Jan 12, 2013

Rear View Mirror - 2012

We are 12 days into 2013 and all I can keep thinking about is 2012.  Surprisingly, I like the idea of reviewing the last 12 months of my life.  I wasn't going to do it but I can't stop thinking about it so I might as well.  If for no other reason than to get it off my mind and then I can start thinking about the future again.

You should know, this isn't for you.  It's completely, 100% for me.  A quick record if you will of what stood out in my life during the year 2012.  I used to be a really great journal writer but, well, I'm not so good at that anymore so I use my blog as journal.  You might be thinking "how can a craft blog be a journal?" True, I do more craft tutorials than I share personal moments, but I like to think that my posterity will be able to read between the lines of what I write and be able to piece together who I am.

However, instead of it always being like a puzzle for them, where they have to search for those pieces in various blog posts, every once in a while I'll just spell it out for them.  That is what today's post is.  My life in 2012 from my perspective.  It's totally a personal post so feel free to check out and come back tomorrow for those Valentine crafts I mentioned, or, if you'd like, you can keep reading.  It's personal stuff but not really private so I don't mind sharing.

Q- What did you spend the most time doing?
A- Blogging, crafting, making and selling jewelry, taking photos and loving my family

Q- What was your happy moment this year?
A - Seeing my sister get married.  She's pretty amazing.  She was unexpectedly widowed and had three young kids to take care of.  She raised them to adulthood and then last year, the year her youngest graduated high school, she found love and companionship with a great guy.  Seeing her in this new relationship and being able to attend her wedding was a happy moment for me.  There was this tender moment at her wedding where she was arm in arm with my dad, just about to walk down the aisle, but she couldn't move.  She had to pause because she was so overwhelmed with happy emotion.  It was very touching and I'm glad I was at the back of the crowd so I could witness it.

Q- What was the biggest let down in 2012?
A- We tried several times to widen our circle of local friends.  My husband and I realized that we are at that age that having adult friends might be a good thing.  When we were first married we did a lot with our friends, and other couples, and then we had kids.  Sound familiar?  Our social life became family life and then  we did a lot with our kids instead.  Now that the girls are getting older, we are circling back and feel it's important to foster more friendships.We have lots of people we "know" but few we call "friends".  We've moved a lot in our life so those "life long"  friends, neighbors, and co-workers that most people have, well, we don't.  We both made a conscious effort to go outside of ourselves and invite people to do things with us but sad to say, I think we are *unlikable.  We were declined a lot.  I realize people are busy but when they act weird when you call, you know something is up.  I can laugh about it now but we were even told they couldn't do things with us because of some pretty fishy excuses.  Excuses equal to asking someone out and being told they can't because they have to wash their hair.  So, 2012 was a bit disappointing in the friend arena, what we thought would happen didn't and it was a let down.  But, the good news is we will keep trying because if we don't we won't have anyone to go on senior citizen bus trips with - and that would be sad.

* I have to add an edit here.  Please don't read this the wrong way.  I think one of my readers made the most sense when she said that most people never grow beyond the middle school years.  I laugh about it now, but that is exactly how it felt.  Questioning, "are we good enough to be friends with them?"  Rejection, regardless of your age, 12 or 40, it all stings the same and some people are just kinder at inflicting it than others.  And, I need to mention, it wasn't a complete fail.  I do have friends and we did have a few people accept too, so I'm not as hopeless as I sound.  Like I said above, we didn't have as many successes as we thought we would so it was, as the question says, a let down.  There is also the added complexity of trying to find "couple" friends.  I have a few girl-friends that I go to lunch with every now and then.  I have a few friends that I serve with at church too but trying to find "couple" friends that mesh with both my husband and I, well, it is a lot more difficult.  I'm good though.  I didn't share this to get pity, I shared it to be honest.  This was a let down for us in 2012.    

Q- What did you do that you didn't think you'd ever do?
A - Bought two family pets -  guinea pigs.  We rent so having pets, like dogs and cats, is not allowed.  However, after much persuading from the twins, plus a power point presentation from Bug, we caved.  We got our landlords permission first, of course.  It was a great thing to do as we all love and adore our little friends.  Tobin and Ludo make a great addition to our home.  Plus, since they are both males my husband doesn't feel quite as out numbered.

