So -- a little late, but still in January. Happy New Year all!
This last year has been .... weird is the only word I can come up with at the moment. It was a wild, wooly and just plain weird year. The book business, which had been getting harder to continue as a stable money maker, also not giving me that feeling of fun and excitement that had kept me going for so many years. The business was a slogging, sluggish, tiresome and generally unfulfilling thing. Oh, there were moments, or days where the spark still lit and the itch to research something really cool was still there, and there were a couple of sales last year that made my heart go pitty-pat, but the day-in, day-out sameness overwhelmed most of that. And the constant hoping that a sale - ANY sale - would materialize so that I could work on paying the next bill, could turn even the sunniest day into a dreary one.
I needed a break. A BIG break. And I guess the universe (or God, whichever floats your boat) knew it.
I had been half-heartedly looking for employment for about a year due to the increasing vagaries of book sales and the fact that my kids insist on continuing to grow, eat, and generally use resources. Our household bills hadn't dropped much overall (even after cutting back on an amazing amount of thing) either. All in all, things were getting more and more ominous and something needed to be done.
So, when a job offer just about dropped into my lap this summer, (Seriously. When your sibling calls up and says, how would you like this really cool, flexible job that you can actually do from home - part time - you don't sit around on your hands saying... well, let me think about it) I snapped it up. It was completely different from anything I had ever done before. It was techno (and I *thought* I was tech savvy). It was something that I could do. So I took it.
Then it took over my life.
It took over gradually (as most things do) but by October I was working seven hours a day, five days a week, with optional weekends (depending on my kid-related schedule). By November it was eight hours and most weekends (working *around* kid schedule). In December it was ten hours a day - seven days a week (again, around kid schedule). Overtime was *optional* but would be mandatory if not enough work got done during regular times.
There was virtually no time for thinking about books, much less actually doing anything about them - other than pack up the last minute Christmas rush that was much of December. The fact that I DID get book orders in December surprised the heck out of me, but it was also very welcome - because I was able to squirrel away a tiny bit of savings for the first time in over a year. Of course, those savings are already earmarked to pay my California State Sales taxes for the year, but hey, I'm not complaining.
And then, the job ended.
It was a contract job - you work from such-and-such date through such-and-such date. And that's pretty much what happened.
The last day came and the job was gone.
And now I'm back to being a full time book seller.
Which is weird.
But - I do have a better attitude about books at the moment. It's still not the golly-gee, wow, I'm a BOOK DEALER attitude I used to have, but I can at least look at the books without wanting to throw them.
I'm even looking forward to doing research again.
Oh, and for some of the other things that happened this year ... well, lets say it was a year full of family issues of one sort or another. My mother has been generally in less than wonderful health. The ups have been slight. The downs somewhat steep and her physical condition is just not what it used to be. My husband can now say that he is a cancer survivor. We (he) got lucky. The type of cancer he had was one that could be dealt with by surgery alone. And it was a random, out-of-nowhere sort of thing. But until he actually got the diagnosis of cancer, his life this year sucked major eggs, and the rest of the household felt it too. He was in pain and there was not much we could do to help him.
I have to say that I'm glad to see the end of 2011.
I can only hope and work hard to see that 2012 is a better year - for ALL of us.
Happy New Year!
And as a postscript -- I'm going to try and get back to my blogging (mostly about books & book related issues, or not, depending on my moods) on a regular basis. Last year's two blog total for an entire year was dismal!