After consultation with Schmutzie I have decided that I am going to attempt to make a list every day in 2013. Yes, I am four days late. Bygones.
I have been procrastinating and lallygagging over this list mostly because I kind of hated 2012, and I hate to hate a year. What kind of madness is that, to hate a year that you have been given in your life, when you have friends and family who have died and left who would have wildly appreciated that year? Who am I to hate a year?
I am me, that's who, and 2012 was an asshole. It was of course an asshole that taught me a ton and woke me the fuck up and gave me the incentive to make the rest of my stay here in this space way less terrible, however, so I should thank it, ultimately, I suppose. But you know what, it was hard and awful as it taught me things and while I gritted my teeth with gratitude for its good stuff, and it's still okay to be happy that it's over and to keep my sights set on the glory and promise that is this odd-numbered fantasyland of 2013.
As a champion multi-tasker, I can do both.
Therefore, I was not okey-dokey with leaving this trail of tears unremembered. Also tonight I went to my first day of yoga in a very long time, the first of a 40-day series that is meant to bring me back to myself and my space on this planet, so I'm kind of considering this my new year's day. Therefore and thereunto, is the meme I discovered once upon a time from Erin Shea Smith, and may find the energy to link to to my previous answers, or not. Here's this year's.:
1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before
Drove cross-country and back. Was a passenger in an ambulance (only vaguely related.)
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't remember what they were, but probably not. And no, not really. I have goals, not resolutions. I hate that word, "resolutions." We never use it otherwise, so why now? It lends a weird kind of pressure that I think we all have enough of already, I think.
Best eternal resolution: don't fall in love with a dreamer, cause they'll break you every time.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My brother-in-law's sister is close enough, I guess, because I consider them extended family. Also I got to take that gorgeous baby's first official portraits and that was a very sweet experience for me.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
My father's best friend since childhood, whom I considerd an uncle, really. It was awful. I will always miss him, and I really still can't imagine a life for my dad where's he's not alive. Sometimes things happen that suck and there is just no good explanation, and this is one of them for me, for sure.
My Aunt Catherine died, too, after a long walk with Alzheimer's disease. She was my grandfather's younger sister, and one of the first examples of a strong, independent woman I ever had. I loved and respected her.
5. What countries did you visit?
This one. I saw an awful lot of it.
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn't have in 2012?
A stronger business plan, which is happening. A website. More clarity would be nice, and I've made good strides towards that in the past few months, I think. I hope it keeps going. Peace of mind. A stronger in-person community. More food that I cook at home, and knife skills to make chopping and dicing less dangerous, so I'm excited to learn those. I need better shoes. My flats really suck.
7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
August 23-September 24, because that trip really marked the end of an old life and the beginning of this new one. A few others will be, but I don't remember the numbers of those days. They mostly involved ephemeral love, which left behind a strange combination of happiness that this was still possible after several years of...not, along with sad for reasons that all humans know, but would rather not. I'm learning to appreciate all of this much better in the rear view.
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Working every day, pretty much, no matter what was going on with me mentally or physically. Always moving forward even when it seemed like the most futile, ridiculous thing. Never giving up.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Letting my emotions get the best of me in some fairly self-destructive ways. Not planning better financially for leaving my job.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hypertension and anxiety attacks were new to me this year, and both were terrifying, no joke. I do not recommend either. What I do recommend is taking care of yourself. I didn't, for a long time, and that is what happened to me. Be ye not so unprepared. You only get one you. Make sure you're in the best shape that you can for whatever it is that you need to do. This life is fairly physically demanding.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Lunch at Eataly in New York after BlogHer.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My mom, my sister, and my best friend, who essentially kept me alive and gave me this sort of unconditional love that is the only thing I would wish for anyone on the planet if I could. My other good friends and family, as I am lucky and loved. All of the writers and friends who let me stay with them on my trip. The activists who pushed forward for equality for all of us.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Lying liars who lie, rape/abuse/misogyny apologists and litterers (they are obviously way farther down) remain at the top of my list. Fast lane abusers become a source of extreme distress on a 4,000 or so mile drive across the country and back.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Gas. Food. Wine. Stuff.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My sister calling me when I was in California to tell me she was going to have a baby. That was a great moment in my life. I am so happy for her and my brother-in-law.
Visiting Graceland. Duran Duran in Virginia. New York. Always New York.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball cd. Bob Schneider's "Let the Light In." Billy Bragg and Wilco, "California Stars."
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: A) happier or sadder? B) thinner or fatter? C) richer or poorer?
A) Neither. More peaceful and resolute, which is different.
B) A little thinner, I think.
C) Ha. Hahaha.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Being peaceful and happy for no reason. Holding someone's hand is always nice. Hanging peacefully with my friends. Listening to music.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Riding in an ambulance. Complaining. Focusing on the wrong people and things.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my family. It was nice.
