Tuesday, December 21, 2021

2021: My Year in Review

Still terrible at selfies, but this one is sparkly.

With the kids' birthday letters in early January, I usually spend time around now looking over the last 12 months on my calendar. I’ve never been more shocked about how little I remembered than about this year. I’ve been saying for months that it didn’t make sense that Max’s early January bar mitzvah was the same calendar year as this one, but I also seem to have completely forgotten that he participated in Speech (virtually) last school year, and I spent several Sundays judging tournaments, fully absorbed in how to rank groups of 5-7 middle schoolers who all clearly wanted to do well. Of course I now see that yes, that happened this year too, but the way so much blends together now is scary. 

I think a lot of that blend is because I’m not only home so much, but also at my desk at home so much. I like my workspace a lot…but using my laptop at home used to feel like a treat. Finding time to write on an evening or weekend felt like a break from the kids or errands and was something I really enjoyed. Now, I’m at my laptop almost every single day, for hours and hours on end. The kids leave and I’m there. They come back and I’m there. So finding the mental space to write when the physical space is always the same seems to be a challenge for me. Right now, I’m writing this from my couch in the Notes app instead, with Shira at my feet. My constant shadow. 

Anyway, more to come on Hannah and Max when I write their letters soon, but I thought you might like to catch up on, well, me! Going through the college process with Hannah took up a significant portion of my year. We spent three full days in April doing 12 virtual tours and information sessions, trying to come up with a list of where she would apply. Another few vacation days were spent in August touring a few schools in New York and New Orleans. This fall has meant cramming in essay brainstorming and editing around school and all of her activities, and it all culminated in a huge but unexpected “Yes!” from NYU just this past week. I’m so relieved that she's happy, and yet, it’s all the more real that she’ll be leaving so soon. I feel lucky to have had the time to invest alongside her, and that she let me in as much as she did. And I'm also very grateful to the friends going through this with their own kids that I could also lean on!

I spent a big chunk of my summer in Ohio with my dad before and after he had open heart surgery. Even though all went well in the end, it was an incredibly challenging time for me. I was alone in my parents’ house, taking care of their dogs, and there again for the first time since my mom unexpectedly passed away. Thank goodness Betsy was able to rescue me a few different times, and that Ryan was able to get there for when Dad was discharged. I was home in Newton for a few minutes before going back to Cleveland for my mother’s (delayed) unveiling. I think of her all the time - particularly when something juicy happens on the Real Housewives (she would have loved the return of Heather Dubrow). 

We rejoined the JCC and I’ve been regularly seeing a personal trainer since the end of September. I’m trying to exercise at least twice a week, but I’m also acknowledging that life happens and the couch is appealing. But I’m now the owner of bright pink boxing gloves, so that feels like something. And that I’m going in a mask feels monumental too, as I definitely would have used that as an excuse to avoid it before. 

I’ve seen as much theater as I could. Eight shows since August, and the count would have been higher if not for Omicron (the highlight was a perfect day in NYC with the kids to see Sara Bareilles in “Waitress"). I’ve watched livestream productions and shows at 54 Below and, of course, every production at South Stage. I’m still co-chairing the South Stage Supporters Group, and still on the board of Camp Yavneh, and finished a three-year term with the Temple Emanuel Board of Directors, with two years spent on the Executive Board. I tried to leave, but I’m still pulled back in working on Yom HaShoah stuff, as well as part of the cast for TE’s production of Hello Dolly. It’s been great being back with most of my Fiddler family for that, and hopefully we’ll be able to share an outdoor, more COVID-friendly production in May. 

And work chugs along. This year I spent time with an executive coach, and it’s been a time for a lot of reflection, and hopefully growth. I’ve become involved in our new Virtual employee resource group (ERG), and was asked to join our Women @ Work ERG for the coming year. Some of the women on that committee remembered my writing here and figured I should bring that part of myself to the office too. 

I still think in blog posts. There’s a lot I’d like to tell you, but the bandwidth. And the policing of my own self, the guarding of my own heart, that I feel the need to do when putting myself out there now, which is probably just my own issue, but still feels like it’s there. I miss the days of the Having It All Project and the galvanizing force of Listen to Your Mother. But I feel very lucky too. There isn’t a lot of conflict in my life right now, and I think that’s what I need. It’s still really busy, but I also enjoy the silence when it's not. Over the years I’ve noticed that I long for quiet, and I think it’s been really nice to find it sometimes. 

So I guess that’s my 2021. Too many meetings, not enough writing, pink boxing gloves, college essays and the occasional sparkly shirt. I'm still here. Onward.

No comments:

Post a Comment