Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: Looking Back

I just spent more than an hour trying to get my three year old to sleep. And by getting her to sleep, I am not including time spent brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, or reading books. I'm talking about her lying in bed and me begging her to be still/stay in bed/fall asleep. After what seemed like an endless motherly task, I am craving some me time. And so I am sitting here with my computer - in the room I am sharing with my infant son - reflecting on the past year. My friend, Jill, assembled/created the following list of questions to reflect on the past year.

What was one goal you accomplished in 2011?
I completed my PhD. And got a job where I get to put my degree to good use.

What is your favorite memory of 2011?
Hearing C cry and holding him for the first time.

What is your least favorite memory of 2011?
Saying good-bye to the family we shared a nanny with for two and a half years. Our nanny-share began in January 2009, when K was just three months old. Her buddy, A, was only five months old. Our families met through a web site for parents and we quickly became good friends. I came to love spending time with A's mom in the evenings. It was nice to have someone to talk with about parenting, work, and family. Our share ended when both the kids started preschool in the fall and our families' needs changed. I have so missed having the other family in our lives on a near-daily basis. I also know that K misses her buddy. And that makes me sad, too. I cried when the share ended in August.

What was the best trip you took in 2011?
Our long weekend trip to Colorado. We had a wonderful time there with friends - enjoying good food, good wine (I only had a sip), and warm weather. D was able to snowboard and I enjoyed a truly restful weekend.

What was your favorite purchase in 2011?
My iPhone. Hands.down.

What was the best book you read in 2011?
The best book I completed was Run Like a Mother. However, The Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Family is the best book I'm reading during 2011. I will not finish it before the year is over. So technically the running book wins for best book *read* during the year.

What was the best movie you saw in 2011?
I did not watch a single movie this year. I did, however, watch all of Mad Men and enjoyed every single minute. Looking forward to the new season...

What changed about you in 2011?
From a practical stand-point, my title changed. I'm still getting used to introducing myself as Dr. Physically, my hair got greyer and my stomach muscles got weaker. Nearly three months after having C, I'm just about back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but nothing is as it was. My core is shot and my incision is still sore and puffy (they say I'm healing well). Socially, I made some new friends and reconnected with some old ones. Emotionally, I was all over the place - I blame the hormones - but I realize that I tend to react (read: OVER-react) to most situations where there is tension or big decisions to be made. This behavior is not helpful or productive. (Recognizing this behavior is the change - I've done it all of my life :)

What made you cry in 2011?
*What didn't make me cry?*
-28 hours of labor.
-D and I had a huge fight before he left for a guys weekend over Labor Day. I cried most of the weekend.
-K's behavior and unwillingness to listen (especially at naptime) caused me to cry on more than one occasion.

What made you scream in 2011?
My dissertation. My adviser, my committee, the graduate school rules, requirements, and regulations - they nearly caused me to have a mental breakdown (or two).

What made you proud in 2011?
I was inducted into my high school athletic hall of fame.

What new skills did you learn in 2011?
Although I didn't learn it this year, I do believe I mastered the use of SAS (a statistical software package). While completing my dissertation, I put all my classroom knowledge to work and really SAS-ed the heck out of my data. I'm extremely proud of the pages and pages of code I wrote between January and September of this year.

Best meal of 2011?
For me, this is really about the best mealS of 2011... we have a family tradition of making pizza every Friday night. These were the best meals of the year. I love that we make dinner together as a family and eat together as a family (nearly) every Friday night. The food is fantastic (especially D's mushroom lovers pizza), but the time we spend together is precious. I love that K looks forward to and talks with anticipation about pizza night throughout the week.

Best drink of 2011?
This is a toss-up between the 4 oz of apple juice my night nurse slipped me in the middle of the night 10 hours before C was born and a burnt sugar old fashioned. I received the juice when I was starving, feverish, and desperate for anything to eat or drink hours before C was born. The little bit of fruit juice could not have tasted better. My old fashioned was actually D's... the burnt sugar old fashioned is actually his favorite drink at our favorite local wine bar; it is quickly becoming my favorite drink, too. I had sips of his on two occasions - once at his birthday dinner in January (didn't know I was pregnant) and again after C's birth when we went out on a date.

Favorite photo of 2011? (post it)

What was your source of comfort in 2011?
Talking to my mom on my drives home from Baltimore. She never failed to pick up the phone at 4:35pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

What was your verse of 2011 and why?
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18. Why? I needed the constant reminder (and still do) to rejoice, pray, and give thanks no matter what. 

1 comment:

WASPY GIRL said...

I hear you on the gray hair. Since my regular hair is wire-y, my grays are extra-wire-y.

I also remember becoming much more confident when I earned the PhD. It was like a total transformation from lowly grad student to someone who actually made it through the Ph.D. program.

I enjoyed reading your reflections!