Reassessing 2012

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I’m thinking I may have been a bit hard on 2012.

I spoke of bad luck and hard times, and how sadly it fell short of my expectations.

How audacious of me, anyway, to decide that 2012 or, for that matter, any year – a man-made measurement of time – was going to be “my best year yet”.

I spoke it in hopefulness, and in the spirit of manifestation (which sounds, as I write it here, a bit like a plague!). I was opening myself up to wonderful things.

It turns out, I was opening myself up to disappointment.

How could any year compete with the golden years that live in my memories?

Jennifer’s second year:  we tilled up a section at the back of the driveway at the little house near the lake, and planted a tiny garden and she learned the joy of growing things; I took pictures every day of my beautiful daughter…trying on her Daddy’s work boots or in her Halloween costume, with her puppy or her plate of freshly-dug nightcrawlers; I sewed sundresses for her, and made seed mosaics and bead curtains and crocheted slippers; it seems like we walked down to the water every single day…

Katey’s first year: at the townhouse in Lapeer, my perfect little family; two daughters in the bathtub, two daughters getting tucked in at night; with Katey in the stroller, we’d go to the park…Jen would walk ’til she was tired, then she’d stand on the axle and ride along; I learned to cook Chinese food and started taking college courses. My husband would play his guitar in the evenings and my daughters laughed and sang…

That first year here on Beaver Island: the heart-stopping, joyous rush every time I rounded the corner into town and was faced with the harbor view; the seasons, each one a new adventure…When a tree fell in a storm that first winter and crushed our car, my husband and I looked at it, turned to each other, grinned and said – in unison – “Firewood!”

But, you see, I’ve forgotten all the bad parts, of all the good years.

Since my memory is selective, there is no competition.

Held up to my standard of “best year yet,” of course last year fell short.

By any other standard, 2012 was a good year.

In my family, we had weddings and births, new houses and new jobs.

In February, my sisters and I went to Florida together for a wonderful vacation. Three sisters, three nieces and I went to Chicago for a lovely Mother’s Day weekend. Three of my grandchildren and my daughter, Jen, came here for a week-long visit in July. Family and friends came to help me celebrate my birthday in August. Other friends came, through the season.

I quit my job in 2012! I could write a litany of difficulties it has caused in my life, but the bottom-line is, I enjoy what I’m doing and I feel good about it.

I have consistently written and posted these blogs through all of the past year. Knowing my habits, I know better than anyone what a huge accomplishment that is, all by itself. On top of that, it has introduced me to a world of good writers, of old and new friends, of support and love and mutual admiration.

I walked every day in 2012.

I laughed every day in 2012.

Looking at it now (eight days past), 2012 was a very good year.

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16 responses »

  1. I am glad that this is another perspective that you are seeing. I suppose that is the way everything goes in life. We have the good and the bad and then we can compare one agains the other. There is nothing better than to find the positives in life.

  2. It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s not right with us, and so interesting how stepping back and looking far into the past we see how happy things looked. One thing my sister did with her children when they were small, right before bedtime, was ask them “what was the worst part of your day?” They would answer and were given the opportunity to vent if needed. Then she’d ask “what was the best part of your day?” They would answer that too, ending their day with a happy thought. I think that’s a wonderful practice we could all make into habit.

    Oh, and don’t forget, you’ve made a lot of people smile with your posts and photos. What a wonderful contribution you’ve made in other people’s lives!

    • Sara, what a wonderful practice your sister started with her children! I bet they still benefit from that, looking at worst and best and then moving on. I could benefit from this myself! Thanks for reading, and for your ever generous comments!

  3. Oh, Cindy…Thank you for this. It rings so true, and you said it all so beautifully…the golden years that live in our memories. Just think, when we’re 100, we’ll be looking back on our 61st year, far removed from all the troubles that were there, remembering only the good parts. Mm-hmm. Really, we will. I’m counting on it…

    • What a nice thought, to be looking back at this year, with only the good times. If we must lose memories, let it be only the hard times and bitter words that fall away! Thanks for reading, Kate, and for your comments.

  4. I love how you did this reassessment. We need to do that more often, I think. Somehow the “bad” stuff seems to garner our attention and we forget to pause and see all the good things that came our way. After all, what price can you put on something like time away with your sisters? I too, now, can look back and smile at the special moments of 2012. Thank you for this.

  5. I stood watching fireworks as 2012 was rung out and 2013 was rung in. There was so much I wanted to do that I didn’t in 2012, and it was disappointing, but so many things I didn’t plan came to fruition. I’m sure 2013 is going to be a great year for us all. It’s simply about us making the choice to appreciate the good things 🙂

    • That’s the key, I’m sure…we just have to look at and appreciate the good things, and we train our eye and our heart to become more aware of them. Thank you for reading, and for your comments…and have a wonderful New Year!

  6. It’s so interesting to look at a year from many different perspectives. From one perspective it may fall very very short. From another perspective it may look golden. I suspect a year is filled with so very much that we can’t categorize it, both good and bad, lovely and ugly, sweet and sour, challenging and uplifting. Thank you for sharing your view, Cindy.

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