Hello everyone – I am so glad that today is my birthday AND that year number 45 is OVER! This past year has had its downs and downs (not many ups unfortunately). But, the year is over and a new day dawns on year 46 – I see it rising with hope and promise.

It has been a year of struggles – loosing a job I had worked at for a long time – a place that I gave my all and more to. Only to be “downsized”. What a lovely term that is, huh? Trust me, trying to find a job at age 45 is not so spectacular. Almost every job I applied for I was told I was “over-qualified” (translation, per a nice HR person, you make too much money) When a company can hire someone for less, they do so – and I don’t blame them so much. But, it was a challenge. I took a job offer in hopes that looking for employment while employed is so much more successful. It took some time, but it did work (one of the few things that did work out in year 45).

Then there have been the personal struggles – my husband determined this summer that he wanted to leave. He did so for over 4 months. In November he had contacted me to tell me how miserable he was, and we decided to go for counseling. He moved back in. We went to counseling and unfortunately he did not hear what he wanted to – mind you, the counselor told EACH of us what we needed to work on and she gave us homework each week to work on together. My husband was home less that 3 weeks when he determined that he needed to move out again. He has been gone ever since – yet he managed to call today to wish me a “happy birthday” – what I wanted to say was it would have been happier if he had not called. I did not say that – I just thanked him for the call and went on with my day. I am not letting him come back home again. No more ups and downs there anymore.

Right around Thanksgiving, my daughter’s best friend’s father committed suicide. It suddenly made all my problems pale in comparison – amazing how quickly life gains perspective. My family surrounded this family with meals, prayers, shoulders for tears, and we cried tears with them as well. My daughter still cannot comprehend what happened – and we struggled with Christmas joy when this family is still hurting so very much. We found thanks in the simple promise of Christmas though – and we were so happy to have each other.

If it had not been for my faith and knitting, I surely would have lost what was left of my mind. Although, my kids somedays will tell you I am crazy! I am looking forward to this new year and all the opportunities that it will bring. I am teaching some new knitting classes in a NEW place. And, I have decided to join the local chapter of the Knitting Guild here in Holland. I also am going to make it a priority to get back to choir (both bell and voice) regularly. I allowed myself to be absent and that was not good.

I also got my kids a kitten for Christmas – Miss Noel is quite a character. Copper and Penny think so too. There is much running and chasing going on at our house these days – and I realize that I need to “kitty proof” my living room! I shall get a picture posted soon of Noel. She is adorable, 12 weeks old, and she is a calico. And, she is such a mischief maker. She is providing comic relief and tell me, who can ever have too much comic relief??? Laughter is a balm for the weary soul.

So, as my 46th year dawns – I see the light of new promise and like the birth of the blues – I shall sing and dance on! Tonight, I shall drink a wee toast to all of you, my blog friends. Cheers!

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