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.