My 2012, A Year of Momentous Change

change aheadA year ago I could not have predicted the momentous changes in store for me in 2012, both personally and professionally. I was just kind of rolling along, balancing several jobs, taking care of our sons, finding time for family and reading. I had committed to reviewing all the books I read on Goodreads and was just dabbling in the wider world on blogging, via Tumblr.

For the past 13 years, I had always thought that I’d have time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life once my kids were “a little older.” I was so fortunate to have a built a good part-time job around my needs, working for Chicago Parent. But I was feeling restless, and seriously concerned about sending three boys into private high school in a few years.

Early in 2012, I met with a long-time friend in a more professional capacity. Patti is a former boss who years ago had made the decision to give up the 9-5 security and launch her own business, Go Girl Communications.  She connects mom-bloggers with businesses. And, seriously, I thought it was some kind of make-believe profession. Then we started to talk about this growing “social media” potential and I discovered how easy WordPress made it to combine words, books and pictures.

So in March 2012 I launched alenaslife, half-part a whim and half-part a plan to commit to writing as my professional future. I put myself “out there” and redoubled my efforts to pick up new assignments and make contacts outside my Chicago Parent world. I read other blogs, did research and talked to anyone who was willing to share their advice. I immersed myself in social media – WordPress, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest.  I could do this and still be a mom, I thought.

But 2012 had other designs.things will not stay

While searching for a summer camp for my sons, I happened upon a job opening in public relations at my alma mater. I had stayed only loosely connected to my high school, but the job description seemed so absolutely perfectly, that I took a chance and applied.

I got the job.

In July, I re-entered the world of full-time employment. The change to my life (my children’s and husband’s lives too) was immediate. I know I made the right choice, but it’s not easy to go from keeping my own schedule to having a starting and ending time to my job. We are all still adjusting.

On the positive side, I love the school for which I work and the people, now friends, I’ve come to know. But, timing is everything, and starting a new job meant I lost the traction I had with my blog and my writing. I quite simply do not have the time to read and write the way I would wish.

Meanwhile, I was still trying to spend as much time as possible with my father, who was suffering the debilitating effects of ALS. Since he lived almost an hour away, I couldn’t see him as much as I wanted, but I tried to be there for him, for his wife, for my brother, for me. He was so excited about my new job, about my growing sense of confidence in myself, in his grandsons.

Then, in September, too soon, he died. I am grateful he is no longer suffering; but I am still dealing with the knowledge that my dad is gone. Even if we went weeks without talking to each other, I always knew he was there. Now, he is not. It’s strange and sad.

things changeSo, here I am as 2012 draws to a close, wondering what changes I can expect in 2013. I know “change is good,” but I sincerely hope that 12 months from now I am not contemplating a life with a new job and a major personal loss.

I wish you all a peaceful and happy new year.

11 thoughts on “My 2012, A Year of Momentous Change

  1. Life brings us many ups and downs and as we meander through it we come across many forked roads. We have to choose what’s best at that moment in time. All things happen for a reason and we are strong enough to withstand all that life throws our way. You’ve had an emotional and challenging 2012 and I’m sure you are a stronger person because of it. I wish you an inspiring, adventurous, and intellectual 2013, filled with lots of interesting reading. 😀


  2. It seems that 2012 was a major turning point without prediction, and I am sure 2013 will be more settling. It is sad to lose a parent, but wonderful that he shared as much as he was able to of your life and that he knew his grandsons and saw you move happily into your new role.

    Even if it is less frequent, I hope you continue reading and sharing your thoughts, always enjoy my visit here 🙂 All the best for next year Alena.


    • I will do my best to get back in the book reviewing groove. I know it’s just a metter o doing it and letting go of the need to make each review something profound. (That’s what all of you are for.) 🙂


  3. Wow! That’s amazing. I can really relate to your ups and downs as wife, mom, and daughter. Like you I’ve started a blog to concentrate on writing and have a part- time job that will allow me to be a mom. Great news about your job- best of luck with your future endeavors.


  4. 2012 was a year of trials for many. Believe me, you are not alone. Times do get hard, but you know what? After all those hard times, the good times come. May 2013 be a year of good times for you and your family. Happy New Year. 🙂


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