It’s on the Upswing — Randomness


Earth daylight Northern summer
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Well, the solstice is over and we’re on the way to having more daylight every day now. Soon we’ll be complaining about the heat and humidity again.

It’s been a surprise, as it normally is, to see how quickly 2009 went by. Just yesterday it was 2008 and there was all the bustle and excitement and disappointment of an election year. Then the holidays rolled around and here I am again at the holidays, and it feels like all I did was blink.

I have to go get my driver’s license renewed very soon here. I’m not looking forward to that. I’ve a lot of reasons for dreading it and all of ‘em are monetary in nature. Oh well, gotta do what I gotta do I guess.

I’ve spent the entirety of 2009 unemployed, living paycheck to paycheck with my unemployment benefits. That’s a blessing – it paid enough for us to survive, if not live. We’ve had some fun, but also some hard times. Right now is a hard time, and there’s no sign of it letting up. I keep hearing in the news about how things are improving in the economy and that simply doesn’t play out in my everyday life.

I had a full year and some where I could’ve been writing mostly full-time. I squandered it. At the same time, the stresses of job hunting and trying to figure out how to get by on a fraction of a regular salary hasn’t exactly been creative-juice flow medicine, you know? I can look back and regret what I didn’t do or look ahead and hope 2010 is better. I choose the latter, even though that’s not my nature. But everyday will be a little longer from here until June.

And that’s it. It’s all I’ve got right now, so I’m sorry this is so boring, but I really have nothing to add.

What about you? Plans for the holidays? Visits, visitors, staying at home?

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

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16 thoughts on “It’s on the Upswing — Randomness

  1. This year my holidays are going to be very different. My father who usually spends New Years in Italy will be staying home. That means he’ll want to spend time with me. Oh dear Lord. I look forward to the holidays because it means less time spent with family, specifically, my father. By the way, this year, my father turned into Clark Griswold and went overboard with the Christmas decorations. He bought 3 Nativity scenes this year. One of them featured a long-haired, blonde Jesus. Last time I checked, babies are born with very short hair and it’s matted down. I also find it hard to believe a desert-dwelling Jew could birth a blonde child.

    Yeah, no shortage of Aryan Jesus images out there. Unfortunately. Yes, Israelis don’t tend toward blond.

    Then there’s the Christmas lights in both front and back yards. There’s nobody in the backyard, the lights there are nothing but a waste on energy.

    Hehehehe.

    For New Years, I got invited to Bobette’s friend’s place by Bobette. I dunno. Feels like a pity invite. I’m not gonna go. My brother and sister invited me over as well. I’m gonna go there instead.

    Pity invite? Huh. Well, since you have another offer, I guess declining is all right. You sure she’s not trying to set you up with her buddy?

    All the days in between, at work.

    Bummer, but at least you’re working. *Sigh*

    Have a Merry Christmas, bud, and Happy New Year if I don’t talk to ya.

  2. Job hunting is stressful, and hard, and it sucks when you’re not bringing as much into the household as your other half, but eventually, it comes around. Right before last Christmas, our household income was slashed down to 1/3 of what we were making in 2007, and this year, we’re still only really at about 2/3’s of where we used to be, too. Right now, I am working more due to the holidays, and that’s a bonus, but it will go back to my usual 10-15 hours a week once the season slows down again. It’s hard, and it’s rough, but it’s made us more creative with our spending and time. When we had the money, we spent it foolishly, and didn’t plan for a rainy day when we easily could have. Now, we’ve sold off a ton of our belongings to down size and we’re working on having savings, but we go out and do more now. We take advantage of our Air Miles card (I don’t know what the US has of equivalent) and cash in our points for movie tickets, so we never pay to see a movie. We go for walks and picnics all summer/fall long, rather than just going for dinner out. We keep an eye on the local paper for functions, activities in the area that sound fun and aren’t too pricey, or in some cases, free. I’ve become neurotic with my coupon clipping, and you know what, my Mama was right – you do save a lot!

    Listen to your mama. 😉 Every little bit helps. What’s an Air Miles card?

    Just having our income slashed, and still not being back to where we were, has made us re-evaluate things in our life, how we go about things, and how to do things better, without spending much. So I know if our income someday goes back to what is was, or higher, we’ll still be spending below. For Christmas this year, we’ve spent a little, but a lot are homemade gifts, and baked goods.

    Re-evaluation can be good. Nothing wrong with homemade gifts either. 🙂

    I hate getting my picture taken for my license. The one I had done when I was 16 was great, no one believed me it was legit because I looked normal in it, they all swore I paid for a do-over. The one I had done when I was 21… ugh… not so hot.

