Monday, December 31, 2012

year in review

2012 was rather cluttered with major life events and adjustments. I didn't even realize how much until I was looking back.

In May Claudio and I finally got divorced. The vast majority of the delay was on me; I didn't want to be available. I didn't want to be expected or able to date again, because it was safer to treat my house as a little convent and resign myself to solitude. I was quite sure that, at thirty-five, your choices are either settle or be alone, and I wasn't going to settle. It was easier when I could respond to my friends' queries about when I was going to start dating by saying, "Well, technically I'm still married." But eventually I realized this had to be dealt with, and I managed to trust my friends enough to respond to the question with, "Possibly never, because the prospect terrifies me." (And, of course, there was the part of me which didn't want to give Claudio what he wanted. I can be self-sabotagingly petty.)

All year my little VW was a money pit, and in August it finally died. I retrieved the absurd muscle car from Claudio, and then got broadsided by a twenty-year-old in November, and spent the next five weeks driving a rental. The Mustang is home now, but it was not a good year for vehicles.

Appliances did not fare so well either. The year began with the furnace giving out (easily fixed by the repairman removing the tonnage of dog hair clogging it) and ended with the washing machine going kaput. In between the dryer also gave out, after waging a long and hard war against the aforementioned dog hair. I have new adorable little versions of washer and dryer, so all is well.

On the cancer front: in March the MRI showed unmitigated good news; in September the mammogram provided mitigated good news. I am very nervous about this coming March, when I will have both a mammogram and an MRI to investigate the worrisome spots. The irony, of course, is that the more worried I am the less well I take care of myself (more TV-watching-paralysis and nervous eating; less exercise, meditation, and general optimism). So I am working on that.

And, of course, I fell in love, which has been blissful and frightening and ridiculously easy. We live seventy miles apart and there are going to be challenges in changing that, but it's all been so natural and simple. Two hours after I arrived home from our first date, I found myself fretting slightly about how long I should wait to call him, and instantly the phone rang; he wanted to tell me what a wonderful time he'd had. Since then I have had my little moments of fretting, of not feeling good enough, but those moments are mostly swallowed up in the comfort of knowing that he feels the way I do.

The year was, in many ways, how I predicted it would be. There were days when the vet's bill was massive, when the car didn't start, when I hated my body. I completely gave up on the idea of living without cheese: my skin does look better when I'm not eating dairy, but it's not worth it. I occasionally had caffeine and was an entertainingly crazy person for it. There were days when my envy returned and took away all the grace I possess. There were, thankfully, no days when a drink seemed like a good idea, and I celebrated seven years sober in October.

There were court dates and arguments about money; and there was the fact that Claudio and I were in hysterical giggles when we filed for divorce due to the misspelled and grammatically incorrect signs at the courthouse. Couldn't have predicted that.  

I didn't predict at all that there would be a handsome bearded man with a delicious baritone. I didn't predict there would be dancing.

I said last year that I knew 2012 wouldn't be a fairy tale. But it was: it just wasn't the ending. It was the part with the trials and the thorns, because that is what life is, and there is magic in those parts as well. And 2013 will be like that too.

There will be days when a bill is larger than expected, and days when it's less. There will be stressful medical appointments, but with fantastic people. There will be Handel and Bach and Mozart; bluegrass and loud girl-pop shouted in the car; tea and chocolate and oranges. There will be laughing until I cry with friends old and new, and stompy boots, and the two most wonderful dogs in all the world. There will be the days I love my bones. There will be the mornings when being thirty-six means one of my knees wakes up saying, "Nope, not today." There will be books and books and books. I hope there will be more writing than there has been lately. By my door a few sea roses are still hanging on, stubbornly, among the thorns.

There are trials ahead, but I'm not afraid of the forest. I'll pull up my hood, gather my wolf*, my woodsman, and my brindle familiar, and see where the path leads.

A very happy New Year to all.

*Darcy is not really a wolf, but you wouldn't know that from looking at him.

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