2012 has already begun to recede alarmingly from my memory. Maybe that’s because since the 3rd, I have been in bed with a fever, coughing, headaches, neck pain, exhaustion, aches (more on excitement related to this illness later this week).
When I read Kristen’s thoughtful questions this morning I thought they might be a good way to try to capture the essence of a year that is already slipping through my fingers. A way to fix those 366 days, which I know were jammed full of laughter and tears and frustration and beauty and pain, a bit more into the amber of memory.
So, here goes:
1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Probably a constellation of things having to do with writing. Starting to blog for the Huffington Post (thanks Farah and Lisa for your support there!), letting go of a long-held dream, continuing to engage with thoughtful, wonderful readers here, and some other developments that are still nascent.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Some professional uncertainty in our family that has been resolved.
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
I continued to fall in love with my own children, and with my own life.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
New nagging problems with my knee, the death of my grandfather, an uptick in bickering between the children.
5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
short, surprising, routine
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
scary, content, tiring
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012 (again, without asking).
unsettling, reflective, clarifying
8. What were the best books you read this year?
The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (for third time), The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Harry Potter #6 (for the second time), Harry Potter #3 (for the third time).
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
With my husband, Grace, and Whit. I grow ever more clear on what really matters.
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I started drinking green juice every single day, and ate significantly more healthfully as a whole. Current obsession: roasted fennel (thanks HLKS for that one).
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I’m realizing that all of life is one long spiral around the same central issues. I’ve stopped beating myself up when I feel like a broken record (most of the time), and started realizing that there’s a reason I return, over and over again, to the same set of unresolved tensions and questions.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I’ve made continuing strides in my efforts to be more present, to let go of my attachment to how I wanted it to be.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I’m not sure I did. Another year’s worth of wrinkles.
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I’m becoming clearer and clearer on who my true friends are, and more and more aware of how much I love, trust, and need those in my inner circle.
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Starting to feel I am building real relationships with professional clients, and also beginning to feel ready to own “writer” as one of my vocations.
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Trying to juggle everything I need to do on a given day without dropping anything major.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Probably twitter. But I love it so.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Running early in the morning. Every time the alarm goes off and it’s pitch dark and 20 degrees I wonder why I do it, and then when I get home and the coffee is made and my house is asleep and I’ve run four or five miles, I am glad I did. That is probably my favorite time of day, running under the still-setting moon and stars, watching the sky break into sunrise along the horizon.
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
That there is no end. There is no destination. There is only now. I learn this every year, over and over again.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2012 for you.
To live is to die to how we wanted it to be. (Jack Kornfield)
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