When I lost my job, it left me with a ton of time on my hands. So I rode my bike a ton. I even did my first 100-mile day. When I went to my first mountain bike race in the Spring, I won the beginner class by a pretty large margin, so I upgraded to "Sport." I managed to complete six out of the eight races in the series I was most interested in, enough not to be penalized for missed races, and went to a ton of other, less important races.
Of course, I kept looking for work as well. I picked up a strange job working with inflatable attractions for a company doing graduation parties. And I managed not to crash any of their janky trucks despite long, long work hours without proper breaks or food. I also worked for a company raising money for the Seattle Symphony, and raised a bunch of money for them.
The same month that I was doing the inflatables job, I also met my girlfriend, Adella. Even if I didn't do anything else cool last year, meeting her would prevent me from saying 2009 was a loss - this is the best and, depending how you count, longest romantic relationship I've ever had. Adella is a stellar dancer and I love hanging out with her. She also goes to races with me, and has the patience to be supportive and independent when I've finished a race and need someone who can take care of me. I've traveled too much this year, but she's been there to pick me up at the airport almost every time, and that's really awesome. My mood lifts whenever I see her, whether or not I'm getting off a plane.
Which brings me to another accomplishment - wiring my mother's office for networking. I haven't done any lighting design this year, but that was a pretty major project and, I'm told, everything works. So I'm pretty proud of that.
Of course, I can't talk about 2009 without talking about Bhutan. Photos are up on my Flickr site. Bhutan was an amazing experience, and I've now hiked a 16,000' pass, which was even hard for the pack ponies and tour staff.
Finally, despite the slow economy and being a new guy in a new city, I managed to get in at the bottom rung of the Stagehands' Union and get on the technician list for the City of Seattle. I've accumulated enough hours working through the union and for the city to have better seniority this year and a couple of companies I began working with when I first moved here have signed union contracts; I should be able to continue working for them, but now they're going to be paying better.
So maybe I didn't work as much as I'd have liked to over the last year and I've had a pretty difficult financial situation as a result. But I've also done more than just put in 2000 hours pushing papers at a job in which I don't understand what I'm accomplishing. And no matter what else did or didn't happen this year, meeting Adella has had a huge impact on my life.