Reverb 2012 Catch Up: Days 1-10

I’m a little late on the Reverb 2012 bandwagon, seeing as there are only a few days left in the month and I haven’t completed any of December’s daily prompts. (If you want to know more about Reverb, here is a great introduction by Sarah.) But I love many of the prompts so I’m going to try to answer some and reflect on my year.

Prompt for December 1: Where it began.  Review and reflect – how did 2012 begin for you?  Tell us how the year kicked off; start your renewal by beginning again.

2012 began for me in Mr. O’s old apartment with him and Wolverine. We played some games, stood up late, watched some Super Hero Squad cuddled up in bed and fell asleep early. I set an alarm for 11:45 though, and Mr. O and I woke up, watched the ball drop, shared a New Year’s kiss and fell back asleep shortly after. It was a great night spent cuddled by the Christmas tree and in bed. The next morning, we met up with our friends in Portsmouth, RI and Polar Bear Plunged! It was Mr. O and his friend’s first time and my second. I am a strong believer that plunging into the cold water on the first is a perfect way to begin a new year.

Prompt for December 2: Help.  Asking for help can be the hardest thing we ever do.  When and how did you ask for help?  Alternatively, did someone ask you for help, and how did it play out for you?

2012 was a year that I needed a lot of help, and I think I gave a lot of help as well. However, most of this help was unspoken. Mr. O took the lead when it came to cooking and cleaning in the final months of my thesis. When he was stressed, I tried to step up more. I had to pick up a lot more at work. Creating Spry was a collaboration between myself and Linsey. There was a lot tn general that would have been unsuccessful if it weren’t for teamwork in 2012.

Prompt for December 3: Beautiful things.  What brought beauty into your life this year?  Was it a tangible thing or something intangible?  Tell us about it in detail.

Beauty for me was being around my guys, my family, my MFA colleagues and my friends. I am so lucky to have such incredible people in my life. Beauty is all my friends’ babies who were born in 2012. Beauty was in Christmas trees and birthday parties and vacation. 2012 was very beautiful.

Prompt for December 4:  Place.  What places anchored you this year?  Or were you in search of new places and spaces to call your own and call home?  Describe the place you love and why it means so much to you.

Place was big in 2012. The biggest place for me this year was moving in with Mr. O, which has been a blessing. We cohabitate nicely and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I love waking up and falling asleep near my love. I love living with Wolverine and enjoying all the time we have with him. The only thing I could wish for in 2013 is that we are fortunate to find and purchase a house that we love. We started looking for houses in 2011 and after a few unsuccessful attempts to purchase, we haven’t found “our” home. We’ve made a home for ourselves in the apartment, but its a bit cramped, and I’d love to have a bigger home to call our own. That all being said, our housing situation has been incredible and I’m so fortunate to live where we do. There have been a few other places that stick out in 2012. We went on a few vacations: North Conway, NH, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Plymouth, MA. Ender’s Island will always be a special place for me as that is where all my graduate school residencies were held.

Prompt for December 5:  Letting go.  For the next year, I’m letting go of…

Gosh, I just don’t know. This is a tough one for me. The first thought that popped into my head was stress, but that is unrealistic as stress will always be in every one of our lives… It’s how we handle it that makes a difference. I think that in 2013, I’m going to let go of my anxiety about working out. I’ve been working on exercising for the past few months, but I never try hard enough. I hate feeling uncomfortable in my clothing, and there is no time like the present to do something to change it. It isn’t just that I want to lose weight, I also want to have healthier routines. I need to incorporate exercise into my daily rituals. In 2013, I will let go of the extra baggage I’ve stored on my body, and let go of this mental block I have surrounding working out.

Prompt for December 6: Intention.  What were some of your mantras from 2012 and how did you come by them?  Will they remain the same for the next year – if not, what new ones will you set?

I guess my unspoken mantra for 2012 was “this will all get done.” 2012 was a crazy busy year between school, work, Spry and life in general. There were so many times (at least once a month, probably) that I truly thought I wouldn’t be able to pull through whatever it was I was currently working on. I didn’t think I’d finish my thesis: I did. I didn’t think I’d finish my graduation speech: I did. I didn’t think I’d get all my other school stuff done: I did. I didn’t think I’d publish Spry in 2012: I did. Basically, I just kept reminding myself that no matter what, things have a way of working themselves out.

I didn’t have a word for 2012. This is one big thing I will change for 2013. I had a word for 2011 and it was a great year. While I didn’t pick a word at the beginning of 2010, I did name it at the end, and that too was a great year. In some ways 2012 was incredible, in other ways it was trying. I’d like to follow 2011’s example in 2013, so I do plan on picking a word to live by next year.

Prompt for December 7: Feast.  Hopefully you’ve had more than one spectacular meal in 2012, but what is the first one that comes to mind?  Were you surrounded by family at the dining room table?  Sitting on a bench by the lake?  Bring us there.

2012 was quite a feast. If there is one way Mr. O and I spend (and save) our money, it’s on food. We love eating out and cooking in. Our food of the year will definitely be pho (and dumplings and sushi and desserts)… though I’m sure that answer would have worked for 2011 and in the future. We cooked new recipes and are really excited to continue trying new food in 2013.

Prompt for December 8.  Art.  What was the most moving piece of art that you saw/experienced this year?  This could mean a painting or a sculpture, or a performance you took in, or even a book that you read – tell us about the kind of art you encountered, and the way that it moved you.

Spry! Spry was every possible beauty in 2012. It started out as a concept, a possibility. It was a creative endeavour that Linsey, our staff and I worked so hard to bring to life. And now… Spry is alive. The literary journal’s first issue is beautiful and everything we could ever dreamed up. We are beginning to work on issue #2 and I’m so grateful to see Spry thrive.

Prompt for December 9:  The Plank.  It has been said that you must learn to take care of yourself before you can be effective at taking care of others.  How did you take care of yourself in 2012?  How will you take care of yourself in 2013?

Gosh. I think I did a lot of maintaining in 2012. I did a great job with my health by making and attending doctor’s appointments. Taking sick days when I was actually sick. I obviously will continue to do that in 2013. I hope to find more time to relax, because I feel better emotionally and physically when I’m calm and relaxed. I think a lot of this will be helped by being better organized and creating new routines.

Prompt for December 10:  Scars.  They leave marks, and sometimes you can only take what you can carry.  What will you, by choice or by chance, carry into 2013?

2012 brought me a new scar after a small procedure that I’ll always carry with me, and I’m okay with that. To me, the scar symbolizes health, and I think it is a nice reminder for the future.

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