These are quiet days, in the news world.
No one schedules meetings. There’s a lull in events, a minute to breath between Christmas and New Year’s. Mostly phones ring with no answer.
The students have all gone home, professors aren’t in their offices, and some buildings remain locked all day.
And so pages are filled with year-in-review stories. Here’s what happened in the past year. This is what 2011 was all about. See these pictures? These headlines? This is what is important.
It’s been a strange year.
Dictators falling one after another, nature turning her forces against us, our own cupidity hurting us even more. Life is fragile, and we’ve been reminded of that time and time again this year.
2011 has been different for us, too. It’s disappeared in a series of papers and tests, days jotted down on flash cards, scrawled between the lines of reporter notebooks.
We planned by semesters.
I brought home my first journalism award this year, an honorable mention. He won an academic award, but his brought prize money.
All summer he studied for qualifiers, taking breaks now and again to remodel a bathroom. We learned that our plumbing is old, pipes odd sizes that don’t fit new fixtures. It took a day to replace the toilet, another for the sink.
He passed the test in August, started planning his dissertation right away. Another hurdle on the ph.d. track in our rear view mirror.
I watched a school district tear at its own throat in courts, time after time, stories falling almost always on Friday afternoons. My deepest desk drawer is full of notebooks, each page filled with quotes and notes and random scribbling during long waits.
We lost Vesper, a ferret that was more of a friend than a pet; and we found Jasmine, equal parts devil creature and adorable.
I’m looking back over a year that’s gone by so fast, it’s a blur of little moments, the settling in of our routines now that we’ve (hopefully) passed the half-way point in this dissertation effort.
That was the goal, this year, to make and keep routines for this time of our lives, him studying always and me working odd hours. And while I upturned 11 months of healthy eating with the advent of the holiday season, and while I haven’t completed everything I wanted to, I’ve mostly accomplished that goal.
Writing here has turned into a habit; I’ve played piano a couple times a week for most of the year; I picked up crochet needles, which I’m counting as having started the learning process; I’ve worked out a gym pattern that works for me, and (mostly) stuck with it.
And over all I’m pleased.
Oh there are areas I’ll try to improve next year, plans and dreams that always come with a new start to a new year. But I’ve made routines to fit our lives, and that’s what I asked for.
2011 is slipping out quickly and quietly. Walk with me into the coming year?