Looking back on 2015, it has been a quiet year in America while the rest of world suffered mass shootings, terrorist attacks, hurricanes, earthquakes and suicide bombings. For me, the biggest changes were in my own life which I should probably share here on my blog.
January, I quit my food service job with Intermountain Healthcare where I'd worked for nine years. Flipping burgers and washing dishes in a hospital cafeteria just wasn't appealing to me anymore and no matter how many times I applied for other positions within the company: certified nursing assistant, medical librarian, call center operator, they wouldn't promote me so I took my pension and left. It was time to move on anyway.
February, I quit my one bedroom apartment where I'd lived alone since 2009 and moved from Sandy to Murray into the house my mom and stepdad bought when they relocated here from southern Utah in 2007, shown above. They've been empty-nesters for years. Nobody lives in the basement. There's plenty of room. If you look carefully you can see my bedroom window-well between the lit deer and the stable. It's warm and comfortable down there and I love it.
No regrets with this move. I was tired of living alone. I didn't mind forking over the money to install blinds in all the downstairs basement windows or finishing off the fireplace (see the picture below).
My parents can drive me a little crazy sometimes, rubbing my face in the fact I've never been married and won't go out and get a job, any job, just to appease them, but I can live with that. There's a garden plot in the backyard and I spent many happy summer evenings outside picking tomatoes, digging up dandelions in the lawn, watering the flowerbeds and entertaining my two favorite nephews on the trampoline.
Can't do none of that in a one-bedroom apartment.
I have no shame admitting I live with my parents. I set money aside for this very purpose. I'm not attending their "slum ward" yet because my bishop told me I could keep my record in my current ward for as long as I needed. I love having Sundays off and have found new joy in keeping the third commandment.
I pay my own bills, buy most of my own food, take my turn cooking dinner and dishduty (I feel so spoiled, loading a dishwasher!). Yet, they keep threatening to sell the house unless I start compensating them with more financial contributions. Aside from the extra utilities, I don't take up much space. (They won't even make room for me in their three-car garage) and I don't eat much. I'm still waiting for them to call their bluff. It's not all bad. My mom is a good cook and we've enjoyed breakfast together on her days off (she works at Walmart) with hot chocolate made from scratch and doing the weekly grocery shopping together. I've always been a natural homebody. Right now we're working on a baby quilt for my sister-in-law who is expecting our first niece on my side of the family.
It's not like I'm always stuck at home. I still have my car, a 1996 Ford Aspire that I've been driving for fifteen years, bought used and paid cash. It keeps chugging along so I'll keep driving it with no car payments. And when mom and stepdad get to be too much, I can meet my best girlfriends for outings, go hiking, participate in book club meetings or over to my sister's to babysit whenever she needs me.
July, I took a fun road trip to Vancouver, Canada with my siblings.
September, my forty-first birthday was celebrated with my best girlfriends, family and two favorite nephews at my favorite restaurant. I received Cinderella on DVD, one of the best movies to come out in 2015 which I saw at the theater with my friends.
So, I've spent most of this year keeping busy, filling out applications for other jobs, five different interviews for positions with Deseret Book, Salt Lake City library and various teacher aide openings with Jordan School District. For the last month I took a temporary job for three weeks with Olive and Cocoa packing their handcrafted wooden crates with overpriced gourmet food and other items. It was fun and I earned a nice little wad of cash to supplement my dwindling savings account.
But my passion, what I've enjoyed most with all this free time, are the reading and writing I've accomplished in 2015. This is why I went back to school, changed my major to English and graduated with a second bachelors degree.
First, I submitted three articles for Deseret News which were published and I got twenty-five dollars each for my work. Here are the links:
I created three different book blogs and have enjoyed posting to them throughout 2015, leaving me little time for this blog. The Anita Stansfield project will be taking up a considerable amount of my time but I'm really enjoying re-reading my old favorites.
Here are those links: