I heard a great line from a colleague "Seems like the days last forever and the years fly by"....that is so true for this past year. I cannot believe that we are already prepping for a New Year's Eve party and looking behind us at what was Christmas. All that build up and you seem to blink and it is done. Our Christmas was great and the boys remind me of that pure joy that happens so much more to children than we allow ourselves to have as adults. That smile of magic that lights up their faces as they think that Santa did hear them and did stop by and drop off presents.
I look back on this year and think of the memories that were made. The moments that I froze either by a picture in my head or in a photo that I will have to associate with the year that was 2011. I will remember the boys learning to ice skate as the year started ...and politely telling me that they could take a break from it this winter. The vacations that we went to as a family and the excitement that lead to them ....love that my youngest boy tells people he has many houses since he counts any hotel he stays at as his house. Maybe the memory will go back to a book I read that I could not shake (Before I Go to Sleep, Caleb's Crossing, We Need to talk about Kevin, discovering Sebald as an author, Mudbound, The Help, In the Garden of the Beast, Pete Hamill (insert dreamy eyes and sigh here)...this was year of really good books). There were the movies I missed and had to see on my iPad and the movies I actually made it to. The too many animated movies that I drag myself to just because the boys want to see them. There is always the music - new or rediscovered that I cannot imagine any year without. The year I took up tennis...and loved it.
I will think back on the wonderful restaurants I went to and some meals shared with friends. This was a year of theme parties too...the Oktoberfest in the backyard with a polka band that my friend Dori had, the Prom where we 10, 20, 30+ years later managed to find those large shoulder pads, blue tuxes and dance as if we were 18 and breaking night for the first time again. This was the year that I got back some of my time and for a Mom this is a huge thing....there is that period when you first have children when you have no time to manage anything more than being a Mom. This year as the boys got a little older I could set up time and dinners to catch up with friends not seen for a long time, to linger over dinner with a friend who I always have so much FUN with, to not feel like I have to slurp my food and drink through a straw so that I could speed back to them.
I took up writing this blog this year ....and was surprised that I could get over my fear of publishing it and that I had over a 2000 reads in less than 12 months. I think I am still surprised when I see readers from Russia, Malaysia, Poland...places where I am not sure how they found me but they seem to keep reading (THANK You ....please do not stop). My easel, canvas and paints came out again....and slowly a painting is actually shaping on there. This was the year where we stopped, many of us cried, and found it hard to believe that it was 10 years since the Sept 11 attacks....there is an anniversary that no one wishes needed to commemorated....yet we got through the pain, again like on that day, with dignity and for me with the belief that living and loving is the best tribute to the victims of that day who were no longer given the option to do that for the past ten years. This year was so tumultuous again in the news....Osama is dead, Qadafi is dead, common sense and striving to work together to better the USA is in a coma as far as I can tell in the government, the weather - well I know global warming is still something some people deny but really can you deny it was a wacky weather year and not wonder why? This was a year when the EU seemed to be a top....tilting downward and sideways...still spinning for now. The year the troops left Iraq and yet it is still not the year that I can say we somehow as a planet found a way toward peace....I wish I could.
I distinctly remember being younger and wondering what 2000 (that monumental milestone) would be like...sci -fi doom or sci -fi cool ...and it turned out to be really neither. I still struggle with the notion that we are 11 years past that date. The world lost some amazing people this year and I am sure gave birth or is grooming the next set of amazing people.....of course I think my boys among them. I do not make resolutions but I do think of things I may want to try or do for a new year. I have hope that 2012 will be year of more memories that I can add to that treasure trove I have already in my life. Enjoy the last of 2011 with gusto and party like it's 1999. Maybe you can reflect with a smile on the parts of 2011 that were great for you and breathe a sigh of relief for those moments in 2011 that you are glad you are not carrying to the next year. Chances are 2012 will mean something different to each of us but that is good for change is what propels us forward....Cheers and Happy New Year.