And the first thing I want to say is thank you again. As I told a group of my "realtime" nearest and dearest yesterday, the last few months have not been exactly stellar ones for me. It started on July 21, in the hours before my birthday, and just went to hell from there.
I'm grateful for the glimmers of good fortune and goodwill that have managed to shine through despite it all, especially the kindness of those on the blog. Some of those glimmers have kept me pretty busy. That's a good thing as they have allowed me to replace, at least temporarily, almost all of my lost income. While one of those opportunities will likely go away soon, I'm hoping to quickly replace it with another. Wish me luck. In the meantime, I still have another ongoing opportunity that has allowed me to revisit my journalism career. (Between you and me, I rather like it!)
A special shout-out to the MonkeyGirl is in order, and to Mr. Monkeygirl, too. See, she "kidnapped" me a few weekends ago for a scrapbooking event. Got me away from the house and away from what seems to be a constant cycle of work (I'm not complaining, really!) for about 36 hours. It was a fabulous respite and a nice prelude to our annual scrapbooking pilgrimage which is now less than six weeks away! (And while MG had been traveling quite a bit in the weeks leading up to our recent adventure, I'm grateful to Mr. MG for sparing his best girl during her brief time back home.)
You might notice, too, that some new advertisements have popped up. I'm equally grateful for those. (More on that in a separate post.)
So, it hasn't been all bad. Not by a longshot. Just incredibly hard. Things have been further complicated by an injury to my left hand (1 broken finger, 1 bruised finger and some joint and ligament damage in my hand). Sometimes I just get really sick of the struggle. Can't ANYTHING be easy? Ever? And then come reminders of just how bad I don't have it. This year, that reminder has come in the forms of about nearly 50 people, the people our charity program at work will be helping after "adopting" them for the holidays.
These are people whose entire lives, in most cases, have been a string of tragedy, hardship and pain. Mine hasn't been all rosy but it's surely been a cakewalk by comparison. I'm grateful then to not only have been thusly spared but to be given the chance to have an impact on their lives, albeit a very brief and small one.
I allowed myself to wallow a bit last month and provided myself with a bit of a pity party. No more. (Well, outside the occasional overwhelming sense of loss of Ozzie. I miss him terribly!)
I've been thinking a lot lately (drives and train rides tend to give you that opportunity) about what's next. Where do I go from here? I wish I knew just what that answer was. It's a huge uncertainty. I like to think though that also means there are myriad possibilities. Surely something good has to come from that. Right?
New Year's Eve will be particularly meaningful this year as I can't wait to kick this year to the curb and get to the blank canvas that is 2012.