Hello 2015, I can’t wait to eat you up. Let the wild rumpus start, like Max says.
And another thing. When it comes to idiocy, home ownership, and life, I’m the bomb. Click here to read all about it, courtesy of today’s Globe and Mail. The Facts and Arguments page isn’t the only one worth reading, but it’s frequently my favorite.
Note I’m not a redhead, but the repose I can get behind.
Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year. There’s a mountain out there for you to climb, should you choose to.
Before I look forward, I need to do a shoulder check.
Life as a parent means primarily a life of never ending errands, punctuated by making meals and driving to after school activities, so I like to look back to prove to myself my life isn’t one long grocery list. There are other things that move me forward as a human being; a growing and learning and therefore interesting human being – it’s just hard to remember them. Although my life revolves, irrevocably, around my children, I still want to have a little orbit of my own. A part that is separate from my mothering role, so that when they fly the coop I won’t streak out of the Milky Way altogether.
Normally, when I reflect on a year, I figure out what ages and grades my children were in, and go from there. So 2009 was the year of grades 5, 3 and kindergarten. From there I recall the teachers, who largely made up my social circle that year, and then recall the activities they were involved with, the coaches of whom completed my social circle, and so on.
Exciting stuff. I will inevitably do this with 2012. But of course, there was more to my year than how much homework my children did or didn’t have. Fantastic moments that were sandwiched in between orthodontic appointments and marinating pork tenderloin. Some of them involved amazing friends and family members, while others were found in quieter times within the pages of a book or in the stillness of the forest. It’s not an exhaustive list, but here are a few highlights of my 2012:
- It was a year of real estate: I didn’t move mountains, but I moved our family to a new neighborhood. A simple sentence that explains six months of headaches. Not so much a highlight as much as an achievement, but let’s not quibble over details.
- I found wisdom, epiphanies, and triumphs in stories – too many books to list, but The Dovekeepers, When God Was a Rabbit, The History of Love, and Cloudstreet were a few of my favorite reads.
- The wise powers at Lululemon advise me to do something everyday that scares you. I did one thing in 2012: I sent my rough draft of my novel to an editor. It took 364 days to work up to it, in my defense.
- What’s a year without a soundtrack? If using the stereo of my youth, I’d have worn out the needle playing Bon Iver, Hey Rosetta, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Kathleen Edwards over and over again, but luckily the digital versions are showing no signs of wear. The concert of the year easily goes to The Lumineers, who lit up the Vogue theater like no band I’ve seen.
- I started swimming with a masters group. In my first week I swam more lengths of the pool than I had my entire life. And I’m old, so you do the math.
- We vacationed in beautiful paradises, both near and far, but 2012 will go down as the year that I finally went to the city that Frank Sinatra crooned about. The one that is the setting for so many movies, books, and reality television shows that I felt like I knew it like the freckles on my daughters nose. I had to resist the urge to tell my cabbie to take Atlantic Avenue rather than the Long Island Expressway to get to JFK. It was weird.
There. It’s recorded for posterity – moments of magic amongst the mundane – these assorted flickers of joy help to distinguish my 2012 from the thousands of carrots I’ve peeled. They may pale in comparison to watching my children grow into astonishingly astute beings, but these moments, purely mine, help me to appreciate my little shooting stars even more.
2011 just doesn’t have a nice a ring to it. ‘2010’ sounded modern and hip, New Age and full of possibilities. 2011 in comparison packs extra syllables, making it a tad awkward and not as catchy. It’s not even-steven and in fact, is a prime number. You almost get the sense that this will make it an unremarkable year, a throwaway perhaps. A year to be forgotten before it has even began. Or maybe its oddities will make it a bang up, stand out, sensational year unlike any other.
I prefer the glass half full philosophy, so let’s go with that. I am more excited about this new year than usual, but for no particular reason. It is more like a feeling in my bones.
Making resolutions at the beginning of the new year has never been my thing; not because there is nothing to improve upon, as my husband would quickly attest, but I don’t like to set myself up for failure. Besides, my imperfections are charming.