    I don’t like getting my picture taken for ANY reason. *Sigh*

    What are you planning for a resolution for 2010? What do you hope to happen in the coming months?

    Resolution? Ha. Life must be stable for me to resolve, darlin’. If it ever is, I won’t need a holiday to do it. 🙂 I hope, in the coming months. for that stability. Somehow, some way. 🙂

    Merry Christmas!

    • An Air Miles card (www.airmiles.ca) is a points collecting card, which can be set up with an American Express card, or a Mosaic Master Card to increase your point-getting. But essentially, it’s a card you carry around to different stores and you can collect points, and then redeem them for trips, groceries, movie tickets, electronics, entertainment packages… all kinds of stuff! It’s very handy! First time I cashed mine in when when Matt and I were moving in together, and I ended up with like $500 in grocery coupons which was pretty sweet! Now, we redeem them for movie passes all the time, because we’re always going to budget for groceries, we don’t always budget for a night out.

      Sounds pretty cool! If there’s an equivalent in the States, I don’t know what it is. 🙂

  3. I’ll be having my mom and 2 brothers along with their attachments over here on Christmas afternoon. We’ll be having cheesecake, pie, and bourbon balls, and I hope somebody brings egg nog. Guess I’d better call somebody and let them know. Gotta think of some real-type food to make. Maybe a ham, screw the sides. That’s easy.

    Hm, ham sounds good. But c’mon — instant mashed spuds or SOMETHING. You gotta have ONE side. 😉

    It’s weird when you say you’ve been out of work all year. It’s so hard to spend a whole year in one place, nothing good and nothing outrageously bad, just the same thing over and over. Your soul gets bored. It’s hard to write with a bored soul…but maybe making up crazy stuff is what a bored soul needs to occupy itself. I guess you could look at this year as a sabbatical. You’re all rested up now and ready to go.

    Yeah. I guess. *Sigh*

    The solstice really caught me by surprise this year. Back when I had a regular day job, it was incredibly depressing to me to get out in the ever-darker mornings. I anticipated the solstice as the beginning of the end to those depressing days. Apparently it doesn’t bother me anymore. Guess I’m too busy getting the kids ready to care that it’s still dark. I think it also helps that I get more sleep now that all the kids are above toddler age.

    I always like it. I love the heavy overcast days and the long nights. What I hate is the bitter-ass cold. 🙂

    Sorry I rambled. Maybe I should have kept blogging, huh? lol

    LOL Merry Christmas and Happy New Year if we don’t talk beforehand, sweetie. 🙂

  4. Sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble finding a job.

    Thanks Bob. I appreciate the support and encouragement. 🙂 Have a Merry and blessed Christmas, and a very Happy New Year in the event we don’t talk online before.

  5. Aside from my very special trans-family reunion, I’m not doing anything special for Christmas. I prefer it that way. I find Christmas to be a time when I can’t stop comparing myself to the families I see on TV Christmas specials. I switch from my usual attitude of gratitude to completely silly self-pity and sadness. This is a bad habit from my past, and I kick back at it by keeping as much as possible to my normal schedule at this time of year. I’m doing well now because we don’t have cable anymore so I’m not being force-fed ads and goopy stories.

    I can’t stop thinking about how “normal” might look. How much I want it, miss it. I guess you never know what you have until it’s gone. Being so far from it, and being so difficult to get back, has made things important to me that probably shouldn’t be. Yes, it’s depressing. I try to be grateful, but I’m melancholy by nature anyway so I tend to be down when things turn even a teensy bit south. And right now, I’ve a lot to be grateful for. So I’m working diligently to concentrate on those things. So, I do understand how you feel.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, and a blessed and Happy New Year, Spark! 🙂

  6. I’m sorry about your employment status. I know how difficult it is; the stress is ridiculous. I would come apart at the seams being 60 years old, if I was to lose my job. (I’d have to break out the ol’ ski mask for my life of crime!)

    I’m almost there myself Steve. 😉

    Anyway, I sincerely hope you and your family have a good Christmas holiday and New Year brings abundant blessings for you all.

