Monday, December 28, 2009

Year-end Meme

Got this idea from Michelle at Bleeding Espresso :

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Married Sam. Watched my firstborn graduate from college. Started learning Italian; started learning Spanish. Grew eggplant. Stayed in Boulder, Utah. Had a colonoscopy. Hosted my high school roommate for a visit after 30 years!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t really make resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No one really close.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No one really close.
5. What countries did you visit? Unfortunately I did not visit any countries in 2009. Only in even years!
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Time in Europe. A son who is studying in grad school. A step-son who has a job. A daughter who graduates from college and is following her dreams.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 9th because we got married that day.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? It wasn’t mine, exactly, but it was sure satisfying to watch Andrew graduate Summa Cum Laude from college!

9. What was your biggest failure? Not finding more ease in being a step-mother to Kristen.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Strange pulled muscle in my stomach that has kept me from doing sit-ups for over 5 months now.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Rosetta Stone – Italian and Spanish. Also the BMW 328i!
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Sam for being so pleasant during the long visit from my parents.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Most of the Fox News folks and Rush Limbaugh.
14. Where did most of your money go? Hard to pin point!
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Marrying Sam!
16. What song will always remind you of 2009? “God Bless the Broken Road That Led Me Straight To You.” Rascal Flatts
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? (a) About the same (b) fatter, but I was too thin last year and (c) definitely richer, in every way!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading, writing, communicating with Kristen, meditating.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Complaining and obsessing.
20. How did you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve with Andrew and Heather and Kristen and Tom and Sam and Christmas day at home with Sam and Kristen and Tom.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Every day.
22. What was your favorite TV program? Castle and Cold Case
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t think so, although my ex-sister-in-law is stirring some unpleasant emotions!
24. What was the best book you read? South from Granada, Gerald Brenan – I know there are others, but I can’t think of them right now.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? James Taylor is always the greatest
26. What did you want and get? Sam – time in Utah
– more kayaking
27. What did you want and not get? Trip to Maine to visit my parents before they moved
28. What was your favorite film of this year? Don’t know yet..I’m at least a year behind
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 48 and my parents were here for Andrew’s graduation and we had a couple friends over and Heather and Seth (her boyfriend) were here too.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I think if I was retired and if we were living in Europe, but there is no way to know that for sure. I have many reasons to be satisfied with things as they are.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
32. What kept you sane? Planning next year’s trip to Spain and reading blogs and of course, running!
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Obama
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Health care and war
35. Who did you miss? Many people at various times.
36. Who was the best new person you met? I have made several on-line friends, but Heather’s boyfriend Seth has to be the “best” new person!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. My perspective is never the only one and rarely the correct one.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I set out on a narrow way, many years ago
Hoping I would find true love, along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two, wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign, pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream, led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes He did

I think about the years I spent, just passin' through
I'd like to have the time I lost, and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand, you've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan, that is comin' true

Every long lost dream, led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Facebook dimension

I'm contemplating the whole idea of my Facebook "community." At first I used FB only to stay in touch with my kids while they were studying abroad.

Then, while snowed in last Christmas, I discovered lots of high school friends with whom I had not communicated in 30 years and it was fun to get a glimpse of their lives and to share some of my own.

Over the next months I was found by lost friends from as far back as summer camp - girls (because that is how I remember these now-middle-aged women) who I had not seen or talked to in over 35 years!

I started to feel like FB was a small town where I knew everyone and I could walk down the street and say hello, or not, and if I heard snippets of conversation that interested me I could stop and comment. My birthday came and I enjoyed the well-wishes of friends from all over the world and - even though there is little easier than writing "Happy Birthday" on someone's FB wall- it still made me feel cared for.

From time to time I was asked to "friend" someone I could not even remember, but they had gone to high school at the same time I was there and remembered me, and a few others who I swear I never knew, but we have several mutual friends, so what the heck. I have 2 friend requests right now from people that have no connection to me. I don't want to delete the requests (that seems rude and, who knows, in time perhaps I will figure out a connection), but I also don't want to accept them as friends in case they are weird stalker types pretending to be the normal looking person in their photo! I have also asked others to be my friend and have never gotten a response. I like to think it is because they don't actually log onto their FB account - surely it isn't an actual rejection - is it?!

I am "friends" with some of my nieces and nephews and a couple cousins who all live on the East coast and this has provided a way for us to know each other a little bit. I enjoy the updates on their lives and being one of the first rather than the last (as I have been since moving 3000 miles away) to learn of engagements, pregnancies, grad school acceptances, etc. I am even friends with one ex-husband and his sisters and their kids, although I have limited what they can see in my profile.

Through FB I have also become "friends" with two couples who live in Spain. I had originally found them through reading their blogs and then connected on FB and now I have a frequent glimpse into their worlds. When we are in Spain next fall we are going to visit with both couples. I have never known anyone through the internet before meeting them in person, but they have come to feel like a real part of my world.

Last night I updated my status and someone from Connecticut - someone who was 4 or 5 years behind me in high school but, apparently thought highly of me at the time and was so pleased to have "found" me-went on a total rant. Much of what she said had nothing to do with my post, but she was going off about immigrants and such. When I commented back to her trying to bring her back to my very basic point (that I was choosing to study Spanish) she went on further about our society taking God out of everything, and how her world is about responsibilities so she doesn't have time to learn another language and that I should go and enjoy my trip and post all my photos on FB! Wow!

I discovered, sitting at my dining room table, that someone 3000 miles away seems to resent my life as she assumes it to be, based on what I have put on FB! I started to respond but then decided it just wasn't worth it. I would not know this person if I tripped over her and I was puzzled about how my words, or my life, could get her so agitated. I wanted to e-mail her and explain - to fill her in on the realities of my life since she last saw me in 1979 so that she could know some of the hard times and then maybe accept me and be happy for the life I have now. But why? I thought about un-friending her, but don't want to hurt her feelings. Geesh! How ridiculous is that? Why doesn't she un-friend me if my postings are so offensive?

This morning I re-read the comment string on my post. It turns out that her comment was posted just behind the comment of another I-don't-really-know-you-but-I-see-you-sometimes-and-FB-has-made-us-closer friends. Eddie Baba. Eddie is an immigrant from Romania. After this woman's rant about immigrants Eddie ceased to add any more comments. I found myself wanting to write to her now and tell her about Eddie - or I wanted to publicly apologize to Eddie for her comments and also to let him and everyone else know that I do NOT agree with her. But, in the end I just deleted the entire post. I'm sure that no one will even notice. If, by some off-chance this woman were to ask, I would tell her more. I will hold off on un-friending her. That my life matters to her at all is something she is choosing.

But, as I walk down the street of this odd FB community, I think I'll take the long way around the block to avoid her house for awhile!