This month I celebrated my 31st birthday, heralding in the 9 year span of me being "in" my 30s instead of being able to say I'm only 30. As with most birthdays, I tend not to see or feel or notice any difference from before I was 31 to when I hit that age. Personally, I find it odd that we even celebrate birthdays, but I suppose it's a nice marker that's personal enough to each person that gives us a unique celebration opportunity. Anyways, back to the fact that I'm older. Since a birthday is a nice arbitrary marker that occurs in my life each year, I like to take a few moments to reflect on the past year, reviewing it more or less.
This past year seemed to be simultaneously busier and less eventful. I'm not quite sure why those conflicting classifications of last year are the first to spring to mind, but that's definitely the sense I get. The busier feeling I know stems from a few things--work picked up pace and I've had more responsibilities under my belt, but that happens any time you want to attempt advancing in your career. I also had time tied up with trying to sell our previous home (which we didn't), then getting it ready to rent (which it is), doing showings (about 20 per week, which was leaps and bounds beyond what I expected), then actually getting it rented (thankfully, we ended up with great tenants). There was also my continued editing and writing duties at Decoy Music, plenty of ultimate leagues, lots of volleyball, some broomball (when there was actually ice), and the occasional hosting of a social gathering. These are pretty consistent year to year.
There was a bit of a dark pallor that fell over the end of last calendar year as my mother-in-law passed away after a strong fight against cancer. I tried not to focus on it, but it's hard not to have something like that at the forefront of your mind as you watch someone struggle, grapple, and eventually succumb to an adversary that is so formidable. Her loss obviously affected many people, myself included, but out of it, once all of the heavy emotions have subsided a bit, you tend to get a greater appreciation of that person's life. Her memories take on a bit more of bright and powerful tone.
My parents also lost a longtime pet, their cat Mystique. She was a wonderful animal that I spent so much time with all the way back from the beginning of this millennium until last year. It's weird to have a fixture of my parents' house disappear, now only living on in memory.
I hate to say that last year was a dark year, as it may seem that way, because it really wasn't. Yes, some heavy events happened, but I also had the chance to finally go on my honeymoon with my wife, enjoying the sun and beach in Mexico... although I did end up with pneumonia after the trip... but the trip itself was great! My wife and I settled into our home, and I think I now feel truly at home there. We've made it through another year of marriage as wonderful companions. I had numerous visits with my parents, each helping me to appreciate having them in my life. There were a lot of small, wonderful moments throughout the year.
So with all that having been said, how can I feel that the year wasn't eventful? I'm not sure, but maybe it's because I've started to establish and fall into routines. I've always been a creature of habit, so as I establish patterns to my days, my weeks, and my months, perhaps the lack of variation makes it feel like there's less going on. I'm not sure, but for some reason, I feel like I should have had tons of time to do things last year, but I also feel like I didn't get to nearly as many things as I wanted to...
Where does that leave me at the end of year 30? I don't know really, but it was insightful to look back on the year. I'm not sure what to draw from it yet, but it at least gave me fuel to ramble on for a few paragraphs, spitting out random thoughts as they came to me, which is essential for any rarely read blog!