2013 is mere hours away at this point. It's snowing ... again. And while I loathe slippery roads and shoveling snow, I actually really love watching snow fall before it is trampled by salt trucks and exhaust fumes. Somehow, it is a fitting end to yet another year in which we survived an apocalypse of some kind. Our little patch of Earth is covered in snow. George, our garden gargoyle, is buried under a frozen mound of it somewhere in the yard. I told myself I'd rescue him from his icy prison but I haven't made good on that promise yet.
As I look out on the last snowy night of 2012, I'm tempted to scramble and make new year's resolutions I know I'll never keep. The house is quiet. I'm here alone. All there is, is time to think. I've never been one for new year's resolutions but I do plan to make some changes in the coming year. I won't list them here because I'd hate for them to be used as evidence against me this time next year, but the intentions are good.
I'd like to share with you all, a list of things I've learned over this past year ...
1. I'm a pretty lucky girl. I have an amazing husband and one of the coolest kids, ever. I didn't learn that this year. I've known for a while, but reflection always seems to start at this point.
2. Volunteering my time at a hospice organization was probably the greatest thing I've one this year. I haven't been there long, only a few months, but I'm supremely proud the work I do there. I'm not so much proud of myself as I am proud of the difference I make. Every day when I go in to me my patients, they are genuinely happy to see me. One lady fell asleep shortly after our visit and when I thought I'd leave to give her some time to rest, she told me it's just nice knowing someone else is there with her even if she's just sleeping. I don't have to do much. I just visit for a few hours a week, but it makes me feel so good to know that I'm a part of helping people, of taking away a few hours of loneliness every week when a person needs it most. That is an amazing feeling and I'm happy for the opportunity to do what I do.
3. Having an NHL season taken away during the season I intended to go to Pittsburgh and actually catch my first live NHL game was a soul-crushing event I'll only recover from when the NHL resumes.
4. You're never too old to go back to college ... or go for the first time as was my case this summer.
5. My son did not inherit my imagination, something I discovered while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas when he so very seriously informed me that the Grinch would be physically incapable of stealing Christmas if his heart were indeed two sizes too small.
6. Sometimes, letting go of toxic people is for the best, even when it makes you feel guilty because they're close family or friends. You cannot wait around for happiness. Life is short. You cannot let yourself get sucked into a a tangled web of crazy chaos just because you share the same bloodline with someone. And that's OKAY.
7. Avatar: The Last Airbender is the greatest cartoon ever invented in the history of animation and no amount of argument or persuasion will ever change my mind on this theory. As a wannabe writer, I think it has all the elements of what makes a great story. There are good characters. There are bad characters. There's romance and laughter. There's awesome secondary characters and multiple settings that somehow become secondary characters in a really quiet but obvious way. Prince Zuko, the ultimate character. Starts out a bad guy with a supremely wise uncle at his side. The banished and disgraced Prince of the Fire Lord out tracking the Avatar in order to reclaim his honor and his rightful place as heir to the Fire Nation. But right away you can see how tortured he is. There's good in him, but it's never that simple. Every time you think he's taken a step toward progress, something sends him right back to scheming and conniving and hunting for the Avatar. He's an amazing character and probably the reason I love the show so much.
8. Nothing makes me happier than when my son tells me he's proud of me. There is this inconceivable moment where I feel like I must have heard wrong. It takes a few moments for these words to sink in but when they do, my heart aches with pride in him. I am raising a good boy and I am sure he doesn't even realize just how much it means to me ... almost like I'm the kid and he's the parent. It's a beautiful feeling.
9. On the other hand, I may have mothered him a little too much. During our recent cooking lessons in which I try to teach him to be self-sufficient and independent because he is only eight short years from being an adult, he recently asked me why he had to learn to cook and clean and do laundry. And I quote, "Won't there be someone at my apartment to cook and clean?" To which I replied, "No son, you're thinking of a hotel."
10. Apparently my love of the Pittsburgh Penguins extends to any object that has the image of any penguin on it as my Christmas presents this year included a penguin blanket, a penguin gift card, penguin pajamas, a stuffed penguin, and a Christmas penguin gift bag that hid the backpack on wheels I requested.
I'm sure there are other important things I learned this year that I could have included in this post, but these are the ones that jumped out at me and asked to be observed. I hope you all have a wonderful, safe new year celebration and may you be happy, healthy, and lucky all the days of 2013!
Happy New Year!!