2016 in Retrospect

Slightly early, but since I won’t be home for New Year’s, I figured I’ll do it now.

It’s been a weird year, really.

On one hand, there’s been so much I’ve wanted to do and never the time to do it. On the other, I’ve at times felt at peace like never before.

I have grown to resent my job after just learning to love it again, and I’ve been set free from it. It makes me sad, because a part of me was so unwilling to give up and not ready to let go. But another part says that there’s never a day like today to change (cliché as it may be).

It’s also been a year of personal growth for me, of learning to accept myself better. I’ve come to understand my imperfections better, and I hope I’ve learned to be just a bit more forgiving towards myself, as hard as it may be. (And as any possible deity will know, forgiveness I certainly need.)

I cannot say I’ve been happy, per se, depressed as I’ve been, but there have been moments of bliss and sunshine. The time I spent in Karelia this summer is a bright spot (as always), moments with my siblings’ children another (all 5 are wonderful in small doses, the older 2 for being older now and the boys for being smarter than the older two were at their age – especially the youngest is such a sweetheart).

2016 was also a year of sorrow, not only for all the great artists who have left us this year, but also because of personal loss. My uncle passed away very unexpectedly this autumn, and although I hadn’t seen him for a couple of years it still saddens me deeply to see my uncles leave us one by one. Year after year, family photos become more and more filled with death instead of life. Although the memories are happy, for a time those pictures will be bittersweet.

I have come to see my place in the chain of generations, and all the death in the family in the past few years (since 2001, tbh) has been a difficult but eye-opening experience. I’ve come to see and accept that my parents are aging, and that I may not have them for very long, and that I must take my time with them if I am to have it. It cannot be just “someday when”, it has to be today, because tomorrow just might not be there. My father’s brothers have all passed away before 70 (2 under 65), and my dad just turned 70 this year. The fact of the matter is I just might not have him “someday” (and that hurts like hell, as I’m sure you all can imagine).

I feel 2016 crystallized somewhat what I want to do with my life. We (my husband and I) made a lot of plans throughout the year, and I think we both now have a better picture of the road we must walk. In a way similar to mine I also feel my husband grew a lot as a person this year.

All in all, it must have been the most difficult year of my life, even more difficult than my teens, more difficult than that awful year when my grandmother died. I have at times wished for death, and thought it might just be easier to sleep and never wake up than to go on.

As we say in Finland, though, there’s only one way to go from the bottom, and that’s up.

As I was about to hit Publish I realized none of this actually had anything to do with books or writing, so…

P.S. This year I also read less than I would have wanted to but more than I think I did. I liked most books I read, but also managed to turn some reading into a chore. I hate chores, so that was totally a mistake. I’ll take that back next year. That’s my resolution, and you are free to remind me of it if it seems I forget. (But I’ll finish the reading journal on Malleus Maleficarum, because there’s no other way I’ll get through the biblical references…)

Ehh…

It’s been a while.

Now, I know this might come across like a huge excuse to being lazy, but bear with me.

I cannot go into details much, seeing as that would not be in accordance with the contracts I’ve signed and am legally bound to obey.

But what I can tell you is why I haven’t been writing anything up here. And that is the part anyone interested in this blog really deserves to know.

For the past three years, I’ve had health issues that have prevented me from doing my work properly. This in turn created friction between me and my employer (or the representative of the employer in charge or HR in my unit, but whatever). When it became clear my health problems were of a more permanent nature and would permanently decrease my work performance, the person above decided it was a good idea to try to bully me into resigning.

So, the past year and a half or so, I’ve been given unworkable shifts (literally shifts my doctor has repeatedly told the person I shouldn’t and cannot do) and I’ve been told repeatedly that my colleagues think my “special treatment” is unfair.

I’ve asked my colleagues whether the find my decreased performance a hindrance, and so far no one did, or at least never told me they did. More often than not, they told me I did a good job doing the parts of the job I could do and they didn’t like.

When things got to the point that I started getting written up for minor things, I realized that not only am I broken physically, my employer is also trying to break me mentally.

I went to my doctor and told him quite honestly that I could no longer bear going to a place where I’m so clearly no longer wanted. I told him that being constantly reminder of what is “wrong” with me has created this enormous amount of anxiety and that in times I just want to crawl to a corner and die. I’ve been depressed (and diagnosed) previously, and although I knew the symptoms I had tried to ignore them.

My doctor wrote me an official statement with the basic idea of “this person is not suitable to her assigned task”. He said this would probably get me fired, which here in Finland means you get a few months’ pay (depending on how long you’ve worked there) from your former employer and no ‘quarantine’ from unemployment support. This would be the best option, in regards to finances.

My boss didn’t fire me though. They had no idea what to do with the paper and would have to call their superiors. Please come again.

So, yesterday I resigned with 6 months pay. Apparently, my HR manager’s superiors had put their foot down. I don’t know if this is the fact, but for some reason, she was instructed to pay me out. And knowing that I cannot work in the near future due to my physical injuries and the fact that I’m mentally drained, I took the chance.

I have been brought down so low in the past couple months, that even doing what I most like doing – reading and writing – has become a task too mighty to handle. You can probably tell by the amount of projects I’ve posted vs. the amount of projects I’ve finished. That was me trying to motivate myself and failing.

You should see my home; if I say reading and writing have suffered, the biggest loser is probably chores. The place looks like a dump, which of course doesn’t help me thinking better things about myself (what a pathetic little c*** you are, not even able to take care of your home), nor does it help get the creative juices flowing.

In conjunction with my already low self esteem my treatment at work has made me feel worthless. At the point I was just a week ago, I thought I couldn’t post anything, because that would just make me look an even bigger fool; because I possibly couldn’t have anything  to say that anyone would want to read.

Now, the thing I hate even more than excuses is promises that aren’t kept. So I’m not going to promise anything.

I’m not quitting, though.

Might just be even more sporadic than thus far.

(Yeah and I just cannot come up with a good title for this. Just bad ones. So… ehh)