Holidays, Personal

Goodbye 2011

So clearly, I’ve seriously been slacking. (When the last real blog post was on July 20th and claimed I’d be blogging regularly…not good!) Not to make any excuses, but remember when I wrote about a lack of time (Scheduling Recreation)? Well, somehow I figured I had too much time on my hands because this fall I decided to take three college courses, bowl in a weekly league, continue to try to volunteer at the Crocker, begin a book club, and maintain social outings with friends and family.  Wow, after typing all that, no wonder I’m tired all the time.  In any case, it didn’t leave me with much time to blog. But, I’m definitely going to try harder in the coming year.

Another thing I haven’t really gotten around to this year – mailing holiday cards. Hopefully, everyone will forgive me and simply enjoy my holiday blog instead. (And know that next year, I fully intend to support the postal service and have cards in the mail again.)  And without further ado….

A Year in Review…

It’s been a year of ups and downs (aren’t they all though?).  There has been cancer scares, a funeral, and untold amounts of stress related to a variety of issues.  Looking on the bright side, the funeral services that I attended for a dear family friend served to remind us all how precious life is and even more importantly, how essential it is to spend time with those you love.  The cancer scares required surgery, but was removable.  And the stress…well, there’s always bound to be that. But, learning to cope and move past it can only improve things. “What doesn’t destroy you…” and all that jazz, right?

Enough of the sad stuff, let’s talk about the good stuff, and there was some REALLY GOOD stuff.  My little sister got married in June.  It was a beautiful reception and I came very close to bawling my eyes out. I held it together, but just barely. She walked down the aisle with our dad to Death Cab for Cutie’s “Transatlanticism.” I told that might send me over the edge, and it was touch and go for a bit, but I fought and held it together. Good thing too, it would have been terrible to mess up the beautiful make-up job Glynis did.  The reception was a blast. It was one hell of a party. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, partied well into the night. The next morning…well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many gray-faced, hung-over people in one place (and it wasn’t just the young‘uns either).  I’m so happy for Caitlin and Austin, my new brother-in-law.  They make a fantastic pair.

In July, I FINALLY WENT TO COMIC CON! Sorry for shouting, but I still get really excited about that.   I’ve wanted to attend for years and it never seemed to work out.  Even this year, I had acknowledged that I probably wouldn’t be going. But, the stars aligned and I happened to see the notice for the second round of tickets sales (essentially those that had been refunded) and was able to score a four-day pass.  I was so happy I was almost in tears when the screen popped up confirming my purchase.  And, the Con did not disappoint. It was amazing, certainly frustrating at times, with poor logistics and just the massive amount of people, but it was an experience and I loved it.  I was able to attend a panel on “Epic Fantasy” that had George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss among others.  I saw panels by Felicia Day and actually got to meet her.  It was an exhausting four days but so inspiring to me.  And guess what, I’ve got a pass to do it all over again in 2012!

Comic Con was in July and then in August I took another vacation. This time it was a relaxing week in Maui.  My first trip to Hawaii was all I hoped it could be. I went with one of my best friends, Justin, and we explored botanical gardens, snorkeled around Moloka’i, zip-lined, rode horses, and spent a lot of time at the beach or pool drinking and reading.  It was gorgeous and probably the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever taken.

And through all of that, I’ve taken classes through Sierra College, bowled with fantastic people in West Sacramento, and continued to house-sit for many wonderful people and their fabulous pets.   I’ve also managed to read 60 books this year too, and some of them were HUGE (hello epic fantasy novels).  Next year, I think it’s time to do a little less reading and concentrate a little more on my own artistic endeavors.  I’ve got big plans for next year. Stay tuned to see if I can actually manage to accomplish them all.

Now if you’re nosy, like some people, you’re probably thinking, “Well that’s all great, but where’s the juicy stuff? What’s going on with her love life?” The short answer: not much. The longer answer would involve some crazy stories about some interesting characters, new and old.  But I guess the most important factor is that I have put myself back out there, for better or worse.  I’m enjoying my life, and all that it entails. It keeps me busy, probably too busy at times, but I’m happy (most of the time) and that’s what matters.

I hope this holiday season finds you happy as you reflect on the year that’s been and the year to come.  Explore new venues and new opportunities and find your joy.  All the best for you and yours this magical season.  Let’s hope 2012 gets even better!

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