If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Saturday, December 28, 2019

And it's a wrap.

I guess 2019 is almost over. It quietly snuck, the end of it, that is. I shall do something as a year review, but in reality, I don't want to bother.

December flew by in a few ski trips and more house stuff, plus a work trip for me to Austin, this time alone, flying, for a main purpose - make some money and feel needed. Because no matter how much I like my boss here and enjoy her quiet office and my seemingly insane amount of time off work every week - I do like to make money and feel useful. And since it'll never happen here (as I expected, but really, didn't believe, yet here it is) - I'll be making my way back to Austin as long as my clients keep being committed and my management keeps being receptive to this idea.

I stayed with a couple of friends on those 3 nights/4 days trip, and I am really touched how lovely they are in hosting me - the conversations are what always makes my soul smile. I worked crazy hours, 29 hrs "hands-on" from Wednesday 3 pm to Saturday 3 pm (and I'd guess 40 hrs "in the office"). The clients are, too, so amazing, happy to see me, share their lives, ask about mine. Relationships that had been built in years and with open heart...


The weather in Colorado Springs continues to deliver winter, to my delight (and a little grump from Larry). Apparently, he thought snow only happens at ski resorts. :) As someone who lived my whole life (besides fugly years of Texas) in places where snow and winter are one and the same - for a few months at that - coming here feels natural. No, I am not a big fan of driving on icy roads, or running all bundled up in blistering cold, or shoveling snow every week (at least not every day!) - but it's just, still, normal. I don't have any other words besides that. It doesn't irk me. It just is.
We put our Monarch season pass to use and went skiing at Monarch once more in December, and then utilize its partner-pass to have a full day at Copper mountains and a half-day at Ski Cooper.

Copper was really huge, and 6 hrs non-stop barely covered maybe half of the terrain. That was fun - and tiring. Despite gobs of people at the bottom, somehow everyone dissipated along the slopes, and I rarely felt squeezed in. We did pop on a couple of black diamonds, and even once ended up facing a double-diamond mogul run with no way out. We made it through safely! I continue defying odds of still not falling, and still refusing to succumb to shame by relatives (Larry's) and friends who insist on me getting a helmet. The answer is "no", and I don't owe anybody explanation.


Ski Cooper was a complete opposite. It seemed to possess even less people and runs than our "home-base" Monarch, yet the runs were beautifully even (something between green and blue on all as far as we could see), long, and empty! That was a treat in its own right. We simply enjoyed mindlessly gliding for 2.5 hrs, almost always alone, and the views were hard to beat.
After a quick lunch we, literally, crossed the parking lot, and went cross-country skiing at Tennessee Valley. Their groomed Nordic track ski area bared 30 km of tracks, of which we covered 16 km - it was a forgotten (5 years ago last time for both!) hard workout, but to me, still so peaceful and amazing! I want to do it more than downhill. Unfortunately, despite living in CO and all the technically falling snow, we don't have an area suitable for cross-country skiing closer than some 2-plus hours drive away. That feels stupid and unfair (and Larry still prefers downhill, sigh).

We stayed in Leadville, and the added perk of these 2 days of skiing was the fact that both ski areas are what I went through as I backpacked Colorado trail past summer. Gosh, I miss those days so much! Reminded me how wonderfully hard it was.

December marked completion of the 2-months saga of roof insulation. After putting ungodly amount of hours into cleaning, sealing, prepping, whatever else (all done by Larry) work to perfection, one Saturday (before Christmas) we finally bought all the bags of insulation, borrowed a machine, and hammered 3.5 hrs of work. It wasn't hard at all, took a few bags to settle in (for me how to push, and for him how to spread up there), but now we can check this off our long (and growing) house-improvement list of tasks.

A couple cultural events happened: I took Larry to a theater performance locally (a real play, by Cheryl Stray's "Tiny Beautiful Things"), where I cried non-stop for an hour; and then on Saturday (between blowing insulation and then going for our 2-day ski trip) we drove to Denver for a Claude Monet traveling exhibit in Art Museum. 120 paintings, largest at-once display! Amazing! Ah, I miss all-things culture...


We quickly checked out the Denver's center with its Capitol, stopped by the Russian store, where I indulged in a few too many things that were pricey yet reminded me home, and drove home the back-way. The views of coming to Springs never disappoint...
In other, more social kind of news, we attended a Holiday Party at my boss/doctor's house (and had a blast at that), and I managed to join a FB group for local Russians and organize a knitting meet-up (which now is, apparently, going to be a monthly hit).


I suppose I could say something at the end of December write-up, though I really don't know what. I could say it's been a good year - and I guess, on the account that long-awaited move to CO (out of TX!) has finally happened, and, more importantly, it was all I (we?) hoped it to be. Well, no regrets, that's for sure. I love it here, my soul is renewed, I don't dread a day outside. I do wish I spent more days/hours outside, but alas, the balance is yet to be found between my non-existing work load, guilt feeling for leaving a husband working at home, alone, bringing the "bacon" while I flap my wings for pleasure, and other mundane house chores. I read some, knitted a lot - including an insane number of Christmas and other surprise gifts, and ate more food than I should be if I am to feel and look the way I desire. The Miracle, though, didn't happen - I am still hit-or-miss with my running in terms of this stupid over-training fatigue (7th year and counting), and while I continue running 5-6 times a week like a clockwork, I dare say it'll ever get better consistently. I still don't know how I feel about my job, it's complicated. I like my doc, and her small homey office. But we've exhausted clientele base (I got all I could from her, the mostly-old folks on Medicare), and it's almost nothing, and they come rarely, and the hourly pay sucks, and nobody tips...yet I am so mentally drained with my own gremlins that I refuse to look for another job. So here.

It's been a great big year for Larry, besides the move to the mountain itself - he adjusted to his new job position nicely, and work from home went into a new norm, his son graduated highs school, started college, and is doing exceptionally well as an independent young man (knock on wood, kudos to all involved). Larry lost a bunch of weight with this move to high dry air, he handled the Austin house sale and leaving a place he spent 25 years of his life pretty well, fully immersed himself in Springs' house upkeep, and overall, doing as good as it gets.

As far as "no miracles" for me, though, my kids are...well, that's a story not for this place, yet as always, this is exactly why I can never say "I had a great year". I don't. I am trying to manage my state of mind the best I can, and at times it gets pretty fucking tough. I don't give up, though, and have no intention to. I am a fighter, and a survivor. And despite all this shit, from any outsider's view, I live a pretty sweet life. I do. I recognize it, and I appreciate it greatly. Nothing is taken for granted, I promise. So, while I am not expecting no miracles next year either, where miracle would be the only thing desired, the rest of my life will continue to be awesome, with goals, successes, failures, lessons, and a bunch of non-essential stuff.

                                Happy New 2020, y'all.


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