I’d like to go on record as saying it’s still a little soon to be making lists about the entirety of 2012. I mean, in the next six weeks, before 2013 hits, I still plan to learn Arabic, figure out the intricacies of crochet, and master the art of pie-crust.
In the meantime, however, and in no particular order, what did I learn in 2012?
1. I love twitter. I love the challenge of 140 characters; I love the fast responses; I’m a sucker for a good hashtag.
2. I learned to paddleboard. I even bought one: a nifty inflatable thing that rolls up and fits in the back of my car. It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s great exercise. And then I hurt my shoulder and I’ve not been able to paddle for almost two months.
3. Blogher ’12 taught me all kinds of things: say hello to strangers, because they might turn out to be Good Day Regular People, or The Suniverse.
4. I learned also at Blogher to give people talking to you your full attention, because the person speaking might be the mah-velous Marinka and when you realize you missed an opportunity to talk to her, you will feel pretty much like an idiot for…well, let’s see, that was August and this is November so…
5. I learned that missing my sister and my mom and my brother – and my dear friends “stateside” – is something that needs to be kept sort of over there in a little room that doesn’t get unlocked very often, because if it did get unlocked, then the rushing of emotion would be almost Sandy-like in its power.
6. I know a little bit about this whole expat thing now, even though I am surprised almost daily by what I don’t know. And I’m surprised, sometimes, by my own resilience (or powers of denial – see #5)
7. I learned that there are limits to my imagination: I could not for the life of me imagine why a woman would want to vote for Romney. I’m sure there are many, many women who had good reasons for casting their votes for him, but I can’t get myself into those moccasins. I think that makes me a
bad less-good person.
8. I learned that I like – no, I mean really like – Rachel Maddow. And I wonder if anyone has done a survey of women who consider themselves more or less straight to see how many of them would consider switching to the other team if Rachel would but cast a friendly eye in their direction.
9. I learned – or rather, I am learning – that living without cheese is a bit like living without daily phone conversations with my sister. It’s possible, but it’s nowhere near as much fun.
10. I learned – or re-learned – that I am happiest when I’m writing. And yet, of course, writing is also this:
What’s that old saying? A writer is person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Yeah. That. I guess you could say I learned that in 2012, too.