It's that time of year again... a time during which we as sentient beings pause, consider, and reflect on the last 12 months. What joys have we felt? What trials have we endured? How could we have done better? But why do we do this?
I don't really know the answer, nor do I expect one from anyone who reads this. But I do know that I take this natural transition in life to consider how life is going, and of course, how life will go for the next 12 months.
In doing so, I'm reviewing my Project Life Albums. For my non-scrapbooking friends and family, for 2013, rather than simply create pages that highlight big events or feelings, I chose to do a Weekly documentation of my year as it happened - capturing the more day to day experiences of my year. I learned I have a pretty boring life! Nonetheless, rather than baring my soul and deepest reflections of my near past and uncertain future, I'll highlight my year through some of my favorite moments captured.
This year I experienced my first snow day - work/school closed because of the snow. It was my first winter in 19 years, and living in Flagstaff allowed me to relish in its beauty rather than feel miserable (which is how I felt in Illinois). I also fell in love with my first foster puppy. Hugh was such a card. So smart, but such a stinker. It was a bittersweet day when he found his forever home!
Early in the year we moved my dad into his own apartment. It was hard. He was sad. But he tried to make the best of things. After MANY months, he finally felt at home in his new place. But the week I moved him, I made sure I spent time with the friends I missed so much since moving to Flagstaff. That made it a highlight.
Ahhh, summer... I wish it could have lasted forever. Although we had record amounts of rainfall this year, I was able to get outside just barely enough to feed my spirit. But learning and playing with my fellow doc students, and then having Val arrive with the horses. That made the sunny moments even more enjoyable. This is such a beautiful place to live. Some days I feel very lucky.
One of my favorite moments of summer though was our stakeout. We had naively been storing extra bags of dog food on our front porch. After a while, we started noticing holes in the bags, then dog food all over the porch (whoever it was, didn't like the dried carrots and peas amidst the food). Then after coming home from a late dinner one night, we witnessed THREE racoons scurrying around on the porch. I failed to get a good photo though. So, I decided to wait up that night knowing they'd be back. Sure enough, I captured the moment perfectly. I almost didn't want to move the dog food into the house because these guys made me giggle so much!
Then, before I knew it, it was fall. With cooler temps, but warmer colors. As free and breezy as I felt in summer, the fall warmed me. I felt grounded with the start of the season, the start of school, the start of my very last academic year of coursework. I had much to look forward.
It will come as no surprise to those who know me well that the best highlights of the year had to do with animals and wildlife. So, the final moment I'll share here is the morning I headed to work and a small group of elk decided to cross my path. These are majestic animals. They take my breath away every time I get a glimpse, and I will never tire of it.
Here's to 2014 everyone!