up on the watershed

Thursday, December 31, 2009

it's over? what?

It's hard for me to believe how fast 2009 disappeared. The first half largely sucked but the second half was quite good to me and overall, I'd say it was a decent year. I'd like 2010 to bring more awesomeness.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before? Ran a half marathon, went to lots of new travel spots.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't have any. Win! I had a mid-year resolution and succeeded at it pretty well, though.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! My cousin did.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No. This year was blessedly funeral free (again, thankfully).

5. What places did you visit? Too many to list, as I traveled more than 66 nights this year. Highlights: Denver, Madison, Alaska, and the Deep South.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Career clarity. (Still!)

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hm. Hard to say--the last full weekend in October, for sure (heartache!), the week I spent in the South.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Finding my way again, in almost every facet possible.

9. What was your biggest failure? Letting 'em get the best of me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? My foot was jacked up after the race for awhile, but nothing permanent or noteworthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought? All of the travel, new running shoes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My loved ones continue to be awesome.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? No one I can really think of.

14. Where did most of your money go? House fund and travel (same story, different year!).

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Alaska, new possibilities and fresh starts.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? "Down" by Jay Sean. It's in my head constantly.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner!
c) richer or poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Relaxing.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Working, laundry.

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? In Milwaukee and Madison, per usual.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Nope.

22. How many one-night stands? Zero.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Oh man, the best thing I watched this year was Gossip Girl. For real.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2009? Handed out candy for Halloween, ate delicious party food, went to Mass, had brunch, and lounged on the couch.

25. What was the best book you read? "Bonk" is both smart and funny.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Hm. I really don't have an answer to this one.

27. What did you want and get? Awesome trips and some good companionship.

28. What did you want and not get? A new job and a house.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? The Hangover.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Always.

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? See 28.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Trendy school marm.

33. What kept you sane? My friends and family.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Pass.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? All this healthcare hoopla.

36. Who did you miss? My family.

37. Who was the best new person you met? I can't pick just one.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. "Work is love made visible."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

v. funny, world.

Smart writers always include disclaimers. Good people lie, good people make bad decisions, good people will disappoint you. Good people, it turns out, can break your heart if given the opportunity.

So I've been dealing with that for the last several weeks, but the Universe was not through with me just yet. On Wednesday night, I got into the airport late and went to the rental counter to pick up my car. I'd reserved a compact car and the clerk asked if I still wanted that class. Yes, I said. I want something small. Okay, she said. I am going to put you in an HHR.

At this point, two thoughts ran through my mind simultaneously: one, an HHR is not small and two, that's what my most recent paramour drives. I had, myself, driven it for the first time just weeks earlier. Eff. But the clerk was nice, it was late on a holiday evening and I didn't want to give her a hassle, so I signed the contract and headed to the garage.

Where I found my car, in stall 91, to be the exact same make, model AND color as his. Haha, Universe. Haha.

But no. That wasn't the end of the funny jokes to be played this weekend. When I went to return the car less than 48 hours later, my aunt was about 10 minutes behind me as I needed to refill the gas tank before she picked me up, carless. I got lost on the way to the airport, losing a few precious minutes. When I finally arrived at the last gas station before the airport, I was woefully behind schedule and didn't want to keep my aunt waiting any longer than necessary.

It was at the precise moment that I realized the neighborhood around the airport is not exactly the kind of place you want to be friendly to your neighbors and yet, I could not figure out how to open the tank. There was no button in the car, no button on the key fob, no lever to pull, no little indentation in the tank cover for manual use. Nothing.

I spent more precious time searching for a way to open the tank and panicking because I could not figure out how I was going to get gas in the car, avoid the 6.99/gallon fuel charge and not totally inconvenience my loved one. After several minutes of exploration, it dawned on me that the only person I know who drives an HHR, let alone knows how to open the tank, was the paramour. And for a few minutes, I was convinced I was going to have to call him to ask how to get some damn gas in that car.

Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and I found the manual, which told me that all I needed to do was press on the rear of the gas tank door and it would open automatically. Press. Press. Press. Press. Nothing. The door was not moving. Thoughts of having to call the only HHR owner I know were flooding my mind again when suddenly, I slipped a nail under the cover and was able to wedge it open.

Crisis, as they say, averted. But Universe, you are ON NOTICE. No more harshing my mellow, please.

Friday, October 23, 2009

overheard on the phone

Her: Hey, we should go see that new Michael Moore film. I think it's called Capitalism: A Love Story.

Him: Ooh, yeah. Let's go see that this weekend. And then we can go shopping.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

and then 3 months slipped by

Have you ever felt like your life was made for you?

Let's deconstruct that question for a second. Presumably, YOUR life should be made for you. But how many of us are living a life we love, that we're happy with, that we can think the best of? Some friends of mine were discussing this a few weeks ago and I was as surprised as anybody to realize that yeah, since this summer sometime, I've routinely felt like my life was made for me to live. It's a good life, a happy life, a just life. The perfect life for me.

On July 1st, I made a commitment to change some things in my daily life, to bring a different energy to the world, and to make better choices for my body and to treat it well. I've done all those things and I have to say, I've been blown away by the results. I'm happier, healthier and more energetic than I can remember being in years. I know it sounds like I drank the Oprah Kool-Aid, but believe me when I say that since that day, I've been in a great place.

I'm as surprised as anybody to be in this place right now, both literally and figuratively. As alluded to below, I pined for my hometown so fiercely last year that I am flabbergasted to find myself charmed by my current town, loving my job, and feeling like I'm doing the best work I've ever done. No one, including me, thought I'd be in this place, this mental space, right now. But here I am.

A couple months ago, post-July 1st, I watched as a good friend of mine mouthed some Salt-N-Pepa lyrics, complete with very intentional eye contact, to her husband while we all danced, sweaty at a house party:

What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man. . .

Her message was unmistakable; she'd been looking for a good man and she'd found him. I left that party, that night, happy for my friends and also feeling as though something finally clicked in my dating psyche. I've never really set out to find a good man. Of course, I've dated and loved some good men. But I wasn't looking for them per se. I was looking for someone interesting, someone quirky, someone educated, someone progressive, someone bitingly sarcastic. But "good" wasn't on the list of qualifications and usually, once "good" was on the table, there was a marked decrease in interest on my part.

So I set about my business and began living this life that feels like it was made for me. And then one day, as if I conjured him up from my many lists of desirable qualities and even more that I didn't even know I desired, my good man showed up.

Don't mistake me, here, for someone saying her life is perfect because she's found a great partner. No. It's too early to write the final(or even next) chapter in this story. But I have to believe, if I am to believe anything at all, that finding my good life, feeling as though my life was made for me to live, and being truly happy with myself had a little something to do with attracting the same. He's got the right potion.