(Miss M in 2005 - she was ready and wanting to drive even then)

Q - What was a challenge for you?
A - Learning to relax enough to turn the car keys, and our only car, over to my daughter.  She turned 15, did driver's ed, and is now working on her 50 required driving hours before she can get her license.  This is challenging for me.  Not because I don't trust her, she's actually pretty good at driving.  It's challenging because I've been shocked at how quickly this milestone snuck up on me. I wasn't ready for her to be here yet.  My little one is growing up and there is nothing I could do about it.  She was ready though, she was ready a long time ago so I have to trust her, love her, and support her.  And then I have to pray like crazy she drives smart and is careful and that other people do too.  The picture above is still how I see her sometimes - how can my little one be driving?  What?!

 Q- What is something you did for yourself that has made a difference in your life?
A- I went back to work.  It seems odd to admit this, but I needed to work for my sanity.  The girls are older and a lot more independent now.  With them gone at school all day, I found myself feeling a little lost.  Ok, a lot lost.  I've been feeling that way for a few years now but it seems this past year has been a little harder.  I needed to do something and have something I could call my own, that I enjoyed, that let me interact with real people.  Working because I want to has been an enjoyable thing.  Plus, the financial side of it helps of course, too.  Interestingly enough my dad told me after I had already been working for awhile that my mom did the same thing.  I remember her going back to work after I started Elementary school.  He said it was a good thing for her.  I greatly appreciated him sharing that with me as I feel a little more connected to her now.  She probably had some of the same feelings and emotions that I do.  My mom died when I was only 9 so there's a lot about her that I just don't know.

Q - What was the scariest thing that happened?
A - Finding out that my dad had stage 4 cancer.  It's a horrible feeling knowing someone you love, respect, and admire is hurting and there is nothing you can do to help.  I had to realistically accept the possibility that he might not be with us for much longer and it was very, very difficult.  Luckily, despite the bleak title of stage 4, he is doing well.  It was scary to think about losing him but in addition, it was also scary to realistically look at my extended family relations and evaluate what will happen with my siblings after my dad is gone.  He is our wheel hub and we are all the spokes.  He connects us.  We rely on him a lot to keep us informed about what is happening with each other.  Because we know we can call dad and get the scoop, we don't reach out much to each other and it was a little bit of a scary shock to realize that.

Q- Did you witness any miracles in the making?
A - Yes!  More than I can count.  The biggest one had to do with the fundraiser I did for a mom with cancer back in October.  So many things fell into place to help her that I can not, in good conscious, take credit for it.  There was a power involved that was beyond me or anything I could do on my own.  The miracles involved are too long to list but I know God was in the details of that experience. It was very clear for me to see that.  Another one involved my dad, he is a miracle as well.  His cancer numbers changed so drastically late in the summer that they declared him to be in remission.  I went from trying to grasp the idea of losing him to getting news that he's going to be ok.  Many prayers were said for him and I can't help but feel like those prayers were answered in a miraculous way.

Q- What do you wish you would have done but didn't?
A- Go on more dates with my hubby.

Q- What was the best movie you saw?
A-  I loved Adjustment Bureau.  It was entertaining but it made me really think about things and I like it when a movie makes me think and gives me a new perspective.  My life and religious philosophies kind of agree with the view points of the movie.  I believe in free will, most of my choices are my own and don't really matter.  But, every once in a while, something bigger than yourself needs to happen.  I know my life has had some "divine adjustments" if you will.  You'd have to see the movie to know what I'm talking about.  Good stuff.

Q-  Any great music discoveries?
A- Imagine Dragons and the Killers have been on my playlist more than any other groups or artists this year.

Q- What was your favorite project from 2012?
A - I liked sharing the tutorials for each piece of the Clay nativity set.  It didn't go exactly as planned and I was often slow getting the tutorials posted but despite that, it was pretty to cool to share the process with so many.  I loved getting emails from people who were doing them and I loved seeing their pictures.  It was a long year-long project but so worth it.

Q- What was your greatest success in 2012?
A - My daughters!  Watching them grow and interact with others this year has been wonderful.  I don't do snotty or snobby and I've tried really hard to teach my girls to be aware of other's feelings.  I think they are getting it and it's been great to watch them try and uplift, befriend, and love others.  Heaven knows they've been on the other end of that and have been hurt.  I don't like seeing them hurt but I'm glad that they know the difference and that they realize how their actions and words can either tear down or uplift.  Are they perfect?  No.  But they try and all three of them are tender hearted.  This year has been a growing year for all three and so far we are on the right track.  As a mom, that makes my heart smile and makes me feel like I'm succeeding in at least one area of my life.