2011 Retrospective

2011 Retrospective

Goodbye 2011, you were a year of new experiences, happiness and sadness.

Last year started cold. We were snowed in for a week – too icy to drive – and I had to walk to the local stores, hoping their deliveries had got through. Bread was in short supply. But it was so enjoyable walking through the snow, the absence of traffic on the roads, everybody on foot. Parents towing their children on sleds. A peaceful, happy time.

I started working part-time as a barman at the local pub, just to help out at first. I took to it like a duck to water and now, almost a whole year later, I’m still there. It’s been a great help as it gave me a way to talk to people, initially within the boundaries of the job and then, as I got to know the regular customers better, beyond it. By now I think of the people there as a kind of extended family – I feel accepted and wonderfully comfortable among them.

My main job as a software developer continued to be a source of great pleasure – interesting, challenging projects and opportunities to learn new skills and technologies. I’m incredibly lucky to get paid for doing something I enjoy so much. I’m not financially motivated – the work is its own reward for me, but obviously I need to earn money to live.

I started this blog in July, initially just to write about my day-to-day experiences through the lens of Aspergers Syndrome but soon expanded to become a means to express my feelings, whether through my attempts at poetry or through prose. One unexpected result was that I’ve connected through blogging with other people on the autism spectrum which has helped me both to understand myself better and to feel less isolated by my differences – I now know I’m not the only one whose brain functions in this special way.

The past few months has seen times of great strain in the relationship between my wife and me. Various events, my Aspergers and her deteriorating health have combined at times to set us at loggerheads. When communication breaks down everything else starts to tumble after it in an avalanche of self-destructive behavior. But through our mutual love we have found the will and the strength to keep working on our marriage and, although I cannot say with all honesty that everything is fine right now, we are past the lowest point and building up again.

I saw the year out with a New Year’s Eve shift in the pub – 6pm to 3:30am. It was physically tiring but emotionally exhilarating. I can recall noticing the clock around 8pm and the next time I looked it was well past 11! It truly felt as if only minutes had passed, yet it was more than three hours later. An enjoyable busy night.

Overall despite the lows it was a good year and seems to have passed so quickly. Hello 2012, I wonder what you’ll bring. Interesting times, I’m sure.