Well, that was a busy fall. Things went a bit pear-shaped with work and whatnot, and the tiny window of time in the evenings for luxuries such as blogging or staring vacantly into space shrunk to nothing. Which means I have almost no memory of the last six months, because I rely on this site to remind me of pretty much everything in life. It's going to take a lot of scrolling through Flickr and Facebook to reconstruct what has occurred in order to make this comprehensive, but I figured a wrap-up was the best way to wander along memory lane before we launch into 2015. (Here's last year's retrospective, for the terminally bored.)
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before? Started teaching Sunday School -- that is a post all its own, but it's every Southern woman's birthright to do this and so far I am loving it. Held my godson at his baptism. Hosted an old-school birthday party, complete with Hot Potato and Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey. Lost a hat and sunglasses in the ocean after being walloped by a huge wave (in Sea Island, GA). Rode a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Charleston, SC. Ate a Charleston Nasty biscuit (recommend). Took a ballet class after a ten-year hiatus (it felt SO awesome -- aside from the crushing soreness the next day -- and unfortunately I have let it slide since last spring because things got so crazy, but I will go again soon; at least now any hesitation I have about it is gone). Brought Felicity to a New York City Ballet children's workshop. Applied to a raft of ongoing schools for my daughter.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year in response to this question, I said I would focus on love in all its forms in 2014 -- trying to be more loving and accepting, doing more acts of love, spreading love around. I would say I succeeded, or at least I succeeded in making the effort. Of course, when your child is by nature a messenger of love, it makes this much easier. Felicity and I talk about unconditional love and kindness all the time, often at her insistence, and she's always saying things like, "Mama, I want to teach all the other kids to be kind and love each other" and "I have a loving heart; I share all my love with the world." So at least we know one person is open to receiving and giving loads of love around here!
For 2015, I resolve to continue doing the things I've been doing that make me feel good: focusing on love and positive things; being accepting of myself (and others, though that's always been easier for me); seeing the good in people and situations; running at least five times a week (even during Christmas week, I got up before dawn to run several times, because getting out there and cranking out a few miles makes me feel one zillion times better than sleeping in -- for years, I did not want to believe this, but now I know that for me it is absolutely true); reading as much as I can; getting plenty of sleep; hugging my daughter as much as she'll let me; and, most importantly, spending as much time as possible with family and friends. I'd like to do less of the things that sap my energy or make me feel like a lesser being -- basically anything that makes me feel less connected to other people than more, anything that saps my hope for humanity (Internet comments on controversial topics and any onslaught of terrible news must be avoided at all costs), and anything that makes me dwell in my own head too much.
3. Did anyone close to you have a child? Several friends had babies, although only a couple of them are local so I didn't get as many tiny baby snuggles as I might have liked.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not particularly close, but yes.
5. Where did you travel? To Isle of Palms, SC in April; to Denver in May (for business); to my hometown in June; to Sea Island, GA, in July (yes, it was hot, like surface-of-the-sun hot -- but other than that, so perfect); and to Melbourne, FL, in December for a wedding. We also drove out to the country several times to mooch off of our friends with a summer house and pool.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Well, hope springs eternal that a huge apartment with beautiful finishes and central air will become available at an affordable price with the same proximity to the park and subway that we have now. I would also like to have more nights of uninterrupted sleep -- usually, it's not Felicity getting me up at 4am (though sometimes she does call out for me when she has a leg cramp or "just needs a hug"), but rather my own nutty brain that wants to worry about the most outlandish things in the wee hours of the morning.
7. What moments from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory? Swimming with Felicity in SC when it was about 50 degrees out with driving winds ("We're swimming in the cold like CRAZY PEOPLE!"), and playing on the beach together in our pajamas. Felicity and Maggie running around Central Park in matching dresses, holding hands. Felicity running around Allison's parents' backyard in the early evening light while all the adults sat on the back deck sipping drinks and laughing about old stories. Felicity picking up live sand dollars from the sandy bottom of the shallows at Sea Island, then kissing each one before gently setting it back down in the water. Walking along the edge of the water during the most golden of golden hours, with Felicity splashing around in the sea foam, her blue sundress flapping in the breeze. Making s'mores over a fire pit at the Lodge after hearing a bagpiper play as the sun set. Watching Felicity play with and love on my parents (she especially loves to pull on my dad's ears and do flips from his hands -- he is ever so tolerant!).
Felicity running to hug her BFF Lily on the first day of school, and bonking heads instead (sigh). One of my favorite ballerinas of all time telling me in the elevator at the School of American Ballet, upon seeing Felicity in her ballet regalia (for a NYCB workshop for kids), that she HAS to audition when she's old enough (top five life moment right there). Taking my mom to see Serenade, her favorite ballet, at NYCB (after years of only seeing it on video). Watching Felicity play patty-cake and snuggle with her great-grandfather in Florida. Felicity making friends with a girl her age at my cousin's wedding and dancing the whole night with her (during a slow dance, she held her new friend tightly and said, "You're in our family now"). Seeing Felicity sing in the Christmas pageant (as the Archangel of Love again). Taking Felicity to the Nutcracker with my mom.
And so many more moments of Felicity exuding love, giving hugs, reaching out to other children (when other kids were leaving out one of the girls in her class, Felicity held out her hand and said, "I love you and want to play with you! Come join us!"), and becoming more confident and social and charming than ever (to random strangers on the street: "HI! We're going to CHURCH! My mom is going to teach SUNDAY SCHOOL! I love your dog!").
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Work stuff, plus juggling work, home/family, a social life, fitness, and what has suddenly become a full plate of volunteer activities. It turns out that I am at my best when I'm really busy (so long as I get a solid breather at regular intervals).
9. What was your biggest failure? I still have just the worst time figuring out what to have for breakfast every morning.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Considering that last winter was brutally cold and endless and all kinds of nasty things were going around, I was remarkably lucky not to have gotten more than a couple of passing colds. Joe was not so lucky. Felicity, fortunately, has an iron constitution; maybe twice this year she ran a temperature and one time she threw up, but other than that she's incredibly stalwart (knock on wood).
To be continued...