January 16, 2013

Things I learned in 2012

It's that time of year where several of my real-life and e-life friends post their yearly round-up of the books they read over the last twelve months. And I love these posts. Some of the best books I've read have come at the recommendation of these look-backs, and I honestly don't know if there would be any other way for me to cross paths with the titles. 

I had really good intentions of reading 40 books this year. Really good intentions. And I was totally on-track...until...well....I started throwing up as a result of all the gestation. That was the time where my best literary intentions were usurped by my best take-a-shower-make-boys-sandwiches-remain-upright-for-at-least-3-hours-per-day sort of intentions. KnowwhatI'msayin'? {See below for my veryverybrief book recap.}

What I did find out about 2012, however, was that it was a pretty self-illuminating year for me. Translation: In 2012, I discovered/made-peace-with/reconciled/made-sense-of a lot of things that had heretofore been living in that more abstract and floaty and attic-like part of my brain. You know, that place in your mind where you file things that don't otherwise have a neat and tidy place to gather dust. (I suppose it's mostly the psychological equivalent of shoving things under the bed and into the coat closet when your guests are arriving.)

So without further ado (and probably too late to be called a yearly recap), my [non-exhaustive] list of things I learned (and re-learned) in 2012:

1. People need to stop freaking out about women wearing pants to church.
2. I cannot make hollandaise sauce from scratch.
3. Sometimes emotional eating is my only choice---a yummy choice.
4. "Feminist" and "Feminism" are not dirty words---even when applied in a Mormon context.
5. I am a feminist---especially in a Mormon context. (This was especially moving to me today.)
6. I wish I were the kind of person who liked obscure music. I aspire to that. (See also: #9)
7. I [shockingly] can't control everything. (!!!!)
8. I am not a phone person. See also: I'm not proud of my blatant inability to remember to return phone calls. Send me an email. You'll have a lot more luck. (Unless you're my friend, Liz, who just got her email reply four weeks after an email she sent me on December 11th. Consider this my public shaming. Sorry, Liz.)
9. I'm not very comfortable when my house is silent--and too often I make my own thoughts take a back seat to NPR or reruns of The West Wing. (Though admittedly, taking a back seat to Aaron Sorkin's writing  isn't all that bad.)
10. Receiving a thank-you card never, ever gets old....and sending one needn't ever, either.
11. When it comes right down to it, we're all just flawed people trying to do the best we can...and we make a lot of mistakes, and that's okay. The U.S. government, our local church congregations, the IRS, our kids' elementary schools, customer service at Target.....they're all just run by regular people who have talents and weaknesses and biases and mess up sometimes. We have to be patient. (Except you, Congress. I'm losing patience with you.)
12. Children come how they come...and they certainly don't hatch from the same mold. The same two parents can raise children who are so different, you'd wonder if the mailman was involved. A one-size-fits-all approach to motherhood is a recipe for some very long days and many frustratingly late nights. Why this took me until 2012 to fully internalize is beyond me. We're just being honest, here.
13. Jimmy Fallon is Funny-with-a-capital-F. Also by way of entertainment truth: Jon Stewert has never let me down, and he and I eat breakfast together four days a week. Thank you, Hulu. 
14. Some of my quietest, most reserved friends have very strong political opinions. I like that about them.
15. I'm significantly warmer if I roam the house with a scarf around my neck.
16. You guys, Season 2 of "Downton Abbey" jumped the shark. I'm glad that Season 3 seems more promising.
17. Online shopping has ruined me. Buying something in a brick-and-mortar store is now downright paralyzing without knowing instant price comparisons and [more importantly] reading all of the customer reviews.


In all, I think I read about 15 books this year [insert losing game show buzzer sound here], with my favorite five being Game Change (John Heilemann & Mark Halperin), Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving my Neighbor (Jana Riess), The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories From An American Faith (Joanna Brooks*), Bossypants (Tina Fey), and That Used to be Us (Thomas Friedman & Michael Mandelbaum).

*If you haven't seen her interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, you should. It's fantastic. Watch it here.


Sharalea said...

Enjoyed reading your list! What a year...and now...this one is going to be so exciting! One.More.Month! Hope you are feeling well & staying healthy!

Liz Johnson said...

No public shaming needed - NOT AT ALL.

I wore pants to church a couple of weeks ago. It's the only way to fight a fair fight with those nursery kids.

Do you ever watch Parks and Rec? If not, you should.

ixoj said...

I love that list. You read my mind on quite a few of those.

To any lurking plagiarists

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