My 2009

Excuse an even more self-centred post than usual, but it’s that time of year. I don’t do the round-robin letter, but I do find myself trying to take stock.

What was 2009?

At home…

In 2009, we didn’t move house, change jobs or have a baby. That makes a change. (Actually when I thought about this I realised that we didn’t do any of those in 2004. Or 2002, when we got married instead. But in all previous years we’ve been “about to” do some or all of those). Also in 2009 on the domestic front, a Really Bad Thing About To Happen Any Time turned into an Ongoing Inconvenience.

So, sometime in 2009 Gavin and I looked at each other and realised we had something called normal life.

This has taken more getting used to than I had expected. Living from crisis to crisis, in slow motion, becomes a way of life. One gets used to there always being some large unresolved Issue sitting in the corner glowering, and one keeps a corner clear for it and throws it a biscuit occasionally. I think by the end of the year I had just about reached the point where I swept out the Issue corner so it could be used for something more productive.

And agreed to be co-clerk of our Quaker meeting, which might fill the space just nicely.

At work…

I got back into things. It took time. It took longer than I’d expected, and was stranger than I’d expected. I learned a bit more about sin through the experience of a large institution; and I realised that quite a lot of the time it’s the students who keep me sane. Who would have thought it?


I acknowledged that I had become tired of focusing on Being Good (being green, being right); and did not quite work out what to do with it.

Most of my worries now are on behalf of my children and my students. Very big worries, about the unsustainability of the life for which we have educated them. Perhaps this is the real sign of entering middle age.


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