A post! Just in the nick of time. First, a year-in-review, then some forward-looking-statements, even though my shareholders balk.
What happened in 2010?
2010 has been a huge year for us. We started off the year living apart - Sam in San Francisco, me in Omaha, each working our separate jobs. When I received my tax stuff from my first six months or so at my job, the reality was quite sobering. Our initial estimation (that the two jobs would allow us to save some money and pay down some debts, even with duplicate living expenses) proved to be untrue - my paycheck, after taxes and deductions, managed to cover the mortgage, car and transportation costs, and utilities, with only maybe a couple hundred bucks left over. It turned out that every hour I was at work, once we paid the bills that resulted from living apart so that I _could_ go to work, I brought home a couple bucks an hour. To live apart from Sam, that hardly seemed worthwhile. We started talking about how we might remedy the situation, which we thought would likely require selling the house before anything else. Mortgages are not trivial things.
Meanwhile, while apart, we explored shared interests; I had started knitting, and Sam picked up the habit shortly after. He very quickly surpassed my skill level, whipping out seven hats in a couple weeks. His work was enviably gorgeous, and (probably owing to his much superior focusing skills) he seemed to finish projects easily while I got stuck mid-project. To be totally fair to myself, this is partly because I have an obnoxious habit of choosing complicated patterns worked with thin yarn on teeny-tiny needles, often with cables, lace work, twisted stitches, shaping, beads - in some cases, combinations of the above. It's an illness. Happily, many of the patterns I'm interested in working on now are simple, leveraging a little textural interest and the beauty of the fiber to become something really lovely.
From February through April, there was of course the lawsuit to occupy my attention. In late February, Sam moved back to Omaha with his employer's blessing to support me, to help get our affairs in order for potentially moving together, and to handle some family issues.
A few weeks later, he was laid off. He job-hunted for months, interviewing in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, New York City, and Colorado; he was eventually hired by a San Francisco company and started in early July.
Needless to say, the first half of the year was significantly stressful.
We moved Sam out to San Francisco, but this time I got set to move, too. I gave notice at my job, went to San Francisco with Sam to find an apartment and get him settled, then came back for a few weeks of work and the long process of preparing the house for sale.
The best laid plans, of course - shortly after getting back to Omaha, I discovered that I'm pregnant. First trimester fatigue hit me like a load of bricks; that's not a complaint, it's just the truth. I didn't have a bad time of it, I just didn't have much in the way of energy. My mom and sister jumped up with the helping, and they get credit for 90% of the cleanup and improvement. They're living there, now, with our blessing; that makes money a little tight, but it brings me a little joy to see my mom supported, enjoying a house we love.
In late August, I moved to San Francisco, too, with a week-long stop in Houston to visit my bestie. During the trip, I started having odd pain, as if I'd fallen and whacked my tailbone; turns out this was a side effect of pregnancy hormones. My pelvic ligaments all decided to get loose, and my tailbone rotated in a funky way that caused me pain whenever I tried to sit. I've been seeing a chiropractor since I arrived; pleasantly, he's been able to adjust things so that my bones behave, more or less. I still wind up hurting if I exert myself too much, but I've learned - slowly! - to plan my activities better, limit them to match my capabilities, and take time to recuperate when I overdo it.
The one difficulty with limiting activity is that San Francisco is so damn beautiful. And vibrant. And busy. We left the car with a family member to sell in Omaha; car ownership in San Francisco is more of a burden than a benefit. I wind up walking a lot, and taking transit. It might sound crazy, but I love taking trains and busses. It might be different in cities that are less interesting - not sure. But here, sitting on a bus, I can appreciate the city around me rather than focus on the lights changing colors, or what the dude in the next lane over is trying to get away with. I don't always have to go out to appreciate the city, though; we live up on a nice big hill, with a view out over the bay from our windows and over the Embarcadero and the Bay Bridge from the end of the street. There's a lot to enjoy from home.
In late October, Sam and I decided we'd do NaNoWriMo this year. This may have been the best idea ever, as we made a ton of friends and both successfully cranked out more than 50,000 words in one month. We met Chris Baty and the rest of the NaNoWriMo crew at the Thank God It's Over party, which happened to be on our wedding anniversary; the party felt extra special, like it was for us. Seeing as this year was our ten year anniversary, we celebrated (in true Tesla family style) with fantastic food, hitting Waterbar for lunch the day of, and a special "Chef's Night Off" tasting menu at Coi the day after.
We spent Thanksgiving in San Francisco, but Christmas was about seeing family - we flew back to Omaha to see my nuclear and extended family. I got sick on the way out - crappy sinus crud - which was only exacerbated by the cold, dry air in Omaha. Apparently, my body quite likes the moist San Francisco air. Even so, seeing family was wonderful, and though the actual travel parts of the trip were a giant clusterfuck, seeing my bestie in Houston (twice!) when we got stuck there overnight (twice!) was nice, too.
