January 1st, 2010



A houseful of visitors, a couple of months worth of parties, and a massive head cold left me with little time to update the past few days. I didn't get my usual year retrospective up before the year actually turned, but that seems to be par for the course for how 2009 went for me. Last night, around the table with our good friends, we each recounted the low point and the high point that the passing year had held for us. One friend recounted the fear and helplessness of watching her best friend's pregnancy head into complications. One talked about her total career change and how she had found a job that allowed her to help people find better jobs themselves and how empowering it was.

My mom mentioned my nephew's kidney surgery and Anders talked about the health problems his father, 83 this year, faced. I spoke about the tough year I had in regards to my friends: one dying from cancer, another's husband struggling with leukemia, and 2 others facing major health issues. Even the high points of my year, which included a visit with my oldest and best friend in Holland, and a wonderful summer vacation with my brother up north, paled in the face of the blessings which I consider the high point of my year: a good life, a healthy family, a rewarding job, a committed relationship.

High points and low points move up and down the scale of the days. They can't be tied into a neat package, at least not yet, as we stumble and glide into the next year. Our stories continue, and our eyes, while glancing backwards, must turn to face forward again: march on! I think of each of those floating lit lanterns high above my head last night, glowing like firefly stars: each a wish for myself and for you, a wish for a good thing in a new year, and the moon smiling down upon us all.

Family & personal highlights of 2009
  • A renewed (more than once) commitment to healthier eating and exercise
  • Anders more than reaching his goal for Vättern Runt with a personal time of 12 hours
  • A fantastic week on the west coast with John & Simone
  • The mini-reunion with my AFCent girlfriends in the Netherlands in July
  • Karin entering double digits
  • Two weeks with Mom in Massachusetts in September
  • Finding the strength to help a friend with a family in crisis
  • Wonderful holiday memories: family visiting, parties galore, perfect presents
  • A school switch for Martin which promises good things for 2010
In 2009, I read 109 books, far short of my record-smashing 139.5 last year, but I still feel pretty good about it, as it was an average of 9 books per month. Everyone needs to slow down with some things some time, right? If it happened to be reading this year and choir, so be it. Some things ramped up, and it all evens out in the end.

Best books of 2009 (in no particular order and including no re-reads)
  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
  • The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by M.A. Shaffer & A. Barrows
  • The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Fishing in Utopia by Andrew Brown
  • Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman
  • The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt
  • The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
Best films I saw in 2009
  • Coraline
  • Inkheart
  • The Fall
  • Avatar
  • Twilight: New Moon
  • Star Trek
  • Julie & Julia
And I just bought tickets to see Sherlock Holmes tomorrow (Robert Downey Jr makes me swoon!) Whee!

Best musical discoveries in 2009
  • Yohanna
  • The Cat Empire
  • The Swell Season
  • Dashboard Confessional
  • Rigo
  • Esperanza
  • Malena Ernman
  • Sara Bareilles
  • Swingfly
  • Vaughan Penn
Some manageable goals for 2010
  • Get the family to the States for summer vacation
  • Get back on track with weight loss and walking
  • Keep the better balance found between work, family & activities
Silver Moon Bright Boon Birthday Wishes to ozswede!