End of year blog

Well my friends, yesterday was my birthday and I turned 36 years old. As scary as it is to be closer to 40 than to 30 it is not nearly as scary as being closer to 50 than to 20 (as my friend Ken thoughtfully pointed out on facebook). C’est la vie, right? This sort of thing does not usually affect me as it does other people. When I turned 30 I was depressed, but not because of the big 3 0, but because it was my first alone in Athens and after only six months here I did not have a lot of people to celebrate with and could not even manage a Christmas tree.

But every birthday for me is a time to reflect on my life, and what I went through that past year and what I expect to go through in the next. Maybe it is because my birthday is so close to the New Year, maybe it’s that old soul creeping up again.

Anyway, as I look at my life in 2009, so many changes, so many highs and lows, it makes me very hopeful for 2010 and all the new decade will bring: the twenty teens.

In 2009 I managed to survive the most hectic period of my life. In the first six months of the year I had a full time job, I wrote and defended a Master’s thesis, I planned a wedding in Puerto Rico from Georgia, and I packed most of my life in preparation for my after marriage move. One of my favorite memories of the year was Michael and I sitting on the bed of the hotel in Guajataca, eating wedding cake with our fingers (because we were too hung over to think utensils) saying to each other: “I can’t believe we pulled that off.”

A few months after that I had one of my biggest disappointments, teaching. Most of us at one point or another have wanted to be a teacher, a lot of us think we can do it, but I have come to accept that we are mostly in love with the ideal of teaching. Faced with the reality of what teaching in the public school system means in 2009, and how much of it means conforming and teaching the kids to conform… well let’s just say at first I was disappointed in myself for not being able to do it. But after three months of funemployment I am not disappointed in myself anymore. I feel like I saw a dream die and my friends that is worse. Losing an ideal is something hard to come to grips with.

So for three months I have been at home doing the Suzie Homemaker thing. It has been awesome. I know some of you are thinking: “Duh, of course it is awesome” and others are thinking:”What do you do all day?” Well, I get up usually before eight and make myself some breakfast while I clean up the mess Michael left for me. I watch either the Today show or Morning Joe while I eat my breakfast, check my emails, and think about what’s next for me that day. The morning usually involves some laundry, or dishes, or scooping the poop from the litter boxes, you get the idea. There are days when I don’t feel like getting out of bed too early and I stay in bed and read whatever was on my night stand until I have to get up and get some food.

My days have gone by with me reading (since I quit my job I have finished six books and currently working through two more), cross-stitching projects, writing stuff I am not ready to share, cooking, watching a lot of news programs and TV shows I DVR, and listening to podcasts of NPR, Dan Savage, and Mark Maron. If you have not listened to WTF with Mark Maron, go listed to him. It started in the summer and I discovered him sometime in November, so I went back and listened to the whole series. I now go and download it weekly-something I have never done. You all know me. If you think we have a similar sense of humor you would enjoy it too. If you do not enjoy it- maybe you don’t know me as well as you think. Ha!

Michael and I went to Athens yesterday for my birthday. We had Thai food for lunch and went to watch “Up in the Air”. It is a great movie, go see it. Again, if you like my tastes in movies… don’t go expecting a formulaic, Hollywood movie. I had a great birthday. Michael got me “Half the sky” by Nicholas Krystoff. If you do not know what it is look it up on Amazon and think about getting it for yourself or someone you love. Great cause. I will let you know what I think of the book when I have read it.

As an update of what is to come I should let you guys know I will start working at Davis Floral with Michael in January. Some of you know I have been avoiding this for our first year of marriage. I have spent some time there helping Michael with some projects. I do a lot of translating and computer work for him- as slave labor. As Michael said “I get room and board, so it isn’t free”, to which I responded “so did the slaves”. Anyway, everyone seems to agree I should get on payroll. After spending time there I do believe Michael and I can work together, but I am still hesitant to work with my in laws. My mother in law is working toward retiring- effective June 1st. That is her goal and I think all of you who know her know she deserves it. As she pulls back the plan is for me to take more on. And so starting in January I will be the office manager and the human resource person. I will keep you all posted on how that turns out.

Well my friends, I hope you guys have a great holiday. Thank you for all the birthday wishes, and the Christmas cards. I love Christmas. Michael wants to ban it because he does not believe in Christ, but I will continue the good fight. As my dear brother Kano says: Happy Lisamas!



  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY again! I miss you, but am soooooo glad we got to hang out in ATL - it just wasn't long enough...Anyway - best of luck starting at the greenhouse - I think you'll like it.


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