    Thank you, sir, and all the Lord’s rich blessings to you and yours this Christmas and New Year! 🙂

  7. It doesn’t feel like Christmas is only 3 days away. Maybe like Red I’m immune or impervious because I cancelled my cable and don’t have to watch obnoxious holiday specials featuring Vanessa Williams. Actually, it’s a bit refreshing except for the fact that I can’t watch any of the college football bowl games. *sniffle*

    As for holiday plans… I’m looking forward to Squish’s first Christmas. She’s almost 8 months old now (can you BELIEVE it!?!?!) and loves playing with paper. She’s going to be a hoot when it comes to unwrapping gifts, I think. I haven’t really bought her anything from us or from Santa. Instead, I’m going to wrap all her old toys in paper and let her open them on Christmas Day. She won’t know that she already owns them and it saves us from spending money on toys that will clutter the house. Plus, the kid is happy playing with plastic clotheshangers. Maybe I’ll wrap a few of those too 🙂

    Ben splurged and got her rubber duckies of all sizes because she loves to play and splash in the tub as well as a stuffed bear chair that folds out into a toddler-sized couch / bed thingie. It’s actually pretty cute. I’m sure we’ll have pictures on her site later that day. I know my family is going to spoil her rotten so I don’t feel bad on cutting back on our spending on her. She will have MORE than enough. I’m also going to put a big red bow on my new car as ‘our’ Christmas gift to each other. Squish is headed to my parents’ house tomorrow because I’m short a babysitter for the holidays so I bought a bottle of ‘Fro-Zin,’ an ice wine made with red zinfandel grapes and some chocolate truffles. Ben and I will have those as a nice gift together. It’s the little things, you know?

    Holiday plans include his parents’ on Christmas morning after we open gifts at our house, then up to my parents’ place 30 miles away for our family stuff. Saturday morning we leave bright and early for Western PA to celebrate my extended family Christmas. Ben gets to drive my sister’s Hummer out there so he’s kind of excited about that.

    I can’t believe it’s been over a year since you’ve been employed. We’re definitely keeping you guys in our thoughts and prayers. I still have the card we got from the kids last year 🙂

    Sounds like it’ll be a fun-filled and love-warmed Christmas at your place. Have a wonderful holiday and God bless! 🙂

  8. I tried to comment earlier, but for some reason, my comments are not being accepted on any blog … (just trying here again)

    Hm. Your comments are being re-routed to spam. I’m wondering if WordPress decided to kick Askimet up so any domain with an “x” in it is deemed pornography? Curious. Is this true for your comments on EVERY WordPress blog, or just mine and V’s?

  9. Thank you for sharing your experiences in 2009. In the very short time that I’ve come to know your writing, I had no idea of your personal circumstances. You continue to inspire and, even in your personal account, you look forward to the lengthening time of light. I appreciate your enlightening perspective. I now look at solstice in a different way (I was going to say ‘light.” but that seemed gratuitous).

    Well, thank you Berna. You’re very sweet. 🙂

    My own holidays are becoming more and more basic. My husband put up our artificial, though very life-like tree today, and I will decorate tomorrow. I’m making bon-bons to give out on Christmas day, and will mail more cards out tomorrow. I went to the post office at the mall yesterday, and thought of a haiku about the retail impostor of Christmas (“escape the vortex” on my page). I’m not as harried, and not worried if things don’t get done in time. Much is because of our finances, but perhaps the combination of age and evolving faith has more influence.

    It’s nice to think that, isn’t it? 😉

    Besides, the shepherds did not not have blackberrys to coordinate their trek to the manger, and the wise men (the number is purely conjecture) got there when they got there.

    Two years. It took about two years for that trip. No GPS, just that “star.” And no matter how many there were then, wise men still seek Him, do they not? 🙂

    What I hold on to is Emmanuel means God with us, and Hosanna, while no longer used in everyday speech, means whoop-tee-do!, we’re not in this by ourselves!

    Be encouraged, my friend. your looking ahead inspires!

    Thank you again, and God bless you and yours this Christmas and New Year, and all through your lives. 🙂

  10. I realized the other day that I’ve “known” you and Falcon for a year now. WOW! Time flies.

    It sure does! It’s been nice knowing you though. 🙂

    No big holiday plans. My son is home from school and my daughter is coming home on the 24th for a few days. We are just going to hang out and have family time.

    And that is excellence, I say. 🙂

  11. I’m hoping that since we are on the other side we can join in the upswing of longer days. Gratitude for the past year and eager heart for future blessings seems like a good path to me. Sometimes, most times, we only have our response – gratitude keeps me sleeping and waking up willing. Wishing the same for you and your family Darc. Keep up the faith.

    Thanks, Jaymie. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! All the best to you and yours! 🙂

  12. Good plan, Dane! Always look forward. I wish you the best of luck with everything in 2010. My husband has been unemployed most of this year too, so I know where you’re coming from.
    Good luck!
    -V

    Thanks, V! You too! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  13. We are home for xmas. Just us and the girls. Quiet and family.

    Sorry to here about hard times coinciding with xmas. I hope 2010 brings you ease.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours:)

    Thank you, Annie, and Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. 🙂

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