21. Did you fall in love with 2012?
In a peculiar sort of way, yes. Also out.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I'm still committed to Glee and Parenthood against my will. The Good Wife is fantastic. I discovered Homeland and blew through the two not-long-enough seasons in the past two weeks. It owns me. I am checking under my car that is parked in the garage of what is an essentially assisted-living building for bombs. This show is that bad and good.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I work on not owning hate for anyone. It's really destructive. Don't get me wrong, I dislike more people than I'd like to admit, but I can let that shit go in a minute. Hate gets into you, deeply, and stays. I don't want it, can't really handle it.
24. What was the best book you read?
Patti Smith's Just Kids is art of the highest order. She is a beautiful memoirist, and Robert Mapplethorpe was a lucky SOB to know that kind of love in his lifetime (although I know she'd say the same about him, which is always how it goes when people = alchemy. As fucked up as their situation was, I admit I was jealous. If I'm going to love, may as well love big, right?) Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things got me through a few tough nights with some straight talk.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Lots of things, mostly my own mixes of old stuff, which sounds lame, but hey, I drove a lot of miles and it was really important that I created my own soundtrack for that experience. Do you know how hard it is to stay awake through West Texas? Hard.
I really believe your most important music sticks with you throughout your life and serves different purposes depending on where you're at. Like, I listened to Depeche Mode's Some Great Reward over and over again for a week at one point this year, and "Somebody" came back into rotation for me and was as true for me as it had been in my late teens but in an entirely different sort of way, so now it's important to me again, but different (but that piano? Still gorgeous, the same way.) Deep, right? :) I listened to a ton of Bruce, Stevie Wonder, Prince, old Hem and Cowboy Junkies as usual, country that makes me smile, old metal that kept me awake...As far as newer stuff, Alabama Shakes, Gossip and Black Keys are awesome in different ways. I loved Civil Wars, and Butterfly Boucher fixed my heart in a weird way. I listened to a LOT of Spotify playlists from people who are way hipper than I am at this point, but this year I had way too many nights when I needed Elton to burn down the mission just to stay alive. It's just how it goes when you're sorting through stuff.
26. What did you want and get?
I survived, mostly. I had a few dicey days and after they were over and I woke up from two years of chaos and questionable behavior, I found that I had retained the support and love of my family and closest friends and that is the only thing that I could never bear to lose. It's always nice to hear "I love you" and I heard that more than a few times from a few people who matter, so that's a lucky thing. My family members are intact and reasonably healthy in their own rights. I got out of my windowless office, finally. The aftermath may have been kind of ugly, and still weird, but I really hated it there, so I think it's safe to say I got what I wanted in not having to go back there every day for most of the year. I think I'll look back on that as a good sign.
27. What did you want and not get?
Truth, on occasion. Affection from someone who was incapable of providing it, which is a pattern in my life so I'm hoping this year was the teacher that finally appeared. A ticket to a few shows here and there. More consistent chips and guacamole.
28. What was your favorite film of 2012?
Pitch Perfect made me laugh and sing with my mom at a time when I desperately needed to do both. It wins for that alone.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 42 last week. I had a really nice raw bar dinner with my family and I went out and drank and laughed afterwards with some very good friends who love me and forgive me my failings. I feel pretty lucky about that whole day.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Probably more money and less stress, definitely fewer ill-advised text messages, emails, and phone calls? But this is tough to answer. I'm learning that if you're playing it right you end up in the right place, and it's not about what you missed.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
Tank tops. Yoga mat flip flops. A couple of reliable sweaters. Chucks. Pjs. Chipped toenail polish. And way shorter hair! I'm digging that the most.
32. What kept you sane?
My mom and my sister. Sarah, Vikki, Schmutzie, Suebob, my editor Julie, Malbec.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
The election made me crazy up until the two days before where I don't think I slept for 48 hours until President Obama made his second victory speech and then I passed out. Women's issues and the insane march backwards that was halted, for the moment, with the election, I hope. Marriage equality.
34. Who did you miss?
Always my grandmother, I will always miss her face and her hand pats and her clucking over my every move every day. I wish I'd seen my friends more consistently.
35. Who was the best new person you met?
Vikki, who I met randomly through blogging and who continues to look out for me and make me laugh every day, as has always been true of my very best friends.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
There is very often someone else behind the curtain. Don't be super paranoid about this, but do be a little bit more careful in your dealings. At this point in your life your intuition probably knows what's up up front, even if you don't want to listen. Listen. The people who challenge that impulse the most have the scariest agenda, and will wreck you the worst, no matter their role in your life -- friend, lover, boss. Run from them, slowly if you have to, but run. It's them, not you.
We should be more careful with each other. I think that we would like it if others were more careful with us, so we should do it first and equally. I'm taking this on hardcore, for life, from now on.
Most importantly, don't speed in Wyoming.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"I know a heartache when I see one."
"I know it now, you've got to go home."
"Now when all this steel and these stories, they drift away to rust/And all our youth and beauty, it's been given to the dust/And your game has been decided, and you're burning the down the clock/And all our little victories and glories, have turned into parking lots/When your best hopes and desires, are scattered to the wind/And hard times come, hard times go/Hard times come, hard times go/And hard times come, hard times go/Hard times come, hard times go/Hard times come, hard times go/Yeah just to come again/Bring on your wrecking ball"
Bring on your wrecking ball, 2013.
What should I make lists about this year?