2011 has been a pretty awesome year, when I think about it. I didn’t have any nervous breakdowns like last year. My family was happy and healthy. My grandfather did pass away, but he was in his mid-nineties, and I was extremely grateful that he avoided the kind of lengthy stay in hospital that he would have hated.
We had some cool visitors this year. We also did some awesome travel. I think the highlight was our family trip to Switzerland – so much wholesome communing with nature, so many bracing hikes. So much calves’ liver and raw cheese (not together).
For me, a year in which you pick raspberries from wild bushes is a good year, no doubt about it.
Most of all, this year was a year of health. I (shortly followed by Richard) dramatically changed my diet and lifestyle. I have always thought that “changing your lifestyle” as a maxim was just a crock of shit. Eating healthy food is not a “lifestyle”. But it has become less shitly in the following sense: I now dedicate a large amount of my time to doing things by which my rational brain is unmoved. I have, for example, spent the last few weeks striving to kick up to handstand in yoga, which is more difficult and even more pointless than it looks. I achieved it yesterday and this arbitrary goal was far more satisfying than most things I’ve ever done in a workplace. I felt similarly when I did my first crow pose, my first chinup, and my first wheel pose (which is even more satisfying as I remember I couldn’t even do those as a teenager – my PE teacher comfortingly remarked that some bodies just aren’t meant to do some things). I realise now that this may be what sport is about: a continuous setting and meeting of arbitrary goals. The outcome is unimportant so there’s no room for stress, but the achievement still carries its bounty of confidence and invigoration.
This was me at the start of 2011:
This is me this morning:
Anyhow, even if it’s not super dramatic in the photos, it is super dramatic for me. Since March I transitioned from obese, to overweight, and this morning became reaquainted with my long lost friend, the normal weight category.
I’ve had only two colds in the last 9 months, whereas I used to get them constantly (kids). And the colds have been different (no snot, just a shortlived period of “ugh, I feel off”, which must be what a functioning immune system feels like).
I may regain the weight, or stop losing, or whatever, but you will pry my new physical skills from my cold, dead hands. So this is a permanent change, and not every year comes with those.
In 2011 my son started school, K1, at the most amazing dream school in the world. Leaving Singapore (eventually) will be that much more of a bummer because of it. He learned to really read this year, which is an amazing miracle every time it happens to someone and a privilege to behold. My baby girl learned to talk in sentences which I could describe the same way. They were both incredibly annoying at various times.
Although I’ve been fairly obsessed with my superficial health goals, this hasn’t caused the sky to fall down and I’ve in fact been more philanthropic and helpful to others than usual, which I see as a big green light for future selfishness.
It hasn’t all been bootcamp and yoga class though, I have also watched some terrible films (what happened to movies!?) and some awesome television (Homeland, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Boss, Downton Abbey). I read few books.
There’s been Suzy and Ben’s wedding to celebrate, and Tabitha and Nathan’s to look forward to. I’m not good with episodic memory so I won’t list everything that has happened. This would also bore you.
Next year is looking good. I like change, and change will be afoot. I cannot discuss on the internet what form it might take (for real, practical reasons, not trying to be mysterious) but feel free to email me if you don’t know what I’m talking about. You will receive a swift and anti-climactic reply.
I would love to read your years in review in the comments below!