I always get a little pensive at the year's end. This is normal in the dark days of winter, especially with the start of a new calendar year right around the corner. But my birthday is the 29th of December (as of Thursday I'm 33), tucked neatly in between Christmas and New Years Day, so easily forgotten (not ever by my family, though), and turning another year older always prompts me to reflect on my life and where it's going.
The last year has been remarkable for many in my family, in many ways. Daniel started off the year with so may ear infections he had to have surgery at the end of September to have tubes put in and his adenoids out, which seems to have solved the problem. Daniel and Anya both grew through a few shoe sizes, and they both started new schools. Anya started preschool and Daniel started kindergarten, so now we are experiencing Madison's public schools firsthand. So far the experience has been very positive for him, and positive for me as well, though very eye-opening. My brother got married at the very end of 2010 to a lovely, wonderful woman I'm so proud to call my sister-in-law. A few months later, he graduated with his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. My parents-in-law sold their house in Kansas and in a few weeks are moving to North Carolina to be closer to Stuart's brother, so that will be a big change for us all.
And you can't deny that 2011 was a very interesting year to be living in Madison, Wisconsin! Time Magazine named "The Protester" as its Person of the Year for 2010. I know that across the country, most people think of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movement at the mention of the word "protest", but around these parts, last winter's massive and peaceful protests week after week at the Capitol (aka The People's House) are fresh, raw memories. We may not be marching out in the cold by the thousands, but this isn't over. Here's hoping 2012 is the year of the Recall of Governor Scott Walker. Here's hoping 2012 brings a wave of citizens standing up for our public institutions, our public employees, and saying "NO" to corporate greed and the war against the middle class.
So, yes, it's been a big year for many of us. I feel a bit like a bystander, watching all this pass me by. This fall when Daniel started KG and Anya began part-time preschool, I finally had a few hours to myself during the week. It's just enough time to go running, catch up on housework and get some practice time in, which is more than I've had since, well, ever, but I admit I've felt a little stuck. I haven't made any goals or resolutions for 2012, but I suppose I should. I could use a little adventure.
Happy New Year, everyone.