2015: A Retrospective

It’s that magical time of year when I binge on “Best Books of the Year” lists and “Hey, Remember These Folks Who Died” retrospectives. There’s just nothing like the week between Christmas and New Year’s for media that was lovingly created months ago for this, The Week of No Working.

In that spirit, I should have written this post eons ago, or at least kept notes throughout the year. But no. No, I’m going with the events that are still memorable at the end of the year / beginning of the new year since I couldn’t even get this posted remotely on time. Here are the highlights of my 2015:

Greatest adventure: I could say going to the UK or doing a “I’m 40!” fake triathlon. But really, those experiences and those of their ilk have one constant: My Guy. Not to be all sap-o-rama, but marriage is a great adventure. Everything is more fun with him. I try to remember this when I’m trying to figure out where I could hide his body.

Best medical revelation: When I did my annual health assessment for insurance, I learned that I’m on the verge of being a junky. Evidently, all sleep aids automatically put you in the “elevated risk” category for substance abuse. Oh, OK. Today, I use melatonin. Tomorrow? Heroin. Of course.

Most poignant reminder of our frailty and the precariousness of our every day: Oh, my sweet, sweet Big Doodle. We’ve had our ups and downs this year, and every day I’m thankful for your kind eyes and loving disposition.

“I have cancer? Is that like a rawhide?”

My husband’s favorite discovery: Chopping spinach before putting it in a salad. It’s easier to eat than those awkward, unwieldy leaves. Direct quote that I am not making up: “Chopped spinach is the greatest development of Q4.” Yes, he speaks Corporate.

Best gift idea ever: For my birthday, my family filled a container with little slips of paper, each stating something that one of them loves about me. I ugly cried while reading the slips. It was so humbling. If you need a gift for someone you love, do this. If you need a gift for someone you don’t love, don’t do this, because it would just be an empty container. Just regift them an empty container and don’t mention that it should have love notes in it but you don’t love them. You know.

Most joyful movie-going experience: Star Wars. Duh. I felt a thrill at the opening credits and was delighted throughout. It was like being a kid again, but with beer. Because they sell that at theatres now.

Most life-affirming gathering: All of my cousins, aunts and uncles, and various and sundry kid-type people gathered for a family reunion. There were 34 of us, so it was a gigantic undertaking. Huge kudos to my brother who coordinated the event and organized things like photo slide shows, Q&A sessions, and surveys. When my grandma was in her 80s and not in the greatest health, she attended a family reunion and reported, “It was better than any medicine.” Now I get it.

Funny, these highlights tend to focus on the people in my world. That’s hard for this little introvert to accept, but whatever. As long as we can be together and not, like, actively interact, that’s cool.

What were the high points of your 2015?

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  • Reply Shannan January 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I love this so much. My daughter gifted me the jar with the slips of paper for my birthday, and it really was the best gift ever. And yea for Star Wars! Thanks for sharing this and all your other awesome thoughts and words this past year!

  • Reply Patience_Crabstick January 1, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    I'm so sorry your sweet dog has cancer.

  • Reply Cinny January 2, 2016 at 3:17 am

    December 1st, 2014 I started a Blessings Jar …. a pretty little blue mason jar from a family wedding. Whenever I thought of a blessing I wrote it on a slip of paper, folded it, and put it in the jar. They were the everyday things we forget to notice: laughter, hugs, warm socks, a phone call, etc. My jar seemed pretty full at the end of the month, but being more aware of all those blessings was something else to put on one of my papers and I decided to continue into 2015. A year later, the little papers have been squished down many times to make more room in the jar. This little jar makes my heart soar!

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) January 3, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Those Big Doodle eyes… they melt me. Cancer sucks. And if I was given a jar like the one you describe, I would cry, too.
    That greatest adventure bit? I can totally relate — both the good times and the other.
    I've obviously not been to a theater in a long time, because: Beer? I need to go see Star Wars!

    Best of 2015? Son who dropped out of college is now working a job he enjoys and acting responsible, boy in college is doing well, the teen is maturing and not yet distracted by girls, the man I married is a retired nurse who is able to care for me 24/7 after the floor and my shoes/lack of shoes tried to kill me, and grandson was better for healing than pain killers. (Which, by the way, work better with a glass of wine. Take that, doctor!)

    It just goes to show that people, even when they drive us crazy, are often still the best parts of our lives.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin January 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Your list rocks. I felt the same way about Star Wars and I need to do that gift idea for someone. Brilliant.
    I think this year was significant in that I feel at peace and very comfortable with where I am and who I am in life. I've reduced a lot of the BS and feel like I've it a groove. It pleases me because I suspected my 40s would be this way.

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