Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why happiness is a cat giving the stink eye

It's that time of year, when bloggers everywhere tally up the score from the last twelve months. Travelers list all the places they've traveled (I seethe and rage), readers list books they've read (I take mental note of recommendations), the rest contentedly check off all the goals they managed to reach in 2012. But not me! Nary a resolution will you find in these annals--I'm stubborn that way, "why set yourself up for failure?" being my personal philosophy. Also, what am I, an oracle? It turns out I'm much better at predicting the past. 

I've been feeling particularly dour lately regarding my state of affairs, maybe due to all the end-of-the-year reflection hoopla inside and outside of the blogosphere, much as I like to think myself immune to such things. Maybe it's the result of my introspective nature and the fact that I'm 32 and nowhere close to living the life I'd like to be, or maybe I'm just at the peak of a hormonal cycle, but either way, it's been even harder than usual to find a bright side, lately. And even harder to drum up any smidgen of enthusiasm for a bright! shiny! new! year! and all its myriad "possibilities."

Which is why it positively pains me to do this, but in looking back on the year, I have to admit that I did make a few incremental net gains in 2012. Certain small steps toward a happier, healthier me. For instance, it took me half of 2012 (and a portion of 2011), but I finally found a job that is at least 50% less bad than my previous one. Granted, I still go to work every morning wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life, BUT I can now do so in an environment that is approximately 50% less horrible than before. Yay?

Also, if I had made any resolutions last year, at the top of the list would probably have been something along the lines of, "Start going to yoga again. Then go, a lot. Don't stop going." And, I'm proud to report that since I introduced the Yoga (Almost) Every Day project back in July, I have done just that. For the last five months, and with only a few exceptions, I've been going to yoga an average of 3-5 times per week. I will NOT think about the fact that I have not made nearly as much progress in this time as I had hoped, that my noodle arms are still weak and noodly, that my tight hips might as well be made of steel for as flexible as they aren't. I will instead focus on the fact that I go because I enjoy it, it keeps me sane, and it livens up the occasional dinner party.

Speaking of sane, 2012 was the year that I finally dragged this mess to a therapist. It's been a couple months or so now, and do I hate it? Yes, I do. Do I think it's helping? Not particularly, no. Do I dread going with every fiber of my being? Yes. Wait, where was I going with this again? Oh, right. Something about conquering fears. I think. I'm not sure where my expectations of therapy came from, but it was almost certainly from tv. The real life version goes, hey, newsflash! Talking about bad stuff feels bad! I'm still working this one out, as you can see. Moving on...

On a brighter note, 2012 was also the year of dinner parties and becoming friends with some of my neighbors and their friends, and for them I'm so, so grateful. (And ha! Look at that, there IS a New Year's resolution at the end of that post. And I think I kept it, too!) 

And last but not least, longtime readers of the Diary will perhaps know that I have wanted a pet for a loooooong time. For so many years it seemed like one of those unattainable ideas, on par with, "Buy a house!" "Travel the world!" "Find your dream job!" "Just write a book!" Like a really nice idea in theory, but ultimately, given my circumstances, not something I could actually do quite yet. 

And then there was Ellie. 
"What are YOU looking at?"
And we all know how I feel about her. (Annoyed, mostly. But also very happy.)

What made you happy in 2012?  


  1. My pets made me happiest in 2012. I had a part time job that was OK most of the year, then I was unemployed for 2 months (and still am) which certainly does not make me feel better about all those years I spent in school...but every year is a mix of good, bad and ugly memories, so 2012 was no different. Keep going to yoga, keep talking to your therapist (even if you hate it) and keep the new friendships going. 2013 will hopefully bring lots of fun new things, and at the very least, you'll be spending it with Ellie :)

  2. 2012 was...hard. But I'm not really one for new years resolutions either - I'm more of a birthday resolution type of girl.

  3. Don't be afraid to switch therapists if the one you're seeing isn't working for you. Also, maybe you've already gone this route, but if therapy isn't working, maybe consider meds? I don't know where I'd be without my anti-depressants.

  4. FINE. I will get back to yoga. As long as I now know that it is okay if your arms are still noodle weak and your hips will NEVER OPEN UP even after continuous months of it. Glad I'm not alone on that one.
    Also, I LOATHE going to my own therapy. And I'm a therapist. So, I'm here to say: that's actually the way it's supposed to be. If anything good comes from it, it starts with you hating to go. Seriously.
    Also, I'm really, really happy about your neighbor friends and your cat.

  5. I'm always super gung ho about making goals, it's the keeping them that sometimes (often) I have a problem with. However, this year I've given several people the right to harass me about them, so hopefully things will work out better.

    I thought about taking a yoga class (bikram because I love the idea of the heat), but have instead decided I'm starting with a local barre/pilates type place because that's what I've found works well for my body (well, ballet at least, but I don't have time to take dance classes).

    I think life is a journey. It sounds cheesy, but when you hear the part where sometimes you just have to yell and flip other people off, it makes sense, right? If life was too perfect we'd get bored (or at least that's what I tell myself). Here's hoping your 2013 gets close enough to perfect to not bore the living daylights out of you!

  6. Your 2012 didn't sound so bad after all! I too will be starting yoga over (yet again) in 2013. Noodle arms, unite!

  7. Happy New Year kiddo, yeah i'm late but i'm often stoned so cut me some slack, oddly enough as i sat om my couch staring out my window and listening to Exile in Guyville (on vinyl of course,how many guys you know own Liz Phair on wax) i thought of you sweetheart, and then i thought about how damn great the lyrics on that record are, then i ate a chocolate chip cookie.