When I originally conceptualized this post, I toyed with the idea of reviewing the high and low points of the year – a tapestry of words that conveyed “yay, I got to do this thing” to “boo, this happened” and the more I thought about it, the more I realized it could come off as very entitled, “oh boo, I didn’t get to do this thing that most people don’t have the opportunity to do” to “look at me living my best life – proof can clearly be found in these photos of my toes in exotic places!” (FYI, in case it hasn’t come out before, I definitely eye roll at your toe vacation pictures. Your well-curated triptych of Toes in Foreign Sand, Toes in Repose at Sunset, Sweaty Glass Drink in Foreground, and Toes Appealing to the Sky Gods in Hammock just don’t do it for me – even if your nails are well-painted. That said, I would be willing to change my tune if you could show me toes looking jetlagged, toes hungover after an evening bender, toes riding a whale or an otter or a sea turtle, toes toe-deep in BBQ, or toes being arrested. Give me some original toe shots and I might perk up and actually show interest. Also, why toes? Why don’t fingers get their own photo essays on your vacations? Seems rather exclusionary. Sure, toes take you places, but fingers literally open doors. They pack for you, lift the things, and put the things back down. They’re the unsung heroes of your day-to-day life. Surely, they can do more than show off that expensive ring from your future ex and deserve to pop up in their own photo essay from your trip.)
Ok. What the hell, I’ll share the ups/downs since, in theory, my posts are just letters to friends and family. For everyone else, this can be filed under “whining/celebrating from another over-privileged white girl – good on her.”
The Low Stuff
I royally screwed up my ankle early in the year by injuring my anterior tibialis. I went from walking 12 miles to not being able to walk a block without wanting to scream from the pain. It wrecked my trip to Boston, where I spent long hours staring at a wall, and not touring the sites, and it impacted my trip to New Zealand, because hooray, it’s still healing. (Can I add that apparently I’m still continuing to get old and my body’s ability to repair seems to be giving me a very loud raspberry, which is rude?) It also impacted my ability to use the stair master. My PT guy listed it as a “no no” piece of equipment. Oh no. I was very sad. (The last two sentences were written in heavy sarcasm font – you may not have that font pack installed, so I wanted to call that out. Also, maybe I should file that one under “highlights” – no stair master. I hate you stair master!) Thankfully, it didn’t impact my rowing, which you may all recall is my favorite cardio activity. (This sentence is NOT written in sarcasm font as rowing is the best thing ever. If you disagree, you’re wrong.)
Like so many of us, I finally went through that unwelcome “got Covid” rite of passage. Having done that, I’d prefer not to do it again thank you very much. Of course, this hit when we had another important trip planned to celebrate a friend’s child’s graduation. An amazing kid who refers to me as “Aunt Beth” and will state to others (not to me, because they’re a punk – fact) that out of their four real aunts, I’m the favorite. Anyway, I helped pay for a trip to the coast for a weekend celebrating them and got to spend it in solitude trying to breathe. The upside: I’m still breathing AND they all had a great time. The downside: I’m not over being a little envious; I will never have those shared memories and that is a bit of a kick to the gut.
As we all march forward in our lives, I also had some important/major players in my life move to the background of my life, which is absolutely ok, but it definitely had an impact.
Then finally, we lost my step-mom in August – a woman who had been a major part of my life and who I am for 40 years. She was a huge fan of my blog, and on that day my readership dropped down to nine. Now, how will I become famous?
… and all of that nutshelled stuff (and a bit more) is how I ended up back in counseling, because of that, as well as other thoughts, reinforce something I’ve been feeling since December 2019.
Ok, let’s not end on that particular note.
The Good (Arguably Great) Stuff
I gave my first presentation to a crowd of people, and I wasn’t nervous. Huge thanks to improv and to some of my friends whose presentation styles I borrowed from. I’m particularly proud because I did it on that newly injured tendon, and while I was thinking “OMG OW OW OW,” I managed to be engaging, had people laughing, and praise was sent to my supervisor. Afterward, people surrounded me and asked follow-up questions. I may have proudly punched myself in the shoulder. Way to go, you!
I went to New Zealand to see that little girl I met on my first day at school in Austin, in second grade. We had such a great time in an absolutely gorgeous setting. There was fire, rugby (Go Ireland?), hakas, mountains, fjords, Hobbit homes, tall trees, frothed milk, great conversations, hugs, and laughs. It was one of those “once in a lifetime” trips that revitalize your soul in a place I could breathe easier because it was with someone I adore who accepts me for everything I am. She also managed to at least pretend not to notice when my foot wasn’t working and I threw the occasional frustrated wee tantrum. There’s something to be said about a long shared history. “Oh, is that happening? How about this frothy concoction while listening to the tuis?” Ok! In friend, that roughly translates to “just breathe”.
