I took this picture 1 year ago today: It’s probably hard to see the details, but it’s a bald eagle in flight. I drove down to the Mississippi River from my apartment in Davenport and took as long of a walk as I could manage. The biting wind caused my eyes to tear. One tear caught on the lens of my glasses and froze. Yes, *froze*. But I caught this picture of a majestic bird, and I took comfort in it. I knew 2011 was going to be a very stressful year for me. My job was expected to go away at the end of June (it did), and I was working my butt off to secure a new position before then (I didn’t). I spent the next 5 months surviving on a less-than-part-time job, some self-employment income, unemployment, and the kindness of family. Eventually, I did land a new job and it took me halfway across the country right after Thanksgiving. It’s a job which will allow me to grow in a specialty of my profession that I’ve been working on targeting for some time, it’s in a location that I’ve enjoyed visiting for over 20 years, and I’m lucky to have supportive and friendly co-workers. In 2011, I was also afforded a great many professional development opportunities that I cannot even begin to thank those responsible. The catalyst for those opportunities was Heather McCormack, so please accept my thanks here as a small portion of all that I owe you.
In the last year, I’ve gained two cousins-in-law, four of the next generation of cousins were born, and my brother and sister-in-law welcomed my niece into the family in the last two weeks of the year. I’m at least as healthy as I was this time last year (and probably a wee bit healthier), I’m working in a secure job once more, and I was granted the opportunity to witness what a loving and generous community of friends I’ve built up over the years. I was very sad to leave my friends in the Quad Cities area, but I look forward to them visiting me here and going back there to visit when I can.
I am hopeful that 2012 will be as generous with me in my personal life as 2011 was in my professional life. To start a new personal tradition of welcoming in the new year (because it’s doing something for the second time that starts the tradition), I went for a walk along a nearby body of water. This year’s body was the Chesapeake Bay, and since the spot I chose had a beach, I even got to dip my hand into the water.
Happy New Year!