Here we are at the last day of 2012. I was thinking about what one word I would use to describe this year, and you know, I can’t pinpoint one. Contenders included joyous, exhausting, triumphant, devastating, difficult, life-changing and life-affirming. I think they could all apply equally, depending on which part of my life I’m looking at and/or the time frame.
January – having a baby
Dude. Thirteen days into 2012, I had a baby! Wow, what an experience. Becoming a mother has been everything I thought it would be and so much more. And when I say “so much more,” I mean the highs are higher than I thought they would be, and the lows have been (unfortunately) lower and much more difficult to deal with than I thought they would be. How much being a person of God, and of others, motherhood has taught me already. It’s been almost a year since I first met Baby I and I’m still reeling.
February – began wrestling with work decisions
Until my maternity leave, working had always just been a given. Of course I knew enough about having a baby before she arrived that I knew I would be sad to leave her once my leave ended. But I never expected to be reevaluating my choices like I did over Winter 2012. It’s not that I particularly enjoyed maternity leave; in fact, I loved taking care of my baby, but I found it tedious in the most difficult way. Deep down, I knew staying at home full time wouldn’t be for me, but I did contemplate part-time employment. Obviously, in the end, that wasn’t for me, either. And to be truthful, this evaluation was fantastic for me. Knowing why I work has given me a new appreciation for it.
May – started this blog
Starting this blog definitely makes the list, because I think I’m accomplishing something important to me here. In my first post, I expressed frustration in not being able to write much anymore. Now, I’m writing regularly. Even though I’m still a bit derailed from my first love (fiction), any writer will tell you that writing is like a muscle. You have to exercise it. So, maybe my end goal is to run a marathon, but I can’t train for distances just now. I’m still staying in shape with sprints, and that’s so much better than just letting myself go.
Not to mention my huge, unexpected blogging achievement this year: getting Freshly Pressed! I gained new followers (thank you!) and am really getting into this whole blogging thing for what it is, instead of just a simple writing exercise. And I love it!
July – had my first gout attack
This was definitely a “low” for the year. I cannot explain how debilitating even my short experience with the condition was. It literally felt like someone was crushing my foot, all day, with a vice. I have a new compassion for my dad and bother, who both struggle with gout. I also have become more aware of my diet and lifestyle, which have a huge influence on flare-ups, and those changes are for the better.
November – ran my first 5K!
I have wanted to get healthy and accomplish something with a big payoff for several years. While, in the past, I have been able to drop some weight, I could never follow through with a goal like completing a race. Well, this year I did it, and at the largest Thanksgiving Day race in my state, to boot! Alongside a good friend, a good dog, and 8,000 other people, we benefited a large food harvest charity in my area and I ran 3.1 miles (about 3x further than I had ever been able to run before I started training) in a time that satisfied me and left room for improvement next running season 🙂
December – announced I’d be changing jobs
I don’t think I’ve discussed it on the blog as of yet, but in the late fall, I accepted a position with my Alma Mater, and I couldn’t be more excited. The title is Writer/Editor, so I will pretty much be doing my dream job in an environment I already know I love. When I graduated from college, I knew the time wasn’t right to get a master’s degree, but I didn’t want to leave. Spending four years there gave me a passion for higher education, so I am on cloud nine now that I get to work there.
On the other hand, I have had it really good at my current job. On some level, I feel terrible and ungrateful to them for leaving. I do like the work and the people, and the experience has been second to none for my first big girl full time job. But when the new offer came up, I knew it was right. I feel like I am transitioning with as much tact as possible, and I am proud of that.
Even with the “lows,” I’d say 2012 was a banner year for me. I’d say I’m cautiously welcoming 2013. To tell the truth, new years are scary for me because you never do know what to expect. With the last of 2012 and the first few days of 2013 come me leaving a job that is very comfortable for a brand new one, Baby I transitioning from baby to toddler (and all the challenges that are sure to come with that), and new battles, failures and triumphs, I am sure, that I can’t even imagine right now.
For today, I am going to hope that 2013 will be like 2012, at least in the way that 2012 has pushed me forward as a person, and given me new ways to look at life. That, I think, is what truly makes a year a great one.
Happy 2013 everybody!