Ahhh, New Year’s Eve and the inevitable reflecting on the year that has gone by oh, so quickly. Personally, I have noticed that time seems to go by so much more quickly since having a daughter. Coincidence? I think not! But I had a helluva a year in 2013, so I’d like to reflect on it, especially all the things that mattered the most, that had the biggest impact on me this year. So here are my top ten 2013 events, in no particular order:
1.) Miller Time. I came on to the Blackhawks scene when my daughter left for college. My husband needed a hockey buddy to take her place, so I stepped in, and one of the best side effects of that was meeting and becoming friends with Larry, Cathy, Steven, Liz, Brian, and Jess. I have never met such high quality people, and I have never been so proud to call them my friends since meeting my friends Sara, Eric, John, and Janine. I love my Miller time!!!!!!!!!!!!
2.) India trip. I spent 2 weeks in India with my father, his wife, and her mother. We spent time in Mumbai (where my dad lives), Delhi, and Agra. It was the most memorable trip of my life. I learned to appreciate a vastly different culture, found a new favorite food (paneer tikka masala), saw the Taj Mahal, met new, wonderful people, and saw sights that are burned in my mind forever. I learned to appreciate the beauty in this world. I learned to appreciate what I have in my life and what I have because I live in this country. I loved that trip, and I actually loved India. And I would love to go back.
3.) 65. Very few people will know what that means. It’s not 70. But 65 is nothing to sneeze at.
4.) Running a 5K. I ran my very first 5K. At age 47. As a fat chick. In the snow. It might have taken me almost an hour because of the snow I had to tromp through, but I did it. I can’t wait to do another 5K this spring — not in the snow, in more like 45 minutes, still at age 47, a as a less fat chick than I am now! I had incredible support from my husband and my friend Emily. I couldn’t have felt more accomplished!
5.) Robyn. My cousin and I had, shall we say, a bump in the road, at the start of 2013. But we talked and communicated and listened and moved far beyond that bump. I was really scared our relationship was damaged, but she and I are now closer than ever and I couldn’t love her more. I count her among my very best friends and closest confidantes!
6.) My best friend and Jim’s best friend who had been married for 22 years went through a pretty wicked divorce this summer. It tore both of us up to see what was going on with her, with him, and with their kids. I am not happy they divorced, but I am glad it finally came to an end and that everyone has been able to move on. All I wanted for my friends and their family was peace, and they finally have it. It also gave jim and me an opportunity to inspect our own marriage, and I am always grateful for the chance to make my marriage stronger. I am glad my friends now have their own lives and they can go about finding their own way in this world. It was terribly painful to watch them fall apart in front of our eyes.
7.) My new job. Anyone who knows me knows that there have been times where I haven’t liked my new job as Instructional Technology Resource Teacher a lot, mostly because I miss being in the classroom so much more desperately than I realized I would. On the days I have my pity parties, I try to pull myself up and look at what I have gained from this new position — the opportunity to know my colleagues at other buildings better, and I have made some really wonderful friends with the 2nd grade team. So while I miss having my own classroom full of kids every single day, I always have a brief bright spot somewhere in my day.
8.) Becky Boo. My baby girl has done an incredible amount of growing up this year. Even though sometimes she says silly things, (The Oakland Raiders aren’t from Oklahoma?) and does silly things (dish soap in the dish washer), she has also been elected vice president of programming for her sorority, earned recognition in her job that led to a promotion next semester, taken on the responsibility of mentoring a little sister in her sorority, and maintained good grades while being the kindest-hearted person I have ever know. Who is this admirable young woman and what has she done with my baby girl????
9.) Without Charity. Through my interaction with my newfound Blackhawks family, I have made so many new friends (see my blurb above about Miller time!). One of the people I met that impressed me the most is Paul, who earned his MFA this summer by completing a documentary film called Without Charity (check out the website here). I started to learn about his work and became immediately fascinated. I even got to help Paul out a little tiny bit with his film! I am convinced that he is one of the most intelligent and creative people I have ever met (and his wife Marcy is right up there with him!), and I am proud to brag that I know him!
10.) The Stanley Cup. I was around for the 2010 Cup win. I was happy for my husband and a little excited myself, but I wasn’t much of a hockey follower back then. But I started to learn more about the game after 2010 and developed an interest in it (and therefore hopped on the bandwagon, horrors — damn bandwagon fans!). I was afraid I would miss the finals because I was in India, but I was back in time for games 5 and 6. I can recall so clearly the constant terror-clutching of Amy’s arm all through game 6 as we watched it with our Hawks family at a bar. I remember the mind-scrambling excitement when the Hawks tied the game. And the absolute chaos that ensued 17 seconds later when they took the lead and ended up winning. It might seem silly to be so excited over a game, but for me, it was also about the camaraderie that had been built up that whole season, about the fun we had watching this very exciting team play hockey (I actually wrote about it here).
I am blessed to have so many good things and wonderful people in my life. There were sad things that happened this past year — my friend and colleague Lori lost her husband to cancer; my best sounding board and coworker Janine lost her sister-in-law to cancer; my oldest friend Jennifer has watched her stepfather fight cancer (and he’s still fighting); I had to put my cat down after having her in our family for 17 years; I’ve had some personal crises that don’t need to be aired here. But overall, the blessings outweighed the curses in 2013. I am hoping 2014 holds the same lack of balance for me and for everyone! Happy 2014, my friends!