Another year, come and gone. I always take time to reflect on the past year, all the wonderful things I’ve experienced and learned, and my goals for the bright, shining upcoming year. This year I kicked a movie star, experience a loss of a truly amazing friend and cousin, and celebrated keeping my daughter alive for one full year. I took more plane rides than my budget allowed, travelling from San Luis Obispo to the coast of Maine. I watched Daisy take her first independent steps. I raised money for Lung Cancer, got pregnant, battled several bouts of gastroenteritis, and walked a marathon while 28 weeks pregnant. And, oh yeah, put my house on the market and moved to San Francisco’s East Bay. Indeed, it’s been quite a year. A hard year, but one full of adventures and many, many lessons learned.
And as I’m writing this, three days post 2011 and still trying to articulate any goals for 2012, well except to find a place for the new baby to sleep (coming in four short weeks!), sort and wash newborn baby clothes, finally pay off my graduate student loan debt, and adapt to a family of four in a brand-new part of the state. I keep wondering what 2012 will bring. My 2012 horoscope promises a glorious year, a year of new beginnings and more time for self-expression (and romance! I’m not sure where that will fit in with a toddler and newborn though!)
Ernest Hemingway had once said that his best work was a story he wrote in only six words. I recently stumbled upon an old contest the UK’s Guardian ran back in 2007 in which challenged contemporary authors to do the same, and the one six-word story that grabbed my heart the hardest was this one by Ali Smith: “In the end, everything simply began.”
And, I can’t think of a better way to describe my 2011 or the beginning of 2012, how things just do happen, no matter how long I lie awake worrying about them. Sure, I can obsess about what I’ll do when I get there. Where I’ll look for a new teaching position, how I’ll go about the complicated process of putting down roots, setting up camp, and jumping over any hurdles. But in the end, time keeps ticking, things have to be done, and I’ll do them. You make a list, and slowly cross everything off. You wash the baby clothes, buy a crib. You find a job, you go to the DMV, you make some friends to share a bottle of wine at playgroup to learn the tips and tricks of mommyhood. There’s no choir of angels, no thunderbolt from above, no round of applause as you segue from scared to settled. Everything simply begins. And then you just keep going.