The end of the year brings news and reports on how everyone's year has gone: places traveled to, lessons learned, children birthed, losses lived through, families gathered. For me it's all just underscored by the end-of-semester grades game: meeting with disgruntled students, emailing with disgruntled students, being cheered by the odd grateful student, and looking for my own assessments. How did I do this year?
Well (following the outline above), I traveled to England for the first (likely the last) time; and I moved to Connecticut, but not like a sane person moves house, since I keep going back every week and all my non-blow-up furniture is still in storage.
I learned a ton of interesting and useful things about various south, east and west (no north) Asian cultures, philosophies and films. I also "learned" a pile of less interesting and useful (to me) things about Ancient Greek language and civilization. And I'm still learning about how to get along with difficult people (such as myself) and how best to appreciate and express appreciation for the wonderful people in my life.
I adopted a second cat, who is neurotic in unique ways from my first (and younger) baby Buddy.
One of the wonderful people in my life was my grandmother, who died in the spring and was buried in a blizzard, bringing together cousins and more who wouldn't otherwise have caught up and reminisced and enjoyed the Photoshopping of our parents (Grandma's kids) into superheroes from "The Incredibles."
And now I've traveled (with said Buddy; his sissy Georgianna stayed with said wonderful friend Shawn in Mass.) down to TX to soak in the flam. Dad and I shopped till we dropped yesterday and are going back for more today.
I don't send Christmas cards or end-of-year letters, and I'm on an anti-anti-Happy-Holidays kick right now; but I do celebrate the reminder that both Christmas and the new year bring about redemption and hope and maybe even peace and love.