happy happy holidays.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

And what a happy holiday break it has been.

I'm sitting on my couch at home, sipping a peppermint mocha which marks my second cup of coffee for the day, watching the 49ers embarrass themselves in the first half of their game against Arizona. Some things never change.

I've been home for just over two weeks, soaking up family time and extra sleep, trying to stay warm in the icy cold depths of the central valley. And by icy cold, I mean bitter winds and frosty mornings. Apparently snow doesn't exist here, which is fine by me. Since arriving home after finals, I've been able to finally relax...which is something I feel as though I didn't get enough of this past semester. The thought that school will officially start up again in a week and I am Santa Barbara bound this Thursday makes me cringe a little, as the reality of upcoming homework and assignments makes me wish this break could last longer.

But it has been wonderful being home, and the holidays were a little extra merry this year as my brother and his girlfriend announced their engagement, and the celebrations really began. Lots of dinners out, toasts, champagne, the beginning of wedding plans and too many "It's about time" and "Finally!" responses. Jared and Sally getting married makes for double the excitement, as my brother is getting married, which is huge, and one of my really close friends is getting married, which is also huge. Regardless, this has been a long time coming (try 20 years of knowing each other and 6 and 1/2 years of dating), and I am very excited for both of them. A fall wedding in Boston? Count me in.

The annual end of the year festivities always makes me look at this year in rewind. To remember the defining characteristics of the past 12 months and look forward to the next 12. A year ago, as I was filling up the pages of my previous journal as 2011 wound down, I wrote down these words. 2012, please be good to me. It's ironic that I would ask seemingly such a simple statement. What would "good" mean anyway? A year without pain? A year without hurt? Or a year that was satisfactory in every way possible?

2012 has been a good year. The extraordinary has balanced with the low points, creating an overall good year. It hasn't been extremely amazing or terribly bad. 2012 pushed me out of comfort zone, in a lot of different ways. Throw caution to the wind and explore the Middle East for a semester. Spend a summer up at Outpost. Step into the shoes of an RA and serve a section of 25 absolutely incredible women. Continue the ever-confusing process of "growing up." It's the last few days of the year, and I'm raising my eyebrows at everything I've accomplished, not out of judgement, but more or less out of astonishment.

I'm not one for new years resolutions. I kicked that out of my life pretty early, as most of you know, after the initial two weeks of carefully following everything died out and you find yourself at square one. Somewhere in April you decided to take back everything and start over, only to discover somewhere during the summer that you stopped along the way. School starts in August and you get quite busy, and by the time Thanksgiving arrives you are already thinking of the resolutions for next year, choosing to ignore those you couldn't complete in the year that is almost over. That's a pattern for most of us - choosing to ignore current or past conditions and always look to the future. It has its. But it is also rather dangerous.

These days I've been tying up loose ends on 2012, trying to get my act together before Tuesday arrives and 2013 makes it's grand entrance. I don't make resolutions anymore, but I do set goals. Things to work on, things to improve, things that are important to me. Tangible things. Things that actually can happen. They include but aren't limited to, getting into running shape again (Santa Barbara Marathon, anyone?), writing new music, saving more money, getting enough sleep, various RA-related goals, and so on. It gives me a checklist for the year, something I really can actually work with and strikethrough when finished. It helps me start the year off right.

I'm freshening up things around here, toying with new layouts and brainstorming for where this whole blog thing will go during this next year. I realized somewhere along this summer that I actually know a lot of people who follow what I write, enjoy what they read, and share it with others. Thank you, for all of that. Knowing someone reads and appreciates what you write makes writing just all the more enjoyable. Who knows - perhaps there is more concrete writing coming from me in the future. We'll just have to see where this whole blog thing takes me.

But for now, I bid 2012 goodbye, an overall good year.
May 2013 be even better.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? 
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne? 

For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne 
We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Respectfully submitted,