The internet is alive with posts and lists rounding up last year’s favorites and this year’s resolutions, as well as confessions of how many people have already broken them.
It’s about a week into the new year and it literally just occurred to me that I will have to start writing 2013 on my checks. Then again, I can’t recall the last time I actually used a paper check. I hadn’t even thought about making any resolutions nor reflecting on 2012 yet.
Though I made a bigger deal out of the new year in times past, the truth is that since I became more observant–for lack of a better word–I don’t take as much notice to this holiday. That isn’t to say that the Gregorian new year holds no meaning to me, it’s only that I have been so busy. Or more honestly–so tired. Besides having a new baby in the house, we just welcomed in the Jewish new year a couple of months ago amongst a slew of other fasts and feasts known as the High Holy days, followed by a week of Sukkot. Even more recently we devoted eight whole days to donuts and latkes in honor of Hanukkah. But, because the vast majority of America was is in full-swing celebration for Christmas in every store, coffeehouse, and my neighbor’s lawn (seriously–it’s still like Las Vegas in their front yard) since the day after Thanksgiving, I feel like it’s been full time holiday mode for months now. The new year just kind of gets lost in the mix as things begin to wind down around here and I kind of, well, forgot about it.
The tricky thing with all of these lists we tend to make around this time of year is that as soon as you complete one, you realize a dozen and a half things you left off, or would change, or wish you hadn’t written at all (did I just commit to a year without chocolate!?) But, as to not seem totally unfestive, I shall share with you a list of five of the bests in my life over the last year, in no particular order:
1. Kid #4 being born. Yes, it is true that when I first found myself in the family way yet again, my first reaction wasn’t pure delight. I was terrified of going through another Hyperemsis Gravidarum pregnancy and all the stresses it puts on my family. However, once the idea sunk in, and the puking went down to a more manageable place, this kid and I got nine months to get to know one another in a very special way. I got rather used to him and began to really look forward to his arrival. Yes, it made life harder, there is no escaping that. But when I look down at my 3-month-old nursling I can’t see any of that–all I see is a straight up blessing from Hashem. Oh my word does he smell delicious!
2. Moving to a new (to me) house. When we first moved to this community a year and a half ago, we weren’t sure where we’d want to live so we opted for an apartment while we got to know the place a little better. I will say apartments can be a great option–if the building isn’t working on a year long overhaul renovation project Monday through Saturday. Since we had heard the relentless drilling and hammering outside our window 8 a.m.-5 p.m. every day for the better part of a year, when we moved into our cul-de-sac last May it felt like an oasis complete with welcoming neighbors and friendly little birds out my kitchen window.
3. My van lasted the year. Okay this is kind of a funny one, but I am so thrilled my van is still hobbling along. This time last year my van started systematically falling apart. I didn’t think it had more than a few weeks left to it, and with not being able to work (see #1) I knew we needed to make it last as long as we could. That was a year ago, and granted it’s pretty rough–the AC doesn’t work, the heater only blows with a hell-like vengeance, and the radiator has cracked three times–but we’ve been able to mend it from home or make due without. With each new problem that popped up I was sure the van had traveled its last mile, but sure enough it kept on trucking along like The Little Engine That Could.
4. My fantastic homebirth experience. Just because this was my fourth birth and I’m a doula didn’t mean I wasn’t scared. In fact I’m pretty sure that is why I was so scared. I know how much birth can hurt and how terrifying it can feel at times. As my due date got closer, I found myself being met with a constant nagging fear of, “What if I can’t do it this time?” I had to seek the advice of another doula to help me work through my own fears. It was interesting and enlightening to be on the other side of that conversation for a change. I also had two wonderful midwives who gave me the space to lead the show on the big day and it turned out to be a relaxed and dare I say, enjoyable, birth. I reveled in being the mama for a change, instead of the professional, and came away feeling very good about the whole experience, even though it hurt every bit as much as I feared.
5. Had a falling out with a friend. Okay, that one just sounds weird, right? But it’s true, a very good friend of mine and I parted ways. I honestly thought my heart would break in two over it. But after crying my face off for a good week, I did something very unlike myself–I got over it. Well I mean not all at once, but I started the process of moving on and I stayed on that path. I stopping myself from playing the blame game and obsessing over things I couldn’t change, and forced myself instead to focus on what I could learn from the unfortunate situation. And you know what? I smiled again. I hurt yeah, but I didn’t die. As much as I would want to go back and forget it ever happened, I can’t deny I’m a better person as a result. I was able to find an inner-strength that I never knew existed.
As I look back I realize that the good parts of my year were nothing special at all, really. Actually, it’s nothing more than a list of random things that hold a lot of meaning for me personally. I’d really love to hear about some of your personal bests from 2012!