January is neutral:
Same old, same old
February is not so great:
Travel to beautiful Sanibel Island, FL to visit my "MIL" and "FIL." "FIL" is dying, so this visit is, in many ways, about saying good-bye to him in a place he loves. Tear ducts - and heart - are preparing for the inevitable.
March is neutral:
The pallor of death casts over everything, making the same old, same old feel hard.
"FIL" dies - devastated beyond belief.
May is high and low:
Prearranged, week-long trip to the Happiest Place on Earth with BMG, my mother, youngest sister and her family. Contrary to all expectations, we have a great time.
The day we get back from Disney World, my favorite cat (sorry Ducky) is struck by a car and killed. Devastation again.
June is steely:
Inspired by a friend who quotes Goethe in Panera, I decide it is really time to look for a new job.
I celebrate my birthday by buying a kayak. Summer fun here I come!
July is neutral:
Same old, same old. Knowing I'll be leaving my job soon (can you say confident?) I don't take a vacation.
August is great:
Bad economy be damned! I have a new job! Quitting the old job is tough, but 100% the right thing to do. I run the Warrior Dash with my friend Sarah and my sister E.
September is great:
Start the new job - transitions are hard and I find them energizing.
October has ups & downs:
Funeral for friend Ellen's mom early in the month, grand opening of Massachusetts' firstWegman's store, and a late month trip to Baltimore to visit with my sister and her kids make this an active and emotionally neutral month.
November is a mixed bag:
Another trip to Florida (that's three this year) for Thanksgiving with BMG and his family; celebrating without the "FIL" is emotionally difficult. I'm glad I'm only there for 3 days.
On the plus side, we are approved for a mortgage to buy our house, and meet with our architect to discuss extensive renovations.
December is a mixed bag:
Happy about Christmas (participate in a sing-a-long in downtown Boston, have a great party at Brasserie JO with BMG and our friend Ellen). We close on the house.
Having my car decommissioned by an MBTA bus puts a damper on the celebratory spirit. A funeral for Lardito's dad was beautiful, and reopened some wounds.
How would I characterize 2011? A year with an enormous amount of major changes. Two deaths, new house AND new job? That is a lot of change for one year. And it will only continue as BMG and I prepare to turn our lives upside down with a major home renovation in 2012.
Looking back on 2011 a toast starts to rattle around in my brain. On new year's eve I will life my winestein high and say,
"Here's to coming out on the other side of 2011 stronger because of all the changes - stronger in attitude and spirit. May 2012 bring more quiet moments to enjoy the blessing of my life from the vantage point of my bike, my kayak or my skis."
Happy end to 2011 and happy 2012!