Yes, me too.
I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions (more on that later), but I am a sucker for retrospectives.
A psychologist might say that means I unhealthily reflect on the past instead of looking ahead to the future. To which I would retort, “I know you are but what am I?” Yes, I am such an evil genius of the therapy couch.
So what if year-in-reviews make me giddy? Top 10 movies? I’ll digest list after list after list. Best books? Bring them on. Albums of the year? Yes, please. Top tweets? Well, I draw the line there. Not all media is created equal, it seems.
While multiple sclerosis may have shaped the past few months a little differently than I expected, it hasn’t defined my year. So in the spirit of sharing, I wanted to give a greatest hits from my year. Yes, I have some, although, like me, they might be a tad untraditional. And these aren’t the biggest moments, but snapshots I carry with me. The ones that will endure.
Going on walks with Nick and Ella. For the longest time, Nick and I had conflicting schedules, so we rarely saw each other. But we always tried to make time for a quick walk around the neighborhood. No matter how awful of a day I had, I always felt more at peace after those walks. All the bad stuff just faded to the edges of the frame, and all I could see was him and her and the trees with those vibrant leaves dancing like flames.
My hospital sleepover. I was there for five days, and rarely was I alone for any of that time. My dad stayed with me one night, scrunched up on that strange pleather bed/couch. I doubt he got even a half hour of sleep. But he was there. Although he couldn’t rock me to sleep like in years past, just knowing that he was nearby if anything bad happened, I felt like daddy’s little girl once again.
There’s no place like…Wizard of Oz with Crystal and Lee and Nick. And a few hundred other people at the Rivermarket on a perfect summer night. My favorite movie, some of my favorite people. And the cutest little girl with ruby red slippers playing nearby.
A visitor in the night. Jared and I can talk about things large (religion and social mores) and small (the superiority of Modern Family over Glee, and other musical singalongs). He was in town for a one-night-only private engagement (me, Nick and Shannon). I can always count on what little time we get together to be filled with laughter, absurdity and warmth.
Go west. Nick and I are always at our best on vacations for some reason. Maybe it’s getting away from life’s little stressors. We had a few days of exploring the northwest corner of the state with his parents. We stood atop a crazy bridge, marveled at the world’s most photographed church in Taos, ate the most amazing food at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Albuquerque and admired the art of the street vendors in Santa Fe.
Say rawrrrrr! Nick and I had planned a trip to St. Louis at the end of September to spend it with our college besties, Gigi and Crystal and Lee. We weren’t sure if I’d be up for it, since the first half of the month was The MS Ordeal. But we went, and posed like zebras, rode a carousel, got a Blizzard, got lost, caught some rolls, played UNO and ate s’mores. All which turned out to be the best medicine a girl could ever need.
Mom’s the word. Who else but my mom would let me blubber for hours on end about the tragic state of my life? She let me have my mini-breakdowns without interruption and without judgment. I guess after 32 years, she’s finally used to my dramatic moments.
Storytime with Ava. She’s the 3-year-old daughter of mine and Nick’s besties. She’s spunky, moody, silly and creative – usually all at once. And getting to watch her grow up has been one of the purest joys of this year. Ditto for Alaina, whom I have seen less of but cherish just as much.
My IMs with Melody. We are of like mind most of the time, and chatting almost word-for-word the same response to the other has brightened many a dreary workday.
The White Elephant enema. While not the most coveted Christmas gift item ever, the two-pack has become a conversation piece. And it represents, in some abstract way, the good times we’ve had this year with friends who have opened their homes to us.
Good times….that’s what I’ll choose to remember from this year. I think that’s why I like reflecting on the past – we can piece together our own story only using that which has made us happy, and just skim the bad parts. A movie made that way wouldn’t make many Best Of lists, but it suits me just fine.