Friday, December 21, 2012

2012: A year in review

This has been my "winter solstice" tradition for the past seven It may seem like a strange little tradition, but I love going back through memory lane and reading about how far I've come over the past year...or six. 

Sum Up Your Year In A Nutshell

2012: What a great year. Truly. Yes, there were hard days. Yes, there were hard things. But overall, it was a year filled with celebration, with friendship, with birth, with renewal, with growth, with happiness and with an overwhelming inner peace of knowing that I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing, for exactly the right reasons. 
2013 will have its work cut out for it if its going to top this one. 

1) What did you do in 2012 that you have never done before?
Held a newborn nephew in my arms. 
2) Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions and will you make more next year?
Yes, and no. (See next post). I will be making new "resolutions", but these are more guiding principles than actual tangible goals.  The one thing I am learning to (slowly) accept is that life has a way of handing you unpredictable hurdles and that- while goals are important- focusing on flexibility and adaptability are more important life skills for me than accomplishing specific tasks. 

3) Did someone close to you give birth in 2012?

Yes! I welcomed many new babies into my life this year, including a new nephew (Nico), a new godson (Dominic), a new goddaughter (Alexia), and a several new babies who are very close to my heart (especially my "girls" Allison, Elaina, Danika, and Claire).  There are also many 2011 babies who became very close to our family over the past year. We are lucky to be surrounded by so much cuteness.

We also have half a dozen friends who are expecting babies in 2013 so it will be another exciting year for us!

4) Did someone close to you die?

No one close to me died, but I did feel the grief of friends of mine who lost their loved ones this year. My heart continues to with them.  This was also the 10th anniversary of my dad's passing- an event that marked me more than I expected.

5) What countries did you visit?

We stuck to good old Canada, sneaking in one final visit out East before Sammie turned 2. It is always nice to visit family and friends out there.

6) What did you lack in 2012 that you would like more of in 2013? 

I can honestly say that 2012 was a truly wonderful year, in which I "lacked" very little. I would always welcome more sleep, but I doubt that's very high on the agenda. I would also welcome a slightly slower pace as it sometimes felt like this year was a whirlwind of activity. But overall, I really and truly can't complain. It's been a great 365 days!

7) What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory? 
Many amazing events stand out, but these were probably the biggest:
August 20th: My nephew Nicolas was born.
February 18th: I welcomed a new sister into my family.
February 29th: My husband and I celebrated our first "leap year" anniversary

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Honestly, this year really wasn't a big "Go Zita" year. I was pretty mellow in general. I worked, I played with Sammie, I enjoyed the company of my friends and I lived vicariously through the many amazing accomplishments of my loved ones and friends. This was much more a year of celebrating others, and it was wonderful and refreshing.

9) What was your biggest failure?
I'm not sure there was a "failure" to speak. I did learn a lot of lessons- many the hard way. I gladly pulled away from people who I felt were poor influences on me and on my priorities and re-shifted my attention to those things and people that matter the most to me. While it meant losing some friends along the way, it was totally worth it, in every way.

Last year, on this question, I wrote: My goal for 2012 is to stop defending myself. My beliefs and opinions are not on trial, and I simply can’t control how others react to them.  I anticipate some friendships ending because of these choices, but must believe in my heart that those who respect us as people will also respect the choices that we are making as parents and as a couple. I have faith in our friendships.

I think I can safely say that I was right. 

10) Did you suffer injury or illness?
Ha ha. Every single year this question makes me laugh. You'd think I'd be killed by now for all the health problems I've encountered over the year? 2012 was actually one of my healthiest years to date. Aside from the inevitable complications that accompany my high-risk pregnancies, I've been in generally good health!

11) What was the best purchase you made? 
Usually my best purchases are gifts. There are a few Christmas gifts that I'm proud of. But I think the best purchase I made for myself was my DSLR camera. I am loving learning how to use it and getting beautiful pictures of my family :)

12) Whose behaviour merited the most celebration?
This is always one of the hardest questions, but this year I have a super easy answer for it.
A lot of people lived amazing things this year, but when it comes to "meritous" behaviour, one person stands out from the crowd and that is Jason.

This year, Jason's career took off. He was hired in October of 2011 as an "Accounting Clerk" after taking a year off to be a stay-at-home dad.  We knew that it was a "step in the right direction" and that he would need to work really hard to prove his skills, knowledge and capabilities.  He remained a student throughout and- half through circumstance/luck and half through hard work and dedication- he found himself promoted to Financial Controller (basically running the entire 50 million dollar, international company) in a matter of months. He has done this while maintaining his amazing standards of being an incredible husband and father, an excellent student (who is constantly at the top of his class) and a loyal and present friend.

I seriously could not be prouder of him if I tried.

13) Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? 
As always, I will not name names nor will I point out one or two people. Instead, I will chose to focus on specific behaviours and patterns that particularly annoyed me this year. In no particular order:

1) Hypocrisy: I have been noticing a lot of people who, either through ignorance or sheer stupidity, seem to engage in incessantly hypocritical behaviours. Passive-Aggressively using social media to attack others for being passive aggressive...telling people not to judge others while engaging in judgement themselves....holding up their beliefs (religious, politicial, philosophical, etc.) as impervious and superior, and then attacking others for not being "respectful of everyone's opinions".  Seriously, the whole world needs to gain some perspective and self-awareness.

