Friday, December 30, 2005

Retrospection, 2005

I was going to title this post "2005, the Year that Kicked My Ass." But I just wasn't in the mood for a long title today. Maybe that's because at this year's end I feel rushed for some vague reason. Is it because the kids are home and I'm hesitant to hole up in my office for too long? Or is it just the feeling that the clock is ticking and time is getting away from me? I don't know. But I do want to take a look at this year's big events, mostly from my personal perspective.

The year started with a bang. While the world was reeling from the Tsumani catastrophe I was revisited by my old health nemesis, urinary tract infections. Why this year? Why the sudden recurrence? It seemed a bad omen to start the new year of 2005 in pain and discomfort.

Then I got for my birthday the absolute best gift ever, a red Corvette convertible, my dream car. Wow, now that was great! Unfortunately, only two months after getting it a woman ran a red light and crashed into it, nearly totalling it. I just can't have anything nice. But it could have been worse. If the impact had been on my driver side door instead of the front wheel I would have been hurt. Incidentally, it happened when I was leaving the doctor's office to make sure my urine was clear of infection.

Then in June I got shingles. Not the best way I can think of to start the summer break with the kids. I did get to the doctor in time to take anti-viral medication to alleviate it and keep it from getting as bad as it could have been without the medicine. But it did keep me indoors and out of the heat and therefore away from getting to some of the garden projects I had planned. Looking back now I can see that it wore me down more than I realized at the time.

Around that same time my dad was diagnosed with melanoma. He was getting several spots cut off his back and was having to repeatedly go and have more cut out. He had to have some lymph nodes removed and that was an ordeal. And since then he's been having to have more spots cut off. This has been ongoing and I know he's worn out from it. I'm a little worn out too.

Then there was Katrina. Although I didn't personally experience any of the destruction or its aftermath I did meet a few survivors who came up here. Whenever something of that magnitude happens we all are affected in more ways than we might realize. A disturbance in the Force, if you will. It reverberates all around us. There is a collective effect on us all, psychologically as much as economically or otherwise. We would be very wrong to try to diminish to importance of this event for us all.

After Katrina there were even more destructive storms that didn't get the amount of news coverage that they would have gotten if Katrina hadn't happened. It was a record breaking hurrincane season with the named storms exceeding the alphabet. The full list of named storms for 2005:

Tropical Storm Arlene
Tropical Storm Bret
Tropical Storm Cindy
Hurricane Dennis
Hurricane Emily
Tropical Storm Franklin
Tropical Storm Gert
Tropical Storm Harvey
Hurricane Irene
Tropical Depression Ten
Tropical Storm Jose
Hurricane Katrina
Tropical Storm Lee
Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Nate
Hurricane Ophelia
Hurricane Philippe
Hurricane Rita
Tropical Depression Nineteen
Hurricane Stan
Tropical Storm Tammy
Subtropical Depression Twenty-two
Hurricane Vince
Hurricane Wilma
Tropical Storm Alpha
Hurricane Beta
Tropical Storm Gamma
Tropical Storm Delta
Hurricane Epsilon

This has also been the Year of the Spider. I've had many dreams of spiders, and there have been lots of real spiders too.

And then this year we've been dealing with school issues with my fourth grader. This is the first year that I've had any kind of problems with what's happening at school. I think we've mostly got it worked out, but it has been a big source of stress in this latter third of the year.

And it seems like this last third of the year I've been sick with one thing after another. I had that terrible case of strep throat, and I've caught every virus/bug that has been around. On top of all that I've had several UTIs throughout the year too. I think that getting shingles somehow compromised my immune system so that I'm getting sick all the time. Just my theory, anyway.

And then most recently I ran over the puppy. She's doing okay. We brought her home on Dec. 23. She looks pitiful, but she seems to be getting better. I have had to fight feelings of guilt and regret over the whole thing. It has been just another thing that has kicked my ass this year.

Of course, this year hasn't been all bad. There have been many good things too. I would like to think that somehow I've survived all the bad by trying to keep the good in view. I started this blog this year, and through it I have made some really good friends, even if we haven't ever met face-to-face. This is where I've revealed some of my innermost thoughts and to have people still like me despite those I'm very grateful.

This year has kicked my ass in lots of ways, and I'm a little worn out from it all. I don't want to sound too whiny about it, though, because despite all of that I'm okay. If this had been a few years ago I couldn't have said that. But I really am okay. And that's a big thing for me. As that old saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I've been tested this year, and I think that I am stronger, or at least not weakened by it all (except for my immune system). Nearly everyone I know has been through a really difficult year. This has been the Chinese Year of the Wood Rooster (or Cock, hehehe), The Year of the Big Talk and the Big Reforms. I can't remember where I read it, but I do recall reading that the Year of the Rooster is often marked by lots of difficulties which gives us a lot of potential for growth. That does seem to fit with what has been happening this year, for me at least, more so than the previous few years anyway. Now that I think of it, the last Year of the Rooster was 1993, another difficult year for me.

Well, I suppose I've rambled on too long about it now. I hope we all have a better 2006. So let's all reflect on this year and what we've learned from it and take those lessons with us into next year. No New Year's resolutions for me except for a 'To Do' list of projects I want to complete.

So a Happy and Safe New Year to all!


Mike said...

Have a great New Year...and hopefully a healthier

SierraBella said...

It can only get better from here!

Living out in the boonies, a long way from medical help, I've found something that knocks out urinary tract infections (for me.)
Of all things... Alka Seltzer!
Take as directed. Of course I usually follow it up with some cranberry juice and vodka...

mr_g said...

I can so relate to those sentiments. Let's make this a better year for everyone.

Happy New Year!

Kat said...

That was a great post. You might be right about the Year of the Rooster. I've had a lot of difficulties this year, mostly internal. But like you, I think I'm gonna be OK.

Happy New Year!

eatmisery said...

Happy New Year! I hope this one is a great one for you.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Rae Ann I truly do relate to your feelings. This definitely has been a year to forget for me anyway. Being sick sincerely can take its toll on you in all forms. With reading your post, I reflected as well about my own health issues, hurricanes, and bad news that dominated our homes this year. I think from the Tsumani starting our year off to the Terry Schiavo case then the Pope’s death, by April I had cried my eyes out. Then experiencing hurricanes back to back and of course Katrina’s coverage being from my home area too I found myself totally feeling helpless and numb. Health problems taking possession of my life or being embedded one has me feeling I have to climb a mountain to overcome the spiraling down fall of conditions.

The starting of a blog has helped focus my mind and channel feelings I normally keep to myself. We too have had good news, positive changes i.e. my children’s good health, son’s huge promotion, blessings and unexpected miracles occur. So overall, I have many things to be thankful for. As you mentioned I feel blessed to have a connection with new friends especially you, I’m grateful for that. I feel optimistic that this upcoming year will be better for us all. No resolutions for me either, but I do have a few projects I want to work on and hoping there will be progress made. Wishing your immune system to get stronger and our faith in better days ahead will come very soon. Happy New Year for all of your family from ours. Take care…sending hugs for you all, your Dad, and the puppy. (smiling)

DHammett said...

Nuovo anno felice, Rae Ann.

Rainypete said...

I hope your infecions narf off for good. The same illness devoured my new years like a shot.

Marcus said...

Ouch, shingles blow!

eatmisery said...

Feel like smiling? I posted pictures of my big pregnant belly today, if you want to see it.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Hope you are feeling okay....I have missed you bunches!!!! Sending smiles and hugs.....