Poof! Another year gone, just like that – in a flash – never to be heard from again. It seems the closer I get to 40, the faster this ride goes. I don’t really like fast rides, they make me nauseous. It’s why I’ve lived in the Dallas area for some 12 years and have never stepped foot on the grounds of Six Flags Over Texas.
But that is a blog for another day, isn’t it? Perhaps I will try to conquer my fear of amusement park rides by making a trip over to Arlington in 2012.
Anyway, with 2011 coming to a close, and a new year looming on the horizon, I thought it would be fun to take a look back and reflect upon what I’ve learned this year.
This year I learned…
…that Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is beautiful and romantic. The ideal place to celebrate 15 amazing years of marriage, with the love of my life. The “two shots of tequila + 5 beers for $5.00” specials made it all the better. At least, I think so…I don’t remember much after…wait…we went to Mexico, right?
…that whale watching in the Pacific Ocean is surreal and terrifying. I’m glad I stood up to my fear of water/boats and went on the excursion. I can mark it off my bucket list with a big fat black Sharpie (with a notation in the margin that reads: never, ever try this again).
…that sometimes it is necessary to stubbornly take a stand, even if it means alienation from family you love. Things tend to work themselves out in the end. And, well, if they don’t then, so be it.
…that marking the four-year anniversary of my father’s death was just as painful as year three.
…that the weatherman on my local NBC channel either has a sick sense of humor, or his degree in meteorology is just an honorary one. The snow event captured below was only supposed to be a light dusting. As in, not going to stick, or cause any trouble on the roads. We ended up with a foot total. Epic. Fail. Why is this a problem, you ask? It’s only snow. Well, down here in Texas, measurable snowfall is a sign of the coming apocalypse. I didn’t leave my house until it melted. It’s just better that way.
…that with three or four inches of ice coating everything (in a separate, unrelated winter weather event – another epic weatherman fail), including the street, I can survive an entire week without leaving my house. On day two, I did attempt to check the mail. My mailbox is across the street. I made it to the middle of the road, fell on my ass, promptly got up, dusted off my pride and went back into the house. There was nothing I needed in that mailbox, I was sure of it. Well, except for those two Netflix movies, but I made my husband go get those for me. Have I mentioned that he is the most awesomest dude ever?
…that even at my age, a little recognition and validation can put a spring in my step. In April, I received a scholar award from my favorite professor, in my favorite subject (history). It might not mean much outside the confines of my campus and academic world, but it certainly went a long way to helping me feel like I wasn’t wasting my time. Though I’m sure my family would tell you that my ego was so inflated from this unprecedented honor, that they had to keep reminding me that I did not, in fact, win a Pulitzer.
…that just when I thought I was getting the hang of this aging nonsense, I get the call informing me that I could expect to be a grandmother by the end of the year. Let the months of denial begin!
…that even though I swore I had absolutely no interest in the British Royal wedding; that I scoffed at the crazy people who were planning to get up in the middle of the night to catch every tantalizing second of it, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized. No, I didn’t get up in the middle of the night. That would be ridiculous. I got up at my normal time, switched on the television, and there it was. I couldn’t get away from it, and I happened to catch it at the precise moment that she entered the church. I watched every stinking minute of it and was nearly late for work. Damn you, England!
…that I’ve lived in the Dallas area for a long time and this was the first year we have braved Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie. I’m ashamed at our stuffiness. So much fun. Maybe next year we will dress up. Don’t tell Nolan. It’ll be my surprise.
…that turning 39 this year wasn’t all that bad. Of course, a gift of diamonds goes a long way in making the aging process bearable. Oh, and an a Happy Birthday wake up call and an afternoon visit from my nephews didn’t hurt, either.
…that a girls only trip to Key West is quite the adventure. I learned a lot, made some new friends, discovered mojitos, and the wonders of drag queens. If you’re interested, you can read more about my adventures [here].
…that cursing Mother Nature for bitch slapping us this winter only resulted in several summertime bitch slaps. I think I might even classify it as a beating. I’ve been through hot, dry, miserable summers before, but this year was by far, the worst. Wish I had known this little bit of trivia in February. I might have been a little nicer to that fickle whore.
…that middle school parents are all bugger eating morons who wouldn’t understand a rule if it slapped them upside the head and introduced itself.
…that having my granddaughter born on Thanksgiving Day was certainly a surprise. She was a few weeks early. I will be completely honest, I was emotionally unprepared. Mostly, because I am a realist and don’t look at the ooey gooey side of things. I see the cold hard fact that becoming a parent in your early twenties, is tough stuff. I became a parent at the tender age of 18. I know of what I speak. However, after much thought and reflection, I was able to remove myself from that side of the equation. Grandparents, after all, are meant to be the fun ones – it is not our job to dwell on the struggles of first time parenthood. Instead, as reward for the years we spent rearing our irrational and, at times, ungrateful children, we are allowed to bask in the splendor of a child we can spoil, fill with excessive sugar products, and send home to torture their parents. Acceptance grows out of denial. But be warned, call me Granny and I will gut you like a pig. My willingness to accept such a position only goes so far.
…that I don’t completely hate the holiday season. I discovered that I like Christmas music, baking cookies, and long walks on sandy beaches sipping fruity drinks with little umbrellas…oh wait…that last one was just my holiday happy place. My bad.
…that saying goodbye to a kitty I’ve had for 16 years is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a very long time. We will miss you and your sweet, quirkiness, Pistachio.
…that my daughter becomes more and more like me every day. In some ways I think this is a good thing – I am independent, dedicated, and emotionally tough. Good traits. On the other hand, I am sarcastic, snarky, and bitchy. Not traits one strives to pass along to their children.
The other day, my daughter and I were standing in line at the Gap, in front us were a mother with a young girl. When they reached the counter, the woman at the counter said to the child:
“Oh, I love your Hello Kitty shirt! Do you know what my name is?”
The woman moves her sweater and shows the girl her name tag. Her name was Kitty. My daughter rolled her eyes and, in a voice laced with sarcasm, said:
“Oh Jeez! That’s what I want to do when I grow up. Name my daughter Kitty. Wonder if her last name is Cat.”
Of course, being the responsible parent that I am, I admonished her for saying such a thing – after I was able to stopping myself from laughing hysterically.
All in all, I think 2011 was a pretty good year for the Isaacs family. I’ve had worse. Much, much worse. I have high hopes for 2012. It is the year I will finish my novel.
Happy New Year!