A spot opened up in the intro to lap swimming classes, and I enrolled. I also joined an orchestra, where the folks in my section are delightful. I’ll tell one quick goofy story. At my first rehearsal, I had an immediate crush on a fellow who had come up to introduce himself, and like my brain does, my Tarzan’s brain took over with, “oo! Him pretty! He make nice words at Beth! He charming! You make charming, too, ok? You stop with babbling words and lift jaw up off floor, ok? Bad look.” And then he went to shake my hand – he extended that hand while I was in full-blown Tarzan mode – and I missed his hand not once or twice, but three times before I could remember how to shake hands like a normal person. SO AWKWARD! My actual brain fired back up and its first words were, “what have you done? There’s a reason we keep Tarzan brain on a tight leash, Beth. Oooft.” I now avoid this person, because well… that was mortifying.
Can I just say, those flash crushes are rare, but when they happen, I’m a complete idiot? One day I may tell those stories, but as teasers – I dropped cowbells in front of one fellow over and over and over again. Here’s a fun fact – nothing about a cowbell is discreet, not to mention 3-4 cowbells. For another handsome fellow, I threw everything in my arms up into the air in front of them and they all came crashing down on the floor. I was holding MANY small things – so many things.
I live in an ongoing I Love Lucy episode.
Ok, onward with the good...
I spoke in front of a crowd at the Capitol. I spoke my truth. I spoke clearly. I think I did very well despite a co-worker’s only comment upon hearing my speech which was to ask, “Were you told to speak? or did you volunteer?” When I said that I was asked, he simply responded, “well… I guess it’s good you didn’t tell them to go pound sand.” Gee. Thanks? No “you did a good job”. Nothing.
A quick call back to earlier, completely unrelated (totally related): Some people who moved into minor roles this year did so when they commented “…it’s good you didn’t tell them to go pound sand.” Although truth be told, they weren’t fully into a major role, yet. Thank God for the audition process.
Even more onwarding…
We raised over $9k for the walk! (To a few of our donors waiting on their incentives: Anna and I haven’t forgotten you! Mics have been purchased, and there’s a green screen and new/better lighting… we just need an attack plan and costumes. The videos will be terrible (aka funny – maybe not intentionally) and made with love.
Don’t you all wish you’d donated now? Actually, you can. However, today – December 31 – is THE last day. Dig through previous posts for the link to the fundraiser and chose the incentives that get you ACTING!) Also, this is your last chance to get one of those goofy/poorly-acted incentives. Here’s why, and I’m putting this here in all CAPS:
I WILL NOT BE PARTICIPATING IN THE WALK NEXT YEAR
I have a whole post written about the “why” behind that, which is saved in drafts. It explains it well but well, it’s in the drafts folder soooo that does you no good. Just trust that there’s a reason, and it’s long-winded (like most of my writing) and I’m not getting into it right now.
Actually, I currently have three posts loitering about in the drafts folder. See, I do still write – I just don’t always hit “Post”. A story teaser from the drafts folder: there’s a post about how I got stuck in a walk-in bathtub (mostly because I couldn’t control my laughter over the situation I found myself in) and accidentally managed to shoot myself in the back of the head with a jet of water not once (which oopsy if it were just once) but twice (the ol’ doing the same thing and expecting different results dilemma). It was hilarious – the moment, not the post – it still needs a lot of massaging and may die there. RIP little post!
To Wrap It Up
There have been ups and there have been downs, just like everyone else; it’s life – it’s a balance. These are a few stories carved from mine – one where there have been moments of great joy and profound sadness. Like everyone, a life whose spectrum runs from disappointment and heartbreak to laughter and pure love and joy – although mine now includes a counselor who GOT thrown in towards the end to help me right my ship a bit. (She makes adorable suggestions like “don’t go full-blown scorched earth on things if I can help it.”(paraphrased a ton) I’m currently taking her radical idea under advisement.)
As for 2023, I’ve never been one for resolutions, and I’m not about to start now, but I do like the idea of having an intention. A word to hold onto throughout the year, and I’ve chosen “Metamorphosis”. I have an idea of what I mean by that, and how to achieve it, but part of it will also be about discovery.
What is your intention for 2023?
Also, I’m 100% serious about the toe photos. I double-dog dare you to send me fun/funny toe shots of those mangly/much-abused digits that hobble you around.
That’s a wrap for 2022.