Friday, December 26, 2008

My Changing World

"Changes" Original artwork by bugfriends.

Each year, as we hit the change over between the old year and the new, most of us sit back and think a little about the year that's just passed.  Maybe we're thinking through our New Years Resolutions, or maybe we're just listening to every one else's, but it's kind of hard to escape that trend this time of year.  I'm starting my reflecting a little early this year. No, this post isn't about New Years Resolutions (although that might come in a later post), this is simply about my changing world.

Looking back at last year this time, my life was in the middle of a massive upheaval. One of the best possible. On this date last year I had been married for a short 11 days! As it is for most couples, that was the start of many changes in my life. While I had already become a part of my new hubbies family in many ways, this meant that I now had a new "mom" and "dad," and that I went to the family Christmas party! It meant learning to share my bathroom with a guy, and his utter amazement at how much bathroom stuff a tom-boy can own. It meant learning to share my bed with a guy, and since our bed is only a full-sized, that took some doing! It has meant growing to have a much deeper understand of the art of compromise.  Best of all, it has meant growing deeper in love with my best friend as each day goes by.

My youngest brother, who has been one of my closest friends ever since we were little, moved across the world last January. That has been an emotion filled change as I miss him dearly, but I'm also incredibly proud of him.  I wouldn't have wanted him to make any other choices than the one's he has made, but it's been hard to go through so many changes in my own life and not be able to talk to him about them in depth like we used to.

This time last year I was getting ready to start the Winter Quarter at Central Washington University. College life is inherently full of change as your schedule changes every few months, and along with it, the people you see on a daily basis.  I have always found that change to be a little thrilling. Probably because I could let my love of learning shine through without yet knowing how rough my course load would get!

I saw many more changes in my life though than the simply change in schedules of the changing quarters. As Winter Quarter started I got really sick.  Not that abnormal for me (Winter's always the worst for me), but as time we went on we realized that I was much worse than usual. Come February of this year I was going through the painful process of quitting my job, and the painful realization that I'd barely missed being fired.  I couldn't do it anymore though. I was barely making it to classes, let alone work!

As time progressed we realized that this battle was going to be a long one, and that has been the catalyst to the most difficult changes in my life of this last year. Eventually the cold that started it all went away, but the asthma did not improve.  The doctors put me on steroids.  That was supposed to be temporary - it wasn't. I began seeing a pulmonologist, carrying an epi-pen, and negotiating with my teachers to turn in late work.

Through all of this I've grown ever closer to my dear husband.  He's taken care of me with a steady calm that amazes me. When I'm freaking out, he stays at peace, when I'm exhausted and can't do things, he steps up and takes care of me, and when I need help and strength, he is there.

The doctors began urging early on that I drop out of school and move back to my home town, on the hope that the environment there was better for me, but that was one change that was very difficult for me to make.  I knew that my health problems had grown severe enough that no one would see me as a quitter, but that didn't matter, I felt like a quitter! Finally, after months of trying multiple medications, and repeatedly trying unsuccessfully to wean my body off the steroids, we moved back to our home town. 

That was last September, and it feels like we've been in a constant state of change since then too! Meeting new doctors of all sorts and shapes, working with getting a new insurance company set up, house sitting for two months, and then finding and moving into our own apartment, new job for the hubby, and applying hubby for a new University.  It's been a whirl-wind!

We gotten through it though, together. Many of the changes have been really hard, but the good side has been that it's deepened some of my closest friendships, including the one with my husband. For that I'm truly grateful!

But wait...there's been even more changes!

As a part of dealing with my illness I began to work with an old hobby of mine on a more consistent basis - jewelry making.  Eventually I realized I needed to find a way to finance this hobby (especially since I was unemployed) and a friend lead me to www.etsy.comRose Works Jewelry was born! That has lead to many changes, many new friends, and even my own radio show on Block Head Radio! I'm truly blessed by all the doors that have opened for me through selling my jewelry and I don't think I would have dealt with the other changes in my life half as well as I was able to if I hadn't had that outlet.

I'm not someone who's ever liked unplanned changes.  In fact, I've often struggled with planned changes! One of the things I've struggled with this year is facing the uncertainty of the unknown.  I've been constantly having to change my way of thinking, my patterns, and give up on planning for more than the very immediate future.  That's been a painful process, but as I look forward to this next year, I can see that it's a process that has really grown me. 

I look forward to this next year and I see a nebulous cloud in front of me.  I know some changes that are coming up in the near future, but I really can't see much beyond the next couple of months, and I'm ok with that.  Yes, it would be nice to have some idea where I'm going to be in my life this time next year, but right now I'm ok with just having a small clue of where I'm going to be in my life in three months.  Because my life has become so nebulous, when I set my New Year's goals I'm only going to set them for those first few months, and then I'll go back and write new goals after that. I don't see any point in trying to write goals for the whole year this time because I've been shown how drastically my life can change in that one short year!


uniquecommodities said...

Great blog! Thanks so much for sharing your life and story with us! You are an awesome woman!

Kate said... I knew most of this, in bits and pieces, but seeing it all put together brings home what a year it's been for you. Well done to survive and thrive!

Pamela Baker said...

As I am drying my tears, I am thinking of how so many complain that their husbands are never there etc; but God has given you the best mate possible.
It also hit home because I too had to quit my job which I had worked up to the position I had only wanted, only to find that each day I was suffering more and more pain. It turned out to be some neurological thing (long story). So my life is painkillers and muscle relaxers; but as I tell people I am the happiest unemployed person since now, for once I am doing all that I love to do. Crocheting, quilting and knitting have always been my forte'; I just started learning to make jewelry about 3 years ago. We are lucky to have found such support among our Etsy friends, and I am here for you also (at any time!)

storybeader said...

I think things happen for a reason - call me crazy! It's great that your DH is so understand and has stood by you. You know he's constant, right? I hope so. And I'm thinking your brother needs a blog, or internet access! What wonderful things are going to happen in the future? Isn't that exciting?!

Live, Love, Laugh, Write! said...

Thanks so much guys :) You have all been so wonderful! *HUGS*

Paisley The Jackabee said...

You sure have been through alot this past year. You're blessed to have a wonderful husband.

Carapace said...

My madboy proposed to me in the midst of some of my worst health problems. And then of course there's the vows, where everyone promises to look after each other in sickness and health...but it's still shocking, and kind of humbling, when they actually DO it. I'm so glad your guy is one of the good ones, too-- it makes such a difference!

And sharing a bed is my favorite part of being married! Especially in winter. Mmmmm, snuggly.:D

And always, always, always remember-- you're not quitting anything, you're starting everything. You're exploring options many never notice. Be proud!