Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 retrospective


Oh, 2012. You started with such promise, yet you end with such uncertainty as we all wait to hear whether or not we're about to plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff.

I know I say this nearly every year, but 2012 was a year of change. It started in early January, when I accepted an offer to move to another company. Although I loved my job at the company where I had worked for 1.5 years, the new company offered me an exciting new professional challenge and some appealing benefits. The downside? I traded in an easy four-mile, 15-minute commute for one that's typically anywhere from 40-50 minutes. Oh, and I miss my carpool buddy like crazy!

Something really different about my current job is . . . we only do business in three states. I'm still adjusting to this. I went from working for a global company (2000-2010) to working for a US-only company (2010-2012) to working for a regional company. Nowadays, instead of traveling to places like Sydney and Shanghai and Vienna for work, I travel to exotic destinations like . . . Greenville, South Carolina. Good thing I'm really liking this gig so far. :)

One of my New Year's Resolutions for the last 20 years or so has been to lose weight. I finally did it in 2012. I still have a ways to go until I reach my ultimate goal, but I'm well over halfway there. I feel great and my health has vastly improved. Big accomplishment!!!

We had a very mild winter this year, and spring came in like a lamb. Highlights of the spring months included going from the coast to the mountains for our birthdays: We celebrated mine in Wilmington and S's in Asheville. In May, we welcomed a visitor from Vienna who hung out with us for a few days on her first-ever USA trip! We took her to the farm and to the beach, and showed her all around our fair city of Charlotte.

Before we knew it, summer was here. In June, I attended my 30th year high school reunion. It was great to reconnect with 'old' friends and to learn what everyone was up to. Also in June, we took a long weekend and went up to West Virginia, where along with S's brother, we went white water rafting! Now that was fun.  It was my first time rafting the New River and I'm so ready to go back and try the more challenging Gauley River.

There's not a lot going on at the farm in the heat of the summer, but we did have our family reunion as per usual in August. It was nice to see aunts, uncles, and cousins. Also in August, we learned that the owners of the house we'd been renting since summer 2011 wanted to sell. We made an offer, and in mid-September, we became homeowners again. Our house is a small bungalow -- much, much smaller and cozier than the house we left behind in Indianapolis. But it's perfect for us and it only takes a couple of hours to clean, which is awesome. AND we don't have to mow the lawn because that's included in our HOA fees. Woot!!! I think we will stay here for a while. :)

Fall is our favorite season, but we didn't have much of a fall this year. We went to Turkey in October for vacation. It was a trip of a lifetime and we enjoyed it tremendously! I wrote about 20 blog entries about our trip so if you want, you can find links to them on the right side under the Previous Posts header. Bottom line: I think Turkey was my most favorite vacation ever -- even though we had to leave Istanbul a day early because of Hurricane Sandy. 

Then the holidays were here. We enjoyed Thanksgiving in the "new" house, and spent Christmas at the farm. I know I wrote last year that 2011 was the best Christmas, but 2012 Christmas was even better. Our family gathering included two new people as my nephew brought his girlfriend and my niece's boyfriend came along, too. (Another sign that life is just one change after another! Gosh, how quickly those two have grown up!)

Oh, 2012. As the Year of the Dragon it was supposed to be "My" year . . . I was born in a Dragon year. I guess it really did turn out to be "My" year after all. There was lots of change. Lots of transformation and personal growth, too. And adventures! Lots of adventures! So goodbye, 2012, and thank you for all your gifts.

Bring it on, 2013.