Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013: A Year in Review

2013...what a year it was. There were some amazing moments: Like camping with the family this summer, fun with friends and Christopher doing so well post diagnosis.

There were some seriously tough times this year though and I'm not sure I'd ever want to relive a year like that again. Let's just say 2013 was a difficult year to be a working single parent.

Starting off in January when my company had layoffs and we went through a major re-org. My department was hit hard and the rest of my work year was heavily impacted...not always in a good way. I have to admit it was a really exhausting experience having to do the job I was tasked to do this past year. Long hours and lots of stress all year long really wore me down.

Another thing that was tough to deal with was the fact that literally every piece of equipment I own this year decided to break at some point. I had Sears here for both my washer and my over the range microwave. I had to replace the microwave but the washer could be fixed...for now. The repairman said it will break permanently sometime soon though. My car had to go to the dealer not once but twice (an hour away) because the horn wouldn't stop blaring. I had to have AAA out because I drove over a nail and they replaced my tire. I replaced three broken blinds through the house. My boiler had a gas leak and I had to call National Grid, a plumber and an electrician to fix it. And two different plumbers have said I need a new hot water heater. All I can say to all this is...ka-ching. My savings seriously depleted this year. Big time.

Last but not definitely not least, my son's not-yet-diagnosed ADHD became much much worse over the course of the year. Summertime was the worst. His pre-school and therapy office closed its doors so he was missing a sense of structure and routine that he desperately needed. Thinking a nanny for the summer would be good, I spent a ton of $$$ to have someone with him all day at home. What a disastrous choice that turned out to be. On day 2 he threatened to kill her and I had to come home and deal with an hysterical woman I barely knew...and also have to figure out what to do with Christopher for the ret of the summer. I was able to beg her to stay but we had some seriously tough times after that. Like the day she called me in hysterics to say they had been escorted out of the Children's Museum by armed security because Christopher was attacking children with a stick. Sigh...that was definitely a low for us. I called my son's pediatrician after that and almost had him put into a special in-patient facility for analysis because I was so freaked out. I decided not to as I thought that would be too traumatic for him and decided to wait it out because his appointment with Children's Hospital would be in just a few weeks. Thankfully that was the right decision. But I have to admit I really felt over my head on that one.

But now onto the good news. All the broken items (except for the washer and the hot water heater) have been fixed. Christopher finally had his appointment with Children's Hospital and the medication the doctor put him on has done wonders. I mean wonders. Completely different kid and I am so relieved! With work, my huge 2013 project is starting to wind down to manageable levels and I'm not nearly so stressed anymore. Also I was able to get my DCF stipend reinstated and they actually back-filled it to the expiration date, so a sizable, incredibly helpful check came in right after Christmas. 

Also we just got a major snow storm here and so school has been closed the last two days. It stinks because it is SO cold out (zero degrees right now!) but the time home allowed me to spend time de-cluttering my spare bedroom, which had gotten seriously bad. Boxes and papers piled up everywhere! I put a bunch of stuff downstairs into the basement storage, threw out several garbage bags of broken toys and old papers and now my spare room can be used as a spare room again. It feels good to be starting the new year ahead of the curve.

And finally because I've been home the last few days, I've been able to catch up on sleep and it has felt SOOOOO good! I was exhausted all year. Literally...exhausted. The last few nights I got nine hours of sleep as opposed to the 5 or 6 I've had the last few months. I'm loving how I feel right now!

So that said, I'm starting 2014 feeling healthy, well rested and positive about the future. This is a great feeling and I hope I get to stay in this mindset for a really long time.

Happy new year!

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