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06:30 pm: 2008 re-cap
Ganked from swingchickie. I had to do my annual performance review at work today (why do I hate that so much? Maybe I should add "introspection" to my list of 2009 goals), so this seemed timely.

It turns out that the year wasn't quite as shitty as I've been thinking. It was moderately shitty, but not a complete shit-fest.

Career
I was finally able to implement the system that I worked more than two years to build. So that was exciting. Some of the process was excruciating - the politics of dealing with a parent company with different goals from my company's, attempting to use software (due to the aforementioned politics) that was completely ill-suited to our needs - but it was mighty satisfying to achieve such a big goal after so much work.

I surveyed my user base, and we're already saving a crapload of money with the new system. I'm very happy about that.

On a less happy note, it was a really tough year, my own stuff aside. The company had a hard time. There were two official rounds of layoffs. Ugh. Survivor guilt. It was sometimes hard to keep my spirits up.

Another less happy development was that when we went live with the new system, I lost my ability to make autonomous decisions, so now I'm in a more typical decision-by-committee mode, which isn't as productive (or as fun).

Hobbies
My only hobby this year was moving. I knit a tiny bit, but it was pretty negligible. I became a kick-ass packer though.

I hope that I don't need that skill again until Teddy's in college. Or later. U.S. News & World Report named Longmeadow as one of the top-10 places to retire in the country.

Relationships
My marriage took some definite hits with the stress of moving. Not fun. Things are smoother now. It definitely helps to have Teddy in pre-school 3 afternoons a week, so Peter gets time to himself.

I think I'm a pretty good mother, most days. I think I'm a pretty good friend, most days. I get caught up in things and don't follow up as well as I'd like (neglecting to reply to emails for a couple of days, for instance). I holler more at Teddy than I ought.

My generation is apparently at critical mass in Facebook, so I'm catching up with people there (including a bizarre set of messages from the guy with whom I went to prom). I've also been tweeting some, though that's mostly for work (as are LinkedIn and Plaxo).

Travel
I did very little traveling this year. We went to the Vineyard a couple of times (I think?), but mostly we came out to Western Mass for house hunting. I got very familiar with the cheap, family-friendly hotels in West Springfield.

Health
I was pretty healthy this year, though a nasty, nasty flu bug took away my milk supply. So after a (mostly) wonderful 38-month run, Teddy was fully weaned.

No doubt about it: he's going to be a breast man. He digs the nurs. If he's upset, he still likes to hold one "because they feel good."

We gave up on having another baby a couple of months ago. It was a huge relief to me, because I was getting more and more fearful about being pregnant again. My pregnancy with Teddy wasn't easy, and I'm almost 5 years older now. (We may consider adoption, but probably not.)

Most of my family was pretty healthy, too, aside from the chronic issues of various sorts we all have. My Dad had two shoulder surgeries, but seems to have recovered well. A couple of friends had some nasty things to deal with (Lyme disease for one; un-identified intestinal something for the other), which have worried me.

Finances
We got a bigger mortgage, but it's manageable. The car is paid off and running well (other than my taking out the left side-view mirror again a couple of weeks ago). I'd hoped that we would do our entire move on cash, but it didn't quite work out that way. A couple of bills hit at inopportune times, and my memory, well, sucks. I should've written down what we charged (at least the big things). I've always been able to keep track of things in the past, but I've never had so many large bills at once. At least, not since I became a mother.

So we'll be paying down a credit card for the next couple of months, to my dismay.

Our 401Ks, IRAs, and even Teddy's college fund have all taken serious hits because of the craptastic economy. Thankfully, we have time to recover.

2008 Lessons Learned
The year wasn't the huge black hole of suckage that I was remembering, though it certainly wasn't one of the best. I need to avoid moving if I can. It's just not something I'm good at. I found that a little surprising, 'cause I'm a good traveler. I can be pretty nomadic and stay very happy. But when the home base (however little I may be there) is unstable, I'm very unhappy.

I did learn some good lessons about (not) hoarding because of the move. We've divested ourselves of a lot of stuff. I've gleefully thrown out a lot of stuff that I had been saving for a long time, and identified danger zones to look out for in the future. So that's good.

Another surprising thing I learned is that I'm much more influenced by the general mood around me than I thought I would be. I'm highly introverted and autonomous, but no matter how well my own job is going, I'm very unhappy when other people are unhappy. I like to think of myself as fairly sympathetic and compassionate, and I guess that's more true than I'd thought.

2009 Goals
Health
Eat better, exercise more, meditate.

Hobbies
Get some. I want to get back to dancing again, at least once a month. There are good swing scenes in Northampton and Hartford, so it's just a question of figuring out logistics. I have a stack o' knitting projects to attack, too, starting with sweaters for Teddy and Peter.

Finances
Pay off that damned credit card. Should be done 1Q09. Next up: Re-build the catastrophe fund.

Also, look at further IRA investment. Keep our heads above water.

Travel
I don't think my in-laws will make it to the U.S. again this year. If we can find a cheap fare, we'd like to go to the Czech Republic to see them (maybe do Brno as our second city). If we can't, then maybe go to Chicago, which has a large Czech population (Peter's never been and it's one of my favorite cities).

Relationships
See more friends. Spend more fun time with my husband (as opposed to time spent on day-to-day logistical crap, which is necessary but not much fun). Make some local friends, or at least friendly acquaintances (the only people I know by name in Longmeadow are a couple of Teddy's teachers).

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: contentcontent

Comments

From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 10th, 2009 10:46 pm (UTC)

I'm impressed

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You always surprise me with your insight into your own mind! (Mine has a short circuit, or needs new software, or something.) I think it was an amazing year -- Congratulations!

YoMaMa
[User Picture]
From:katehaney
Date:January 11th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)

why thank you!

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That means a lot, coming from you. I still don't consider myself terribly self-aware, but I'll reconsider. ;)
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