It's happened again, just like last year, and the year before. It is New Year's Eve (day) and I am as thankful as ever that a new year dawns annually.
On 24 November 1992, while giving a speech marking the 40th anniversary of her accession to the throne, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, described the year as an "annus horribilis" which translated from Latin means "horrible year". I think it is safe to say, twenty years later, that 2012 was for me, an "annus horribilis".
The first few weeks of the year seemed to start on the correct foot but by mid-January, it became evident that my work situation was changing, and not for the better. I was in my eleventh year and everything had been wonderful for the first decade. A key person had retired the year before and his replacement had been on the job for about six months when things began to go awry. I don't work for this person but I work very closely with him. I will not go into much detail here but by the end of 2012, he and I (and my boss) were engaged in a mediation to sort things out. Our latest session took place a week before Christmas. One good aspect of this is that I feel 150% supported by my organization (right up to the CAO). The stress of the situation, however, I certainly could have done without.
Then in March, my wife started legal proceedings against me for a divorce. More stress. We had been separated for four years following nineteen years of marriage. Neither of us seemed to be in a hurry to divorce. We had been "co-managing" our joint property with her living in one house and I in another, on the same land. This legal development hit me by surprise as we had been negotiating personally about a division of assets. In an instant, we'd moved from negotiating between us to having lawyers involved. And, as anyone will tell you, once lawyers enter the picture, everything becomes adversarial. In the end, with less than one week before a court hearing in September, and without our respective lawyers involved, she and I hammered out a deal. For most of the year this weighed heavily on my mind and I will probably go to my grave feeling "ripped off" but gradually, as time passes, I'm moving on and I don't think as much about it anymore.
I opened a letter this evening sent to me by my lawyer before Christmas. In it, I found a copy of a court order declaring my wife and I will be divorced effective January 10, 2013. The outcome is awesome, the path to get there was not.
The worst piece of news came in September when Bill was diagnosed with cancer in his eye. Since that diagnosis, he's had tremendous medical treatment and support to deal with this unwelcome news. The good side is that they claim a 95% success rate with this particualr cancer and it's a wait and see situation for him now. In February, he'll go for his first follow-up medical since his radiation surgery last month. Unfortunately, the degradation in his vision has been difficult for him but he's coping well.
I'm currently in the processing of vacating "the farm" which has been my home for the past dozen years. My ex-wife has bought my share from me and I'm, quite literally, moving on. I've always hated moving but on the upside, I've found a nice new home in a pleasant, quiet neighbourhood and my youngest son moves in with me today. I am grateful to Bill and my sons for helping me pack my stuff and cart it to the new place.
Tomorrow is the start of a great new year. I have a new house, a great job, a wonderful family & friends and a loving and generous man in my life. They will make it easy to leave 2012 behind . . .