2010 in First Lines

A handy blogging tradition which I got from Dorothy is to cut and paste the first line of the first post of each month of the year. It’s a good way to reflect briefly on 2010. So here goes:

Dec: It’s great to be back in internet contact again.

Nov: I was hoping to post a few pictures of life in the military base but the internet here is particularly slow so that will have to wait.

Oct: Day 22 here and while I’ve been thinking a lot about possible posts, the reality of camp life here is such that it’s actually very difficult to blog.

Sept: In true military fashion, let me give you a list of what’s happening:

Aug: L and I spent a few hours at the Cape Town book fair yesterday and managed to hear author Jodi Picoult howling like a wolf with her son Jake (in addition to talking about her novels).

July: I’m waiting for the signal for my deployment to Darfur for three months.

June: I first heard this song, by the ‘famously uncommunicative’ singer-songwriter Sam Beam, also known as Iron and Wine, in a mix sent by my friend C.

May: Time is even more precious than usual these days as my ‘practice’ at the military hots up.

April: Things have been a little hectic here at the Couch Trip over the past week so apologies for my absence from the blogosphere.

March: Picking a good read for a roadtrip is harder than it looks.

Feb: It all started on Saturday as I was driving to my long-anticipated week-long seaside retreat.

Jan: Our maternal or primary relationship provides the base, secure or insecure, for development but it is not the only story of childhood.

A few things strike me from these lines:

1) I spent an awful lot of time this year either on deployment in Sudan or worrying about going on deployment. I’m not sure how long it will take to get back to feeling ‘normal’ again and I suspect that I won’t get to a state of calm anytime soon with a wedding in under a month and a baby due fairly shortly thereafter.

2) I’m grateful (and a little surprised) that anyone still reads this blog with the amount of apologising and complaining I do. New Year’s resolution: apologise and complain less!

3) I didn’t do enough reading, reviewing and writing as I would have liked this year. I managed 40 books in 2010 (probably up from last year) but haven’t yet managed to review my reading for the year.

4) I still enjoy blogging and really appreciate my blogging friends not only for your reviews and interesting experiences but for the ongoing friendship. It sounds corny to put it down in words like this but I do appreciate it. That said, my love of blogging itself took a knock this year. An opportunity for revision and reinvention I guess.

5) Above all, and it’s not really reflected in the first lines above, what an exciting year I’ve had personally. Meeting L has been the best thing that’s happened to me in a long, long time. And even though I’m quite anxious about the wedding and all the many things that go along with that, I don’t regret our decision to speed things along one little bit.

6) This also ties up with one of my best reads of the year which was Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Perhaps I could sum up that book in a line: When you know, you know. Or: trust your gut instinct. But it’s a lot more complicated than that. Because first impressions can be misleading and sometimes it takes a while to untangle just exactly what our gut is telling us. And, on a related note, perhaps if I were to take a guiding principle from this year, it might be: Learn to live better with Anxiety. Not to be overwhelmed by it, and not trying to fight it all the time, but just to let it hum along quietly as a guiding force in the background.

Hope you have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration and see you soon for more reading, reviewing and unexpected life events.

Oh, and before I forget, I’d love to hear some recommendations for wedding readings. L and I have basically chosen ours but I’d love to hear what was meaningful and memorable from my blogging friends.

One more thing: The best present by far that I got for Christmas was a fancy digital camera (courtesy of the wonderful L). The difference in picture quality compared to the old point-and-shoot is astounding. When I’ve learned how to use it, I’ll post some pics.

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11 Responses to 2010 in First Lines

  1. […] longterm blog pals Dorothy and Pete both use this as a means to reflect briefly over their year in blogging, and I’m shamelessly […]

  2. litlove says:

    Blogging is wonderful, but it works best when either a) you need to think things through in the company of virtual friends or b) life is peaceful and writing provides an interest and a necessary connection. You’ve been living a life red in tooth and claw, so no wonder it hasn’t been easy. And things have changed so completely for you – for the best, certainly, but even good change takes a while to settle in. Here’s wishing you all the very best for 2011, my friend, and hoping you’ll just keep us up to date with all the exciting events that lie ahead.

  3. Dorothy W. says:

    I’ll have to follow my own tradition and do this meme as well! It’s certainly interesting to find out what’s been on my own mind 🙂

  4. natalian says:

    All the best 2011, with all the exciting things awaiting you in the New Year I know it will be exciting and anything but mundane and boring! 😉 Wow! A fancy new digital camera – I am also shopping around for one and am a little apprehensive with a DSLR incase I can’t take a decent shot – however to finally take the pictures I want to take will be awesome with a decent lens!

  5. Smithereens says:

    I’ll steal the meme from you too! 2010 has been such an eventful year for you, I wish you a quieter year – although I’m sure it will be as memorable for other reasons! PS. Don’t worry about the apologies and complaining, friends can cope with it! 😉

  6. Love the first lines meme … and geez, it’s no wonder you spent a lot of time worrying about deployment. Anyone in your situation would have. Thank God you got back safely!

  7. seachanges says:

    A very hgappy new year to you Pete – and of course you’ve been preoccupied last year. You went through quite major changes and had to realign your life (and bookreading) accordingly. Hope you have a great 2011.

  8. […] Posted on 1 January 2011 by shawjonathan| 2 Comments A handy blogging tradition which I got from Pete is to cut and paste the first line of the first post of each month of the year as a way to reflect […]

  9. Hi Pete, I’m an ex-Capetonian living in London (who misses Cape Town dreadfully) and confess to being a long-time lurker on your always-interesting blog. I wanted to wish you well with the exciting new developments in your life – happy 2011 and I look forward to future posts!

  10. […] First of all, happy new year to everyone! But please let me linger a few more minutes in the previous year, just the time for me to revisit each month of 2010, in the manner of Charlotte’s and Pete’s tradition. […]

  11. Pete says:

    Litlove – Thanks, and here’s wishing you a happy and productive 2011 too. I could do with some more of the calm thinking-through that blogging provides. And it will be fun to share some exciting life events here.

    Dorothy – I hope you do, it’s always interesting to see what comes out. 🙂

    Natalian – I’m very happy with mine so far (Canon EOS 500D). A bit daunted by the technology but I’ll grow into it. Happy 2011 to you!

    Smithereens – I’m glad you did (and I didn’t realise what an interesting year you had as well). As for my year, I started in a bit of a panic but am feeling a lot more settled now thanks.

    David – Yes, I’m very grateful for that (especially with Sudan about to have their referendum). I’m still a bit amazed that I seem to have emerged psychologically OK from all that worry.

    Seachanges – Thanks, and a very happy 2011 to you too! I’m still interested to read up on Sudan but I think I need a break first.

    Karen – Thanks! I’ve just visited your blog and I love the photos of London and the Chelsea flower show. You’ve inspired me to post more pictures this year.

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