite nicely as it turns out.
You always hear that when tragedy strikes you find out who your friends are. This situation was no different. I am absolutely humbled and completely overwhelmed with how kind people can be. I was shown true love from people and I will cherish those precious souls forever. I also learned who is not a friend in times of trouble. And oddly enough, I am grateful for that as well.
Eight days later, I found myself in a serious situation. I was diagnosed with bilateral blood clots (PE's or pulmonary embolisms) in my lungs. By all accounts I should not have lived through this situation. Yet, I did! I spent a week in the hospital and left a few days before my doctors were comfortable. Again, during this time of trouble, I was overwhelmed by love and care and concern. One girlfriend heard the news and immediately walked out of her job during the middle of the day and drove an hour and a half to be with me. Former co-workers visited and sent flowers. My husbands work family was so wonderful as well. My family rallied and dropped everything to be with me. How fortunate to feel that kind of love I am. My sweet just-turned-twenty son stayed through the night with me and rubbed my back when the pain was so unbearable and the high level painkillers didn't seem to be helping. He fussed at the nurses to help me with the pain management. While the fussing wasn't so nice of him he assures me it was warranted. It took me over two months to start feeling anywhere near normal. I am so fortunate to have lived through having blood clots in my lungs and I do not take a day, even a minute, for granted. I have had a couple of nurses say to me that they feel that a miracle happened with me and that I am here for a reason. I submit to God's will.
Some of my bloodwork was questionable during my hospitalization. As it turns out I also have an autoimmune disorder. I am not symptomatic at this time so it is good to know to watch out for signs and symptoms so I can jump on it when the time comes.
I had to undergo genetic testing because of the blood clots. It turns out that I have not one, but three genetic markers that predispose me to blood clots! Two are paternal and one is maternal. Isn't technology amazing?! My children will soon be tested also so they can know their standings. As a result of the markers, I have been advised to stay on blood thinners for life. The blood thinners were difficult to regulate at first but I am now on a pretty normal regime. Instead of blood work every two to three days I am now at once a month. I bruise easily and am gosh darn scared of knives and the smallest scratch bleeds forever but I have learned to deal. Pretty good huh?
I like to joke that I am a little leery of the month of January now. No one can blame me right?
I discovered Facebook in 2009~! What a blessing! I have been able to reconnect with hundreds of my friends. Oh my gosh; how much fun it has been to reunite with friends from kindergarten and all through the years. Logging onto Facebook is like feeling an instant rush of familiarity and love.
I got a new job in 2009! As it turns out, I am in a much better job now with better everything! I love what I do, I love my reduced stress level, I love the people I work with. How lucky can a girl be?
We are buying a new house in January 2010! How fun and exciting! We found a darling little house on three and a half acres half way between my job and my husband's job. The house is 2000 square feet and just the right size for us now that we are empty nesters. It has a creek running through it and some amazing trees. We also have fenced pasture land. There are guineas that run through the property and deer as well. We back up to a vacant 131 acre farm that is just gorgeous. We are putting our current house on the market in late February, early March. Our current home is 4350 sq feet. I am not sure what I am going to do with all of our "stuff" when the house sells but it will all work out.
My children continue to do well and for that I am so very grateful. They are in college and doing well and are just wonderful people.
We hope to become debt free, or pretty darn close to it, in 2010. We have always paid our own way, haven't won the lottery or any settlements, so this is a big deal for us.
In reflection, 2009 has been bittersweet. As we look ahead to 2010 I suspect it will be bittersweet as well, However, with lessons learned, I think I am better able to handle what is in store. Dad was right, this was a defining year and I like to think that I did him proud.
I bid 2009 farewell and look eagerly to 2010.
Oh, and as a nod toward the future, I have attached a picture of our Master Bath Shower at our new little cottage house. I can't wait to enjoy the future!
Happy New Year Everyone! May your life be blessed with good health, friends, family and lots of love.