New Year, New Hopes

I feel jazzed at the moment. Out of the blue, yesterday I received a lovely, gracious email from a blog reader — someone who has lurked around here for three years — and it made my day. I haven’t been feeling inspired much to write lately. Hearing from someone that she has appreciated this little world I’ve created nudges me to make an effort. So here is a post.

I recently cleared out the office, which has been the art room and the overflow room. It was cluttered and hardly usable. I’ve now reorganized all the art and craft supplies and labeled the drawers. I know where stuff is and can get to it. The vacuum cleaner fits in the closet. Now it’s ready for me to mess it up again!!

For Christmas I was given a gift card to a sewing store to sign up for lessons. I was given a sewing machine last June for my birthday, but it hasn’t been used yet! Now that the desk is clear, there is room to set it up and try a project. Soon.

We were recently referred to a new realtor by a friend. If you’ve read this blog awhile, you know we’ve been searching for a decent, affordable house to buy in the Bay Area since last January. Husband has been researching online for much longer. We were using a do-it-yourself discount realtor company, and we saw dozens and dozens of houses. We nearly made offers on three. But they didn’t work out, and I was discouraged. I’d lost hope and interest by mid-year.

So we met with this new realtor, and we like her. She has knowledge and expertise and connections with other realtors. Once she is certain about what we’re looking for, she’ll preview properties for us. She’s sending us listings we would not have considered before, because her sense of how soft prices might be means we might be able to buy a house that’s priced higher and negotiate down to our comfort level. She has even made a video of one house she viewed as a way of trying new technology this year. I’m enthused again.

Last year was a year of learning about friendship — how fluid they are. One close friendship from 2008, with a mom I saw almost daily and spoke with on the phone at least as often, ended. There was a misunderstanding, then repair, then a transition on her part to another friend. I felt abandoned and replaced, and it hurt me deeply. It left me reeling, actually, for several months. I realized during this process that I had concentrated my well-being in one relationship to the exclusion of other mother friendships. Since then, I’ve made more effort and thus more friends for me and Claire. I feel connected to a wider community. When I see this person at play group events and parties, we always chat and I enjoy it; but the part of me that broke and let go has changed. Paths diverge. It’s all right.

In November, I had hoped a long-time friend from Austin would arrange to visit with me so I could introduce her to Claire during our visit. (We’d met in 1999.) I’d been close to her when her son was born; I was designated an “auntie.” After I moved, we drifted some and had less contact. She got more passionately involved in other pursuits in 2007 and stopped following through on the small gestures and actions that nurture a friendship. I was a little hurt by this, especially because there was no response to my baby shower or Claire’s birth — and months after her birth, the friend sent a small package of hand-me-down stuff.

Well, the visit didn’t work out, and she was very blasé about it, and I wrote her about how I felt. She conceded she’d dropped the ball and mentioned wanting to connect again, and she pointed out that I had seemed distant as well. I was encouraged and looked forward to responding and trying to reconcile. However, I didn’t reply to her email quickly enough. It gave her time to reassess that she really didn’t feel it was worth it. She decided to “un-friend” me officially from her life: off of Facebook and Flickr, off my blog, everything. She removed my blog link from her blog. I imagine she has purged my contact information. I hate to think what she might have done to the artwork I’ve made and given to her in the past. It was thorough and unilateral, and it first it stunned me. But then, I decided to let it go. If that’s what she needed to do, it’s her loss. Considering the way things were, it isn’t much of one.

Lastly, someone who found my blog a couple years ago became a reader and felt inspired to start his own blog. He is a wonderful photographer and has interesting insights on the politics of our day. As my offline life got busier, I have stopped commenting on most blogs that I read. For some reason, this person felt it important to send me an email with a subject line of “Farewell” and to inform me that he was removing me from his list of blogs on his blog, because I don’t comment enough for it to feel like an exchange. He wasn’t going to read my blog anymore. He assured me that he knows I’m busy with a wonderful child, and this wasn’t meant as a slap to me. Yet somehow, it did feel like a slap. I didn’t dwell on it long, but I was reminded how tenuous our online connections can be.

So my hope for this year is that I manage to nurture the community I have offline, maintain connections with far-flung friends, and revive my online presence a bit. Somewhere in there I want to read books, make art, knit, learn to sew, buy a house, and do fun things with my family. Well, sleep is overrated, anyway.

Happy new year everyone!

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3 Comments on “New Year, New Hopes”

  1. Laura Says:

    Community is good. And IMO, the last guy’s email WAS a slap: there is no need to send emails telling people you aren’t reading them any more online unless you’re very dear friends, relatives, or live nearby in real life and use blogs to coordinate activities, in which case it might be relevant. Otherwise, people come and go and all he really had to do was quietly stop keeping up. To go out of his way to say you don’t talk to him enough for his taste was rude, IMO.

  2. Kathryn Says:

    Thank you, Laura. It’s good to get the perspective of a more objective mind in terms of the situation.

  3. Joyce Says: