As we all celebrate New Year’s Eve–each in our own way on Saturday, whether with friends and loved ones, or quietly at home (our strategy)–it is time to reflect upon the old year and look forward with promise toward the new year.
I don’t do the XMAS newsletter thing–mostly because though my life is interesting to me (at times), I don’t necessarily want to impose my life’s itinerary on others in nauseating detail. But that won’t stop me now. Ha! So what follows is “my” inventory of the past year (excluding career related news).
2011 had some “firsts” and new beginnings for me–and at my “middle age”, firsts [(2) right] don’t happen that often:
* I started an affinity group on Facebook for my university alumni speech team (forensics) friend in February that “took off” prior to our reunion in April–and we’re still chatting back and forth with each other.
* I started “lurking” around RA related blogs in late Spring and made my first comments there–probably to Callie’s blog, Calexora Befuddled Musings. Her welcoming nature kind of eased me into online chatting. And with the RA 40th Birthday Book she edited, I wrote my first and only “fan” letter–unless you count our 4th grade class writing the President years ago. Ha!
* I started an RA related affinity group on Facebook that I am the Admin of in June that has also taken off. And all I was trying to do was organize my friends. Ha! But serendipity intervened and I have made oodles of new friends through our creative exchanges.
* I taught myself how to make music videos–slide shows for now, but moving clips are in my future. Snap!
* I began writing my own blog here in late August 2011–and 92 essay posts later my little blog has now had over 15,000 views! Goodness! My good friend Bccmee encouraged me to start my blog. Thanks!
* I am celebrating 20 months of writing my script stories–they now number over 50 stories that I work on in rotation. The stories just tumble out of me. About half of them are “done” but for some tweaking and word smithing. And of course, Richard Armitage [(3) right] is my muse.
* I weighed less than my fudged driver’s license weight. Snap! I call it the “sleep” diet. I wear a CPAP breathing mask overnight and restorative sleep gets my hormones working right–along with my not stopping breathing 126 times an hour. No wonder I was tired. Ha! I’ve lost 70 pounds in two years! Who knew that sleep deprivation causes your body to metabolise food and medicines differently–going into survival mode and “keeping” fat on you for the lean times? How ironic. Ha! My advice to you is to run straight to your Otolaryngologist and Pulmonologist people if you want to lose weight. Ha!
*On a related note, I stopped trying to cinch up and cinch in my now very loose clothes–due to my weight loss–and I started taking them to a seamstress to be taken in and shortened. I’ve still got to figure out a way to change the labels on my dresses to reflect their several dress sizes smaller number. Ha! And though my shoulders and back have decreased in size–such that I now wear two to three sizes smaller on top–my “girls” didn’t shrink. Snap!
* My hair is now 1.5 years into growing out–from a short do I had worn when I broke my arm at the wrist several years ago–and it brushes past my shoulders in soft brunette curls. I plan to do the “Locks of Love” cut in about another year, when it is long enough to do–they lop off 10 inches–and still leave me with longish hair. People tell me I look younger with long hair. Snap!
* And most importantly, my hubby and I are celebrating 22 years of wedded bliss together. Our secret? Our unfinished basement is his man cave, we are each others’ best friends and soul mates, and we laugh as much as we love–which is considerable. Snap! Snap! Snap!
2011 also had some poignant “lasts” and endings for me–In Memoriam [(4) right]:
* It was a milestone memorial year: 10 years since 9/11; 10 years since my father’s passing earlier that year; 25 years since the Challenger Shuttle disaster; 30 years since my mother’s passing; and it was the 125th year since my late grandmother’s birth in 1886.
I remember each of them in my heart every day. And as I tell my friends who lose their parents, I am their legacy in the world–and they live on through me.
* I am grateful to be able to make charitable donations to organizations that really help people.
*I am grateful for the many new friends and friendships I have made this year through my various unofficial Richard Armitage affinity group connections. We are a diverse group of ladies who unofficially enjoy admiring, chatting and sharing about the exquisitely talented British Actor Richard Armitage. And I count them–and him–as a very great blessing in my life.
* I am grateful for our many longtime family friends whom I hold very dear to my heart.
* I am grateful for improved health for myself and others.
* I am grateful for my loving husband who tells me I’m beautiful–and then he walks the talk. Snap! We won’t be getting him new eye glasses any time soon. Ha!
As we remember the old times in 2011 (Auld Lang Syne, [(6) info]; and [(7) below]) and look forward to our new times in 2012, let us raise our glasses of hot mulled cider (with or without rum), wine, champagne, beer, ale, water, or cola, etc., as we: cherish those whom we love and who love us; seek to give our time, talent, and treasure to those in need; and recognize that it is okay to put ourselves first in the coming year. For if we tend to and nurture ourselves, that ultimately gives us the energy, strength and enthusiasm to lend ourselves to others.
In closing, I wish for you every good thing that you wish for yourselves. May 2012 bring you joy, laughter, friendship, challenges, goals, love, inspiration, contentment, rewards, curiosity, hope, less static cling, good parking spots, and pets that don’t chew up your utility bills or blog posts, etc. I really need those last three myself. Ha!
Cheers and Happy New Year! Much Love, Hugs, and Kisses, Grati ;->
(1) New Year’s even clock image found at http://www.bistroromano.com/nyephila/images/new-year-clock1-300×214.jpg
(2) Image of Baby for firsts found at webbiestuff.com (but their link is broken)
(3) Portrait of Richard Armitage attending his Captain America: The First Avenger premiere in New York City was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Richard/EventsandAppearances/NYCScreening-20July2011/album/slides/NYC-08.html
(4) In Memoriam image found at http://crooksandliars.com/files/vfs/2011/12/in-memoriam.jpg
(5) Blessings graphic found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_nP_ia1nNPcw/TShu7XrwRiI/AAAAAAAAACk/y2pLmLq1qL4/s400/blessings.gif
(6) Information about the song Auld Lang Syne found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_Lang_Syne
(7) Auld Lang Syne lyrics and music graphic found at http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/music/auld-lang-syne.gif
(8) Auld Lang Syne sung by the BBC Symphony, Chorus & Singers, video by Kromgol was found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rId95N2teUc
(9) Happy New Year firework graphic found at http://dailycontributor.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/happy-new-year.jpg