Rumspringa

Watching a documentary about the Amish I rediscovered the word Rumspringa,  that period of time in adolescence when the Amish youth are free to experience the outside world.  How fitting I thought.

My rumspringa is over.  I took a year to go a little wild, try some new crazy things, and spend money without a thought.  2013 is about reeling it back in.  Taking stock.  What did I like, what do I want to continue?  What did I try that absolutely was not me?  I am taking control of my life, which has felt so out of control and on autopilot at times the last few years.  Now I am re-establishing some routine.  Taking time for me.  Saying no more often and yes to treating myself better.  I have dabbled in veganism (and might just stick with it) and have given up alcohol.  Not forever I’m sure, just taking a break.  Giving my body a rest.  Austerity Elliot is in full effect this year and I will be watching my pennies and doing what needs to be done.  I will be finding new ways of being frugal and living with less.  It is a topic that is close to my heart and now I am able to truly simplify.  This year will be full of the unexpected as all years are and have been, but I am also hopeful for some completion.  Divorce.  Graduation.  Refinancing.  2013 is going to be challenging, but I think I’m up for it.

Settling

Well, we have come to an agreement through mediation.  I could have done better perhaps, but I could also be a lot worse off.  I’m sure people who say things like take him to the cleaners mean well, but I’m also fairly certain they’ve been watching too much court room drama.  The fact is attorneys are expensive and pretty useless in terms of negotiating.  It is up to the two people to sort it out.  Husband has been reasonable and fair even, but it is not enough income-wise to allow me to qualify to refinance the house on my own.  But I am determined to keep it and I know there must be a way to accomplish this.  I love the house, neighborhood, city, and I am not letting go easily.  The more time I spend asking for more money, the more money is wasted in this process and the less likely I will be able to recover emotionally.  Until the papers are signed and everything is settled, I live in this netherworld of past memories and future fears.  Once it’s done, I no longer have to continually revisit it, as happens every now and again when we meet for a meal and do business things like closing accounts.  It is so nice and we are comrades still it seems, know each other so well, catch each other up on our lives and laugh, and I walk away completely distraught and confused.  Why are we getting a divorce again I wonder?  And it starts up again, all the same old junk.  I can’t take much more of that torture.  And so I am taking a deal and accepting it.  For it to be done.  For me to be able to move on.

A Belated Christmas Letter

Well, the Mayans were wrong.  I was waiting and preparing for the end of the world, and thought it silly to send off another Christmas letter in the face of impending doom, but life goes on and it’s been an entire year since you’ve had an update (unless of course, you’ve been checking the sporadic blog posts).

2012 has been quite remarkable really.  I’ve been keeping myself very busy.  I only have two semesters of graduate school remaining, which will have me an official librarian by August 2013 (fingers crossed).  It cannot come quickly enough.  My very mature opinion on the matter is that it is stupid and I hate it.

Friends and family have rallied around and I have hosted a few fun things like the Naked Lady Party (also known as a clothing exchange, which I think will become a yearly thing), a 4th of July Picnic, and a Bastille Day Party.

Also, I have taken up the cello.  My neighbors offered me their daughter’s student cello to borrow and I began at the beginning, as you do, learning how to read music.  I can now play the crap out of Mary Had a Little Lamb, Frere Jacques, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Japanese Garden, and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Currently, I am struggling through Minuet in C by Bach.  It is coming along slowly, but seeing where I started with things, it’s impressive.

There were also a few get-aways this year. Friend Aimee and I escaped in April for a long weekend to Ashland where we treated ourselves to a few nights in the gloriously old-fashioned (not unlike myself) Ashland Springs Hotel and a play.  In May, the girls and I (Dylan dog & Reeses Cat) spent a week at the library cottage on the coast just staring out at the sea.  And in August the sexy silver fox, that would be my cute little Honda, carried a companion (dare I say…boyfriend?) and I across Oregon, down through Idaho and Utah, stopping in Salt Lake City and then on to Moab.

We continued our journey through New Mexico, camping in Chaco Canyon and documenting the ruins, and then luxuriating in a fantastic hotel in Santa Fe for a few well-deserved nights.  Spent an afternoon swimming in the Rio Grande and sunning ourselves, and then it was back on the road, a little corner of Colorado, and up into Utah again. Explored Escalante, the slot canyons Peek-a-Boo and Spooky.  I wandered up alone, after dropping my navigator off in Salt Lake City, through Idaho, stopping to visit friend Rachael and venture into the ice caves and weirdo bird museum (creepy!) and then on a bit further for a little family reunion.  Sister and the nieces came to stay in Portland not once but twice, as did brother.  They tackled some household repairs and brother played at being handyman for a weekend.   My house and I thank them, as will future houseguests when sleeping on the new futon.

When reflecting back through a year that began on such a heartbreaking note, I must say that it was surprising.  Surprising is the best description I can give to 2012, year of the dragon.  I have grown closer to my family, so many new and great people are a part of my life, my friendships have deepened, and I feel strong and able to cope with just about anything (please don’t test me please don’t test me please don’t test me).  I am hoping that 2013 will be spectacular.  I mean, we get to live on the planet just a bit longer afterall and if that is not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is.