Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year In Review: 2009 ...

A few years ago, exactly how many years ago I'm not sure, I started the tradition of sitting down on New Year's Eve and writing out my goals for the coming year.

Not resolutions, mind you. Resolutions never stick. But goals seemed to make sense.

So I'd write them out, longhand, in pencil (I prefer writing in pencil rather than pen; it has nothing to do with some subconscious desire to stay young, I just like the way graphite glides across paper), on a lined pad – white, not yellow – and then put them in an envelope and tuck it away in a drawer to be opened and read the following New Year's Eve. A little time capsule of sorts.

This year, impatient, I opened the envelope yesterday. And I read what I wrote. And I decided that I wouldn't write out any goals today for the coming year. I'll just see what manifests in my life, without any expectations committed to paper.

Let's review what I wrote a year ago, a few of the goals I had for 2009, reproduced here just as I wrote them:

[Insert gales of laughter here. Next ...]

2. Make as much money as possible
Here's a handy wealth-building insight for you: Unemployment insurance does not pave the road to riches.

3. Learn an instrument
Nope. But I have hopes for me and my guitar.

4. Sing more
Well, finally. I did something in 2009. I always want to spend more time in the studio, but I appreciated the time Brian was able to carve out for us. This was the year of George Michael's jazz arrangement of "Roxanne", and Melody Gardot's "Our Love Is Easy" and "Your Heart Is As Black As Night". (As ever, the evolving collection of works in progress can be found here.) I did not, however, make good on the "go to open-mic nights, for sure," portion of the goal. Ah well. I had good intentions. Brian and I were going to plan our studio time around the open-mic night at Davenport's, so I could record in the studio and warm up my voice, and then go perform in front of a wee audience. Next year, perhaps.

5. Read more
Not so much. I don't know why my desire to read comes and goes in fits and starts. Some weeks, I devour book after book, and other weeks, I don't read anything that doesn't appear online or in a magazine. But I do receive a lot of magazines. At the moment, though, the stack of books next to my bed is just silly. Glancing into my room, I'd say I have about 15 waiting for me to want to read them. I should pare back to just the one top of my night stand and move the others to my bookshelves to await their turns.

There were other goals on the list. I won't bore you with the rest of them. Suffice it to say: The report would not be good.

So 2009 is best left to history. The death of L.A. Dave in early February started an emotional avalanche that just recently has come to an end. So much happened this year, even as I felt as though I was doing nothing at all.

But I have arrived at this last day of the year with a lot of clutter cleared, many issues resolved, sense made out of the morass of emotions and moments that made up these months.

As I wrote in this post: "There have been moments of goodness, of course. Everyone in my family celebrated another birthday. I finished the 3-Day for the sixth time. Seeing Springsteen perform 'Born to Run' from the floor of the United Center was one for the record books."

And I made many new friends.

Picture an intricate wheel. L.A. Dave, who was greatly loved, was the hub, and we, each of us, had a place in his life at the end of each spoke. Though he is no longer at the physical center, we have all joined hands and kept the circle together. And we hold him in our collective heart.

And while there has been other great loss in these months, there has also been great gain. Friends have become parents and there is no more happiness in the world than can be found in those bundles of joy.

And other friends have wed and I wish them all the best.

With this year, though, I am done.

Farewell, 2009. Kindly step aside, for 2010 awaits. And I am eager to meet it.


Blogger J. Marquis said...

Good luck with your goals, Beth. I hope you have a great 2010.

12:49 PM  

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