As it seems most bloggers (and people in general) are doing at this time of year, I too am finding myself reflecting back on the past 52 weeks of life. My original intent was to do a look back in pictures, but I found as I was attempting to put that together, I realized that the effort was not going to be worthy of the cause. I'd rather just reflect through my words and thoughts, since the pictures wait on past blog posts to retell those stories.
Because I am a teacher, I have the somewhat unique privilege of getting to do this kind of reflection bi-annually - once at this time of year and once in June, as I finish my teaching year. So, 2009, to me, exists in 2 parts.
The first part of 2009, up through June, was mostly hectic, from my recollection. It was during this time that I had job woes and spent much time stressing about finding a solution. I also was struggling with many of the parents of my students during that time, as I was still learning about how to balance those relationships. However, it was great as well - I was finally becoming more comfortable with teaching and not needing to work 12+ hours every day. I was having more time to spend with Ed since I wasn't staying in the classroom as late, which was heavenly. And, in general I think I survived my first year of teaching remarkably well. In my non-work life, life was wonderful. We were gearing up for 2 weddings - my sister Ashley's and my friend Christine's, which both happened in early summer (June and May respectively). Right before the first of these events, I got to enter into wedding excitement of my own, as Ed proposed on Mt. Tam.
The second part of 2009 has little negativity to mar the wonderfulness of these months. Ed and I have spent some time (but not too much) working on planning a small, quite, and meaningful wedding. I ended up getting a wonderful new job at a school I love with students who constantly amaze me. I feel so much more confident (and effective) as an educator and am excited about my job every day. As icing on the proverbial cake, I also finally started running again this fall, once I finally decided to make health a priority. I've lost almost 18 lbs and went a top distance of 8.2 miles, with plans for a 10.9 mile race at Big Sur this spring. After so many false starts, I had finally be able to follow through on my goals and I know that I will keep this up and feel athletic, energetic, and happy into this next year.
This coming year has so much goodness promised to me. I get to spend 6 more months with my wonderful pupils at my great school. Then I get to marry the man that I love in the place that I love most. From there, I get to spend two weeks in Europe, playing a mixture of tourist and houseguest as Ed and I explore Italy and Germany.
The tricky thing with being a teacher (or at least with being a young teacher), is I don't know what my entire year will bring. August onward spreads out before me like a blank canvas, with a number of potential images able to be painted upon it. Hopefully it will show me continuing to teach at my current school or, barring that, in my current district. If that is not what my future holds, that at least it should show me teaching somewhat. This uncertainty is against my planning nature, but if last year is any indication, things will work out wonderfully.
No matter what this year brings, there are some elements that I am confident will be threaded throughout. There will, of course, be Ed, as my fiance and as my husband (yay!!). There will be my family, spread throughout California but always close in my heart. There will be running and the outdoors which, now that I have a grip on it, I will not let go again. And there will be good food. The past few months have shown me the wonderfulness of cooking good healthy food, and I am excited to have a whole new year to expand in this pursuit.
So, thank you for sharing in these years with me. Sometimes I feel badly because I used to have entries full of day long, exciting excursions and races, full of amazing places and stories. The past few years have had, predictably, a dearth of excitement. However, I've started on my road to recovery. And I hope that I can start having more entries soon, and entries with real stories to tell. Thanks for sticking with me through this all - and know that this next year is going to be a good one.