There, I said it. It's the end of the year and I'm not at all sorry to see it go. It's been the worst year of my life.
Let's look at my resolutions for the year, shall we? First up, finish my dissertation. Nope. Not even close on that one. Next up, find a job or post-doc. What is the point? I'm not even close to finishing, so why waste my time on the job search? Then there was the goal of reading 52 new books this year. Umm...I think I read ten or twelve. Maybe. I did read Pride and Prejudice twice (again). Reading for pleasure got preempted by the dissertation and stress and worrying over Dewey. Finally, there was the ever-lofty "take better care of myself" goal. Ha. I did yoga maybe twice this year, but I did lose thirty pounds. Then Dewey got sick and I ate my feelings the past three months because it was better than crying constantly, but I did that, too. I told you I was bad at resolutions. Maybe 2014 will be better resolution-wise.
I'm trying to pinpoint what exactly was so horrible about this year and I don't think it was any one thing necessarily, but a compilation of a whole lot of crap.
Certainly, this wasn't a great year for teaching. Only teaching one class over the winter semester was terrible. It wrecked all the progress I'd made on my giant pile of grad school debt and seems to have cost me my best friend because I couldn't afford to go to her wedding in the Bahamas. We haven't talked since June and, before that, it was pretty strained, although I thought it was getting better. Then she didn't call or even text me for birthday, so I guess it was more strained than I realized. This semester was a really rough semester for teaching. I had one class that was great - good students (some not so good, too), good chemistry - and one class that started horribly, but picked up towards the end for some of the students. I just think 8:00 classes shouldn't exist. Trying to get this class to do their work, much less talk about it, was worse than pulling teeth. The number of students that failed the class is shocking, but it's impossible to pass them when they didn't do the three major assignments. Accepting that was difficult.
More difficult was losing three dogs this year. Winnie, technically my uncle's dog, but she grew up at my parents' house, with Dewey when they were puppies. She was Dewey's girlfriend and mother to the adorable duo of Princess and Tank. Then we lost Tank the day before my birthday. I thought that was horrendous, but I wasn't in any way, shape, or form prepared for what was to come - saying goodbye to Dewey. I dreaded it for years, since his first diagnosis with cancer, but November 25th was the worst day ever. Or maybe it was November 26th, when I woke up without him for the first time.
I know he is not in pain anymore and that's what matters and I know that it gets easier over time, but living without him is hard. Every day there has been something that has reminded me of him, of how much my life revolved around him. It's been four weeks and there hasn't been a day that I haven't looked for him or called for him or wanted to hug him. I also realize I sound like a lunatic, but I'm hoping you won't judge. It was just me and him for a long time and those years were some of the toughest of my life.
Until this year. I can't wait to say goodbye and good riddance to this year.