It was not, for the most part, "a very good year" for me personally. Only the last six weeks have seen any improvement in my overall mood. And that's because of maybe the only good news the calendar year saw.
I haven't mentioned it yet, lest I feared it would be another lost economic opportunity. But, at last, I have regained some kind of foothold in the job market. I have a part-time position with a company that provides people who demonstrate products in a members-only warehouse. Right now it's only one, maybe two days a week, but at least I am working. The numbers on the paychecks are not big, but they are paychecks. It's the psychological payoff that has more value:
- I am regaining some lost dignity after having been out of work for as long as I have. At least I have a feeling of being productive.
- I am getting back some self-confidence in my abilities to relate to the public at large. Whatever marketable skill sets I have are being strengthened.
- I am hoping this is "the job which gets me a job." Now that I am employed, the perception I want to project is that I am more employable.
That's the material side of my life. It has tried the spiritual side sorely not only the past twelve months, but the six prior to that. That time span has been perhaps the darkest, most depressing part of my life. Hope has been as elusive as a rare butterfly. I just wondered at times if I would ever come out of the shell I created.
Robert Browning's line, "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for" now has a glimmer of truth to it for me. My reaching in faith is not in vain. The goal of 2014 will be to grasp something more substantial.
So in a few hours the promise of a new year will be welcomed.
The words of Robert Frost echo in my mind:
"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.Turn the page. Charge ahead prayerfully and thoughtfully. Go Forward.
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep."