Though calendars are man-made and today really is just another day in the big scheme of things, it seems like a great opportunity to pull together a highlight reel from the last 365 days. Gotta admit, from where I sit right now, I'd place 2009 at the very top of my list of Favorite Years of my Existence. This might come as a surprise to any high schoolers who are being continually told that "these are the best days of your life," because I promise that it really can be soooo much better than keg parties with the cheerleaders and ditching class to make out with the boyfriend/girlfriend-o-the-week.
I should probably start small and build up, but I can't resist mentioning the biggest event first. I'd been waiting for this to come about for many years, seeking the answer high and low and near and far. Who knew it was waiting for me in the Chair of Fabulosity? This, of course, was my epiphany that I want to be a dietitian when I grow up. So many more good things have fallen into place as a result of this finding. And to keep things from dragging out for a dozen more paragraphs, we'll tie in going back to school too. I am frequently amazed at how much I enjoy learning in a classroom setting. It's a shame I missed so much the first time around. Ahhhh, second chances...how I adore thee.
Another biggie was getting the divorce finalized. Though Martin and I were playful enough to attempt an April Fool's declaration, and the marriage was toast long before the judge signed the papers, it was a big step in my independence to push it through and truly be done with that chapter of my life.
The biggest physical fitness challenge of the year was running my first half-marathon. Unfortunately (or not), it left me hungry for more. We'll cover that in an upcoming New Year's Resolutions post, though.
I made a few solid attempts at holding tightly to my youth in '09 as well. I think getting my nose pierced earns first place, jumping off a cliff takes a close second and the Miss Congeniality award goes to Viv. I don't think I had ever given myself a birthday gift of any variety, so I had several years to make up for and a stylin' green scoot seemed like the perfect treat after 38 missed opportunities.
But it can't always be ponies and rainbows (as Audrey might say). After nine months of a patchy rash (and some less-than-pleasant gastrointestinal effects), I learned that the precious wheat for which I was an advocate had betrayed me. A gluten intolerance shook my Hottie with a Grain Mill persona and left me lost in the kitchen for a few months. I have since learned more than your average dietitian knows about dozens of other flours and am back to weekend muffin making and bread baking. I still occasionally long for the simplicity of my old recipes and the ease of grabbing a sandwich when out and about, but will chalk all of this up as a learning opportunity of some variety. I'll get back to you when I figure out the lesson...
The last several years have been quite lean, but I was able to treat the kids to a couple of small, yet monumental trips in 2009. First to St. Louis over their spring break, but the best was to Joy Agent 007's cabin at the lake. Two-plus days of nothing-but-fun did wonders for all of our spirits.
The biggest surprise was learning that I'm no longer one of those "young invincibles" we hear about in reference to health insurance reform. Though still in the thick of getting care for it, learning that I'd experienced a stroke and have a hole of some variety in my heart has been as big a surprise as I could have ever imagined I'd experience at my age. While aware that I'm no spring chicken, I certainly didn't expect to become a regular at the medical center at this time. "Eye opening" would be putting it mildly.
And the icing on the cake of my full year has been my reunion with Wasabi. While I promised to take it easy here, I'll say that his presence in my life is heartwarming and an absolute joy. And since he takes me to the ER when I have medical emergencies...well, that gets him bonus points.
So there it is in a nutshell. Good thing I saved the nut, added it to fresh baby greens, threw in a juicy ripe pear, some goat cheese (of course) and a lovely balsamic drizzle. Happy New Year!