[03 February, 2012]

twenty twelve minus one

Just now, less than 10 seconds ago, I decided: eff my principles. The semester has started (my last, my last one on campus!) and I am now permanently in a grumpy hole. I am so worn out and sick of "working on deficits," "improving," and "articulating challenging areas in my professional development" that I became completely against all things self-improvement. Including resolutions, goals, and promises.

I just wanted all of the world's expectations to seriously let me BE.

But you know, reflecting on the good of my life, as is traditional at the start of a new year (even if it's already February), isn't a bad idea. I could use a reminder or ten that last year was not lived in vain, and that it had its purposes of bringing me here, wherever I am now.

So here are the 11 goods I want to remember about 2011:

1. I spent New Year's with my husband, my paternal grandparents, my dad, my dad's wife, and my little sister. This was the epitome of my family's gathering, filled with noise, laughter, Lady Ga Ga impressions, and my sister endlessly playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the piano. I wanted to stay in that moment forever.
2. Sometime in February or March, I decided to leave my exhausting work at midday, told my husband to come pick me up in the car, bring the dog, and take us to a forest. We got a yummy lunch, hiked, and rented a motel room for the night, cheaply. I went to a nearby REI and bought myself a new shirt (on sale) to change into for work the next day. We bought wine and some take-out food, and brought them to the motel. I took a bath, we watched some funny shows, ate the food, drank the wine, and gave each other massages. The next morning, my husband dropped me off at work again. I wore the new shirt, was well-rested, and no one suspected anything. Living spontaneously gave me hope that life can truly have zest and meaning.

The view from our hike in Marin County, CA.
3. I was invited to teach an extra course in the spring semester, which was overwhelming and affirming.
4. My friend and I got together for sushi a lot, which meant that a Jewish gay boy and a Russian tattooed feminist girl took over a tiny quiet Japanese restaurant. We laughed a lot. This sushi place also gave complementary fried shrimp on a stick with frighteningly exploding eyes. Our dates kept me sane and got me through the year.
It sees you. It sees your mouth approaching. It dares you to eat it.
5. My mom visited me and then I visited my mom. We survived both visits, which confirmed for me that people and relationships can change, often for the better.
6. My advisor called me a genius (not to my face)(but a jealous friend confided), about which I kind of have mixed feelings. Mostly happy ones, but also sort of embarrassingly blushing ones. Because not that someone else's opinion of me should define my worth, but coming from a woman I respect and admire, it was still a proud moment. I'd like to remember it during all those other times I am told to improve on my weaknesses.
7. I took a horse riding lesson and briefly joined a rowing team, at least until the fall semester began (I wish I'd still be rowing right now).
8. I went to a few Giants games, participated in Occupy protests, and canoed down the Russian River on my birthday in August. I can't believe I found time to be out, but it felt good.
9. I saw the Foo Fighters in concert, and crossed one of, like, two items on my bucket list (for my opinion on bucket lists, see my current thoughts on goals and resolutions above)(the second item on the list is to drink a pint of Guinness in Dublin).

Dave Grohl, in all his musical glory. I can't believe my little dumbphone took this good of a picture.
10. Friends visited me and I felt unforgotten.
11. I failed at things, I succeeded in things. I persevered, I survived. I understood what it meant to walk through the middle of life's darkness and see a light ahead.

0 sighs or salutations:

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