Last year started with a bang. In an effort to distribute the piles of cookies Dave’s family sent us home with at Christmas, we hosted a New Year’s Party and raised our glasses among our friends, declaring “This will be our year!”
But like every year, it was studded with hills and valleys, the occasional mountain, and a lava-infested Mount Doom. Dave took a new job early on in the year, switching from a late-night baker to a (usually) 15 hour-a-day delivery assistant, traveling all over Wisconsin to bring supplies to bakeries, confectioneries, and grocery stores in need.
He has amazed me with his capability to survive on four to five hours a sleep at night and work himself to the bone in order to provide for our small family: the two of us and our two fur babies Athena and Artemis. Our cats continue to entertain us and comfort us, and in return we provide them with an open window to watch the birds and dozens of cat toys that they couldn’t care less about.
I continued my job as a hospital registrar, still searching in vain for the perfect job (Anthony Bourdain, let me know when you want to retire….). I picked up a second job in November as a server at a cafe, which inspired a college professor to tell me a joke: “Do you know what they call English majors? Waitresses.”
My jobs at the hospital and café have done little to stimulate my creativity, and I am constantly evaluating the choices I made regarding my post-high school education. However, I continue to work with and for fabulous people who make me laugh and, most importantly, convince me to come to work when I’d rather sit in my car and cry. Because of my jobs, my experience with small talk has increased exponentially.
To keep the creative juices flowing, I started this blog in March to share my successes and failures in the kitchen and the living room (aka, my workout station). Designs on Dinner not only encouraged me to keep writing and cooking, but also pushed me to keep up as I switched from a yoga to a cardio junkie, necessary for one of the most fun and difficult things I’ve done: a 5k run filled with obstacles called Warrior Dash.
To go from never running to running a 5k while rolling under barbed wire, scaling a rope wall, swimming through water and mud, and jumping over fire was definitely a lesson in endurance, and I couldn’t have done it without my trusty comrades. I signed up for next year.
The valleys of the year included breaking my left arm (your gracefulness slipped on the ice), having all four wisdom teeth removed (without anesthesia), having a tire blow out on my car on the highway (much more terrifying than jumping over fire), taking nearly a week off from work with bronchitis (but I discovered Downton Abbey), dealing with incessant insomnia (yes, whatever you want to recommend, I’ve tried it), and seeing my husband even less than last year. I also dealt with a personal crisis (aka Mount Doom) that forced me to reevaluate my own self-worth and future. A high tolerance for pain certainly came in handy for me this year.
Besides Warrior Dash, another mountain included the birth of my niece Aurelia Moon, who has already filled my life with so much light and love. She has also stirred maternal feelings that I didn’t even know I had, and since my view towards children up until now has been apathetic at best, she has given me a wonderful gift.
I can’t forget another highlight of my year, the wedding of two of my very best friends…to each other. I grow more and more sentimental with each year, and I am so lucky to have a close group of friends and family who continue to delight me with their wittiness, laughter, and fierce loyalty.
Since planning for the future seems futile, I will continue to try to live in the present in 2013. Still, I refuse to give up on my dreams. In addition to battling Warrior Dash again and re-evaluating my career goals, I’m hoping to move into a bigger place and finally go on a honeymoon with my beloved Dave.
It’s a hard-knock life. It’s a wonderful life. And, most importantly, it’s my life.