This holiday season has been so very different in so many ways. Besides being in a new town with a new job, there has been the back and forth to the house in Boone. Being a landlord is a totally new experience. It is also particularly weird considering the house we are renting is the house we lived in for 18 years. And, it was the first house I owned, and still own. So renting it is like allowing someone to else to borrow your car for a cross-country trip. A little nerve-wracking.
I’ve already lamented over the stupid scam someone tried to pull. Thank goodness I did not fall for it. We now have a young couple moving in soon and they seem like they’ll be good tenants. Joe and I spent that time between Christmas & New Year’s scrubbing and cleaning and painting and getting things ready for the move in. It was actually nice to have that house actually CLEAN for once. I am not the world’s greatest house keeper but this continued the theme from cleaning up the office at work and it felt good.
Another continuing theme is the concern about cash flow. I make more money but it doesn’t go as far. I hated being frugal with the family’s presents but everyone else was feeling the pinch too. As I was taking down the Christmas tree and putting the ornaments away, I marveled at how much I spent on some of the more recent ornaments I bought a couple of years ago (I always store ornaments in their original containers when possible – and leave the price stickers on for historical reference) – I wouldn’t dream of spending that kind of money on something so frivolous today. The price tag on the old Shiny Brites my parents had (and I still have also) showed they paid something like 65 cents for a box of 6 ornaments.
Another difference this holiday season was that I spent no time at all – hardly – on anything work-related. I checked my email regularly during the Christmas/New Year’s break and answered a few, but I had no scholarly projects on the back burner that commanded my attention. I do have some things I should be working on, but I decided that this year would be different. For the past 18 years, during almost every holiday break I have had some kind of writing or research project on which I needed to work. I slept late, I read what I wanted to read, I surfed the net aimlessly, watched crazy old movies on cable TV, I caught up on FaceBook, I baked and cooked and enjoyed the company of friends, family, Joe and the dogs. The dogs travel really well and they seemed to relish being back in Boone although I could tell they were little confused with the lack of stuff in the house. “Why are we here?” they seemed to ask.
My professional reading has languished since July and I need to catch up on a number of journals and publications I used to follow regularly.
While I was successful in getting ACQNET-L moved and running again, the traffic has dropped off. The AcqWeb project has also stalled yet again and I need to poke at that once more. I’m just not into it! I really want to move on to other things. But I feel a responsibility to breathe some life back into it since people claim they want it – but if they want it bad enough, someone else needs to step up to the plate, I’m afraid.
All in all, though, it’s turned out to be an amazing year. Some of it great, some of it disappointing, but at least I am moving forward. 2009 promises to be another interesting year I expect!