the lists: take 1

where do i begin?  i suppose on the friday before new years.  i joined a tradition with a couple of friends who make a list of things that happened the previous year, and a list of hopes and dreams for the coming year.  on that friday, none of us were in a very good place emotionally, and it was late.  we pulled out our lists from last year – my hopes and dreams for 2012 written in late 2011.  overall, pretty general – make new friends, eat more mindfully, enjoy my workout, date/take a lover/have a relationship, blah blah.  there were a couple of specific hopes i did accomplish – graduating and getting hired at my internship site.  that was cool.  but i was overall underwhelmed by the types of goals i  had – too vague, too lame.

anyway, once we looked at the hopes and dreams from last year, we had to write a new list of what actually happened in 2012.  i’d been dreading this moment for a while.  sitting in a little booth and perkins with two good friends, it took me a good couple minutes and a face full of tears to get my pen to write:

auntie barb died. 

grama died. 

i knew there would be something about it.  the acknowledgement of writing it on my list.  how many times have i poured my heart out on this blog about it?  yet writing it with a pen on my list made it very real.

“that happened,” i said aloud, after i finished writing and crying.


there were other sad and happy things on the list.  some notable moments:  my tattoo, dad’s visit, retiring from distance running, good work accomplishments, and starting a gratitude blog that turned into a grief blog.  as i was looking it over, i realized that 2012 could be summarized in 4 short statements.

school and work.


everybody died.

everything fell apart.

earlier in the day, i had pictured a more transformative experience in getting to write the hopes and dreams for 2013.  but the energy at the table was not celebratory, and it didn’t have that melancholy but hopeful vibe i was waiting to transition into.

6 thoughts on “the lists: take 1

  1. I know it wasn’t expressed from a place of happiness, but the first part of your post did make me smile…only because I could relate so well. And you are funny. But I am sorry for your year of losses. As my New Year approached, I thought, if anyone is so stupid as to ask me to reflect on last year, they will get kicked in the face! At least you tried…I just think that grief/loss trumps everything for a while. It’s like a big bully that crashes every party….it doesn’t care what day on the calendar it is. I attempted to ignore NYE (which wasn’t a complete success either) but now that the pressure of the day is behind me, I am noticing there are some things emerging that I want to reflect on or aspire to. I think they just needed to come out in a quieter time (while grief was sleeping off its hangover?)…Wishing some more positive moments for you.

  2. i’m sorry for yours, too. i meant to acknowledge that milestone with your dad that you mentioned in your last post. congratulations..? (i hope that part of my sense of humor is ok for you.) you survived it. in early december when media started pulling that end of the year countdown garbage, all i could think was blah blah fart noise.

  3. Agh. I understand that feeling and that place (too well). I think those shitty moments are good though because they take your breath away by bringing it all into focus: you have had an incredible year and from the sounds of it, a lot of it was spent taking care of others. So draining. Looking forward to seeing your 2013 list and I hope this is the year you get everything you need. (and a lover).

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