Number one, what happened last year was a hard emotional blow that took me several weeks to really recover from. I couldn't concentrate on what needed to come next because I was still processing what had happened before. This time, I've already processed the loss, and I'm ready to move forward.
Number two, I didn't have any irons in the fire. What happened last year was completely unanticipated, so I had to start completely fresh, assessing the job market and starting to submit applications. This time, I already had applications out by the time the breaking point came.
Number three, I've leaned out my lifestyle. The hard times of last year were made harder because I was holding on to some expenses that I didn't really need and didn't let my money stretch as far. This year, my expenses are lower and I know how to make my money stretch a little farther.
And as absurd as it sounds, something completely unexpected happened last night, a pleasant little bonus that my superstitious half hopes signals some overdue good times returning to my life.
We had our weekly game last night (and quite frankly, the entire thing has taken a strange turn that I'm still trying to process--without going into detail, the game shifted from a steampunk adventure seeking a missing scientist into a political power struggle between factions trying to control the city, and at the same time, several characters, mine included, have gone through some unexpected changes), and after the game, I borrowed a DVD of "Van Helsing," a movie I've never seen but have long wanted to. And I'm not going to go into detail about the movie here, because I may be bringing Movie Mondays back, and I'll need the material then.
But as I'm lying on the couch at 2 in the morning, I start to get up and grab the top of the couch for support. My fingers hit something hidden behind the plush cushions that falls off the back, and I reach down behind to find something caught in the Venetian blinds. I retrieve the object with amazement.
It was my glasses.
You have to understand, my glasses have been missing since (more or less) the time I left Newport Television last year. During the spring and early summer of last year, as I was going through the Biggest Mistake of My Life(patent pending), I made do with my prescription sunglasses, but even those were lost a year ago when everything blew up in my face. Unable to afford new glasses, I spent a year coping without any vision correction at all. It helped that I only really used them when driving at night or at the movies, but it was still just one more thing I needed that I couldn't afford to replace.
Which has been the dynamic of the past year and a half. Struggle, struggle, struggle, think that I am finally on the verge of getting on top of the shifting pile of debts and problems that my life has degenerated into, then something happens that pushes me back down--electricity gets shut off, car insurance is cancelled, whatever.
Good things have happened, too. Family and friends have proven unexpectedly generous, at times. And I've been able to avoid any really big catastrophes. But in the main, it has seemed as if Fate has been dealing from a stacked deck, and good fortune has been missing from my life for a long time.
I know I'm reading an awful lot into a stupid pair of glasses that I was dumb enough to lose on the back of the couch in the first place, especially since they're an old prescription and I bent the frames retrieving them from the blinds. Maybe I'm just grasping at straws here, but I need this year to be better than the last. I really do.