It’s the first day of a new year. Tradition says that I’m supposed to present the world with a list of resolutions I hope to stick to for the next 365 days. I’m sure millions of people are putting resolutions into action today, and I hope that they can stick to them all year and make themselves happier and healthier by doing so. But I usually skip resolutions in favor of a look back at the past year to see what I’ve learned, experienced, and accomplished.
2013 flew by in a blur.
The year started with panic, as Mom’s heart attack and triple-bypass surgery had me rushing off to Montreal to help. Nothing will shake your sense of trust in the universe like having to go through advance directives forms with your mother, while you’re both trying to pretend that all of the terrifying possibilities on the page are purely theoretical. Thankfully, we were able to leave those forms in a drawer and never look at them again, because the surgery and recovery went well. She’s back to her old self now, but the strain of the experience has changed us both on the inside. We’re strong and we’re resourceful, but nothing, and nobody, can last forever. It’s not fun to think about, but it means that you need to hug your loved ones more. Right now. Go.
There was beauty and joy in this year too, in the form of weddings, and babies born to so many wonderful people. My little niece joined us in August, and she’s precious. Watching her and her brother change from month to month has been a source of so much of my happiness this year. I’ve been having conversations with my nephew. Conversations! Kids grow up fast.
Dave and I went on another cruise, with many of the same fabulous people as last year. We met several new fabulous people we’re delighted to have met. We’re so thankful to be part of something so great. There was snorkeling and music, laughter and tropical drinks, karaoke and board games. I was able to find a level of comfort with this gang that I seldom achieve.
I changed my name. I Tweeted a ton. I cheered a dear friend through NaNoWriMo and cheered even louder when she succeeded. I nearly peed my pants in a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a tornado. I started watching Doctor Who, and I experimented with crochet and other crafts. I cleared out some space in the house by donating things to goodwill and the book sale. I put my profession on display with special blog posts during Lab Week. I used my blog to speak up about things that mattered to me, and tried to keep quiet when I had nothing to add to the discussion. I even moved my blog to a new site and did it (mostly) on my own.
I proved my strength to myself through invasive medical procedures and weeks of injections as I went through a cycle of IVF. I came to terms with the reality of it, and accepted that science has its uses. It was an emotional month, and my husband was the most incredible support through all of it. Best of all, it worked, and we’ll be meeting our first child in July.
Such a mixed year, and so hard to decide whether it was a “good” one. Between the good moments, this year was hard on many of my loved ones, with serious illnesses, breakups, and deaths of people close to us. But family and friends came together, as best we could, to help each other through it all. We all earned grey hairs this year, and I can only hope that karma balances out for everyone in the coming year.