2012, you’re a blur. A hard year, during which it seems I mainly worked. Worked hard at a new job and then came home and worked nights and weekends on my neverending novel revision. (I have still spent nearly all of holiday break grumping around as I try to finish this latest go-round.) But it’s important to look back. I used to record a bit of every day into my Moleskine agenda. It’s been many many years since I’ve kept anything so luxurious as a diary, and I think I read once that Leonard Woolf, Virginia’s husband, didn’t go in for diarying either, but kept a notebook with expenses and short to-do lists, appointments, etc. From that you can reconstruct your life. So I keep things like movie ticket stubs, and I know that receipts (if they are old enough) take on magical summoning properties—and other flotsam, trusting they will someday transform into madeleines. And I try to write a line or two of summary in the agenda – though now I find I go back and do a month or two at a time. That’s the wrong way to go. (Resolution: Do it each night from now on.)
I’m cheating on my revision now to write this—I have only a little time to write—but here are highs from the past year.
Crossfit: Someday I’ll write a longer post about this. But the fact that I can now execute a squat while holding 70 pounds over my head is nothing short of miraculous. I’ve had to do things that terrified me. I couldn’t do handstands when I started. Hated them. Prayed, please no handstands in the workout today. Now I eat handstands for breakfast – raaah! Also, when you’re middle-aged, you know what you’re good at and you tend to do that stuff only. It’s REALLY good to do things at which you suck.
Watching: No movies really stick out for me this year. Shame, which I thought was great, was officially released in late 2011, so I’m going strict here and won’t count it. The movie I LOVED most was Moonrise Kingdom and with secondmost love: 2 Days in New York. Enjoyed Beasts of the Southern Wild. In kids movies, (which I’ve seen plenty of) Pirates: Band of Misfits. Reluctant “mehs” to Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, and The Hobbit. I am SO tired of same-looking CGI and endless battle/chase/alien smackdowns, it’s all boring as hell. But I haven’t been to many movies this year and I haven’t yet seen a lot of the Oscar bait – Lincoln, Django Unchained, etc. On TV I’ve really enjoyed Girls, Portlandia, Homeland. Somehow I’ve fallen behind on Breaking Bad. But Breaking Bad is in a lifetime Hall of Fame all by itself, so it little matters what year I get to it.
Category by himself: Martin Freeman? BEST. HOBBIT. EVER.
Life: My children are growing up. I don’t know how to write about them—certainly not on a dashed off blog. But they are entering new phases of life at 11 and almost 8. I’m struggling to be a good mother and often just feel overwhelmed by that: the PTA meetings I don’t go to anymore, the playdates I can’t manage to coordinate, the alternatives to screen time that I’m desperately trying to provide. And then in a larger life sense, I wish life were not so narrowly focused. I have hardly any time for friends, let alone volunteering, but I wish I were doing something … extra. Gun violence in our country and the ongoing violence against women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India …. you’re getting me down. I have a wish to do more with my life than what I’m currently doing and a wish to have it count as something that positively impacts other people. I sense a reckoning looming – I’ve gotten too busy and too stressed and it’s gone on far too long with too little restoration. Reckoning, I put you off. But for how much longer?
Reading: Thanks to my new system of index cards, I’m keeping track of every book I read and when I read it and what my reactions are to it. In 2012 I read slightly more than 30 books. Highlights:
Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
Bleak House by Dickens
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
True Grit by Charles Portis
Immortal Beloved series by Cate Tiernan
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
Music: Kendrick Lamar! For which I am endlessly teased by our guitar teacher (who’s always like, “I didn’t know you …!” This time it was “I didn’t know you listened to rap!”). So now whenever she sees me she’s like (scary rapper voice) “Stand up. Drank. Sit down. Drank.” And I’m like, “That’s not even my favorite song of his!!!” Good Kid M.A.A.D City just delivered on all levels. Loved it.
Happy 2013 to all!!!