Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, The Difficult Year

I wish with all my heart that I had the time to do a "2009 in photos" post (oh, yeah, and I also do wish you all an awesome New Year with all my heart ;-). I don't have the time, however, so a text only post will have to do for now.

Saying that 2009 was a tough year for me (and for us as a couple and family) is an understatement, but yet, if one looks at our photos, the year looks so much brighter and better! It's good that one can't photograph anxiety, stress, disappointment, heartbreak and other sad states of spirit.

The main tough things this year: the bitter taste (if a great relief) of being kicked out of the online teaching job in February, which meant the loss of extremely needed income. This led to the utter despair and fear of losing our house the month of March, so we put the house on the market in April. It was not until June that we heard back from the bank and the mortgage was renegotiated. In July our dear friend and pastor was laid off, something which upset us a whole lot. Then in August there was the school board thing fiasco which made me depressed for a while. From then on things calmed down, but I did become very discouraged in the process.
Oh, I almost forgot to say that my uncle had a brain tumor and is quite disabled now and his situation drove my mom to a sad depression. I'm glad she's much better now, but I'm worried that my uncle is about to spend a month undergoing therapy at a facility close to their house. Hopefully my mom will be OK.

The good things now. We began the year spending some time in Florida with dear friends. Then, I felt the relief of being free again from the sheer servitude of that online gig. A trip to Boston and Massachusetts (in the height of the despair) gave me much needed respite from the pain as well as the precious chance of reconnecting to one of my closest friends. We also got to visit dear friends in Western MA. At the school it was very fulfilling to prepare and present a full musical with the kids.

It was lovely to enjoy the short visit of my youngest brother-in-law and his wife after they immigrated to Canada. We also visited them twice, once in July and another in November. The good news of the renegotiation of the mortgage was an unbelievable relief and joy and our first Camp Meeting ever was great. Then, my sister-in-law and I took the boys to Sesame Place (it was truly great). It was a nice summer, we even had a couple of guests from Brazil!

The last four months were a whilrwind of cyber school work -- exhausting but still rewarding -- peppered with a few short trips (two to MA, one to Canada, a few to Maryland). I do hope that the next four months fly by!

All in all, it was a loooong year, but I think I'm fully recovered from my short bout of depression and negativity and I'm looking forward to the future very positively again. This trip to Brazil is helping some (although it's cementing our idea of possibly not coming back) and K's job search has made me hopeful. In the end, I don't know if this really was "the worst year ever" since I met K, maybe it was. I truly hope we don't have to go through the anxiety and stress about the house we had this year ever again.

As for my hopes for the new year? I guess I'll leave those for another post!

We had a good time here in "Sampa" (Sao Paulo city) -- Sampa [link to video with song and images of the city] is the title of a song by Caetano Veloso [link to Caetano singing it], one of the best and most famous Brazilian singer-songwriters.

We had lunch with the aforementioned childhood friend and her husband's family, then came to my brother-in-law's house and watched the Sao Silvestre race on TV while playing with the cutest nephew ever. The other brother-in-law and his family arrived and the five cousins played a lot in the playground downstairs. We ate in the downstairs "party room" (all residential apartment buildings and condominiums in Brazil have those) and came upstairs to watch the fireworks and countdown on TV. As I wrote on one of my rare facebook updates, New Year's in Brazil is very noisy, but it also feels "right" and great. Christmas with hot weather feels very strange, but New Year's is awesome!

Well the two people reading this must be totally bored by my post and I need to go to bed because it's past 1 am here in Brazil, so, without further ado...

... Happy New Year to all of my blog friends!!! I hope 2010 is a great year for you and your family!


diber said...

Happy New Year to you!!!

Wishing you much happiness this year!

kate said...

Happy New Year to you too!

Here's hoping this year is a happier one for you. I think it's about time!

Aliki2006 said...

Happy New Year Lilian!!!!

Rene said...

See, you have way more than two readers.

It was nice to have you guys over for New Year's. Here's hoping for a happy 2010! You can make it happen. :)