And that brings me to today. I'm getting better; Sam's a little under the weather, apparently having caught my crud. We're taking the New Year's weekend to get feeling better, then having a midwife appointment on Monday morning. That's one thing I left out above; we found a wonderful midwife that we absolutely adore. Our baby is due in early to mid-March, and we're trying for a home birth; all signs currently point to a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, and we're hopeful that will continue so we can birth as planned.
What's had my attention in 2010?
For reasons that are probably obvious, pregnancy and birth stuff have held a lot of my attention. Pop culture has a ridiculously narrow (and traumatic!) view of what pregnancy and birth are all about, and exploring the alternatives in a sane, methodical way has been enriching and eye-opening.
Also for reasons that are probably obvious, fat acceptance has held my attention consistently throughout the year. Actually, this might seem a little odd, as I've lost a signficant amount of weight this year, even while pregnant. But I don't think you have to be fat to respect people who are, and to believe people ought to be treated well regardless of their size or shape. I've always been an in-betweenie; some people tell me I'm not fat enough to be called fat, and I haven't suffered some of the stigma that bigger friends unfortunately have. On the other hand, I still can't shop at a "normal" store for clothes, and I'm bombarded with the same pop culture messages every day: my body is anywhere from unacceptable to simply less than ideal. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this in the new year.
As the sort of unifying umbrella over birth stuff and fat acceptance has been a deep plunge into feminism. I've been particularly interested in body autonomy, and how it is expressed and supported in the feminist community. There's a huge dose of "none of your business" that serves as a foundation for these other interests: the way I wish to give birth is none of your business, the way (and amount, and with whom) I have sex is none of your business, the shape of my body is none of your business, what I eat is none of your business. My body is mine, what I do with it is mine, and I have a right to make choices and boundaries for it. Which, of course, meant that when the TSA rolled around and decided they'd start putting hands in places I have quite firmly decided they are not welcome, I paid attention. I got righteously pissed.
Also of interest, but nothing I can summarize quickly here: the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell; Wikileaks. I'll almost certainly have more to say on those topics.
Anything you really loved?
Sara Bareilles. April Smith and the Great Picture Show.
Oh, and San Francisco, duh.
I don't remember if I made others, but a couple days after January 1st, I decided I'd stop eating fast food. This was fairly absolute in that I didn't give myself any kind of cooling off period; I just said no more. On the other hand, on a few occasions throughout the year when I was craving something specific - an Arby's sandwich here, a Taco Bell taco there, In-N-Out Burger twice - I indulged without feeling any particular guilt about it. The first three months or so, that didn't happen at all. What's interesting is that after a few months away from fast food, I found that my cravings weren't cravings for the actual fast food, but my memory of it. A few bites of that sandwich I thought I wanted informed me otherwise. Even more interesting was the direct and immediate correlation between eating fast food and really obnoxious gastrointestinal distress. It became completely unappealing to even do once in awhile. I'd estimate I ate fast food about half a dozen times in 2010, and I have no desire to do so at all anymore.
A happy side-effect: once I moved to San Francisco, my food choices extended to Sam, and he's been pretty much fast food free, too. We're both happier for it.
Plus, living in San Francisco has meant all kinds of access to abundant, cheap, fresh, high-quality produce. We've gone semi-vegetarian at home, with all sorts of benefits.
For 2011 - Plans?
I plan to give birth sometime in early to mid-March, give or take a couple weeks. That's my really big plan for 2011: be a mom. It's very likely that we will move at some point during the year, if for no other reason than the likelihood that we'll need more space; our apartment here up on the hill is great for the two of us, but it'll be a little tight as the kiddo grows.
These next few months are going to be a lot about getting ready for the baby - a trip to Ikea and eagle eyes on Craigslist. We're more than a little alarmed at the commercial racket having a kid has become, and we've made a commitment both to not overbuy gadgets and things we don't need, and to source hand-me-downs where possible and appropriate.
I'm also at the stage where I'm sort of obsessing over knitting tiny baby things. I need to get cracking on that.
I'm going to call these areas of focus, instead of resolutions. We have enough change coming in our lives that I don't think it's a good idea to force anything through the pipe at the moment.
- Write and publish more. This means blogging - I feel like I have things to say that have gone neglected this past year, for a variety of reasons. It also means, if possible, finishing and editing some of my stories for publication.
- Eat more home-cooked meals. I totally have an excuse at the moment to order in often, but I'd like to use that excuse less often. I enjoy cooking, and the more I do it, the more I remember that. Eating out adds up - both in money spent and food wasted.
- Finances. I want to re-develop our budget, as many of the assumptions we made developing the way we do things now no longer apply.
That's it! Pursuant #1 there, I hope to be back and blogging tomorrow, too.
Happy New Year!