Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: New Year's Reflection

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?  The best was nothing bad. I look back and am grateful for a good report from my mammogram, safe air travel, no serious illnesses for me or my loved ones (furry or otherwise). I feel fortunate for all of it.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened? Reynaldo's health/behavior
problems. I've always been a devoted pet owner, but the amount of time, care and money this little beige demon extracted from me was really ridiculous. It was as though this little guy was my avocation in 2013! (He's curled up like a little fur shrimp right next to me as I post this.)

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year? My movie Meet Up group. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. It's great to see the classics from decades gone by on the big screen with fellow movie lovers.

4. What was an unexpected obstacle? The ongoing worry about my employment status. I'm feeling rather confident right now. But, with advertising being as it is, that probably means the axe is gonna fall.
5. Pick three words to describe 2013.  State of flux

6. What were the best books you read this year? My favorite was Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin. Maybe it's a Baby Boomer thing, but I can't get over how powerful and pervasive Johnny was for a very long time and then, POOF, he's gone from the public consciousness. (Also, it was fun to learn that "Bombastic Bushkin" of Johnny's nightly monologs was a real person.)

7. With whom were your most valuable relationships? I treasured the long-standing ones most. I've known my Oldest Friend since Kindergarten, and John for more than 30 years. The friends I spend Christmas with in the Keys have been in my life since the 1990s. I really am blessed in this regard.

8. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year? This has been the first full year without my mom, so it's been a time of healing and building new traditions.

9. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally? I ended therapy last spring. I am tending to myself now. Reminding myself to move on when the toxic, angry, unproductive thoughts take hold.

10. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually? "We are the clay, you are the potter, we are all the work of your hands." It's a Bible verse I return to time and again when I feel myself becoming judgmental. We are each as God created us. We each have our own relationship with God. It's not up to me to remake anyone.

11. In what way(s) did you grow physically?  Ha! I discovered this year that I now weigh more than Abraham Lincoln did. Most of that is around my middle.

12. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?  See Question #10. I'm working on being more accepting. I work on it every day.

13. What was the most enjoyable part of your work?  Every now and then I hit it out of the park. That's good because I like and admire our client and enjoy helping them move their business. I also like writing the first draft of anything. I admit I get bored when the revisions come through. But I enjoy the writing.

14. What was the most challenging part of your work? Worrying about being let go. I'm an old broad and advertising is a young person's industry.

15. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year? Farmville 2! In fact, this could be the second year in a row when this is my biggest time waster.

16. What was the best way you used your time this past year? Paying closer attention to money.

17. What was biggest thing you learned this past year? Patience! I'm learning it, but have yet to master it.

18. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2013 for you. To borrow from the Lads from Liverpool, "I have to admit it's getting better, it's getting better all the time."

When the going gets tough ...

… the tough go to the movies.

I have so much blogging to do, so many emails to answer, so much housework to do, so many month-end bills to pay, that yesterday I did the only thing a girl could do: I fled. I ran to the movies and saw American Hustle.

David O. Russell could well be my favorite movie maker. I love the sensitive, eccentric alternate universes he has created in Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter and now American Hustle. The performances are funny but masterful. The clothes and the music were both accurate and hideous (the 70s have to be the ugliest decade I have lived through). I had a fine time.

But the suitcases still have to be unpacked, crap still needs to be put away, and photos downloaded. But there's still time. And if it overwhelms me, I may run back to the theater. (Still need to see Saving Mr. Banks.)