Farewell, 2012!

misc cloudy

Miles run today: 4.5

Pair of new boots I’m wearing today: 1

Number of sugared cranberries I ate last night: 22 (Yum! You can find the recipe over at Maisymak.)

Sayonara, 2012! Bienvenido, 2013!

My dad has always scoffed at New Year’s.

Dad: December 31. Such an artificial, arbitrary way to end a year.

Mom: Oh, man. Not this again.

Dad: The new year is supposed to start in the spring, when the new leaves come out and the birdies sing. It’s the middle of the winter, for Pete’s sake.

Mom: Oh! So if we put off our New Year’s celebration, we’ll do a big celebration in the spring, then? Mmm hmmm. A likely story.

Now my mom goes to her parents’ house for New Year’s. That’s one way to avoid the whole “rite of springtime” speech, I guess.

Things I learned in 2012:

1. Turning 40 does not mean that all of your body parts will fall off. Maybe only some of them will. Or you will get an ugly, black blister on your foot that scares young children… but you will live through it.

2. You can write a draft of a novel in six months. It may take you the next five years to finish it, but you have the bare bones in place, goshdarnit.

3. Writing a blog is one of the most cathartic processes out there. Sure, your entire inner workings are laid bare for the world, but a correspondent job at NPR might come out of it. You might become the next David Sedaris.


Still waiting.

4. Looking for a job is every bit as soul-crushing and time-consuming as it was when I was 21.

5. Appliances aren’t made like they used to be.

6.  I hate that I like air conditioning. But when it’s gone, life is hard. And sticky.

7. Sometimes, like manna from heaven, you get a life-affirming gift like boots for a penny. And you ride that wave of happiness for months.

8. Even though you aren’t a kid anymore, there are still moments when you are having a great time, and you know you will flash back to the memory for the rest of your life. Whenever I hear Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City’s “Good Time,” I get a faint whiff of chlorine and remember my kids participating in our neighborhood’s triathlon. When they are 60 and 62, and I am in a senior living facility, I will still remember the happiness.

9. I still have a problem with inappropriate laughter when someone falls down.

10. I like it when my car does not resemble a serial killer vehicle. Functional door handles are one of those non-negotiables… call me pampered.

11. I still cry at It’s a Wonderful Life. I still laugh until I cry at Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

12. I still believe that good trumps evil.

What did you learn in 2012? Was it a banner year, or are you glad to say goodbye?


35 thoughts on “Farewell, 2012!

  1. arjun bagga says:

    Awesome! first read was easy, second time wasn’t. I am 2 years away from 40 but what’s making me nervous is miles run today. I did 4.5 in last 7 years..

    • annewoodman says:

      Running really isn’t for everyone. It might not even be for me in a few years. ; ) It’s just nice to have some kind of physical goals that are quantifiable.

      Happy New Year! Thanks for reading.

  2. Daryl says:

    I learned that if I push my body hard enough, it will break. I promise not to do it again. Give me another chance….
    Every winter I remind myself that I should not complain when it’s 100°F. I’ll take 100°F over 32°F every time.
    At the end of every year I recount our families memories and think–I’m the richest man in the world.

    • annewoodman says:

      Me, too. ; ) Well, richest woman, I mean.

      The fact that we both like 100 over 32 is a big reason for living where we do. We are unapologetic about our love of the sun and warm air.

      And I’m praying that 2013 will be the year your back is miraculously cured.

  3. kabe1 says:

    loved this! I’ve just summed up my year and agree entirely about turning 40 and inappropriate laughter – I can’t stop myself from saying “have a nice trip” – pathetic I know and really juvenile but hey I may look 40 but I feel much younger inside sometimes 🙂

  4. 2012 was a good year – a new grandson, a new place to live, coming out of retirement for a new job. I am learning that new beginnings happen all the time and to enjoy them as they occur.
    Happy New Year, Anne, and good luck on your book!

    • annewoodman says:

      Oh, congrats on your new job! I know you’ve been having fun in retirement, so the job must be pretty special. Congrats on the new grandson, too. Wonderful.

      Happy New Year!

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    I love Planes, Trains and Automobiles. One of my favorite movies. 🙂

    In 2012, I learned that one can spend more hours working in a working-at-home job as one can in an out-of-the-home job. But I’ve also learned it can be very fulfilling (but not as well-paying…) 😉

  6. Teresa Cleveland Wendel says:

    Do you think taking up running is a good idea? I learned to ski at 40. I became a US Masters swimmer at 50. But then I severed my ACL skiing, so I wonder if running would be a good thing? I like to try new things and I just turned 60. I’m not sure how to start running–easy does it, bound right in, or forget about it entirely?

    • annewoodman says:

      Wow. You’re amazing!

      With that being said, a severed ACL doesn’t sound like something I would want to run on. Yikes. I’ve thought about taking up some of those Barre classes, because I was never very coordinated or dancer-like. Or maybe Pilates? I love running, but I think it may have a limited shelf-life, if my friends and family are any indication.

