Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Surprising 2008

Short of any catastrophes, I’d like to call the game early and say that 2008 was a pretty good year…especially when I compare it with the humdinger of 2007! Heck, 2008 was a walk in the park. (Sort of)

Let’s take some stock here…2007 had a whole lot of changes packaged wrapped into 12 short months. New country, new job, new time-zone, new food, new friends, new path, new everything really with the exception that I moved back to my home state and so I didn’t have new roadways to navigate…but that aside, I was the new kid on the block.

This year…this year was different…and there were even a few surprises to boot!

1. I rediscovered kayaking and had a great time doing that! Let me tell you, there is nothing like a good paddle after a day of work. Throw in an early afternoon and that is one damn good day!

2. I can cook….a new discovery in my life. It took a while but I am getting better and better. Sure, pasta and eggs are great…but what about stir-fry and chili. (PS. I love my slow cooker!)

3. Let’s talk about resourcefulness…I have about five area libraries wrapped around my little finger, which is great! Some of the librarians even know me by my alias now! Simply amazing!!!

4. How about my apartment…a little oasis as some like to call it. Quaint, cute and cozy are familiar words to describe my humble abode. Really, the place is just ME, small and simple with a lot of character! I even got a bed upgrade and just purchased some rodeo sheets! That’s right…the Wild West is now part of my motif!

5. I make a living and I like it…I like it a lot actually, which is part of the reason that I work so many hours. I must say, not selling my soul to make money was a great decision!

6. Now my friends, they are the ones that steal the show! I’ve made a lot of new ones this year and we have built quite the community. Eclectic, fun and generally good people, sometimes I wonder how it is that I got so lucky! They are exactly what I needed to make 2008 great!

7. Max and Charlie…they take the cake (quite literally)! Max is three and his sister, Charlie is one and I simply love spending time with them. I have dinner with them at least once a week, I go on family vacations with them, and we read stories and do craft projects. Max considers me one of the family and Charlie gives me hugs when I walk in the door. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

8. I’ve read some great books….watched some inspiring movies and even created some things myself.

9. I see my family enough and there is a general appreciation for each other. After being away for so long the luxury of easy phone calls and spontaneous visits aren’t taken for granted quite so much anymore.

10. The largest surprise I think is that I really like it here. I sort of dreaded coming back to the States. There was a good deal of anxiety in moving back for various reason but after this year, I find myself doing odd things like making local investments, saying things like, “next year we will have to do_____,” and even considering another year in these parts just because I like it so much.

It’s startling sometimes when I think back on how much has evolved in the last year…or even the last two. And I’ve even been able to notice changes within myself…more verbal, less scheduled, more conscientious of doing good things for myself…(the list goes on). I’m certainly not perfect but it is more evident to me that I do change, and I can name those changes and claim them as my own. Sure, there are certain things that remain true…the general character of me, the contents of my heart, my hopes/dreams…but the good news is that we are all evolving. Little pieces make and create us each day.

Today I am a collection of those ten different surprises (and more) that I wasn’t a year ago. Next year will be the same thing…but more. And I am grateful….for all of it…even the parts that break my heart. Certainly I am changed because of it…