- bag ice cubes
- stomp just‐picked cotton into semi trailers
- check traps in cotton fields for moths
- give campus tours
- schedule meetings
- adjust stock brokers’ commissions
- set up events
- set up a veterinary database
- maintain donor records
- swing dance
- read tarot cards
- stock books
- teach Quakerism
- do page layout
- edit books
- make sandwiches
- edit magazines
- host at parties
I’ve not often done an end/beginning of the year look at the state of my life, but as I was sitting at the laundromat this morning it seemed like a good way to use some of the time. I’ve continued to muse over the course of the day. So here are some reflections on the ups and downs of my life over the past year, a little context, and some hopes for 2011.
2010 was a difficult year
- It feels like it will be a laundry list of whining when I start off with “I’m dissatisfied with my job,” but, well, I am. I’ve been working on both attitude and actual job content for the last few months, but on balance it ends up in the negative column. Here’s hoping for a better 2011!
- In mid‐March the roof blew off my side of the three‐floor apartment building I live in (on the third floor), sending lots and lots and lots of water pouring down my walls and through my kitchen. It was months before it was fixed. I do have very nice new walls and floor in the kitchen now, but it was nothing short of hellish.
- One of my cats had a seizure during the whole kitchen chaos. I felt really helpless. The vet didn’t find anything, and she has seemed fine since.
- Speaking of not finding anything: I had my routine half‐century colonoscopy, and it was clean (as was an upper GI endoscopy).
- I lost ten pounds (on purpose). Here’s to hoping I can continue the trend in 2011!
- I took Wednesdays off work during August. What a great decision!
- I spent less than in 2009. Never a bad thing.
- Three really excellent trips: I had lovely, lovely visits with old friends in Minneapolis before and after working at the UUA’s annual General Assembly; I went to my friends Margaret and Alice’s home in Vermont for a longish weekend; and I went to California to see my family.
Changes in Second Life
In the spring I sold my last remaining region in Second Life. I no longer wanted to be a landlord, and the full cost of a sim was way out of line with my current enjoyment of Second Life. On the other hand, the year ended in absolute delight and pleasure in a gift from Wynx Whiplash for the 12th day of Wootmas in Raglanshire: a tiny reindeer. (A gift to anyone, not a gift just to me. All the more wonderful and generous for that.)
My life is really pretty cushy when contrasted with those in Haiti and Chile dealing with earthquakes and those in Pakistan dealing with floods. Not to mention the horrific environmental devastation caused by British Petroleum (and our collective addiction to oil) in the Gulf of Mexico.
Along with most everyone else, I wept and wept when the epidemic of GLBT teen suicides came to our attention. And I weep a different kind of tears when I see the “It Gets Better” videos created by people from all walks of life, right from GLBT teens to the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. As one of my favorite bloggers, Andrew Sullivan, often ends his posts, “Know hope.”
It didn’t seem possible the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was actually going to be repealed. I could hardly believe when it was. I’ve never wanted to serve in the military, and I believe violence is evil even when it is the least bad option that we can see. But it’s hard to express the depth to which the repeal of DADT (and the eventual end of the policy) affects my sense of being an actual, equal citizen of the United States. It is a constant assault to have something as personal as one’s sexuality constantly paraded through the news as a political and cultural football. What a relief to have taken one more step to putting that discussion to bed.
I have a few things I’d like to do in 2011.
- Go outside every day. (The days I work at home, and sometimes on weekends, I may spend the whole day inside.)
- Sit still every day for ten minutes. Not just sitting and reading, or sitting at the computer, or sitting and listening to music. Just sitting. A long overdue response to my ongoing spiritual drought.
- Take lunch to work at least once a week. Yes, that will be a change, sad to say.
Happy New Year to everyone.
Early morning, Wednesday, 27 January
Just in from Kathleen Bartholomew, Kage Baker’s sister and care giver:
Kage’s doctor has informed us she has reached the end of useful treatment. The cancer has slowed, but not stopped. It has continued to spread at an unnatural speed through her brain, her lungs and — now — reappeared in her abdomen. It is probably a matter of a few weeks, at most.
Kage has fought very hard, but this is just too aggressive and mean. She’s very, very tired now, and ready for her Long Sleep. She’s not afraid.
We’ve been in a motel the last week or so, in order to complete her therapy. I’ll have her home in her own bedroom by the weekend, though, so end of life care can take place in more comfortable surroundings.
There are two intertwined sources of grief in this news.
First, I love Kage Baker’s books, especially the Company novels.
Second, my late friend Barbara and I read most of them together as they came out, and they were central to our recognition that we turned time and again to unorthodox time‐travel books. (Other notable authors in that category are Kim Stanley Robinson and Connie Willis.)
And now not only will I not be reading new Kage Baker novels with Barbara, I won’t be reading any at all. Barbara’s last weeks at home in hospice care were rich and filled with loving friends and family, and she simply never woke up from an afternoon nap. My prayers are with Kage, her sister, their family and friends, as she continues along the path we will all walk one day.