January brought our decision to move from our apartment to live with Donald's parents. The money was running out and my income alone would not sustain us. Donald had been unemployed and looking for approximately 5 months.
In February, I left a job that was probably the best one I had had so far, yet was not even close to meeting my potential or challenging me to improve. We packed and moved over the course of a week, settling in just before the end of the month. We left good friends behind who were expecting a baby in the first week of March and missed being a part of his homecoming.
March saw us through a lot of adjustments, getting settled in our new space, unpacking some boxes and storing others. I hung out for a couple of weeks and then dove right into job searching for myself. Donald continued his search. We also took the opportunity to visit my family while we both had no obligations.
April came with more job applications and an interview or two. I also increased my involvement in a volunteer organization I work with to meet returning Veterans' needs. Donald tried to keep his head above water. May delivered me a new job, a happy thing and a frustrating thing for Donald because I had found one so quickly. I was happy to see that this job actually connected with some of my values, despite my overqualified status.
In June, my insurance kicked in and I got updated with doctor, dentist, optometrist, etc. I made Donald do it too - I'm a big fan of preventative medicine. I started getting involved in my in-laws' garden, pulling weeds, harvesting anything that had ripened, and getting my hands dirty. I also traveled for work for the first time in my life, an interesting experience. July brought me the pleasure of more gardening. I started expanding my knowledge at work, getting through training and making some good connections with helpful people.
August was the beginning of Donald's communication with the company he's currently working for, the beginning of a very long process that is still ongoing. I started learning more and more about my job and the needs of the Veteran population, gaining motivation and energy from the knowledge that I was contributing to creating solutions. I made a last minute travel decision and helped my sister move to her new job. Most importantly, I started my blog. I began the journey that has had the greatest impact of the year on me.
I was so excited about blogging and getting started that I wrote 28 posts in 27 days in August. My first comment was from Jessica at booshy and I was thrilled. I have no idea how she found me. I wrote about so many different topics, including marriage, depression, cooking and baking, gardening, and what it was like to live with my in-laws. It was the beginning of my journey into personal development, the beginning of my blog as a little more than just an online journal. I think my adventure with my sister is a clear indication that by the end of the month, I was open to change and ready to grow.
In September, I branched out in the blogs I was reading for more inspiration. Some days I would post three times. When I posted about other blogs, linking to them and writing about why they had impacted me, I significantly increased the number of comments on my blog. I immediately recognized the value of community, of sharing, and of spreading helpful information to anyone who read what I had to say.
In October, I reduced the number of posts I wrote and tried to focus on themes and quality, sharing my innermost thoughts in search for comfort, support, and encouragement from my readers. I was not disappointed. When I hit a low point, I had the largest number of commenters I had ever had before.
November and December have been very light posting months for me. I think it's partially because of the holidays, because of my workload picking up, and because I have been making an effort to say less and think/listen more. I am doing more than I am talking about doing, and that feels sublime. I'm also in a somewhat more confident place now that Donald is working. It has given me time to think about other things in my life that can be improved and I am happy letting those evolve slowly.
If I haven't said it clearly before now, the community I have discovered and grown with through my blog has had a very positive impact on me. I have grown more in the past few months than I have in several years. I know that I can depend on my readers for a hug, for support and encouragement, for wise words, a kick in the pants, and perspectives based on many years of experience. I am so grateful for all of you and I am excited to see what the new year brings knowing that I have all of you in my life to help me and cheer me on.
In 2010, I am looking forward to quite a few things:
- Improving my relationship with my mom
- Improving my communication with my family and friends
- Moving out of the in-laws' home and into our own, setting up a home
- Adding a dog to our family
- Moving forward on adding children to our family
- Decluttering as I unpack the boxes that have been in storage for almost a year
- Writing in my blog about my experiences and observations, reading the blogs I love
- Doing something just for me at least once a week
- Traveling with Donald before we have a family
- Setting up a clear budget based on our values and priorities
- Starting my own garden
- Cooking and baking and trying new recipes
- Adjusting my job/career to further align with my values and passions, allowing me flexibility and making a contribution
- Standing side by side with Donald and making our marriage flourish
Happy New Year!