Reflections

My memory is shocking, so this may be rather mish-mash! I also understand that people have arguments against this being a new decade, which is understandable, but 2000-2009 is a good spread to reflect on regardless…

I turned 25 at the end of 2000, and for most of that year lived in St George. I was working at the local pub (in admin rather than the bar), and finished my Grad Dip externally that year, doing a prac at the local high school, as well as completing a Cert III in Business through my work. I was sort of living with Chris, a lovely guy I went to primary school with and had hooked up with early that year.

In 2001, I moved with Chris to Glen Innes as that was where his work took him. I began the year applying for NSW teaching registration and working for a goat meat co-op (yes, my working life HAS been varied!) – the goat job didn’t last, but my registration came through just after Easter and I started work almost immediately. I began with relief work at the local high school, and didn’t have more than eight days off, including public holidays, for the rest of the year! I met some great people through work and sport (played multiple games of indoor netball and volleyball each week), and began coaching the boys volleyball team as well as working on the school yearbook. Chris and I split up about halfway through the year, although remained on good terms, and I met David in September that year. This was also the year the Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-operative was formed, of which I was a founding member, and the year I was shortlisted for the Scarlett Stiletto (Sisters in Crime) short story competition – I went to Melbourne for the awards late in the year.

2002 was a very busy year. David and I made the decision to have a baby, I started my Masters of Education (Teacher Librarianship), helped D in the pub he ran, as well as still worked at school and played sport and coached. Had a trip to Sydney with the Year 10 group (hmm, this may have been 2001…) and another trip with the boy’s volleyball team for the state championships (they placed 8th). Also had another trip to Melbourne for Convergence, where we launched ASIM, and I met all the wonderful people I’d been working with online for over a year! When things weren’t working out so well with the pub, we decided to head up to my old stomping ground. D got his start in mining (in a very small and not exciting mine, but a start nonetheless!) and we stayed at Mum & Dad’s place as they were off travelling. I was about seven months pregnant when we moved, and did some relief work at my old high school when I was quite pregnant! Jakob was born in November that year. The same week, we bought our first house together in Miles, although never really ended up living there (it was tenanted for the whole time we owned it after that), as we took over the sports centre in Chinchilla in December. My first issue of ASIM came out in December as well (#4).

2003 was a busy year, with a baby, business, and me working pretty much full-time (relief and contracts, at the high school where I’d done my first prac, and the primary school). D would have Jakob during the day at the centre, and I would come home from school to work and play sport all afternoon/evening. Made some wonderful friends during this time, and J was a delight to all. Continued my studies throughout the year, including some study visits with others on the same course, in Toowoomba. Our time at the sports centre came to an end at the end of the year, coinciding with me being offered permanency as an English teacher in Taroom.

We moved to Taroom in January 2004, and David had some work at a sawmill for a while before taking on a mining job in another small town a couple of hours away, seeing the beginning of our lives as fly-in/fly-out (or drive-in/drive-out in this case!). We had air-conditioned education housing, and my job was an interesting learning curve which I enjoyed, for the most part, in the small P-10 school. We bought a dump of a house in Wandoan for very cheap as a hobby for David and we sold the house in Miles this year too (with an excellent return on our investment). Still studying, three quarters through. We got married on December 31st 2004 at Mum & Dad’s place in Drillham, surrounded by family and friends. Pretty sure there was a trip to Canberra in here for Conflux, which I took Jakob to.

We began 2005 with our honeymoon to Cairns. We were going alone, but ended up taking J as he was a bit confused by all the excitement by then! Was a very lovely trip. Came back to real life back to the grindstone. By February I was pregnant again, and battling a horrible principal at work. The end of term 3 couldn’t come soon enough. David and I bought another house in Miles and moved into it a few weeks prior to the birth of Gwynne in October. By this time, David had been poached from his previous job and was working month on/month off in Cobar, NSW. However, not long after Gwynne’s arrival, there was a cave-in at the mine and it was shut down for some time, meaning he was out of that job for a number of months. He went back to the other role for a while, among other things, but was back at Cobar a few months later. I finished my Masters at the end of this year. There was a trip to Brisbane here for uni study visits at some point, as well as two weeks in Sydney for study placement (which I did at Dee Why public library while my aunt and uncle looked after Jakob!), all of which meant I missed Thylacon in Hobart, much to my disgust.

