This is the first year in recent memory that I’ve had time at the end to rest and reflect. I wish that I’d been able to do this reliably every year, so that I could look back and see how much has changed and how much I’ve grown. Hopefully this will be the start of a yearly tradition for me, as I am cusping on some newness that, if done properly, will ensure that my holiday seasons are never again as hectic as they have been since 2007, which was the first year the organization I founded was in the Give!Guide.
The Giving Tree has been a source of great pleasure and intense frustration for me this past year. On one hand I am so proud of what I have wrought, and humbled by what it has become. On the other hand, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve given all I can as its Executive Director; it’s time for me to find someone else with new energy and a skillset that will help grow The Giving Tree to even greater heights. This is the closest I’ve come thus far to understanding what it must feel like to watch your child grow into their own person and eventually leave the nest to set out on their own.
Physically I am feeling pretty good these days, although I still have my ups and downs. I don’t talk about it much with my friends because I don’t want to sound like an “old” person grumping about my ailments, but damn it, sometimes I am in a lot of pain. This hip problem I have is persistent, and I know that in 2013 I will have to bite the bullet and see some traditional doctors for x-rays and such. However, I must say that regular exercise really helps the pain, and of course keeps me in shape in a more general sense. Yoga, the elliptical, and swimming are my favorites these days, and of course now that January is almost here I will be getting out to snowshoe and snowboard more. I haven’t really climbed seriously for at least 6 months, though, mostly due to the fact that I let my membership to the climbing gym lapse when they were doing a ton of bothersome construction in there, and in the meantime picked up a membership at 24 Hour Fitness. To be honest, I think my hips are glad of the break, and I’m not sure if I will ever again climb with as much determination as I did a few years ago.
My relationship with my husband grew deeper this year as we went through the trials and tribulations of finding and purchasing our first house together. What a whirlwind that was! As phobic as I am about long-term commitments, Lucas was equally steadfast and loving, and now here we are in Littlenest, a home that becomes more “us” each and every day.
Creatively, 2012 was huge for me. What started as Lucas and I having a few mini absinthe spoons laser cut to give as gifts at Burning Man in 2011 morphed into an actual Creative Endeavor! My design skills and Lucas’ computer wizardry combined to create stainless steel absinthe spoons, engraved bamboo boxes, and acrylic and bamboo pendants and earrings. In addition to our joint pieces, I set out to finally finish a project I started a few years ago; a coloring book of original drawings. Of course, being me I didn’t decide to do this until a couple of weeks before our opening reception at Redux, so I wound up spending every free moment drawing and inking, right down to the wire. The end result was incredibly gratifying, and I feel that it was definitely worth my while to give up a couple of weekends in order to get the work done.
Between these bigger themes, 2012 was peppered with snowboarding with friends new and old in Summit County Colorado and one of the best days on the mountain I’ve ever had, a journey to my hometown to watch a friend’s child who I’ve known since the day she was born graduate from high school, a trip to Kauai with Lucas and two wonderful friends, a new and deeply personal tattoo, hosting my organization’s 5th annual Iron Bartender competition, and an attempt to grow my hair out that ended with me wanting to shave my head bald. You know, all the stuff that makes life fun, ridiculous, and totally worth my attention.
I hope that when you’re reflecting on your experiences in 2012, you find that you learned more than you lost and that laughter and smiles outweighed any heartache and stress. May 2013 bring you health, friendship, and whatever else you need to feel happiness and prosperity!