I've been doing the 'review of the year via first lines of first posts of the month' thing on my livejournal. It's just a fun little thing. And yet, reading back over various posts from 2006 has made me think about how much has changed this year - not to mention how much has stayed the same.
This is the year that I moved in with my Girl. This is something that, only a few years ago, I could never have imagined happening - and now I can't imagine what life would be like without her. I was never going to settle down, and certainly not in a *gasp*! same-sex relationship, these being concepts that offended both my warped sense of morality and my self-centred need for independence. Neither of these, it turns out, are important when you work out who you are, meet someone who makes you incredibly happy, and decide that life together is better than life apart. She has been nothing short of my guardian angel this year. More of that in 2007, I hope!
This is the year that I gave up a job, found a better one, and am now probably giving that one up again. Being ill has, finally and after a lot of struggle, given me a better sense of proportion about work and careers. Yes, I put a lot of effort into becoming a teacher, and I love it and don't want to lose that part of my life. No, it is not my only source of self-worth. There are more important things, and I plan to focus on those for a while, before (I hope) returning to some level of work as a much better teacher (or other kind of professional), thanks to having gained different kinds of experience that will not go to waste.
Because, of course, this is the year that I got sick. I am getting better at admitting that (I used to see illness as a sign of weakness or an indication that I was just malingering), and I hope I will continue to get better at dealing with it. I am learning to acccept help when it's offered, mostly because I can't do much else at the moment, but also because The Girl is so good at offering it without letting me lose my independence. I am learning that I don't have to be the busiest, or the best, or the most active, or the highest achiever all the time. Most important of all, I hope that I am learning to slow down and see that every experience is important, valuable and worthwhile, whether that's sitting on the sofa with The Girl and watching stupid American sitcoms because my body refuses to let me do anything more active than that, or doing something that I would previously have seen as more 'useful', like practising for sign language classes, writing a letter or cleaning the house.
Right now, I'm sitting in my room in the chalet, in the French Alps, that belongs to The Girl's parents. I'm watching the snow fall, enjoying the quiet (and the central heating), waiting for the latest dose of painkillers to take effect so that I can go downstairs and be my happy cheery bouncy usual self again. It's been a good half-hour. I hope I can appreciate the next one just as much. I may be taking 2007 'an hour at a time' (excellent advice that my mother gave me when I was 17 and first ill with what was much later diagnosed as bipolar disorder). And every hour will be worthwhile.
1. Get over my terrible procrastination habit (it's not quite laziness, but it is sometimes about feeling a bit more sorry for myself than I need to) by breaking tasks down into smaller ones that I can handle, and working on doing just as much as I can manage.
2. Start painting again! I'm a bit crap at it, but I enjoy it, and it's fairly mindless fun that doesn't take up too much energy.
3. Start getting a little bit of exercise again, once I'm able to - I miss swimming and walking, and it can be just a few lengths/around the block.
4. Join a CFS support group. I've already started looking into this.
5. Stop being so bloody anxious all the time, by a) writing stuff down, b) giving myself a few minutes every day to worry and no more than that, c) being honest, especially with The Girl, and d) letting God take care of the things I can't.
Happy New Year, all.