2006 saw J start kindy, and me working part-time back at Chinchilla High, this time primarily in the library, which I loved! May have been two conventions this year, Conjure in Brisbane and another Conflux in Canberra – took Gwynne to both, with Conflux being our best ever for sales for ASIM. David continued working at Cobar, although the roster changed to two on/two off at some point, and he fiddled around with selling some second-hand cars as well, among other projects! We got the carpets and kitchen in the house done, and bought a house at River Heads, near Hervey Bay, at the end of the year. I began work on the ASIM Best Of collections, as well as many other ASIM duties, and was on the kindy committee. Oh, and I started blogging this year!

2007 was a big year for us. I fell pregnant again but had a miscarriage in April. We decided to move to Hervey Bay (the "last move ever" according to David), where I had a term off work, finished the ASIM Best Ofs, started doing some work for   and Twelfth Planet Press, went to Convergence in Melbourne on my own (mum & dad had the kids), and enjoyed life for a while. Started some contract work at Urangan High School in Hervey Bay in Term 3 (biggest school I’ve ever been in, with over 1500 kids!) and this continued to roll over, until David got another job offer, this time in Western Australia. Relocation costs included, and a great role. While we’d only moved six months earlier, it was an excellent opportunity, so we took it, moving in November. I walked off the plane and into my dream job (literally a day later, offered the job on the spot) as teacher librarian for a lovely Catholic college in a beautiful area south of Perth, which helped us decide where to rent. Got a big four bedroom house in a classy area. We started to catch up with lots of WA folk I only knew online primarily, and Christmas was spent with WA rellies. I started a Grad Dip in Editing and Publishing, but haven’t got back to it after the first unit! This was the first year I judged for the Aurealis Awards as well.

Hosted a WA Aurealis Party in January, and met up with more fan folk I hadn’t really met yet, which was great. Mostly full-time work in 2008 – David on 8 days on/6 days off roster, which was great, particularly with no night shift. Went to my first Swancon – Mum & Dad over from QLD for Easter so they babysat for much of it. Also had Dad’s 60th birthday. Doing a lot more work with Twelfth Planet Press, and two issues of ASIM. Also sadly tendered resignation from ASIM – a good run for me and I learned a lot! Loved my job, despite occasional hiccups (mostly staff related). Went to QLD with kids just before Christmas for five weeks.

And now 2009 – busy, again. Aurealis Awards in Brisbane in January, Swancon at Easter, pregnant in May, bought house and moved in June (missing Conjecture in Adelaide which I’d had booked for six months, thanks to very poor timing by real estate agents). Sold house at River Heads later in the year after much soul searching. Dad came over to paint the house for us, which was excellent. Lots more work for Twelfth Planet Press, including the New Ceres Nights anthology I co-edited with Alisa and launched at Swancon (shortlisted for an Aurealis Award). I began work on two collections for 2010 – an anthology of spec fic for 9-13 year olds, and a reprint collection of Australian mythology/folklorish stories. Took on a few extra things at work, including the school yearbook, and got it out before the 7-10s left at the end of the year, for the first time ever (just call me Deadline Dame!). David had to go to two weeks on/one week off, which sucks (economic downturn issue), but we’re coping – hopefully there’s a light at the end of that tunnel. Jakob completed Year 1, and his reading is incredible. Gwynne had full-time daycare which she enjoyed, partook in her first sleepovers at a friend’s house, and is looking forward to big school kindy two days a week in 2010. David and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, Jakob turned seven, Gwynne turned four, I turned 34 and David turned 38. I haven’t kept up with people as well as I would have liked this year, and if I have one goal for 2010 (other than a healthy baby and happy family!), it’s to stay in touch with others better, including visits!

So that’s the last 10 years at a glance. Wow. Doesn’t time FLY?! Marriage, 2.9 kids, a whole bunch of moves and buying and selling properties, jobs, study, and lots of travel. I’m sure I missed heaps of stuff too! Who knows what the next 10 will bring?

Happy new year everyone 🙂

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