So here we are: New Years Eve, 2009! Well it’s has been a challenging year for me. Though not much more than 2008 was, it has to be said! It started ok with my having survived a round of redundancies, and our taking a holiday to Poland (which I can highly recommend – even in the depths of winter!) Sadly though, by March my hours had been cut to three days a week and things were pretty tough. It’s been challenging financially but I’ve been perversely grateful for it in some ways: Mr J and I had to make our lifestyle a lot leaner and, you know what? Turns out we used to burn a lot of money we really didn’t need to. We’ve learned to entertain ourselves without having to spend £50+ a time to do it, and it’s made us re-evaluate our priorities. Also, while I may not always act like it on the surface, I am eternally grateful for still having my three days a week. It’s three days more than some people have and we’ve just about been able to survive on it.
April was probably the hardest month. We were still coming to terms with our new frugal lifestyle and at the same time my Dad finally got a definite date for the brain surgery he was in need of. Neither my sister or I were living particularly close to my parents at the time and my Mum also had my Grandmother to look after. Thankfully we were all able to take time off work and get through it as a family. We have laughed and cried together and I’ve never felt closer to any of them than I do now – my Dad in particular.
The summer brought my own health issues but thankfully nothing too serious, and by Autumn things were looking up a little with weddings galore to attend! We also managed a “staycation” to Yorkshire thanks to some wonderful family friends, and waved goodbye to some of my best and oldest friends who have gone off travelling around the world. Travelling in your late 20’s / early 30’s is very en vogue with my friends right now, dontcha know!
Never a dull moment, October brought new challenges when I dropped to two days a week work for a while. This was totally crippling for us financially and for a while we weren’t sure how we were going to make the mortgage payments. We re-evaluated our outgoings (again) and managed to shave some more off our monthly expenditure, but thankfully it didn’t last long and I’ve since managed to pick up some freelance bits and pieces too, which will hopefully see us right for a while. Since November things at work have definitely been on the up. My employer has had two good months (though not on the recruitment side, sadly) and things seem to be stabilising slightly. Long may it continue!
@Animal (one of the people I follow on Twitter) asked the other week who was crazy enough to be grateful for 2009. Well I am and I’m not. I’m grateful that everyone I love has lived through the year and, depressing as that may sound, I don’t see it that way – I think it’s something to be pretty grateful for! I’ve also had to grow up a lot and re-evaluate my life and priorities. Some of them surprised me, some of them didn’t. Like it or not though, I’m a better and stronger person for the exercise. Even if I have shed a lot of tears in the process!
I’ve no idea what 2010 has in store for me and I’m not prepared to make any predictions either! What will be, will be! So here’s to the new year and whatever it may hold. Bring it on – I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!