Friday, June 22, 2012

2012 to date

2012 is almost halfway through. The year itself still seems like a futuristic number that is way off in the distance.  I remember writing 1983 on a workbook in school, which is now “a long time ago.”

2012 started off with my aunt not doing so well health-wise. She has complained of liver trouble for years, but never really showed deterioration in that respect.  At Christmas, she had started to gain fluid around her ankles.  By the end of February, she was quite jaundiced and unable to get around very much.  She passed away on April 22.  It happened so quickly that I’m still finding it hard to accept as reality some days.  At the funeral, her friends told me that she spoke of me, they knew who I was.  For someone with 6 grandchildren and some great-grandchildren, I find it odd that she would have spoken enough about me for it to be memorable.  John would probably say that yes, my aunt did think I was special.  I don’t disagree with that, I guess it’s just that I didn’t realize the magnitude.

I’m dealing with the loss as best I can. It’s tough not having that remaining connection to Nana, as well as the connection to a lady who had such a wonderful smile, big hugs, and lots of love.  I can’t think or talk too much about it or I start to cry.  So much knowledge, experience, intelligence is now gone because she passed away.  I have been learning to deal with death better than I have in the past, but I still can’t get over the “never able to speak to them again” factor.  So many times I’ve caught myself saying I should ask a grandparent or aunt about something, only to have it hit me again that they’re gone. It’s hard.  It makes me think about how my parents won’t be around forever, and then I get really upset.

Moving on…

One of the good things that came out of my aunt's illness was that it forced me to begin a family photo scanning project I had been meaning to get to for quite a while.  When we went to visit my aunt in February, she made sure I got my scanning done of the pictures from her library.  After multiple hours at her condo, with much appreciated help from John, we got everything from her pile that I wanted copies of scanned in and saved to Dropbox. I took some additional albums home with me, ones that had been my grandfather's, and finished those in March and April.  I borrowed my Dad's MFP for that project and it worked well.  Next fall/winter, when Dad is away and I can again borrow the MFP, I plan on tackling some of my own library.  It's been quite an experience, seeing photos of my grandparents and parents that I had never seen before. Having everything scanned in makes things very easy to access, and there are no worries over having to make copies or split up the originals.  Storing them on Dropbox means I don't have to worry about hard drive crashes.  It's been a learning experience, seeing the past in various stills: wishing some things were the same, glad others are different.

It’s hard to combat lethargy in the winter, but I had a couple of informal New Year’s resolutions this year.  One, to not leave dishes piled in the sink for too long.  Two, to be more active instead of huddling on the couch to avoid being cold.  I’m happy to report that I’ve been successful at both.  Dishes still pile up, but not for as long as they did in the past.  On the activity part, I started Zumba. I’ve tried many different ways to exercise without boredom, and this is the first one I’ve actually stuck with.  It’s fun, not too demanding, and unlike a dance class, I don’t have to perfect steps or practice.  I go for an hour twice a week, and so far my blood pressure has improved due to the aerobic activity (though this was never an issue for me in the past).  I also walk in the mornings on the treadmill, and walk outside at lunch provided it’s sunny and not winter.  This is probably the most active I’ve ever been in my life.  It hasn’t really translated into weight loss because I still have bad eating habits, but at least I am getting out and doing something I enjoy.

2012 has either been very kind to my friends, or totally kicked them in the ass.  I had quite a few friends move to bigger, nicer houses; a baby was born; a wedding; new jobs and career paths for others.  Then there are the friends who seemed to get the short end of the stick this year: one has cancer, another a rotten roof that cost $25k to fix, and another who reached a scary personal crossroads.  I want so much to wave that magic wand and fix things for them, but until I get some superpowers, I’ll have to help in other ways. 

2012 has yielded some changes for me at work, but sometimes I fear not enough… that’s all I can say about that.  I’m still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.  If I’ve [unconsciously] chosen this path of career over children, shouldn’t I be working toward making money for myself vs someone else?  Why aren’t I doing something I love, something I’m passionate about… but what would that be?  Starting to ask some questions I never thought I’d pose of myself, and some of the same questions I've been struggling with for a long time.  Work probably takes up 90% of my thought time, which probably explains why I feel so tired.

On the hobby front, I’m back in the swing of knitting after a long hiatus.  I think it was a good break. I’m trying now to focus on projects I actually want to do, with skill levels that aren’t too demanding.  I’m quite proud of the scarf I knit for John… despite it being wool and too itchy for him to wear.  I still need to try a wool soak and see if that makes any difference.  That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to your husband saying “don’t make it out of wool, it’s too itchy.”  But it’s a nice-looking scarf, if I do say so myself.  Lately I’ve been working on some baby blankets. I knit one and sent it to my cousin in BC. I  am working on one for a pregnant lady at work.  I picked up more yarn last weekend, this time light purple, to knit up another blanket for another cousin.  After that, I may take a stab at some mittens.  I’ve shied away from knitting anything more for my nephews since the "sad sweater," but mittens are something that can be useful and you don’t have to worry about them as a fashion statement.

My goddaughter, who is also a first cousin, just graduated from high school this week. I had no doubt that she would achieve this, but I am still proud of her.  She looked so beautiful in her prom dress that it almost made me cry.  I can't wait to see her get through university (she's chosen science) and to see what she does next.

People ask me what's new with me, and I always reply: "not much."  I look at what's gone on so far this year, and it doesn't seem like much to me, but I've managed to write a long blog about it.  Guess I've been doing something with my time.

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