Here we are

The obligatory New Year’s post… I guess I didn’t do one last year; my blogging was in a dormant phase at that time and my in-laws were here. I did set an intention though, tucked into a plastic tree ornament and re-opened on Dec 31, to find a sense of purpose and direction. And I think I did that, over the course of the year.

I feel like now I’m refining my goals, making them more realistic. When I turned 45, anticipating a mid-life crisis of some sort, I started working on a memoir as well as some fiction writing, giving myself freedom and permission to explore writing as a craft. I asked myself what is it I want so much I can taste it? I want to see my name in print. The exact parameters around that are vague to me, but I want to produce something really, really good.

What I’ve realized since I set that goal is that it will probably take longer than the few months I’d allotted to it, longer even than a year. It will take a long time.

I’ve also realized that I don’t want to own my own consulting business. Over the past couple of months I’ve been doing a LOT of work for my husband. He took on way too many projects this fall, and ended up under a series of simultaneous deadlines, conflicting travel demands, etc. So I ended up ghost-writing one of his reports (just 20 pages), translating into Spanish and then heavily editing another 200-page report (I started having dissertation flash-backs), substitute teaching his online class for a month, and continuing to manage most of the household business – although to his credit he did pick up a lot of that in December after getting back from his last trip. On the one hand, my feminism is outraged (“Anonymous was a woman!”) but on the other hand I’ve enjoyed it. I enjoy NOT being the one in charge. I found the work mostly stimulating and interesting enough in its own right (mostly – a good part of it was also excruciatingly tedious). I do enjoy working with him, mostly – I originally fell in love with him during long conversations about international development theory – I love his mind and how he makes me think about things I’ve never thought of before. And vice versa. So now I’m thinking maybe we should co-own the consulting business. If his current employment starts to look shaky, we’re thinking about doing that instead.

We’re thinking about extending our stay in Albania for one more year. Because of course we are. Because we changed schools for the kids this year and it would be nice if they could be at the same school for 2 years in a row, for once. (It has been, on balance, a good change. Illyria has a friend who is a girl her age for pretty much the first time in her life.) Because the cost of living is so much less here. Because we’re used to being expats. Because… sometimes I run out of energy to keep dissecting the whys and wherefores. So maybe it’s also because of inertia. And here we are.

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