Thursday, December 30, 2004

Batting Around the "R" words

2004 is slowly drawing to a close. It’s perilously close to that time for reflection and resolution. Ha! One of my major problems is that I reflect way too often; at the drop of a hat, actually, throughout the year. I’m so busy analyzing yesterday, that I miss today…and forget to anticipate tomorrow. If I wasn’t so allergic to making resolutions, I would resolve not to indulge in quite so much reflection.

I think I may need to change my tune regarding resolutions. For the past decade or so, I’ve completely thrown over the idea of making resolutions for the new year. All I could see was that I would most likely be setting myself up to fail. I’ve been so prone to failure these last ten years, I had no desire to create new yardsticks by which my daily failures could be measured.

How negative does that sound? But that was the space I was in. Emphasis on the word WAS. I think the past year has seen me finally crawl out of that hole, to a place where I can perch, enjoy today, and survey the possibilities of the future. As well as the mistakes of the past, from enough distance that I can see the larger picture. Pick out the valuable lessons, and leave the rest behind.

When I first set my mind to thinking about what I had "Done" in 2004, I was ready to be disappointed. My current situation—not working, and not doing a very good job of making the most of my free time---has left me with feelings of worthlessness and frustration. As I dug a little deeper into the treasure chest that is 2004, I realized that I have accomplished some things of which I should be very proud. And some things happened that should be celebrated. Rub off the soot of today’s discontent, and you find some rich treasures wrapped in the days, weeks, and months of this year. Here are some of them:

January: Husband and I joined Weight Watchers. By May, I had lost thirty pounds and reached my goal weight of 118#. In October, husband attained his goal weight of 187#, shedding more than 60 pounds. We were not the most gung-ho of members, but we learned some things about nutrition and made some life-style changes that will put us in good stead for the rest of our lives.

February: Had a fun Valentine’s "wine tour" vacation with husband and my sister and brother-in-law. Weather was cold and a bit raw, but with all the wine…who cared? In fact, we had several good times of sharing with my family, throughout the year. This may not seem like a big deal…but my relationship with my family has drifted to such a sorry state that any positive interaction with them is to be celebrated. And so I do.

May: For only the second time in almost twenty years, members of husband’s family trekked out to Oregon to visit the far western outpost of the clan. We did a decent job of intensive entertaining, husband was beaming, and a good time was had by all.

Summer months: We had a decent season with the business, despite getting rammed by the weather at several events. I made some changes to the menu and to some systems that simplified the operation and made us more profitable, made good contacts at some new events that went well; all in all, a year of learning and growth for Café de la Rue, pointing us in the direction of future greatness.

August: Husband embarked upon the "dining room door" project… Said project was satisfactorily completed within less than two months. This was some kind of speed and efficiency record for a home improvement undertaking in our house. And it looks darn good, too.

Late summer to autumn: I surprised myself with a burst of political fervor surrounding the election. I still believe that this was one of the most important elections of my lifetime. And I don’t think the American people dropped the ball, either. I think it was stolen out of their hands (again.) Only this time when the order went out to secure a state for Mr. Bush, it went with the addendum that the votes should stack up overwhelmingly enough in Bush’s favor that calling for a recount would be politically untenable for the opponent. (Hey…I spent the first thirty years of my life living a stone’s throw from Chicago. It’s not like I’m not aware that political manipulation of the voting franchise is practiced in this country…) It is my fervent hope that, one day soon, enough evidence will be gathered by some brave soul willing to stand up to the frightening clout of the Bush the administration, to expose them for who and what they are, and bring them to justice NOW, when the American people, and the people of the world, could most benefit from it. How I would love to show the world that we Americans know how to keep our own house in order! What better demonstration that democracy works?

(Look at that…just get me started on a political bent and I can hardly keep my hands from flying over the keys…even if I do have to stop and correct manicure-related typos every three words…! :-D)

And how could I tick off the highlights of 2004 without including the best thing of all—Coming to Terms With Middle Age. The events and accomplishments of the year have seemed so much more…real…because I’ve been able to recount them here, as if I were writing letters to good friends. Friends who have helped me see some things more clearly, who have applauded when I did something good, or gently admonished me when I did something stupid. Friends who have given me the priceless gift of reading the things I have to write. I can never adequately express how much I treasure this journal experience. Thank you all for being THE highlight of my year.

Tomorrow, I will write about the things I want to accomplish (dare I say the "R" word?) in 2005.


  1. Lisa, you have had a very significant year.  I've seen the changes and the growth in you through your journal this year, and I am very proud of you.  I hope you're proud of yourself.  Here's to 2005 and to what all it brings.

  2. It is very hard to refrain from beating ourselves up for what we have not done. It is even more difficult to applaude ourselves for the things we have accomplished. I guess the best we can do is admit when we are wrong, learn from our mistakes and take those lessons forward and expect the miracles life has to offer us if we only will allow it.  Happy New Year Lisa!

  3. "Rub off the soot of today’s discontent, and you find some rich treasures wrapped in the days, weeks, and months of this year..."  

    Nicely said.  It seems you've had a very good year on the whole, and much to be proud and happy about.  Yay, you!

    Now please stop tossing around the"R"word like that.  You'll make some of us (me) feel very guilty about our lack of "R".

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, Lisa!!!  :)

  4. Not for the first time, you have provided much food for thought.  I found myself thinking of what I have accomplished this past year that might be worthy of note.  It may take me a little time to assimilate such a list.  (I love lists!)  I'm not big on New Year Resolutions but I think I shall try to "live each day to its fullest" as so many worthies are fond of advising.  These days, I'm thinking this is probably a good idea.  Happy New Year, Lisa!

  5. Your year was very impressive indeed! 2005 will be even better!  I am not going to make any resolutions.  Instead I am going to make a list of things I want to do, accomplish, enjoy, create, improve, dream on for 2005.  It seems like so much more fun that pointing out my shortcomings that need improvement!  Happy new year...mary

  6. I never do the reflection or resolution thing for the new year but I have promised myself that 2005 will something way different. HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


  7. I think your writing is great! And that weight loss for the both of you is outstanding.  I need to get on that bandwagon.  

    Happy New Year!

  8. Wow.  I am totally impressed.  You have had an incredible year.  Now I think I will just crawl back into my hole.

    PS: About your business endeavors: Are you sure you aren't meant to be a politcal writer?  I hope you have been sending some of your stuff out.

  9. Isn't it great to be able to go back and read about the little things you had forgotten but were apparently important at the time?  That's why I have done the top 5 thing with my journal.  Not only for me, but for you and others as well-- to let you see the words of wisdom you left behind for me on some very significant days.   Happy New Year, my Journal Friend!!  Kristi

  10. This is great.  You've had a wonderful year.

  11. Somebody dared to admonish you? I would be most afraid since you can verbally woop Bush and any of his supporters into a tailspin.

    It looks like reflection paid off well in this instance. It's all in the perspective.
    :-) ---Robbie