Well, here it is: December 31, 2011. New Year’s Eve. And I have one thing to say: We made it! Whew. What a year. I can’t really tell you why it has felt like such a crazy, difficult year. It just has.
As I get ready to go out for a sushi date night with the husband, I’m sitting back and reflecting on the year that was.
My work life was craz-azy. No doubt about that. But I weathered some pretty tough storms and learned some pretty big lessons. I came out the other side stronger, tougher and thicker-skinned. I probably emerged a little smarter, too.
I watched Big F fly a little bit farther from the nest as he started first grade in a brand new school. He is readin’, writin’ and arithmaticin’ with the best of them. The dude is awesome. He is funny, smart, conscientious and caring. He is everyone’s friend. And by watching him proudly go off to school wearing his tie when everyone else is wearing Super Mario t-shirts, he taught me the importance of being yourself and finding your own style.
I’ve seen Middle D start coming into his own. I’ve been amazed by his powers of observation–both physical and emotional. He spied Chrispie Missmiss every morning within 2 minutes, wondered why I was wearing a new color on my eyelids and sat on my lap when I felt sad. I’ve learned from him to pay attention and be present in the moment so you don’t miss a thing.
And from Little L, my youngest and silliest, I have been taught to help when it is needed and to allow independence when it is desired. I have learned to let go of the little things. No one will think I’m an incompetent mom if I let him wear both his shirt and pants backward all day, right? And if they do…well, they do.
My bundle of energy and sunshine, Little L has also reminded me the importance of laughing and being silly every day. There is nothing a good tummy tickle and belly laugh can’t cure.
Then there is the husband, my partner in this messy, hectic, chaotic life. I’ve learned too many things from him to list here. Patience. Perseverance. Self confidence. Determination and drive. I challenge anyone to find a more motivated person than my husband. And yet, he shoulders more of the chauffeuring, feeding, cleaning duties of the household during the week despite having what can only be described as an immense work load himself. When people tell me they don’t know how I do it, (And listen, people, you should stop saying that. It is annoying. It means you don’t think I could possibly be doing it all. And you are right. I’m not. Balls get dropped. And then they get picked up and tossed back into the air. That’s life.) I tell them I couldn’t possibly do what I do without my husband. End of story.
So in 2011, my 39th year, I learned a lot that I’m going to try to carry with me in the new year.
Have your own style. If you think you look cool, you do.
Be present. Notice everything. Life is in the details.
Laugh loud and often. When in doubt blow a raspberry, burp, say the word “poop.” Whatever it takes. Just laugh.
Let it go. Kids go to school with their pants on backwards. No one cares.
Do for others when you can. The road is more fun when you travel it with someone. Be a partner, friend, and mentor whenever the opportunity arises.
Oh sure, there will be resolutions too. I will resolve to exercise, to eat better, to be nicer and not gossip. I will resolve to write more often. To cook dinner more. To make new friends. To not toss my clothes on the floor at the end of the day.
But as 2011 comes to a close and I kick it to the curb with gusto, I am reminded of all the wonderful people in my life and of all the experiences I’ve had. OK, so 2011 will not go down as a stellar year by any means. All in all, it was still pretty wonderful.
So long 2011. Thanks for everything.