For the last several years, I’ve set aside some time at the end of December to fill out a sort of year-end quiz, and then I post my answers here on this website. I did this in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. This year I sat down to do the same, then I … didn’t want to.
I guess it speaks to how things have changed with me and blogging — I don’t feel the same desire to document my life that I used to. This is surely in no small part because I already spend hours each day typing words into a glowing screen, throwing bottle after tiny disposable bottle out to sea, and by the time my deadlines are met I’m ready to do something, christ, anything, else.
But I also feel like I have less to say. When I think of my life now, I think of words like quiet, and small, and contained. None of these feel like the right terms, exactly (god knows there’s nothing quiet or tidy about my household), but it’s the closest I can come to describing the peace and contentment I often feel. The grasping sense of wanting to be somewhere else is gone. We live where we always dreamed of living. I have the work-at-home freelance job I wanted. My children are happy and healthy and so much easier than they used to be. I spend my days doing wildly unexciting activities that are by turns teeth-grindingly tedious and please-let-me-remember-this-forever pleasant.
You could say my life is boring, but I’m not sure that’s always such a bad thing. I feel settled, not stagnant. I feel like after years of trying to turn things around and fix what’s off-kilter and chafing, the pieces have mostly clicked together in a satisfying, smooth way.
This was the year that was largely defined by our move to Eugene, and looking back, it was a process that started nearly 12 months ago exactly. It was such a momentous, difficult decision, and it came with new challenges that we’re still working through. But if it was a gamble, and we certainly believed it to be so, I feel like it’s already paid off in a thousand wonderful ways.
I don’t have an impressive list of worthy personal achievements this year. I did virtually nothing in the way of ticking off life list boxes or exploring my own boundaries or furthering my career. And yet here is my biggest, strongest wish for 2013: I want more of the same. I want more of this unspectacular, unassuming life. I want more messes, screeching voices, and floors strewn with foot-stabbing Legos. More laughter, eye-rolls, and ridiculous jokes. More wrestling matches, more campfire smoke clinging to dirt-smeared jackets, more foggy mornings spent gazing out at the river from the cabin. More checks sent to me because I may not be curing cancer but goddamn, I get paid to write, and how awesome is that? This is all good enough. This is all I could ask for.
Maybe next year I’ll get back to the business of writing down what we did and when it happened and what my goals are and what things I need to do less of and what things I need to do more of. This time around, though, I feel like the most important thing I can say about 2012 is that I’m grateful. Just so, so grateful.