As I sat down to string a few words together, some television staples of my childhood came to mind. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it is no longer a week in review happening over there at PBS. Of course, since I stopped watching tv in 1995, I really shouldn’t be surprised that I missed Washington Week’s name change back in 1999.
According to seemingly all school-children’s favorite on-line source, Wikipedia, the name change signifies the current host’s desire to look forward and not just behind. And I can see the marketability of such a move, painting yourself as forward-thinking and all that. But there is also something to be said for reviewing what has just passed. For without reviewing one’s course, how can one ever accurately adjust one’s sails to meet the next headwind?
And I have to admit to thinking this next year could be a windy one. Oh, not that I worry I have precisely 357 days left in existence, because I’m not one to believe in end-of-days superstitions. If those pesky Myans simply got tired of writing or if Jose Arguelles is purely a fiction writer is not my concern. What is my concern is this: if today is my last day in this body in this place, what have I accomplished? Have I lived a life I can be proud of or am I a disappointment? Because one thing I have thought over and over during this holiday season is this, any moment could be our last. My Twitter-feed, Reddit, Facebook, the nightly news, all are filled with stories of people who have or will be leaving us before we are ready to lose them. And if that were to be me, would I consider this life to have been lived fully?
So what would my 52 Weeks in Review show? Would the accounting prove me in the red or black?
In no particular order other than as they come to me, here’s some stuff I accomplished in 2011. Where applicable, I am embedding coinciding blog posts or links.
- I travelled to France and England with my husband and three kids. No one got lost and aside from an incident involving a nostril and a Lego, and one family-wide angst-fest, it was a pretty wonderful 16 days.
- I folded approximately 2,238 pairs of socks. That number is actually on the low side because it doesn’t take into account the number of times Littlest uses 2-3 pairs of socks in hopes of finding a pair that doesn’t “bug” him. However, it also doesn’t take into account the times he goes foot-commando because putting socks on him is a temper-tantrum-gateway and sometimes this mama just can’t do that at 7:30 am.
- I cut the crusts off of approximately 180 sandwiches. Of course, nearly 100 of those sandwiches came back home with only a single bite taken from them.
- I edited my novel. And then I started editing it again.
- I did a few stand-up comedy shows.
- I got a few lovely emails from readers of my short story that was published by Gadling.
- I taught nearly 50 teens for a week at Camp Adams. It was one of my favorite teaching experiences.
- I went to Jamaica with the man of my life, Mister Soandso, to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary.
- I trained for and ran in Hood to Coast, the world’s largest relay race.
- I ran my first 10k.
- I registered for my first 1/2 marathon (it’s the Hippy Girl next May).
- I went 6 months without weighing myself which translates into 6 months of no body hatred. Also, I maintained my weight that whole time.
- I committed to eating gluten-free instead of simply limiting my gluten. It is a challenge but the improvement to my health is worth it. Eating with a food allergy is not easy, but knowing I’m not poisoning my body makes it easier. So does not waking up every morning in pain.
- I bought books written by authors I follow on Twitter. Holding their words in my hand is a pretty awesome thing. My Twitter-folk Bill Cameron, Tawna Fenske, Ilsa Bick, and Myra McEntire now have space on my bookshelf and my digital bookshelves hold Cheri Lasota, Misty Provencher, John Abramowitz. Check ’em out folks. That’s not all of the books I bought and read, but I follow them on Twitter and think they are fine twitter-folk.
- I wrote two guest posts at the writing community, Amwriting. It is a honor to be a part of a writing community and I thank Johanna Harness for inviting me to be a part of the fun.
- I passed out of my 42nd year and into my 43. And I did it smiling.
- I walked my youngest child to his kindergarten class without either of us crying. I did get a bit teared up dropping Oldest off at his middle school tho. Turned out there were lots of tears that day. In fact, turns out it is a bit hard for mamas to let their babies grow-up, no matter how happy we are for them.
- I accidentally amputated my dog’s tail in our storm door. That, the two surgeries and the following weeks of recovery, was horrible. I still feel sad and guilty.
- I went to several book readings. It started with Wendy N. Wagner and went from there.
- Speaking of Wendy N. Wagner, I made 10 pies for her wedding. ‘Cause I love her to pieces.
- I started watching Doctor Who via Netflix and an iPad. My sister swears I watched it as a kid but I don’t remember it. This new doctor tho, ufdah. Considering how rare it is for me to sit down with Mister Soandso and watch anything, I’m actually considering this an accomplishment. Lame, I know.
- I started decluttering my house by trying to get rid of 1 thing every day. This is the brainchild (well, the post about it that inspired me) of Sandra Wickham. It is uber helpful for those of us caught in the head-lights of our cluttered lives!
- I hugged each of my children every day they were in my presence.
- Each time I lost my temper and yelled at my kids or argued with my husband, I apologized.
- I bought music that makes me happy. I also tended to play it loudly if I was alone.
- I ate lots of chocolate.
- I worked on making peace with myself, my life, living with PTSD and depression, and being flawed.
- I smiled.
I have no idea what will come my way next year. But I hope it is filled with the people who hold a place in my heart, that my heart welcomes more people into it, and that if I leave this world in 2012 then I will have made the world a better place for having been in it — even if it is only in some very small way.
Peace and blessings to each of you and thank you so much for traveling along this journey beside me. Together we are better.