We're getting ready to bid the old year Goodbye...
If you're my age, I'll bet you've heard that line before too. And what can I say? For us, 2011 was a pretty challenging year.
It seemed like every time we had a "crisis" of one kind or another that resolved, another even larger "crisis" would rise up to take it's place. It was the first year for me that I've had to live with chronic pain from what I found out in November, was a labral tear in my hip area. Seems as I age, arthritis is setting in and the Doc recommended a hip replacement. I'm trying to fend that off for a while in hopes that maybe there will be a way to have relief without such drastic measures, but it means living daily with quite a bit of pain and the inability to do things I love to do like take long walks and play with my grandkids.
But for the most part, I'd have to say it was due to the economy. We are working class people and we raised our kids to be the same. They went to school, graduated, entered the job market, and have been steadily working while having children of their own. We are talking 2 income families here. Despite that, 2 of our children have lost their homes this year. One of our daughters was fortunate enough to find another home closer to us that her father and mother-in-law are helping them get. Our other daughter's little family is living with us. Every day I'm thankful that we still have a job and are able to put a roof over our heads and those of our kids, but in the back of my mind, I wonder just how long we will be able to. In California right now, work is hard to come by. My one son-in-law has TONS of applications out there to try and find work and so far, no real bites. I've featured his carpentry work on my blog and he is an EXCELLENT worker but new construction in our area is BUST!
Adversity has helped us be more frugal though. We are eating more fruit and veggies from our ever growing backyard garden.
We no longer go out to eat so much, maybe only a time or two a week. We make short around the town trips on our bikes or scooters to save gas, and have gotten into "couponing" to save money at the grocery store. I've even been baking bread, canning food and sewing little projects like reusable grocery bags. We've hooked up some solar power on our roof and are prepared to "catch" water in rain barrels this year to help water our garden in the even of drought.
I've learned a lot about making do and handling the rough patches in life. But at the end of the year... coping is taking its toll and I think we are ALL really ready to move on into what I'm hoping will be the turn around year.
That said, I'm setting up some goals for next year, trying to come up with a "Word of the Year".
I hope each of you have had a much better year and are making plans of your own for an even better 2012.
Peace and blessings of the year....