A year probably can't - and shouldn't - be summarized by single experiences, as if life could be bound by a black-and-white profit and loss statement. Well, here I go again, doing things I oughtn't. This is 2011 in a brief list, good/bad/and ugly, incomplete and in no particular order.
I, Lady MacBeff:
- Shared hundreds of hugs (or more), not to mention thousands of smiles and laughs, and heartwarming, encouraging and/or comforting messages.
- Lost my best friend to colon cancer.
- Managed to uphold some traditions that matter to me, and that keep Li'l G connected with her U.S. roots, such as celebrating Halloween, making a gingerbread house (from Ikea's fabulous Pepparkaka kit) and watching the Peanuts Thanksgiving and Christmas specials.
- Lost two dear neighbors to possible double suicide: One suffered from very advanced MS; the other - her mother - was caregiver. Very sad.
- Soaked in sunshine and vistas that would be fit for the cover of a corny inspirational calendar - in Hawaii as well as high in the Alps of Switzerland and Austria. Also was treated to a helicopter ride over Germany, France and Switzerland on a beautiful, clear day.
- Watched surges of pride, delighted surprise and other joyous expressions light up my daughter's face.
- Was fortunate to spend time with family in America, and see Li'l G reunited with her sorely missed, much-loved cousins.
- Felt no mercy with regard to needing to weigh and eventually make some very hard decisions, and deal with painful conflicts and questions where the outcomes don't appear to be win-win.
- Didn't write nearly enough.
- Ditto read, exercise, play, work, sleep, stay in touch with people, etc. etc. Yet, I filled out way fewer Facebook quizzes than in 2010 or 2009.
- Wasted time unproductively ruing various things.
- Spent time daydreaming and savoring the bliss of our many blessings - family, friends, good neighbors; sufficient funds; mostly challenging work and smart, funny colleagues; decent health care; a wealth of opportunities for my daughter; good news from people we love; and much, much more.
- Read a few great books; notably, Middlesex.
- Picked an awful lot of cat hair off of clothes.
- Picked up a little more in vocabulary and accents from other languages; and on the flip side had to endure my little girl deliberately opting for the Aussie (or UK) term "chips" instead of the American "french fries." (If she ever starts adding u to color or reversing the final e and r in theater, we are so outta Europe! I don't ask her to call them Freedom Fries, but I do like to hang on to our U.S.A. vocabulary.)
- Taught Li'l G to give our seats on the bus or tram to older people, even if we have heavy bags.
- Started most days with a warm touch from someone I love very much. (And not only the furry loved ones with the paws, either.)
To you, dear readers, wherever you are, I wish "einen guten Rutsch" (a good slide into the New Year) and a 2012 that is chock full of hope, peace, joy, success (however you want to define it), good health, patience, tolerance and love!