2) Negativity:  Bad things happen. This is life. Being negative is a choice. No one wants to hear incessant complaining. Yes, it is ok to have a rough day or a rough few weeks. But when you start turning on everyone around you, getting frustrated at everything and acting as if every conversation, event, or situation should revolve around you and your drama, it is excessive. Figure out what makes you happy and chase after it. If you can't, keep your whining to yourself. Otherwise, not only are you ruining your're ruining everyone else's too.

3) Blaming others for your mistakes: This one really should be obvious. Just don't do it. It's annoying.

Disclaimer: I have zero doubt that I have engaged in these behaviours on more than one occasion, and I would like to take this time to sincerely apologize to those impacted by my actions/words.  Truly, there are times when I am "most appalled and depressed" by myself, and I am also continuing to grow as a person. But please know that I am *trying* and that's all we can really ask of ourselves and others.

14) Where did most of your money go?

To paying for the memories that make life amazing.

15) What did you get really really excited about?
My brother's wedding, my brother's baby, all the other babies in my life, my anniversary party, Sam's second birthday party, our awesome "staycation" was an exciting year!

16) What song will always remind you of 2012?
I hate to admit it, but "I'm Sexy And I Know It". And I blame Kasha, Erie and Erin for it.

17) Compared to this time last year, are you?
Happier or hardened? Happier. I don't know if I've ever been this happy.
Thinner or fatter? Fatter. Tends to happen when you're in your third trimester.
Richer or poorer? Richer- thanks Jason!

18) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Spent more time smelling the roses and just "playing" with my baby boy. He's growing up so fast.

19) What do you wish you'd less of?
Caring about what other people think. Trying to "convince" others on issues that don't matter in the slightest. Spending time with people that I genuinely don't like just because I feel like I am "supposed" to.

20) How did you spend Christmas?
We're not quite there yet, but this will be the first Christmas spent entirely in Edmonton since I can't be on the road more than 20 minutes away from a hospital. I am looking forward to a much more laid back, relaxed holiday season.

21) Did you fall in love in 2012?
More and more every day.

22) Any one night stands? 
Nope. But a couple of single-serving friendships. :)

23) What was your favourite program?
My favourite all time show will probably always be Lost, but this was also the year of Community and Buffy.

24) Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate last year?
Hate is such a strong word. I choose to not carry that kind of anger and hurt around with me. But there are people who are no longer welcome in my life. And so it goes...

25) What was the best book you read?
I really enjoyed reading the Dragon Trilogy...finally.

26) What was your greatest musical discovery?
I really didn't spend much time exploring music this year. I should put that on next year's to do list.

27) What did you want, and get?
A baby in my belly.

28) What did you want, and not get?
A hot tub- but it's been put pretty high on next year's priority list.

29) Favourite film of this year?
Hard to tell. Many of the films I'm looking forward to, I haven't actually seen yet. I suspect this will be "The Hobbit".

30) What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I'm pretty sure this was the year of the great ER Adventure of 2012. We had a lovely dinner at Erie's and then Sammie decided he was tired of not being the centre of attention and decided to smash his skull in and open up his forehead. :P It's amazing how the scar hardly shows now!

31) What is one thing that would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not a whole heck of a lot. 2012 was pretty damn awesome.

32) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Um. "It's clean. It'll do."

33) What kept you sane? Family, friends and Sammie's awesomeness.

34) Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have a total love-on for George Takei this year.

35) What political issue stirred you the most? 
Alberta Vote 2012. And I'd like to not think about that any longer than necessary.

36) Who do you miss?
My dad. And my family/friends who are far away.

37) Who was the best new person you met? 
There's nothing quite like meeting your "foil" in person. I must give credit to the great Kathleen on this one. While we "technically" met in October 2011- we really got to know each other in 2012. So I figure this counts.

38) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
A couple of my favourite quotes on friendship can do this much better than I can:

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence." George Washington

"Never explain yourself- your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway."
Elbert Hubbard

"Suppose you were the last one left. Suppose you did that to yourself..."
Cormac McCarthy, The Road.

39) Quote a song lyrics that sums up your year:
Gotta love Ani. She always has exactly the words.

"joyful girl" by Ani DiFranco

i do it for the joy it brings
because i'm a joyful girl
because the world owes me nothing 
and we owe each other the world
i do it because it's the least i can do
i do it because i learned it from you
and i do it just because i want to 
because i want to

everything i do is judged
and they mostly get it wrong
but oh well
'cuz the bathroom mirror has not budged
and the woman who lives there can tell
the truth from the stuff that they say
and she looks me in the eye
and says would you prefer the easy way
no, well o.k. then
don't cry

i wonder if everything i do
i do instead 
of something i want to do more
the question fills my head
i know there's no grand plan here
this is just the way it goes
when everything else seems unclear
i guess at least i know

i do it for the joy it brings
because i'm a joyful girl
because the world owes me nothing
and we owe each other the world
i do it because it's the least i can do
i do it because i learned it from you
and i do it just because i want to
because i want to