09 Jan 2013, Posted by elizabeth in Blog, 8 Comments.
I am painfully aware of my absence from this space. It was a high contrast holiday season, one that filled me with equal doses of peace and joy and exhaustion and worry. I intend to write about some of what’s transpired the past month soon, but right now it feels daunting to dive right in. Instead, I’m taking a toe-dip back into the blogging waters. Although we’re a solid week and a half into the New Year, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the year that’s just expired. Inspired by a meme that I saw here and here, here are my answers to 20 questions about 2012:
1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Maikael and I had the opportunity to take a trip to Italy, just the two of us, last March. It was our first extended trip away from Abra, and I feel so fortunate that we were able to leave her in such loving hands with my mother-in-law while we were in Europe. As a result, we all had a marvelous time.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Maikael traveled for work a great deal with year, and it is always hard to manage being a “single parent” in his absence. We had a new roof put on our house during one such trip, an expensive foray that left us roof-less during the only three-day stretch of rain we had in Albuquerque all year, and also led to an unfortunate run-in with an unhappy neighbor.
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Abra starting preschool three mornings a week – a joy for both of us. I was so worried about the imagined pitfalls – separation anxiety, constant illness, bringing home bad habits – that I never stopped to consider that none of those would come to pass. Instead, we are both happier than we have ever been with the arrangement.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Inertia and laziness. I imagined that once Abra started preschool I would have oodles of time to be professionally productive. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time doing everything but writing. This is something I need to rectify in 2013.
5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
Full, unproductive, adventure
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
Stressed, self-critical, successful
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012 (again, without asking).
Fortunate, travel, invested
8. What were the best books you read this year?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, Wild by Cheryl Strayed
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Maikael and Abra, for starters. It is exciting to see the ways we are growing together into a family, the traditions and rituals, big and small, that are forming. Also, I had the chance to see my best friend, Heidi, who lives in Las Vegas, three times this year. I am also growing into some friendships in Albuquerque for the first time in a long time, and I look forward to seeing how they deepen in the coming year.
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I find myself craving home, stability and roots more than ever before. As a lifelong wanderer, this is a monumental shift for me. I know that the year ahead will be defined by this awareness.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I am trying to be gentler with myself and others.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I am making a more concerted effort to let go and accept.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I became a devoted runner, something I never thought was in the cards for me, and completed by first 10k in May. I run 4-5 miles three mornings a week, coupled with strength training two days a week, and as a result I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since graduating high school!
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I have always maintained many relationships, but in the past year I’ve found myself focusing more deeply on a few key relationships rather than trying to spread my energies thin, which I’ve found surprisingly rewarding and energizing. I am able to be more present with the people who I choose to spend time with.
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Professionally, I had the opportunity to start writing regularly for Edible Santa Fe, a long-held dream of mine, and it is thrilling every time I see my name in print and receive a paycheck in the mail. On the home front, I’ve enjoyed cooking dinner most nights of the week and creating community around the kitchen table.
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Making decisions about how I should spend my time. I’m still not very good at this; it’s something I need to work on in 2013.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Facebook, hands down. I took a six-week hiatus from social media this fall, which was much needed, but I still feel its pull on me. Another one might be in order this – and every – year.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Taking the time to consistently teach and reinforce good habits and manners with Abra. I don’t win every day, and being on top of it takes a lot of effort, but each time I hear her say “please” or “thank you” without my prompting I feel a sense of shared pride and accomplishment.
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
Everything in life is a trade-off.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2012 for you.
Most of what we worry about never happens anyway.
I promise I’ll be back soon!
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