2007: Year In Review

Well, it’s that time again: time to look at the past year and check off the big and important things that happened in my life. Accomplishments, tragedies, travels, things like that.

Generally, it’s easier to do these things in chronological order, and I’m not going to break with that policy this year. It means, though, that possibly one of the worst things that’s ever happened to me gets to go first in the retrospective: my miscarriage. I was pretty vague about it at the time; I hadn’t made any sort of announcement to my blog readership in general, since I was only ten weeks along.

The whole experience was just tragic all the way around — it was the one doctor’s visit where I didn’t bring Aaron along, because it was a last-minute “emergency” ultrasound; at the ultrasound, I got to see, in no uncertain terms, that my child was, in fact, no longer cute and sprightly and waving its appendages like it had been a week before; I had to break the news to Aaron when I got home; we both went to the hospital that evening so I could have the products of conception removed; I got put under general anesthesia for the first time since having my tonsils out as a kid; and Aaron just about got his heart shocked into his throat when the doctor came out of surgery to see him and was apologizing up and down, before she confirmed that I was actually fine.

I spent a couple of days being muscle-sore from the general anesthesia, and another couple weeks of being seriously depressed. Now, nearly a year later, I’m dealing with it much better. It’s still tragic, but it’s tragic in a slightly more distant sort of way. I think that several things in my life helped me deal with the loss, including having to work with pregnant people and getting into Zen Buddhism.

Shortly after our loss, Aaron and I found ourselves dining at Red Lobster, facing a decision. We now had a second chance to do all the stuff we wanted to do before we had a kid. Ultimately, we decided to go crazy and take a trip to Japan.

We spent six nights in Tokyo in May of 2007, and it was the most amazing vacation either of us had ever had. We’re both enamored with Japanese culture, so being in the middle of it for a week was just awesome. We went on an all-day bus tour, shopped at various otaku meccas like Nakano Broadway and Akihabara, went to the Ghibli Museum, attended the Sanja Festival, stayed in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan), took over 500 digital pictures, and used all the meager Japanese we knew.

In mid-June, I took an unexpectedly spontaneous leap and joined an aikido dojo. A few weeks later, I started sitting with the Toledo Zen Center, which happens to be led by my aikido sensei. Both practices have helped me to be more at peace with myself, and to get that mind-body-spirit connection that I was craving.

Meanwhile, I knew that I would be losing my job in September, when Sky Bank would be officially merged into Huntington. So, shortly after we returned from Japan, I started job hunting in earnest. I sent out dozens of resumes, got a few follow-ups, and landed interviews with two companies. Ultimately, I took a data warehousing job at HCR ManorCare in November. This job literally doubled my previous income, and got me further into the fields of information services and business intelligence.

Those were the banner events of 2007. Other things happened, of course: my one-time mentor, Tim King, passed away in February; I made a feeble and brief attempt to start the Body For Life diet after our Japan trip in May; my Uncle Donnie passed away in March, and I found out about it in August; I was outed as a non-Christian in the Toledo Blade in October; and I made my largest candle sale so far ($50) to my former supervisor in December.

In a word, 2007 was intense. More life-changing events happened in one year than I think I’ve ever experienced in such a short time. In the end, though, I’ve come out as a stronger and happier person for all of it.