So I know I’m a little late getting to this one, as this prompt was from a few weeks ago, but it feels so relevant today that I still had to write it.
Looking back and reflecting on the year is something that I’m not really a huge fan of. Just because the numbers on the calendar are changing, I shouldn’t be any more or less grateful or pensive about what I do or don’t have. But this daily prompt from WordPress really struck me, because I knew I would be very hard-pressed to find things to include.
Not because 2012 was uneventful or unhappy. God no. But, more than any year I’ve had, 2012 has been a year not of things but of experiences.
A lot of years I could have rattled off any number of physical items that would be perfect to fill a time capsule–ticket stubs, souvenirs from trips with family, pictures of my friends. And while 2012 contained its fair share of those things too, the intangible ones are what stick out in my mind as the most meaningful and wonderful about the last 365 days.
But since the oh so kind people at WordPress have tasked me with actually choosing, here’s my list. In no particular order and far from inclusive.
My KitchenAid mixer. Or at least a picture of it–I’m definitely not about to part with it for good. But since I got it for my birthday this summer, it would be a perfect representation of how wonderful it was to turn 24 this year. Not a particularly special or memorable number, but I felt so amazingly loved on my day.
A volleyball. 2012 has brought me so many amazing opportunities in both coaching and playing the sport that I love so much. There is an incredible feeling of family at the gym where I coach, and I really feel accepted and welcomed there. My girls from that first season will always hold a special place in my heart, because through them I was able to discover that maybe I do have the patience to teach someone this game. Those 10 girls–while they drove me absolutely insane probably half the time–were sweet and understanding and full of potential. I owe them a lot, especially as I’m learning to transition into my second team.
A cookbook. Please don’t make me choose just one, though. I’ve pushed myself this year to cook and bake and create things outside my comfort zone. Three of my very favorite bloggers published cookbooks in the last year (Joy the Baker, Smitten Kitchen, and Macheesmo), and I’ve loved being able to cook alongside them. Through them, this year has been a time for me to expand my tastes both in my own kitchen and out in the world. While I still wouldn’t be considered an adventurous eater by anyone’s standards, hopefully someday I’ll come close.
My car keys. For the better part of the year, I was in a long distance relationship–probably not the smartest choice, knowing my personality. It meant I spent a ton of time on the road, traveling to and from the northern Chicago suburbs. The time I spent “with someone” but not actually with him has completely changed me. I’ve had to grow in ways I never thought I could, and I learned things about myself that were, at times, kind of hard to take. It was a huge learning experience for me, but I am beyond grateful to have the new man in my life only a short drive across town.
So bring it on 2013. The last year may have been real and heartbreaking and fabulous and intangibly fulfilling, but I know what comes next will be even better.