Posted by: mydarkestplaces | December 9, 2012

Year End Wrapup


This year.

Some of my posts may have indicated just how wretched this year has been.

Friends dying – from their own hand and by their bodies self-destructing, friends in the hospital, global events. Safe to say, my twenty-eighth year has not been the apex of my life.

However, and this is what I constantly need to remind myself of (and am better at some times than other), there have been aspects of this year which were absolutely fantastic.

Since I didn’t buy into/participate in the 30 days of gratefulness thing that went viral on Facebook I’ll do my best to enumerate things I’m grateful for below. I will try my best to limit this list to things that are solely from this year (with a couple obvious exceptions). These are in no particular order and range from “real” to superficial.:

  1. Bard Coffee
  2. Auntie’s Kitchen Peanut Butter/Chocolate No-Bake Bars
  3. The owner of Auntie’s Kitchen, Suzanne.
  4. Becoming such close friends with Mike Lewis, Adam Baker and Cara
  5. Introducing David to St. Lawrence
  6. Seeing Adam Wayne, Heather Lynn, DAWeave, Barb, Jenny and Melissa up at St. Lawrence
  7. Becoming better friends with Anestes, Jeremy, Shana, Josh and Lyndsy
  8. My Chosen Family – Arden, Elizabeth, Kara, Brian, David, Marc, and Jenn.
  9. Rozeboom Clan
  10. The Internet for shrinking the world and introducing me to things I wouldn’t have found otherwise
  11. Nick Harkaway
  12. Corollary to the above: Angelmaker (if you haven’t read it yet, read it. Now. Pretty much hands down my favorite book from this past year.)
  13. My blood family – and its expansion pack, Laura

    Mary Poppins. Practically perfect in every way.

    Mary Poppins. Practically perfect in every way.

  14. Sunday mornings with the #JQA crew (Josh, Lyndsy, and Mike Lewis)
  15. NPR, MPBN, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and This American Life
  16. Andy for turning me on to so many new kinds of music
  17. Perpetual thanks to Dr. Ruth Kreuzer and Dr. Elun Gabriel for introducing me to Russian history and encouraging me to study it more in depth.
  18. Josh Christie, Rebecca Schinsky, Jenn N., Book Riot and all the other myriad, wonderful, beautiful, enabling book people who are constantly turning me on to new authors, new genres, and new ways of looking at the world
  19. New York City for being halfway between Maine and Washington, DC, which is allowing me to see Arden for a whole three and a half days
  20. The geology and geography of Maine which means that we are not near so afflicted by natural disasters as other areas of the country and world
  21. Andy Carvin for turning me on to a world that I probably wouldn’t have sought out on my own (although, depending on the day, I sometimes wish he hadn’t because I can’t un-see or un-know the things he’s shown to me)
  22. People who are smarter than me, and who help make me smarter
  23. White Trash Dates with Kara
  24. Laughter, even when it’s through the tears
  25. Friends it’s safe to get black out drunk in front of
  26. Writing – whether for fun or for processing
  27. For all the ups and downs over the past fifteen years, I’m grateful for Hippo, Liz and Kara. You three know me better than just about anyone else on the planet and yet somehow you still put up with me
  28. Hearing Jessi Burg’s voice multiple times this year
  29. My rugby family (again with the St. Lawrence people…I love it :) – Ann Marie, Kat, Nikki, Hammy, Harv. You ladies have been there for me in so many ways for so many years
  30. Working for a company that cares a lot about the world they live in. In terms of the textiles they use for their clothing, the folks they use to produce their clothing, and how they give back to the communities where we have a presence. It’s awesome to know that I work for a good company
  31. After publishing this yesterday I realized the folly of working on two posts at once. In the other post, to be published at some point in the next few days, I talk about Brent and Kirsten and the Danler daughters. I talk about arguing with Brent and Kirsten and playing games with the girls. I talk about it enough that I couldn’t conceive of not having them be on this list. But, mea culpa, such is the case. So, rounding out my 31 points of things to be grateful for this year – the Danler clan.

I’ll be honest. I’ve barely gotten through this year. That I have at all is a testament less to me, and more a testament to the people in my life. You all (hopefully) know who you are and you have my thanks (most days). Now that I’ve reached December, these lyrics by The Mountain Goats ring true:

“I am going to make it through this yearIf it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me”

I don’t know what 2013 will bring. I very badly want to say that it can’t be worse than 2012. I am steeling myself in case it is. On the other hand, if I get nearly as many positives to go with the negatives as I did this year, maybe 2013 won’t be a complete waste. Lord knows, as excited as I am to bid this year adieu, I will be taking the positives listed above and holding them near. If I don’t, survival would have been for naught and the love that has been shown to me will have been wasted.


  1. I understand a little better how you related to the painting. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Being at the end of the year helps put things in better perspective, but yeah. That painting. Holy Hannah, that painting.

  2. As we get older each year gets more ‘entertaining’ and sometimes more challenging, your perspective is exceptional. I love who you are, how you write and how you think you own a seat at Bard coffee. While our interactions have been too few and far between, I hope they continue. Meeting you and getting to know who you are has been a wonderful addition to my life. I ADORE YOU.

    • Well shucks, Charity, I’m getting all aflustered over here.

      (Although I don’t just THINK I own a seat at Bard Coffee ;)

      I adore YOU and your wee one, pretty lady <3

  3. Very nice post. Gratitude is a very good thing. As of course are books.

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