Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

It's the first of December, and you know what that means.

Yes, it means that you only have 24 shopping days left until Christmas (I only have two people left to buy gifts for, suckahs!).

Yes, it means that it's World AIDS Day (use a condom, people).

It also means that it's time to look back on the year behind us--and what better way is there to do that than The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge? (That was a rhetorical question, so don't answer it.)

Here's how it works: there's a writing prompt in question form for each day of December. For example, today's question is: What was your best trip in 2009? And so forth for the next 30 days--the list of prompts is here (there's also a list of participants on that page--I'm number 240, so seriously, all the cool bloggers are doing it). Easy, yes?

Well, maybe not. I am by no means promising that I'll blog every day or that I'll write about the prompt question if I do blog. I can commit to a man, but I sure as hell can't commit to blogging every day. Nor can I be counted on to summarize my year properly. Regardless, mad props to Gwen Bell for adding a little bit of organization to these here intertubes.

On to today's topic: my best trip in 2009. I've done a bit of travel this year. Most recently to Virginia for work, to Oakland for work, and to Los Angeles a few times, definitely not for work. And I'll be going home to Michigan two weeks from today (side note: SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!).

But the best trip of all this year was by far when I drove 3,100 miles from Massachusetts to California with a car full of disgruntled cats. (In case you missed it: part the first, part the second, and part the third.) And I don't mean "best" in an ironic or sarcastic sense at all. Leaving Massachusetts and knowing that I'll never have to live there ever again made the unpleasant parts of the journey fade into the background. California was my light at the end of the tunnel highway, and blasting across the Massachusetts/New York border throwing a one-fingered salute was better for my mental health than a bottle of Zoloft.

The move (and the Navy reenlistment that prompted it) was also an integral part of reclaiming our lives, which seemed to be stagnating in the morass that is Massachusetts and its accompanying familial entanglements. (Hehe, I said morass!) It was tough at times, like when Jason had to leave me in Massachusetts (for we didn't know how long) when he reported to his temporary personnel unit in Illinois. He certainly had it worse than I did. We ended up only being apart for two months, but that separation made joining him in California even sweeter, despite our less-than-ideal temporary accomodations and sleeping on the floor for two weeks while waiting for our moving truck to arrive.

I never thought I would drive cross-country, let alone with no other company than my cats. I feel grateful to have had my situation necessitate it. Making the trip was rewarding in that it taught me that I can handle that kind of stress. When Jason first reenlisted, I told him I wanted us to be sent anywhere but California because I knew that I would have to drive the cats to wherever we ended up, and I didn't think I could do it on my own. Now I know that I can!

This trip got me out of a negative place (literally and figuratively), boosted my self-confidence, and reunited me with my husband. It doesn't get much better than that!


K13 said...

Awesome post and I'm happy to see that it was a year full of growth for you. I would love to (have to) drive cross country. What a great experience...with or without felines. They *are* special, aren't they?

Allie O. said...

After being in the back seat of a car for 6.5 hours with my sedated cat, I congratulate you for surviving an entire cross country journey with yours.