Sunday, January 03, 2010


New Year, New Post

OK, I wasn't very good at posting to the blog in 2009-- mostly because my life was crazy busy at times. The only time I managed to get anything posted was when I was traveling and stuck in airports and/or hotels.

2009 -- for me, at least, wasn't an "annus horribilis." I know it was for a lot of people, so even saying that makes me feel a little guilty.

Did I make less money in 2009 than I did in 2008? Yep. Did some of my investments do a nose dive? Yep. I was, indeed, living on the planet Earth.

But I have a solid roof over my head. My children and grandchildren are healthy. Nothing terrible happened to me and the people I love.

If I am to celebrate the arrival in our family of the members of the next generation, I have to honor and accept the passing of the members of my folks' generation. Did my former father in law (and the grandfather of my sons) die in midsummer? Yes--and he was a dear man, even if I knew that I always seemed like something of an alien to him--- but he was past 80, and had been very ill for a long time. Has my Aunt Pat begun to show her age? Sadly, yes. She has become much more frail in the past year, and I worry that when I begin this blog next year, that she won't be around to complain that I mentioned her in this post.

2009 brought challenges and joys and new beginnings. George has found his Sarah, and is happier than I have seen him in a very long time. Both boys and their families are settling in to their homes. Nathan turned 3, Olivia turned 5, and Brendan turned 9.

The condo is "getting there" and is starting to feel like it belongs to me. I managed to decorate it for the holidays with only one ladder-related accident. No crutches this time, just a minor concussion and a wrenched shoulder.

Work is insane, but it is never boring. I've taken on so many different and unusual projects that it is probably time to update the resume with all the new things I've gotten to try and learn and do.

Working on 2 projects in Ohio in the second half of the year has kept me closer to friends and family. January saw me working in China-- and wasn't that an experience!

I read fewer crummy novels and more technical books this year. Saw fewer movies at the theater but more natural wonders. Took fewer photos but more short trips just for fun. Spent more time in museums and less time at the mall.

What's my wish for 2010?

I've conquered so many of my mountains in the last few years, that I think it is time to take on the biggest one of all....the one I've been avoiding most of my life.

I need to work on me. I need to find a way to be more personally a part of the world. To be more open. On a professional level, I am confident and assertive. On a personal level, I am terrified and reclusive. This has been my MO all my life. Years ago a shrink explained it to me. But knowing what the problem is has not magically helped me to conquer it. I am confident in my abilities, but painfully unsure of my relationships and my self-worth. I make a good teacher and mentor and consultant because in those roles I can guide and control the interaction. I even make a pretty good student, apprentice, and employee, because I know what is expected of me in those roles.

But I am a complete washout in social situations. I engage, but don't connect. I'm good at cocktail party chit-chat, but it ends there. I am the human equivalent of disposable table linens. Nice to have for the party-- convenient, low-maintenance, etc.-- but not something in which to make a serious investment of time and effort over time.

I need to find a project, an interest, a challenge that will engage me and cause me to interact with people in a new way. I just don't know what that is going to be. I'm open to suggestions.

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