The lure of writing something about the fresh, shininess of a new year, proved too strong. I was going to wave it on, insist it skip me, and soak in some other people’s words about progress and improvement. But I am sitting up at the beach house, a place where the opening days of fresh, shiny new years have traditionally been spent and thus a place that is naturally associated with reflection. And I have poured a coffee, a beverage that seems to lend itself nicely to introspection and resulting swathes of indulgent words. So I won’t wave on this changing of the guard. At the very least 2013 and all of its possibility – is there anything more thrilling than possibility? – needs to be acknowledged. And the excesses of 2012, the parts not currently in use, the lessons not currently being worn, and its abundance of ‘ch’ words – change, challenges, choice – need to be packed gently away. I need to make space in my head to be thrilled by possibility, to soak in my own words in these unmarked, starchy-fresh days of the new year.
So, 2012. You brought with you a surprise 27th when a dear friend from the other side of the world walked, jet-lagged and exhausted, into my bedroom and said ‘I’m here for your birthday.’ You brought a move across Germany to Weiden, that tiny town near the Czech border. A new home in Bavaria with a very Significant German. You brought mini and day-trips to Dresden, the Czech Republic, Rothenburg, Regensburg, Munich, Kiel, Münster, Nürnberg and to Küpferzell, where I walked around the village of my Great Great Great Grandfather. Two weeks in Santorini with SG, Mum and Dad.
But you also brought terrific homesickness. Fatigue. A sense of disconnectedness from home. So there were more goodbyes, another move, a temporary one, back to Australia, just two weeks too late to say goodbye to an old, beloved dog. There was a long distance relationship. More settling in. More waiting. A teaching course and qualification. A new job. Teeth pulled, a ten year reunion. Weddings of old friends, bridesmaiding, meeting a new baby, hearing news of another one, family birthdays to be present for and to celebrate.
SG made his maiden voyage to Australia and got the context and clarification that so often strengthens a cross-continental relationship. Together we saw Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree National Park and Cape Tribulation, the Blue Mountains, Sydney, Melbourne, the Hunter Valley and Central Coast. Christmas was huge and the last one held in our family home which is currently on the market.
I kept writing features for Peppermint Magazine, something I am so proud of, and started writing for Daily Life, with one of my articles coming in at number 6 on the 2012 top 20 list. What I Know About Germans went thoroughly viral, all over German and Swiss mainstream media and national papers and an e-book was born. O&S Publishing launched and with it a series of lessons in e-book creating and publishing. You all kept reading this blog and buoyed me with comments and emails and contact and I was even able to meet a few of you in Germany and Sydney for coffees and lunches I will always treasure.
2012, you were solid. You were exciting and tricky and interesting and full. There was family and love and friends and joy. There were tears and a little heartache. Your successor is already proving to be something of a show-off, although chickens shall not be counted before they hatch. It boasts a birthday and Australia Day in Sydney, a subsequent move back to Germany, a relocation to the northern city of Kiel for 6 months, and with it the prospect of trips to Scandinavia. There are planned jaunts to Istanbul and Italy’s Lake Garda. There’s a second relocation in the same year, back to Bavaria. There are two exciting babies to be met, an impending little Aussie and a teeny little German. There are more words to be written, photos to be taken, projects to be developed, mistakes to be made, crushing disappointments to be wept through, butterflies to be let loose upon nervous tummies.
I don’t really want for much this coming year. Just more family, love, friends, joy, experiences, travel and words. I have learnt the best resolutions to make are the ones that allow for more of something, not less, or require small changes, not enormous ones. But I am excited, excited and aware that the only way to tackle this coming behemoth is one day at a time. And now that I have indulgently reflected – thank you for your patience – ready to face it all.
2013, come on down.