2009 in Review

I meant to write this post a week or so ago, but things got busy at work, and there was ice cream to eat, and . . . life just got in the way. Since at this writing it's 4:23 pm on December 31 and I stilll haven't done my daily run and we're supposed to leave for a NYE party in about three hours, this post will be neither lengthy nor profound.

What are the highlights of 2009 for me?

  • In January, I got to see Celine Dion in concert – though I don't love every song she does, unquestionably the best live vocal performance I've ever heard in my life.
  • In February, I began working out with Guido, the trainer who tortures.
  • In March, celebrated thirty years of marriage to a man who still makes me laugh. The kids surprised us with a party attended by, among others, all five of our children and all four of our grandchildren, along with my mother and one of my younger sisters. This probably was the highlight of the year.
  • In June, Ashley (child number four of five) graduated from high school.
  • In July, Frances (our former exchange student) and her mother came for a visit. At the end of their visit, Ashley and I traveled with them to NYC for a long weekend of fun in the Big Apple.
  • In September I was the show manager for an Arabian horse show in McKinney. I also took two trips to Arizona for business stuff, during one of which I took my first-ever tennis lesson.

Then there's been the year-end stuff–holidays and so on.

It's been a tough year for the economy, which has affected my legal practice, but other than that, it's been a pretty good year. I'm looking forward to achieving some new things in 2010. Maybe I'll blog about them next week. For now, it's time to go run and get ready for that party.

If you're reading this and have been pondering the year just past, share what memories (good or bad) stand out in your mind from 2009.

What I Did On My Christmas Break

It is Sunday evening, almost 5 pm, and tomorrow I have to go back to the office after a four-day break. When I have a break like this from the office, I seldom find myself heading back to the office refreshed and reinvigorated, ready to take on the world. Instead I find myself wishing I had more time off. What this says about the wisdom of my career choice is a topic for another day. Today I instead want to think for a moment about what I did right–and wrong–during my four-day hiatus.

What I did right: spent time with Mike and the kids who live here, as well as Rachel and Gary and the granddaughters, who spent Christmas Eve and most of Christmas day with us on the farm. Cooked a meal for Christmas day and enjoyed it with the family. Took some time to look out the window and enjoy the serenity of the view it affords: our lake and and the trees, mostly bare of leaves, the blue sky, the chickens wandering around the yard looking for bugs, the cats stalking the chickens. Took several naps. Got the laundry done. Made homemade fudge and shared the pan and spoon with the vultures who appeared just in time. Made homemade potato salad because Gary asked for it–and he never asks us for anything. Shared a little bit of Christmas day with Matthew and Kahi and the boys via Google video chat. Cleaned out my closet and boxed up a big stack of outgrown clothes for charity. Read parts of a novel and a book on fiction writing and several horse magazines. Puttered a bit at working on the outlines of a novel I want to write. Pondered some goals for 2010. Ran on the treadmill yesterday and today.

What I did wrong: Ate way, way, WAY too much. Ate a lot of that fudge. Ate various types of Christmas candy. Ate a big bowl of buttered popcorn. Ate two big pieces of pan-crust veggie pizza (sans the onions) from Chicago Style Pizza (thanks, Mike, for driving in to pick it up). Just ate. Watched too much TV. Skipped going to a church Christmas Eve service because I was too tired/lazy to get dressed. Skipped running two out of the four days.

Nobody's perfect, but I think I did more right than wrong with these four days I had at home. I've got some work to do at the gym to undo all that fudge (I really ate a lot), but after all . . . tomorruh is anothuh day.

December Insanity

It has been a VERY slow year for most real estate lawyers, including me. For that reason, I guess I thought this would not be a “normal” December at the office. I was wrong.

In a typical year, December is the busiest month for lawyers who specialize in commercial real estate transactions. Our clients typically insist that their deals — loans, acquisitions/sales, whatever — MUST close before year-end. They want these deals on their books by December 31 for various reasons, often tied to the calculation of their year-end bonuses.

Whatever the reason, this has always translated into hectic, high-stress days for me in December. Since I got out of law school, I haven't had any time to do any Christmas shopping until Christmas Eve.

I thought this year would be different.

It's not.

Fortunately, we took care of shopping for Benjamin last month, so he has already received his package of gifts, which he says are stowed in his locker on the Nimitz (somewhere in the Arabian Sea). I simply was not going to allow him to spend Christmas out on the ocean, thousands of miles from home and family, with no gifts. So that one got done.

And we took care of Matthew and Kahi and the boys. Since they're so far away (in Hawaii, where Matthew's submarine is stationed), we couldn't wait too long to get their gifts bought and shipped. So they have their package. Except for the one item we bought for Mikey but forgot to put in the package.

But I'm still going to have to go out on Thursday, brave the crowds, and find some gifts for those who live here in Texas.

Next year I'm going to start early. Really.

In the meantime, I probably won't be posting to this blog again until AFTER the December insanity has passed.

What Are You Waiting For?

Rachelle Gardner (a literary agent) posted this moving reminder that life is short, and we need to do the things we've been dreaming about rather than wait for the “perfect” time to get started on them. At a time of year when I am distracted all the time with thoughts of the year to come and what will happen, I needed to read this today. I am determined to make 2010 a year in which, if I don't actually see my dreams come true, at least I'll have taken some concrete steps in that direction.

How about you? What are you dreaming of, and what are you going to do in 2010 to make it at least more likely that your dreams will become realities?

(If you can, take a moment to read Rachelle's post and perhaps send a message of encouragement to Chief Edwards.)

How Time Flies

I knew it had been awhile since I last posted here, but I didn't realize that it had been two months! I've thought about blogging. I wanted to blog. I've read a lot of blogs. But I just didn't get back here to do anything about it.

2009 is winding down, and my thoughts have been turning frequently to the coming year. 2010 is a landmark year for me: I will turn 50 in May. Although I haven't yet found the time to sit somewhere quiet and think deeply about what that means, and what I want to do about it (or as a result of it), I do think I want something remarkable to happen in 2010. I want to be able to point back to that year as not just the year I turned 50, but the year I [fill in the blank]. Something. Finished a book? Traveled to Europe?

Don't know. But I want to come up with some goals and dreams for the coming year so that the trauma of turning 50 (where did the years go?) will be overshadowed by the joyous events of 2010.

Don't really know if anyone reads this blog, but if you're out there, have you given any thought to what you want your life to look like in 2010? Do tell.