2012 was really unbelievable and a lot of momentous things happened in my life - some great, some terrible. I got healthy. I lost weight. I gained weight. I stood on the equator. I felt helpless as my dear friend was widowed. I prepared for seriously invasive surgery on my liver. I watched my daughter hail a cab in Manhattan. I sang a Wilson Phillips song with two friends at a friend's 40th birthday party, and participated in a flash mob at another friend's 40th. I started believing in the magic of Santa again. I saw Wicked. My husband had surgery. My kids got to spend a weekend taking care of a dog. I was an extra in a movie project or three. I learned lessons from women on the other side of the planet who I'll never see again and wish I could properly thank. I could go on and on, but instead, I'll get to my top ten - and remember, these are just things that stood out for me this year, some (very obviously) more significantly than others:
This counts as being 2012 because I signed up for Netflix on December 29th, after which I promptly watched the entire first two seasons of Downton Abbey (you can watch a variety of tv shows and movies sans commercials with Netflix). I knew the day would come to get Netflix if for no other reason than for the upcoming and long-awaited 4th season of Arrested Development, only available on Netflix. (Annyong!) Let me explain to you how I used it just this week: I only have one television, and it's downstairs in my family room. I pulled up Netflix to resume a movie I had been watching the night before (it remembered where I had left off, I didn't have to cue it up) and watched while I exercised. Then, I turned it off so I could shower, and when I was done with my shower, I resumed the movie again but this time in my bedroom on my laptop, WHUT. I love living in the future.
I'm not a gamer, which is why this surprises me. It's Name-That-Tune on your phone. And you can play at your convenience. I play with many commendable competitors, and true friends know to just avoid any variety of the Country genre altogether (unless you'd like to win against me, then, please, by all means, choose Country - but be aware that I will follow up by choosing National Anthems).
I may be the last to hop on the Toms train, but you know what? They're not as expensive as I thought they would be. And when you buy a pair, another pair is donated to a child in need. And they're SUPER comfortable. You likely already know this.
I love Zumba. I'm a fool for it. I mean, it's DANCING with FRIENDS. And that picture right there? Of the Zumba instructor? That's Kass. I get to attend her class. She and her sister Emily are stellar instructors and make it fun every single time. (And Kass is one of shape.com's Top 30 Motivators for 2013!) Zumba makes me sweat like a mother, and it's a great way to burn a lot of calories.
Instagram is a picture-sharing app. I like seeing what you had for breakfast, and you like seeing my kids sleeping in funny places.
This may be considered an overused buzzword, but there would be good reason for that - it's powerful. In August I learned, again, about the power of my online community (that's YOU, by the way, if you're reading this) when in one day over $12,000 was raised on this very site for Shot@Life. In life offline I saw people pull together to help families in need in ways that I'd wager to say will never be forgotten (by givers and receivers alike). And in visiting Africa and all I learned there, I can say with confidence that community is global on so many levels. I also like the NBC show, but that's secondary to all this other stuff.
At the beginning of 2012 I couldn't run for five minutes without stopping. It's been a long journey, but by the end of the year I'd dare say I'm a runner. I ran two 10Ks, the second with a faster pace than a previous 5K race I had run. I'm not super fast, but I don't have to be.
3. Ignite Presentation - evo conference, Park City
I wrote about it shortly after it happened but now, months later, I can see that so much of my life which has unfolded since that time can be traced back to the opportunity given me to speak at evo last year. Incidentally, it was announced last week that evo is finished with the conference circuit. It was a great three years, and last year's conference, in very literal ways, changed my life. Thank you, Rachael & Jyl.
What could I possibly say about this? In October I traveled to Uganda on an observational trip for the Shot@Life campaign and it changed my life. Uganda is a brilliantly beautiful country and I'm grateful to have seen so much of it. The people I met are happy and hopeful and bright. I don't know if I'll ever return, but I hope I will.
1. New York City
Only one thing could top my trip to Africa, and that's TWO trips to my favorite city on this planet. Add the fact that one of the trips was with my oldest daughter, and that adds to the #1-ness. While in New York City this year I: met Tim Gunn; attended a taping of The Daily Show; stayed in Times Square, UWS, and UES; attended a Shakespeare in the Park series performance (Into The Woods); participated in global conversation about world issues; went running in Central Park; ate waffles in Central Park; square danced in Bryant Park; did so many other things and made a lot of memories. I always want to be there. In fact, one of the clocks on my phone thinks I'm in New York - I haven't been able to fix that clock, but I don't want to, either, so I leave it like that. I haven't given up on my dreams to, first, take my family there for a vacation (before they're too old to enjoy us all being there together), and second, live there. I don't know how, but I still want to live in New York City one day.
My favorite posts from 2012:
How Tim Gunn Changed My Life This Year
Shot@Life Uganda - My Favorite Part
Why Vaccines Are Important
Shot@Life in Action
I wrote this last Mother's Day
5 Awesome Things
What I Did Say to Donny Osmond
Why I Didn't Say Anything to Ty Burrell
What I Wanted To Say To Jason Alexander
Some of my favorite pictures from 2012: