as 2008 comes to close, i feel the need to share lessons learned in the past year.
perhaps as a means of reflection.
perhaps as a way to bring closure to a tremendous chapter.
perhaps as a method of humor.
perhaps as a venue to vent.
regardless, the year has been full of lessons that i don't want to forget.
in no particular order...
1. when making salsa, 'tis better to use food processor rather than a jack lalane juicer.
2. put ever single expression your child makes in your back pocket and save it because they change always (i will miss the way she smiles when she sees herself in the mirror).
3. when something happens - the birth of a baby, the death of a loved one, the severing of a leg - meals rock. especially ones with dessert.
4. my mom still makes better cinnamon-sugar toast than i ever will.
5. i can listen to dave over and over and over again and never get tired of him.
6. baby kisses are beyond words.
7. being healthy and feeling healthy are far better than losing weight.
8. age is inevitable. my body and mind are my responsibility and i must start taking care of them now.
9. scrapbooking is actually quite therapeutic.
10. when you break your leg WHILE pregnant, your ass tends to pay the price.
11. when the doctor says 'three months recovery', he really means 'about a year'.
12. pacifiers are completely acceptable, especially when rushing through target at mach ten.
13. every second you can spend with your child is precious - even the ones when they fuss/vomit/poop all over themselves.
14. 'home' is not necessarily your house.
15. unfortunately, it really does take a world of shit to figure out who really gives a shit.
16. i think i finally understand just how much my daddy loves me because i get to watch bill love charlie.
17. you really should be nice to your nurses - they empty bags full of your urine.
18. showers are priceless and i will never take them for granted again.
19. nursing is one of the most special things i have ever experienced.
20. the whole being pregnant thing is worth it - even if it did suck.
21. you will find people that love and care about you in the most unexpected corners.
22. peppermint mocha creamer is a little taste of heaven at 5:15 in the morning.
23. i am stronger than i thought i was.
24. i am amazed at how much trauma my body can handle.
25. i am hopeful i never have to put it through that much at once again.
26. quitting smoking is not the hardest thing in the world.
27. my husband is far more optimistic and positive than i think i ever gave him credit for.
28. my husband is the strongest person i never knew i knew. he is the cheese to my macaroni.
29. vanity is overrated.
30. even on my worst day, someone is struggling more than i.
31. history can be washed away.
32. it is important to be alone sometimes.
33. 'it' can happen to you.
34. titanium has a 30 year shelf life when used in joint repair, but can last forever when used to stabilize bones.
35. muscles can be grafted to function as tissues.
36. 'decaf' is a myth - there is still 'caf' in it.
37. i am replaceable when it comes to my job, so i should therefore always strive to do a better job.
38. everyone's 'hell' looks different.
39. some choose to stay there for reasons beyond my comprehension.
40. drama is best left to the 8th graders.
41. chirst was probably close to two years old when the magi found him.
42. my sister is the best friend i always had. there is no one else i would prefer hold my leg and wash my hair.
43. even married love has limits. but my mom is still willing to help me wipe my ass.
44. having a baby makes you cry a lot more and get mad at the news more often.
45. words are made up of morphographs - for example '-ing' is morphograph.
46. i am still my parents' little girl.
47. coloring books help when you're in pain.
48. becoming a parent changes you.
49. i worked with and knew a great writer. david foster wallace was a kind man and always made sure the first-year english dept. receptionist was having a good day. his words are infinite.
50. savor every moment.
but the ones that hold permanence in my mind are these:
my husband loves me and holds tight to the vows we made when we wed; through sickness and health, rich and poor - we were put through them all this year. he looks at me today and sees me. sees to the depths of me. sees past scars, ten extra pounds and bags under the eyes. he loves me no matter what, and for that i love him a hundred times more than the day before.
a child truly is miracle. charlie is a miracle in her own special way and always will be in my eyes. she is a survivor and showed more strength before she even entered the world than most adults would demonstrate under such duress. she is amazing and i am thankful every day that i get to know her and have her in my life. beyond words.
my sister is an incredible soul. she has the heart of a nurturer and is in the right field. she carried me through my injury, pregnancy and birth of my baby. she is my best friend and an incredible woman. she will be an incredible mother someday and i only hope i can give her quarter of the encouragement she's given me the past year.
my parents. i think i finally get it. i always knew i was loved, but i think i fully comprehend to what extent now. 'thank you' will never be enough...for the last year, for the last 28 years...i am who i am because of who they are as parents. when i look at charlie i pray that i can be the parent that they have been and continue to be to me. they are my heroes. to the moon.
as i close for the year, i close with this.
to those of you that have been there...
who sent cards every week
who brought food
who came by just to make sure i was okay
who brought coloring books
who brought magazines
who lifted boxes
who cried with us
who made the drive
who brought me starbucks
who drove me around
who held charlie
who sent me e-mails all day long
who showed love if even in the smallest way
my deepest thanks.
my deepest gratitude.
thank you for the lessons.
i look forward to another year full of new learning.
i leave you with two because both apply -
"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"
and lastly -
"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man." ~Benjamin Franklin
happy new year.