Here we are again, at the close of another year. I’m turning 45, and happy to be here! My brother sent me a birthday card where he traps and vanishes the “aging fairy” – he has a long tradition of sending us truly hilarious cards, for which he shops assiduously – and I thank him for it! I truly expect to get younger over the next year :) in body, mind, and spirit. My age is a good thing – it sends me wisdom and life experience, which I can finally feel all through my spirit.
2008 was a good year in so many ways – most of which I’ll really get to enjoy the benefits of next year. This time last year, I had just given myself permission to move from a house that was unsustainable and a neighborhood I didn’t enjoy to what has to be my favorite city – Olympia, WA. After 7 long months of searching, moving to Olympia and living above a garage all the better to search, learning every street and finding every bakery and coffee house in the city ;), I found the one. Just the right house, in a wonderful, quiet neighborhood with forest, wildlife, and fabulous neighbors – whom I actually know! From the college kids to the 85-year-old next door. Perfect. And boy was that the right time to do it – I got a great mortgage, a good price, and no trouble with the sale. A few months later and things could have been different.
That did occupy a lot of time and energy. Meanwhile, I was working on closing out several 5-10 year consulting projects and an entire technical career, in favor of working with people. Always, I am in service to the environment, but now I am helping people put aside their differences on large-scale environmental issues rather than crunching numbers. Now and then I work on mediating an amicable divorce or do communication training locally as well. This January 1 I will have all the technical work done on all my old projects and will just have the writing and some public review left to do. The fish and wildlife will have some new cleanup standards and I will be free of spreadsheets and databases forever more. Woohoo~!
Last year, my trip to Guatemala was probably the highlight of my spare time, which as you can guess from the above was pretty limited. This was my first international trip alone since college, and it was fabulous. I was happy to find my Spanish coming back partway through the trip, as negligent as I have been in really learning it properly. I had a great time, walked everywhere, went birdwatching, enjoyed the incredible scenery of Lake Atitlan and the colonial architecture, fabulous food and markets of Antigua. Jade, yes, I bought jade, along with textiles, hand-made leathers, the craftsmanship was too good to resist. Had I been able to buy the fanciful wrought-iron candle sconces that are everywhere in Antigua I would have brought a few of those home as well ;) Odd impulses for me, the anti-shopper.
Next year I expect I’ll be doing more traveling – I’ve got to present some of my work in Florida in Feb, so that’s going to get turned into a mini-vacation – the swamps and wildlife preserves are only a short drive away and my binoculars haven’t had much use lately. I hope to take a long walking vacation through England, maybe the month of September, something that’s been on my mind and my feet for a while. I got bitten by the kayaking bug late last summer, so hope to work that in on the exercise/enjoyment front, along with Tai Chi (Olympia is great – have I mentioned Olympia is great? All these wonderful things to do, so easily available).
There are still some restaurants in Olympia I haven’t found yet and I have season tickets to the Performing Arts Center! A bit of upgrading to my new home is in order to improve the energy efficiency of the appliances, not to mention a gas stove, which I seriously miss. It’s hard to cook well on this electric. The house is all unpacked, and January will be the time to get rid of all the remaining items in the garage remaining from the move that I don’t need in the new home. Gotta love Freecycle! Last but not least – I’ll get an earlier start on my vegetable garden this year and hopefully start working on the rest of the garden. It’s small, but it’s not quite me at the moment and there are some changes I want to make.
Happy New Year, everyone!