Twenty-Twelve is going to be my year. I hope I didn't just jinx it by saying that, but I just feel that it is.
The year of new opportunities! New places! New faces! For one, I've booked a photography gig for in August. I will be compensated for this. Maybe more people will offer me money for the taking of the pictures. Maybe?? Mike & I are thinking of a move to a new house and we hope, God (or biology, if you prefer)-willing, to "add to staff" this year*.
(*to be clear, I'm not in a family way. It's just no secret I would like to have another baby, and, you know, 2012 seems as good a year as any.)
Anyway, it's not a bad way to feel this way about the future, especially since I have had to suffer with some really tough losses in 2009 & 2010, close both in relation and in space of time, that leveled the hell out of me. And then this past summer, I lost a dear friend from my childhood, my best friend when I was young, and losing a friend your own age, quite suddenly - Lord knows that gets you to become more introspective in addition to the grief, but honestly? Lately I end my work day, usually during the 2 minute drive home from the train station to my house, thinking, "Shit, I am really happy. I mean, I think this is what really happy feels like."
That is not to say there isn't a rough day or rare cluster of days that hit me, but there's been a definite shift of bad days to good, and while I fully endorse a cathartic cry every now and again, it's nice to see those no longer DAILY events or even weekly.
With the new year here, I made a few pledges to myself. I won't call them resolutions exactly, but, pledges. Honest to God attempts. General ideas. You know, really, I'm just spit-balling here. (And I'm sure if did a thesaurus check, I could get called out, but then I think you need to settle down there, little fact checker, you.)
#1. Chill with all the God damn motherfucking swearing.
This is not necessarily because I am trying to be a better person per se, but because I now have an 18 month old who is learning words. And I don't need her going to daycare and seeing this scenario unfold:
[Kid refuses to share toy with my daughter]
Carolyn: "What the fuck's his problem?"
Believe it or not, I'm not cool with that. As it is, I bear witness to her mimicking me on the phone, down to my "...yeah....yeah....". (Apparently I say "yeah" a lot. ) She also has my laugh down, I hear it when she watches TV (Mickey's Clubhouse). It will likely lose something here, but it's a dry, quick, "heh" kind of laugh. I've watched the show, many times unfortunately, and still don't get the appeal. Fortunately for her, her street-cred is protected by being (legitimately) entertained by How I Met Your Mother (re-runs, not the current season). Anyway, I need to knock it off and class it up and that is what I'm going to do. But as God as my witness, I will not starting supplementing stupid replacement words/silly catchphrases to counteract these new omissions from my lexicon (I would just assume to remain mute, if that's my choice).
"No potty mouths here..."
2. Cook more.
Yes, it's been well broadcasted, even documented in my circle how little I cook, and how little I will intentionally survive off of it left to my own devices**. To me, food is just food, unless someone else is willing to bring it (and cook it, and put it on a plate and suddenly, I'm a realllllybig fan). The end of 2011 showed signs of me making some effort, mainly in the baking arena (I do a pretty great Irish soda bread and I actually made these NINJAbread cookies at Christmas for my niece Grace aka "The Little Ninja":
Hand painted, if you can believe that.
I also made exactly (1) mean meatloaf on 2011 which ended in great peril (1st degree burn) because apparently those oven mitts in the drawer 12 inches right of the stove aren't just a (motherfucking)cooking fashion statement and actually serve an actual purpose. (I still have the scar to prove it.) (God Damnit)
(** somewhere on this blog is a photo of a sink full of spoons (apt. had no dishwasher, and washing dishes wasn't my thing either), as there was a week my left town and all I ate was pudding and jello.)
I've been given a cook book for Christmas, and nothing seems too far off the grid for things I might want to eat, so I might try (note to Mike:o-ccaaasionally) to step in and assist. Ya know, what the heck.
3. Stop wasting money.
Okay, sounds like a lay up, but believe it or not my husband spent many a month in 2011 begging & pleading with me to quit the not one, but TWO (not cheap) gym memberships I was not using. So while the rest of the planet is making the resolution to get in shape and crowd the gyms for the next 6 weeks (give or take), I've actualy taken to quitting the gyms. (Merry Christmas, Miguel!)
Lest I be accused of being a total lump, or one who is making a concerted effort to abscond with the goal personal fitness and increased health cardio and weight training may bring, please take note that I am diverting those formerly wasted funds to play soccer again, a weekly event I will 1. show up for and 2. look forward to going. See, everybody wins. Well, I win, I guess.
The following are other areas I would like to improve upon but not because it's 2012 or anything:
1a. Grow out my hair
1b. Once a week, try to do something with my hair so that I go to work with my version of"good hair" and not save it for a random trip to Babies R Us on the weekend.
2.. Write more.
3. Take more photography classes, set up a website.
Oh, speaking of photography, this was our Santa photo this year.
As is the case with a large number of kids in her age bracket, The Man in Red terrified her. This photo here was not her first pass. The first attempt, her decked out in a cute red dress, was denied as she clung to me like a koala mid-panic attack. I decided to forgo the photo of her crying on his lap, reaching out for me. I just couldn't do it.
But we found ourselves in a store with a Santa and no line and she seemed to be in a pretty content mood so we decided to give it one more shot. Still, she was terrified. Or perhaps really, really concerned, and clung to me again in a "don't you even think about it" way. I tried to coax her, had her on the lap this time, but she was wiggling her way off, and so, I did what was the next best thing and sat next to Santa and ducked behind her. So that is how the picture of a floating kid and chapped looking Santa for our 2011 Santa photo came to be.
Between Attempt #1 (planned, no photo) and Attempt #2 (unplanned, awkward photo) I had tried to do something for our Christmas card that recreated a "Carolyn with Santa" experience. Alas, the photo I'd initially thought would go in the recyle bin, ended up being my favorite. Anyway, I hope your holidays were great and spent with the people you wanted to spend them with. Here's to the the 20-12.