I did not see the New Year in last night. I was exhausted and at 8:30 decided it was time to get myself to bed and let the New Year arrive without my help. Me and my little furry kids piled into bed, set the television to NCIS reruns that I had seen a dozen times and would not engage my brain, set the auto shut off on the television and we were asleep within minutes. Nobody moved for about 9 hours, which is remarkable. No cat spats, no doggy runs for a milk bone to sleep with, no bathroom trips. Just sleep.
Not a bad way to start the year. I don't sleep well any more, which seems to be a normal thing for folks my age, if the folks I work with are any gauge. I've learned to enjoy those rare nights where I reacquaint myself with a good night's sleep.
So, here we are in the new year. Year 2009 was full of both good and bad. What I may remember it best for, however, is as the Year of Clutter. I have been in the process of de-cluttering house and garage and storage shed for what seems like the entire year and the process is still in progress. It was a year spent in sifting and shifting and sorting and piling and tossing and trying to retrain myself to bring nothing in unless something went out. I wasn't entirely successful with that last part, but I'm getting better.
Year 2009 saw the dramatic arrival of Dixie to the household. I haven't yet decided if that is in the plus or minus column, but there is no denying that she has had a big effect on our lives. She is a ball of energy, but she is also a ball of purring love when the mood strikes her. She's given us a lot of laughs, which was something we needed to get us through the drudgery of digging through closets and boxes. She's developing into a beautiful cat and she has recently taken to tucking herself in next to me after I get to sleep, creating a pleasant warmth at my back. I guess I will admit that Dixie coming on board has been a good thing.
On the down side, it seemed to be a year of continuing exhaustion. It seemed like there was always work to be done, errands to be run, a growing to-do list and very little time left for recreation. My genealogy endeavors were, for the most part, shifted to the back burner and my dollhouse work and knitting were taken off the stove altogether. Thanks to audio books and a long commute, I still got a lot of "reading" done, but the stack of unread magazines and books has grown to a discouraging height, creating another pile of clutter that isn't going anywhere until I can devote some time to sitting in a chair and enjoying them properly rather than losing track of the story to the constant refrain running in my mind of things that aren't getting done because I'm sitting and reading.
In lieu of the mental focus necessary to make genealogy breakthroughs, I opted to look into using the material I already had to join the Daughters of the American Revolution and was successful into becoming a member in October. I began to concentrate in building up my personal research library and have acquired some long sought local histories. I made the acquaintance of several local historians and returned to attending the meetings of local historical groups.
While nothing was done to create new dollhouses or vignettes, I did attend the May miniatures show in Dallas, enjoying the work of others and acquiring a few pieces to enhance my already completed dollhouses.
While my sole achievement in knitting was to complete a scarf begun the previous year, I did locate my stash of luxury yarns during the decluttering and figured out a way to put them on display and I continued to keep up with the exploits of The Yarn Harlot via her blog, at least enjoying the craft vicariously through her.
While my to-do list of home repairs and upgrades continues to grow at a frightening rate, I did get the garage door and garage door opener replaced, the plumbing repairs done and the storage shed pretty much purged of unnecessary junk. I've dropped several loads at the thrift store and managed not to bring in any more furniture or junk from other folks' houses. I've even begun to find corners to put items that have been in storage since THE MOVE.
I met some far-flung cousins through the Internet. I joined Facebook and have come to love and appreciate in a new way my not-so-far-flung cousins that I had previously not had much contact with outside of holiday gatherings. I also discovered Facebook's time-wasting games, which is the down side, but I'm working on cutting my addiction there. I'm making progress. Really.
Another victim of my lack of mental focus has been my blogs. I have three resolutions as I begin this new year. One is to get back on my maintenance diet and shed the 10 pounds I've acquired in recent months from stress eating. The second is to get back to my organization project for the family history notebooks (all scribbled notes and sticky notes to be entered on the computer and all loose papers to be inserted in their proper place - secondarily to get back to transcribing all the new material that has been collecting on the corner of the desk).
The last resolution is to get back to the blogs. Woolgathering was started so that I could look back and remember what had happened in the previous year. Building Blocks was started so that I could have a separate venue for sharing family history and stories. Both have been sadly neglected, having fallen victim to my lack of mental focus that resulted from all the time that was spent hauling stuff out of the backs of closets.
That is going to change. I'm going to get back to the chronicles of my life and the lives of my ancestors. Starting today.
Here's to 2010! Happy New Year!