Yet lately, there is a phrase that is following me around everywhere: it is whispering in the wind, it is written on a bracelet I just bought, it’s on billboards, I could see it written in an airplane’s exhaust, and it was spelled on my kitchen counter when I spilled a package of rice today: Anything is possible. I’m not sure from which direction it materialized, but these words won’t leave me alone.
Likely it’s a middle age thing; having reached it I realized I need to pick up the pace, as though I am at the 5km mark of my 10km race and I’m feeling great and on track for a personal best. Or in the same vein that I pack a week’s worth of intentions into my last day of vacation. Anything is possible.
Maybe it’s because my children are finally independent people, who can make their own beds and get themselves a glass of milk, freeing me to do other things, like tie my shoes, or think. Anything is possible.
In the past year I saw people I loved diagnosed with cancer, who proceeded to do battle with this sickening diagnosis and beat it. Anything is possible.
Or could it be simply a change in mindset that I’m not afraid of failure anymore. Anything is possible.
Perhaps I should just have another drink. Anything is possible.
Whatever the cause or reason, this mantra is playing in my head like the annoying neighborhood dog that won’t stop barking. As I look towards 2011, these words house hope of a brighter and more meaningful future. There is comfort in the knowledge that if you have the courage to try something, only to fail, there is more to be learned from failing then never trying at all. Anything is possible.
Drum roll, please. I am unveiling my favorite things of 2010. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Who cares what her favorite things of 2010 were? Who does she think she is, Oprah?” But reflecting on the year gone past is the thing to do this time of year, as we begin our slide towards 2011. That, and think up new resolutions in order to break them in January. This is what we humans do, we are mired in tradition, as predictable as sheep. What better way to mark time’s passing then to reminisce over the last 365 days, and relive its highlights?
Besides, I have presents to wrap, and am in full avoidance mode, desperate for something to amuse myself. You can resume your drum roll now.
Favorite event: Vancouver Winter Olympics. If you didn’t experience it personally, it is difficult to explain the ground swell of Canadian pride that permeated from the pavement during these fantastic Olympic Games. Finally, we realized it was cool to be Canadian. We rocked those 2010 Winter Games.
Favorite album: Hands down, The Suburbs, by Arcade Fire. This album can calm any storm and soothe any soul, yet also raise the roof and uplift spirits. It does it all, from the lyrics to the message to its simple cohesion. A triumph and a work of art.
Favorite concert: Arcade Fire. The only thing better than listening to The Suburbs was watching Arcade Fire perform songs from that album live in concert. Even our nosebleed seats couldn’t take away the magic in that stadium; they clearly had more talent in their pinky fingers than everyone in that audience combined. Their rendition of Rococo took my breath away, the entire concert was larger than life.
Favorite book: The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. My first time reading this timeless novel, and I was blown away by Wharton’s perceptiveness and prose. I tend to rant and rave a lot about this book, but in this space suffice to say it is a classic for a reason, so read it, or reread it; as the case may be, it speaks for itself.
Favorite movie: A disclaimer: I see almost exclusively G rated movies, with the occasional PG film thrown in when feeling reckless, an environmental hazard of my job. Secretariat wins this race – watching a housewife overcome all odds to produce one of the greatest race horses in history is both a visual delight and a message I like to reinforce to my girls: we can do anything we set our minds to.
Favorite news story: The rescue of 33 Chilean miners. The world watched this improbable rescue en mass; since when does a Hollywood ending actually happen in real life?
Favorite gadget: Garmin Forerunner 405. This watch has revolutionized my running. Being able to glance at my distance or pace takes the guesswork out of my workouts. I set my intervals, and away I go – it’s like having a coach, but better, since it doesn’t care if I skip my workout when it’s raining too hard.
Favorite moment: Running the Boston Marathon. I should clarify, my favorite moment came after I had finished, because it was, well, hard. Nevertheless, an incredibly great experience that I will forever cherish.
Now if I were Oprah, a copy of The Suburbs, The Age of Innocence, and a Garmin watch would magically appear underneath your chair, and we would all be going to Boston for the 2011 marathon. But sadly I can’t compete with the queen of television’s empire, my audience is woefully small (although extremely intelligent), and the only thing I can give you is best wishes for 2011: here’s hoping it has beautiful moments, untold pleasures and many miracles in store.