Usually I do an end-of-year recap, don't I? 2012 was rough on a lot of folks, and it seems like we were ready to boost it out the door. I'll throw a quickie out there and call it good.
On the low end of things, I had a hysterectomy for medical reasons, discovering in the process a life-threatening condition that hurtled me into full menopause at 39, and tried depression on for the first time (it doesn't suit my coloring, I found out). Good times!
On the higher end of things, I traveled to Pittsburgh and San Luis Obispo to teach creative writing, went to Italy by myself, finished writing two novels, camped in the great outdoors, and bought the SmartCar of my dreams! I sewed a lot and bought many pairs of glasses on cheap internet sites. I changed my diet completely (to an anti-inflammatory regimen, which is amazing), and I dropped thirty pounds as a result. I spent more time with family and friends than I had in years, which was the best part of all.
The word for this coming year? ENGAGED.
Last year, much of the time I was present but not engaged. It was a symptom of the depression (and it took me forever to recognize that). I hated it.
This year, I want to connect. I know it sounds trite and easy, but I'm really serious about it. I mentioned it a while back, but the volunteer work I've been doing at the George Mark House (the hospital for children with chronic, life-span-limiting and terminal illnesses) is blowing my damn mind. I can't give particulars, naturally, out of respect for both the patients and HIPPA regulations, but take a look at their website if you're curious. And in a couple of weeks, I'm training there to work with the palliative aquatics program! Eee!
The above video has a bunch about the aquatics program and a little about the house itself.
And you know what I'm MOST excited about this morning? I just signed Clara up for the first step in training her to be a therapy dog! She's the most empathetic dog I've ever met–she plays hard with exuberant kids and big dogs and is beyond gentle with timid children and animals. And if she gets certified, then she can come with me to George Mark!
So this year is already lining itself up to be a good one, as I hope it is for you.
(And apropos of nothing but thinking about awesomeness, my new favorite yarn in all the wold is Cascade Eco Cloud. I haven't felt like this about a kind of yarn in years, literally. I want all of it. Check it out if you haven't already.)
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