      I’d like to take up swimming, but I’m terrible at it! Maybe you can be my inspiration for taking that on. (And let me know if you try running! If you do, try the run-walk method. Run a minute, walk a minute…. and see how it goes. And be careful! ; )

      Happy New Year!

      • Teresa Cleveland Wendel says:

        You should see if there’s a US Masters swim club in your town. We have tough workouts, but you’ll learn how to swim properly and efficiently.
        Thanks for the advice on run/walking.

      • annewoodman says:

        Thanks…. I’ll have to check it out. Good luck with your exercise programs!

  7. robincoyle says:

    2012 was a banner year because I met you. It was horrible year because of my crushing defeats playing Words With Friends with you. Darn you!

  8. 4amWriter says:

    I always enjoy the onset of new beginnings (is that redundant? 😉 ) no matter when they take place, because I love getting extra chances. But I get very morose and depressed over how quickly things come to an end because I know I’ll never get that exact moment back. I’m one of those people who constantly lives in the middle, feeling all kinds of feelings all the time. I don’t necessarily recommend it. 😉

    I cry at It’s a Wonderful Life, too and I believe that good trumps evil. I don’t feel the same about A/C, but I have those same feelings about indoor plumbing and electricity. 🙂

    Happy New Year, Anne!

    • annewoodman says:

      Kate, I have exactly the same feelings about endings and beginnings. We are writers, and maybe we are just more sentimental and take more note of all these special moments (so we can write about them!). It’s a happy/melancholy way to see the world, but it’s also a gift. Cherish it.

      Happy New Year!

  9. David Gentry says:


    You may not have learned it in 2012, but you mentioned learning it in one of your blog posts. It could have been 2011, but no matter. You learned to be considerate and tolerant even when someone’s action is annoying. That person might be having a really bad day or someone in her family might be having a really bad day. It took me a lot longer to learn this. Your learning this lesson is just another reason I am so proud of you.

    Love, Dad

  10. You’ve done some real good learning this year Anne, have a gold star 🙂

    I’ve learned a lot of things too this year, I’m just not sure I can articulate them properly right now!

  11. jmmcdowell says:

    Given the events near the end of 2012, I will be happy to let it slip into history, even though it wasn’t a bad year for me. I’m hoping that 2013 will bring everyone warmth, happiness, and a sense of belonging in the world. I’m also looking forward to reading your blog and enjoying the smiles and laughs it will bring to me and all your readers. 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      Thanks, JM. I agree about 2012… it will be better seen through the rearview window.

      I look forward to reading your blog posts and your books… and maybe seeing them in print?!?!?

      Happy New Year!

  12. Amy Mak says:

    Oh, I love this! And so glad the cranberries were enjoyed 🙂 Now you will run far and fast all of 2013 because of all the antioxidants you have consumed…yep, it’s true. Nothing is going to break. I love new years, the anticipation of all the good things that are sure to come. If I learned one thing it’s that life is a gift. So cliche, I know, but after so many tragic events of late, I was just happy to have my family, happy and healthy surrounding me. I actually felt content, something I usually struggle with. Happy New Year!

    • annewoodman says:

      Good to hear, Amy! Contentment is a gift we don’t value enough in this country.

      And keep posting those recipes! I try most of them.

      Happy New Year to you and your cute family!

  13. Ravena Guron says:

    Your 2012 seems to have been great! Does that mean I’m a weird child? I never laugh when someone falls, even when all my friends are dying with laughter. 2012 was a good year for me because I got over my fear of social media and started my blog 🙂 Maybe this year I’ll actually post more!

    • annewoodman says:

      Ravena, Be grateful that you don’t get the urge to laugh when someone falls. It’s a curse. My daughter ran for the stairs in her sock feet the other day and ended up flat on the floor. Luckily, it was more of a surprise than anything painful. But after I was able to make sure she was OK, I couldn’t stop laughing. Horrible mother. ; )

      Love your blog! Good luck in 2013!

  14. Martha Merrill Wills says:

    2012 was fantastic, as it was the year I ran my first marathon. It was also the worst, as I acknowledged a crumbling marriage.

    Your list of things you learned in 2012 is amazing (the book, yay!).

    2013 is going to be great! So much to look forward to …

    Happy New Year!

    • annewoodman says:

      Sometimes the very highs and the very lows appear dangerously close together. I loved reading about your marathon training and was sad to hear about the end of your marriage. I hope 2013 is a healing, successful year for you. Happy New Year!

  15. Melissa says:

    You don’t fall apart at 40….I think it happens at 41 or 42….and continues from there. 2012 wasn’t too bad. But I’ve found myself in a rut hoping the next year will be better. That irritates me because I feel like it’s just another way to wish my life away. If you hang around with us in 2013, you won’t be the only person laughing when people fall. We’ll keep you company 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      I know what you mean… I’m hoping for better things in 2013, too. Not wishing my life away, just hoping for better. ; ) I will keep you in my thoughts along those lines, too.

  16. Basically, I learned everything that you learned in 2012, with the addition of: 60 quart mixers are a game changer. And also: 60 quart mixers are scary.

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