For what it’s worth, and as far as this blog is concerned, 2009 will not go down in our books as the year of getting things documented, in spite of the many interesting happenings. It appears we’ve got the “buh” part of blog down–not so much the “log” part it. So, sorry to all of you out there who visit each day with bated breath.
This isn’t a new year’s resolution to document or opine more, since we all know what resolutions are good for, but if you’re gonna do this thing, you’ve gotta start somewhere. So here is a summing up of the year, as seen by yourses truly.
We thought we’d give it a kind of top ten, since we just love those bite-size bits. So in no particular order of rank (and thus making a top ten pointless after all), we submit for your amusement, the highlights of 2009.
10. Getting out of debt. This came as a bit of surprise, if you must know. No, we didn’t follow any kind of hardcore Dave Ramsey plan (though we love the guy, and if we were in debt again, we’d listen to his advice), but we just threw money at our debt and when we looked up, it was gone. Perhaps that is hardcore, since we went into this marriage a year and a half earlier with an over $20,000 millstone around our necks, but it’s still hard to believe. Praise God.
9. Going into debt. Well, not personally, but as a nation. Truly, we were on this road already, but the current politicians decided to blast that Nitrous Oxide tank and race us toward certain financial oblivion. People more clever and better at numbers than us can better unpack what this means for the future, but why we count this as a personal highlight is it seems this is the first time in our lives we’ve actually had to pay attention to politics for longer than the presidential race season. Someone get Dave Ramsey to Washington!
8. Leaving jobs, starting jobs. Dave left a job in January to start another in February. He took a big pay cut and now works more hours per week (how does that happen?), but it’s wholly more satisfying work than dealing with gyrating avatars (no, seriously). Liz got laid off in the Fall and is unemployed for the moment – but picking up a good bit of contract work.
7. Haiti. Yes, technically this is a 2010 thing, but it reaches back into 2009 because we decided last year to write our first script together with Haiti as a backdrop. It’s a story inspired by some Ohio friends who spent an agonizing two years in the Haitian adoption process. Of course, right now our prayers are with the whole nation, and specifically with the orphanage connected to our friends.
6. Movies. On one hand, we can’t say this was a really stand-out year for movies, on the other hand we can’t say we found ourselves in the theater all that much. Maybe those two things are related… but here were the scant few films we thought made a good mark. (with several potentials waiting in the Netflix queue): Up, The Blind Side, 500 Days of Summer, Star Trek.
5. SNOW. You know you’ve met your soulmate when they share the same penchant for cold and snowy weather as you; when they, like you, roll their eyes every time the weather person grumbles about cold temps in the winter. Living in Georgia isn’t exactly prime for this, so we got our fill in the blizzard that hit the entire eastern seaboard just before Christmas. We also happened to be on the highway in the midst of it. A 9 hour trip became 31. But our spirits were high. And did we mention our dog utterly loves snow? 3 peas in a pod, we are.
4. Friends. It took a while for us to really settle into life here in Georgia, but it happened last year. It wasn’t as if we had a rough go of it, but getting into the groove of friends and ministry really didn’t happen for us until mid-way through 2009. Dave confesses to being reluctant to rebooting a whole new social and church life after 20 years in Ohio, but it’s coming along. We are a work in progress.
3. Act Three. The Act One organization for Christians screenwriters/filmmakers in LA has played a big role in our life together, since that’s where we met in 2002. This year, Liz was part of the flagship Act Three program with three trips to LA and countless phone conference hours, doing a mentorship with a woman who teaches at Pixar and USC. The resulting screenplay is under option. We’ll see if that makes it to a sale. She’s hit that magic tipping point of 10 feature length scripts, so she would be very, very happy to vacate the Land of Unemployment for full time writing instead of office drone.
2-1. Labor and the Fruits Thereof. This one is actually large enough to take over two whole bullet points, as 2009 was a very work-intensive year for our side business, Arclight Studios. Essentially that means Dave spent most of his waking hours in front of the computer from May through September, slogging away on essentially one large project. We realize this may have a connection to the sudden appearance of a social life late in 2009, but the work paid off in the end by providing a good nest egg for our next phase of family life: a house, kids, a larger, higher definition television. But lest we think it about stuff or plans, The Lord continues to bless us, so that we might give more.