A bit premature in my review, but there is a good reason for that. In a few days I am leaving to spend the holiday and remainder of the year with my brother in Sitka, Alaska, where I plan on doing next to nothing.
That’s already a lie – I’ll do some reading and a tiny bit of knitting, I’m sure, hopefully some cooking and baking, and a lot of basking in gorgeous scenery. I look forward to some days of self-indulgence. One of my (many) bad habits is that I like to take on more than I realistically believe that I can handle, then force myself to see all commitments through at the cost of sleep or a regular social life. I don’t plan on changing that in the new year, though. If anything, I’m just going to work on harnessing that inclination for over-extending myself in order to eventually become some kind of superhuman. But a girl must rest sometimes.
This year was hard on me, mentally and physically. It took a few cracked ribs, a split chin, a possibly-sprained wrist, and a lost thumbnail for me to realize that this was (literaly) a year about toughening up and gaining thicker skin. Once I gave into it, things felt a little bit easier. Having dinner with a dear friend in Pittsburgh over Thanksgiving, I realized that I feel better than I did when we had dinner together a year before. I hope all of my friends can say the same.
My favorite thing that I knit this year? Probably my Stasis pullover, though I’ve yet to take a decent photo of it. I’m also getting a shocking amount of wear out of my Bridgewater shawl, though it is quite a departure from my usual color palette.
Favorite things I read this year? Alice Munro’s Dear Life, Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle (a reread from years ago, I can’t recommend it enough), and A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver. A special mention goes to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, which I read during a time when the emotional resonance was practically deafening, and which I found immensely comforting and helpful. (Surely I’m forgetting something, but you can’t go wrong with these.)
I was really lucky to travel as much as I did this year. In my day-to-day life as professional tourist, I got to explore Rhode Island on a deeper level than I had in any of the prior years I spent living here. I appreciate it much more than I did before, even going so far as to finally admit that I actually live here, and am not just passing through. My rip to Block Island was a definite highlight. But I also got to spend time at home in western Pennsylvania, with friends at the Jersey shore, and with one of my nearest and dearest in Los Angeles. I didn’t make it back to Salzburg, but a friend and former coworker there did make it here to visit me. I’ve always wanted to spend time in Alaska, and now I’m going to end the year there. Lucky doesn’t even begin to cover it.
My 2013 imperative was “rest less.” I started the year with a pun tattoo to seal the deal:
It served me well enough. Perhaps I’ll stick with it in 2014. (Maybe I could take it to a bit less of an extreme.) As usual, I have no real resolutions. Just more of the same, but bigger and better. I recently bought a friend a strange energy drink at Ocean State Job Lot, and in tiny, tiny text on the can it said, “Because I have been given much, I too must give.” That, with a solid dose of taurine, could really be the secret to everything, couldn’t it?
Then again, perhaps I’m just tired.
See you next year.