For a little while there, I was doing these cool “my year in review” posts a bit after the new year. I liked it. It was a nice way of looking back on everything that had happened and how I’d grown.

I didn’t do one last year, mainly because I was unemployed and in a major funk about it.

I’m not going to do one this year either. Mostly because there is very little I want to examine too closely about this past year. In a nutshell, it kind of sucked.

Some of the reasons for this suckitude I have already shared (depression, having to put our sweet kitty Dragon to sleep). The other reason is that I made a really big mistake, and admitting that is still a bit hard for me to swallow.

Last February, I took a job. I took a job recommended to my by a friend that, on its surface, seemed to be exactly what I wanted: office administration, a structured, fast-paced environment… all that good stuff. And for a little while, it was exactly that. I loved it. I killed it. The people I was working for (and with) loved me. And then, like any relationship might do, it began to sour.

I was doing such a good job that I started to get handed things I had not signed on to do. These things were such large tasks in themselves that they took up all my time, meaning the work I actually liked got pushed to the back burner. I started staying later to try and keep up. I would sometimes work a little from home in the evenings. I was doggedly hanging on.

But I wasn’t, really. I suddenly couldn’t sleep anymore. My migraines, relatively well-managed for 2+ years, swelled out of control. With my immune system worn down, I got sick. A lot. And I just didn’t want to go to work, didn’t want to go bang my head against things that I didn’t want to do. I told myself that I would hang on through the holidays and start looking for something new in January.

But then job beat me to the punch. Right after Thanksgiving, they fired me.

It sucked. I’d never been fired before.

As much as it was a relief to not have to go back to that job, I had a hard time (and am still having, to be honest) understanding that I was not the problem. The job was the problem. I was fired because they needed “someone more dependable.” I am not a robot. I cannot help my health, especially when it is the job I’m doing wrecking it. And if the job’s version of dependable is someone who will be in the office from 8 am to 8 pm every day and answer emails nights and weekends just like they’re still in the office and otherwise make that job their life? It’s their definition that’s wrong. Not mine. This is my mantra lately.

So while this round of unemployment has not been plagued with as much depression as the last, it hasn’t been without sadness.┬áBack in┬áJuly, Cougar started having grand mal seizures. After much back-and-forth with a veterinary neurologist and a steadily declining condition, we made the choice just this past Tuesday to let our little girl go.

For anyone on the fence, euthanizing two beloved pets in less than a year? Not an experience I would recommend.

So. After a month of holiday whirlwind and nursing our sick baby girl, I am a bit at loose ends. We’re leaving next week for a trip to Costa Rica, and when we get back, I’m planning to devote some real time to deciding my future. I promised myself while I was daydreaming about leaving Awful Job that if I had the chance to do my unemployment over, I would take the time to really find something that I wanted to do. Whatever that is.

So here’s hoping hiking through the rainforest and staring at the Pacific Ocean will sweep all the clutter from my brain and offer a little clarity. Life does love to start over again. And again.