Somehow, during the not so dog days of August this year, I thought it was time to get a dog. I know how that sounds, but please know the two are not connected. Or perhaps they are, the humidity this summer as opposed to the dry heat we’re used to saturating my perspective on daily life.
It seems no matter where I am on the web right now, someone somewhere is headed Back-to-School. Mothers are sad summer is over (or secretly not), healthy lunches are discussed (or those not so healthy tsk-tsked over), and teachers are settling in with yet another year’s classroom full of children. The smell of crayons and freshly sharpened pencils waft through the streets.
Tomorrow my oldest will be 34 years old. My first boy. The one I remember thinking wasn’t real when I found out I was pregnant. I was unmarried, and not quite 22.
Twenty-twelve was a blue ribbon year for me and for many of the people I care about. Milestone birthdays and graduations abounded. There were planned trips to familiar places, and an unexpected vacation to somewhere new. Day trips were enjoyed out and about the city we’ve called home since 1968 and tend to take for granted. A mix and match of family got together for myriad reasons. There were babies, continued good news about a friend’s fight with cancer, new homes warmed for the next phase in lives, and deaths mourned.
I keep a pretty close eye on myself.
At this point in my life, there is little reason for one day to be much different from the next unless I want it to be, and I like it like that. I like that each day has promise and possibility and that I can wallow in all of it. I look forward to every day, anticipating what each will bring with a sort of giddiness. Yes, I’m fortunate, and I’m grateful for the life I enjoy knowing others do not have the same simple joy.
Although I’ve not spent much time seeking it out, the consensus on the conclusion of 2011 seems to be more of a collective good riddance than a sigh of regret from others I’ve noticed. I don’t know that I ever feel that way about a year coming to a close — even those years less stellar than the rest — choosing instead to think about what I enjoyed about it. Or what I learned and want to remember, so ruminate over it all while I’m taking the last look at the lighted Christmas tree, or sweeping up the bits and pieces of torn wrapping paper and ribbon that escaped the first clean-up.
Noticing what has been significant in a year is important, but not because a determination of its positive or negative impact is forthcoming. It just is what it is, and like anything else that happens in a year’s time, it takes its place on the calendar. Sometimes it fills days or weeks, and others, a mere instant. But they all seem to vie for my attention — especially when I’m not occupied with something that has to be taken care of. I ruminate over them, working for some resolution.
What did I notice about 2011?
I think it was this weekend five years ago my husband orchestrated my 50th birthday party with the help of my best friend who graciously held the party at her home. It seems longer ago than five years, and considering all that has happened in that time, it qualifies as yet another of my lifetimes.