I wish that I could report that we had an ultra-cool New Years Eve like partying with celebrities or on the moon. Instead, we put the kids down around 7, Cool Mum watched a movie with her mom while I played on the iPad, and the Cool ‘Rents went to bed at 10:30. [-5 cool points] We woke up relieved to see that the world had not screeched to a halt due to an unexpected Y2K12 bug.
Before I plow ahead with another year of questionable ideas and immature jokes (chicken butt), I wanted to take a quick look at 2011 and see if I could come up with an overall personal theme (I’m not speaking for CM here) to the year.
My initial thought was that ’11 was about rejection. Perhaps my new Uniqlo flannel shirts were sending me into a Seattle grunge type of self-loathing, but when I looked at two key plot lines through the year, it made sense.
- The big one was my search for employment. I was laid off from my job on Thanksgiving 2010 due to financial hardships at the company. The fam spent an extended holiday in Florida, and I returned to NYC with a drive to find a job. After applications, phone interviews, and in-person interviews, I was still part of the unemployed masses.
- Another arc, which wasn’t really rejection but still gave me the feeling of separation, was our recent move to the Bronx after two years on the Upper East Side. Our church and many of our friends were on the UES, and while I worked through my initial frustrations of being away from them, I felt alienated, like the life that I was living for the past two years was going on without me.
Saying that last year was all about rejection sounds cool and brooding, but it’s wrong. I feel good about life, and that’s because 2011 was a good year. Things didn’t all go my way, but that’s what happens when you go through a year of focus.
Here’s how my life began to come into focus in 2011:
- As the job search went on, I picked up small projects, ranging from web design to writing. As I succeeded through those, I honed in on what my different talents are and how proficient I am with each of them. The experience continues to help me decide how to translate those talents into marketable skills.
- I gained a love for our neighborhood. We got to know friends up here better and made new ones. We used our car, which we could in no way have brought to NYC while we lived in Manhattan, to explore the Northeast. And the (relative) affordability of the area means that we can sustain a life here, and we want to.
- My time at home strengthened our family bond. I’m glad to have been around for Cool Newbie’s evolution from a baby to a toddler, seeing his little personality develop and being available to hug him all throughout the day.
- The passing of our friend Sunday inspired me to learn from him and be an intentional and outspoken friend.
- The year gave me a couple of fun creative goals to work towards and find the partners who will help make them happen. I can’t wait to get started.
So, enough about 2011. I just know that 2012 will be much better! You know why? Chicken thigh.