>2010 Reflections

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And I’m not just talking about my new running jacket…
I’m talking about looking back at what a long, strange trip 2010 was.  From my quick and rather superficial analysis of my social networks…it wasn’t a particularly fantastic one for many.  For others, it brought new beginnings, unexpected challenges, and many life lessons.
Thinking back, I have many memories, and I’m very fortunate…I think most of them are pretty positive…or maybe I choose to remember mostly those ones…  Either way, this is a very long run on sentence.  Actually, I don’t think its technically a sentence…
We made the decision to eat clean and get 154 Woodridge healthy ~ started this blogging adventure ~  welcomed my best friend’s daughter, Auttie Grace, to the world (and surprised her at her shower, AND got to hold beautiful Auttie in April!) ~ took our first family ROAD TRIP to DISNEY WORLD (and survived!) ~ lost those few last baby pounds and then some (baby is 4, I know) ~ survived – and I think thrived with –  a challenging work load, many Heart Balls, Heart Walks and Luncheons ~ met some fantastic people, many who have survived cardiovascular disease or stroke ~ got to work with Kelly MacFarland who’s smile alone can make you giggle with happiness ~ was a model in a fashion show (thanks, Julie…I still want that dress) ~ became one with the life of a road warrior, spending quality time at rest stops, parking lots, various Starbucks…sometimes on the phone, sometimes just escaping ~ learned an incredible friend was expecting and was able to be there to lend a hand and an ear ~ spent some of the most amazing summer days on Nantucket with the dearest of friends and family ~ celebrated the girls birthdays from remote locations – the Cape (Maddy, I still owe you a good cake…Mommy tried…) and Vermont (such a good time with family, milking artsy cows and all) ~ ran 2 road races ~ experienced the absolute fear you feel when the love of your life has surgery…and it takes a whole lot longer than expected…and then the joy of watching him recover so well (and that darn recliner…ugh!) ~ said goodbye to loved ones (Pop, Emmy, Gail), but celebrated their lives by sharing so many memories ~ watched national and international stories unfold – some tragic (Haiti, oil), some miraculous and joyous (coal miners) – and the commentaries on society and our world that followed ~ spent time with Kim while she was in Boston on and off…and loved every second ~ Maddy started Kindergarten!!! (and has all that comes with it from pining for an older man, to an attitude that makes you swear she’s 16…and we can no longer spell things when we talk…she does.) ~ Emma has come into her own and took an art class that she thrived in ~ found out that I will be blessed with a niece in 2011 ~ welcomed Jessica back to Marlborough ~ got to share so much unconditional love and many milestones with my favorite little man, Des…I know there is more.  But that’s not so bad when you look back on it…
I did learn a lot.  I learned through the many experiences of this year to stop, listen and enjoy the present moment.  Capture it.  You may never be back in that moment, feeling or experience again.  I learned that I am weak…well, that I have weaknesses (the Perfectionista – I know!).  That we all do.  That we’re not mind readers, and that even the most solid of things needs care and attention.  I learned that love is tricky.  It is patient, it is kind, but it also comes in many forms.  I learned loving a lot is a good thing because it is an amazing thing – to care about people, and a mission, are amazing things.  That there is room in your heart to love many people on many different levels.  I finally figured out after all these years, that yes, your heart can ache from sadness and joy.  I also learned that I am loved, and sometimes, strange as it sounds, that’s hard to take.  I learned that I was built to always be busy…but that to be the best mom, wife, daughter, sibling, auntie, friend, employee…I’ve got to give me a little TLC.  I learned that I can tackle just about anything life throws at me with the love and support of family and friends.  I learned that relationships – whether professional, personal, romantic, whatever – take caring, nurturing, effort and energy, but when they get all that…the rewards are endless.  I learned a lot about friendship…and how to listen.  How to accept difficult things – words, emotions, actions…and grow from them.  And, sometimes the best gifts are the hardest to receive.  Man, at 33, I still had (and have) a lot to learn.
One thing I really hope to remember is that the foundation of any strong and solid relationship (any kind of relationship, really) is a good base.  A friendship that will carry you through the ups and downs, that gives you perspective on the other person, that helps you know and understand all there is to know about that person… A friendship that will outlast the new shininess of the relationship, and will grow old…happily…but with some work that you’re ready and willing to put into it.    So… keep in mind, whether they’re a friend, family, lover, partner in all things life…  be their friend.  Let them know you care enough about them as a person to figure it out…whatever it is.  Then, the rest will eventually fall into place… 
Before the sun is all the way up, I have to get this posted so I can bake some scones and healthy blueberry coffee cake for the brunch that starts in…oh, 3 hours and change!  
Thank you for letting me reflect…now…moving on to 2011.  Bring it! (but bring the coffee first, please)
Here’s to a happy and healthy New Year…may it be better than your 2010, and may it bring you peace, love and joy!  
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