Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gratitude roster 2008

What I've been grateful for this year:
  • Living within walking distance of work, and within driving distance of family and friends in Ohio. Those two things have made my life exponentially easier and more pleasurable in so many ways.
  • The English Department's move from Stansbury Hall (the old campus fieldhouse) to Colson Hall (the former law-school building). Finally, an office with windows! And new furniture! I don't know how my colleagues who worked in Stansbury for decades did it.

  • Lucy's graceful exit--however sad, it was quick and peaceful--and the joy of two new fuzzy weirdos.

  • White Park, a woodsy, 170-acre oasis that's a ten-minute walk from our house. It has provided me with countless hours of solace, and the chance to appreciate the beauty of every season in West Virginia.

  • The record number of voters who turned out to express their disgust with the status quo of the last eight years and their belief that our country can and must do better. Even though things won't get better overnight, at least now I think there's a fighting chance that they might not get any worse!

  • Believe it or not, I'm deeply grateful for Web 2.0. Seriously: between this blog and FaceBook, this year has been full of amazing discoveries, new and renewed friendships, many much-needed laughs, and an odd sense that my current self has been reconciled with all my past selves, if that makes any sense.

    I'm especially gratified to be back in touch with my college friend Jane, the Boulder Hathaways, several grad-school comrades I'd lost touch with, and many former students.

  • And finally, dear readers, I'm grateful to you: to be honest, I didn't think I'd keep this experiment up when I started it a year ago. It's been an interesting ride--I've learned a lot about myself as a writer and as a character (an underdeveloped and problematic one, mostly) in my writing. And I've so appreciated all your comments, feedback, and observations, and reading your blogs as well.
Let's do it for another year, shall we?


Anonymous said...

Living within walking distance of work, and within driving distance of family and friends in Ohio. Those two things have made my life exponentially easier and more pleasurable in so many ways.
Want!!! :( Oh well, maybe when Professor Spouse comes up for tenure review in 5 years, and I finish my degree...

I'm grateful for the web, too. It isn't only that I can't imagine not being able to immediately look up anything, it's finding other people who are quirky and interesting and friendly. There are so many fun things to explore and it's easier to connect online than to randomly find real-life people will share your interests!

Michael said...

I too love Facebook and Twitter and blogging. Even if the audience winds up being only me, there's something so satisfying about honing my writing and seeing it "in print." And I've enjoyed catching with some folks I thought I'd never hear from again.

I'm also grateful for my honey, who's put up with his aging partner for 18 years with very few complaints. Someday, maybe we'll be able to make honest men of each other; hopefully it won't take another 18 years for that to happen!

Christy said...

I'm grateful for your blog! And also that the 25+ years that separate this year from that of our high-school graduation have done little to dampen the commonalities between us. It's always a pleasure to keep up virtually, then cap it all off with a sporadic, in-person get-together.

Cheers to 2009!

Anonymous said...

I like (well, more than like) the web, too. I've always been a letter-writer, and to me the web, at its best, seems like a correspondence circle, a way of communicating that's more than two-way.

I like staying in touch with people, belonging to a circle of bloggers and writers and generally creative people, and renewing friendships, too. Very much.

Rosemary said...

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one nerdy enough to be grateful for interactive web technologies!

Like Mike, while comments on the blog make it extra-gratifying, I've enjoyed writing for a lot of other reasons (e.g., it really has sharpened my writing skills in some unexpected ways).

Jane's comment reminds me of another fieldwork project I read a number of years ago--the student's family had a tradition of sending around a "round-robin" letter that everyone would add something to and then send it on to the next person until it returned to the originator.

That person would then start a new letter and send the old one with it, so everyone could see what everyone else had written.

In many ways, blogging and social-networking sites seem to accomplish much the same goal, but in a much faster and more efficient way!