In my younger years, I had a tendency to get a bit maudlin on New Year's Eve. I imagine it was the hormones, the perceived heartbreak, and the overconsumption of alcohol or, in other words, youth. Now that I'm older and a little wiser, I've set aside my tendency toward the dramatic. I do, however, still like to reflect on the year that was. As I look back tonight on 2012, I've concluded that it was a very good year (cue the Sinatra).
On the family side, we are all healthy and happy. Our immediate family took several trips (including the one I'm on as I write this) that provided excellent family time. My kids are doing well in school, making friends, and loving books. I couldn't ask for much more.
I feel like 2012 was a landmark year for me. So many things began or changed in a positive way, and I feel that life is trending well. For example:
1. I gave up drinking red wine (although not so much by choice) and substantially cut back on my alcohol consumption overall.
2. I started exercising regularly. I hired a personal trainer, whom I see twice a week, and I started swimming for the first time in six years. I have an exercise schedule involving things I like to do, which means I actually do them.
3. As a result of the above two, I'm in much better shape, my lower back problems are a thing of the past, and I've even managed to lose a few pounds. 2013 might be the first year I've needed to purchase smaller jeans in quite some time.
4. I finally took the photography class I'd always wanted to take. In fact, I took two. I learned a great deal, enjoy photography even more, think I've improved as a result, and can't wait to learn more. (For some examples, see here or here or here or click through on the photography subject listing at the bottom of the page.)
5. I converted the dining room we never used to a homework-craft studio where my kids now spend much of their time. The work was satisfying, but I'm most pleased that we turned wasted space into incredibly useful space.
6. I started this blog. When I started this little thing back in January of 2012, I didn't have a plan, a theme, or any hope that anyone would give a hoot what I had to say. I'm hardly on my way to the New York Times bestseller list, but I have gotten positive feedback from many of you, which means the world to me. I think I have some idea of what I want this to be (even if it's just a little of this and a little of that), I definitely feel I have a "voice," and it seems that even a few of you who don't know me personally choose to read this. I find the whole thing staggering. It has been incredibly rewarding and I continue to learn more about it while improving my writing, which was the original goal.
2012--a year of personal growth, if you will. Corny, but true.
So, as I sip either the remainder of the Martinelli's sparkling cider I shared earlier with my kids or an oatmeal stout I have waiting in the fridge, I will not be maudlin on this New Year's Eve. I will be grateful--for my wonderful family and the time we've spent together in the last year, for the improvements I've made in my own life, and for having been given the opportunity to pursue them. I hope that 2012 treated each of you as well as it did me. May 2013 bring you joy and fulfillment. Happy New Year.