One of my favorite movie scenes is when the viewer gets taken on a journey of Amelie’s likes. My favorite is that Amelie likes the sound of crème brulee cracking!
In the spirit of Amelie and in celebration of 2012, I thought I’d look back at my favorite things of 2012. One amazing thing I found is that it was very hard to limit it to only 12!
At the beginning of 2012, I resolved to be more creative. I couldn’t do, see or be involved in enough creativity this year. I read books on the subject, I “instagrammed,” I made prints, I made necklaces, I talked about “what being creative” means with friends, I took in art shows, performance art and shared my poems with more people than ever.
I rode my bike more in 2012 than ever before and loved every second of it. Thanks to Sir Walter (my trusty vintage touring Raleigh 12 speed) for all the great trips. Shout out to friends who pedaled to places far and near with me. Hope we pedal together again in 2013!
The sound of music permeated my ears this year. I took in 45 concerts with my concert-crew (you know who you are!) in 2012 and they were mostly all wonderful. Glen Hansard and St. Vincent – both at First Avenue, THE best concert venue in the U.S. – stand out in my mind at the moment so I’m listing them as my two favorites.
More music to my ears was being reunited with my vinyl record collection. I pulled it out of a storage unit in Salt Lake City and my friends helped me spin the dust off in fine form for my 40th birthday vinyl party. We had some great five-song playlists and danced the night away in my pal Karen’s garage with disco lights and all!
Speaking of 40th birthday parties, turning 40 definitely makes the list. I believe I understand the phrase “getting better with age” now. I don’t know what it was about turning 40, but I finally feel like I know, accept and like myself for the first time. I care a lot less about what other people think or who they want me to be. Or, maybe I have a better ability to establish healthy boundaries. Whatever happened a few months ago, I’m grateful for the wisdom, inner peace and sense of “home” within that I finally feel I have.
Getting into the swing of working out with kettlebells was an unexpected pleasure this year. If you want a fun and efficient cardio and strength workout, learn how to use a kettlebell. I’m living proof that you’ll get fit fast.
I had fun working out outside with my State of Minnesota parks pass. Who knew a sticker could be so fun!? I was given the parks pass as a gift and was it a great one! It was the impetus for more than usual outside time and led to some camping, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, swimming and even stargazing. I discovered several parks very close to my house that I didn’t even know about!
I learned to drink up with green tea. This year I did a detox diet and one of my favorite drinks, coffee, was forbidden while on the diet. Green tea was allowed and I learned that it is a tasty drink – whether served iced or as a tasty latte mixed with almond milk. Even my friends at Peace Coffee know how to whip up a tasty variation.
Speaking of tasty variations, Mojo Monkey Donuts, an independently-owned, St. Paul (donut) hole-in-the-wall has my vote for best donuts ever. Just because I work at a health magazine doesn’t mean I don’t like a little sugar and fat every now and then!
I began practicing daily meditation again after about a twelve year break. It has helped me be more aware of my thoughts and feelings and become much less reactive. Having the support of other meditators via my weekly trips to a local meditation center helped me stick to my daily sessions. Plus, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really awesome people!
This was the year that I made a conscious effort to embrace my job as the Community Engagement Specialist for Experience Life magazine. I stopped looking at it as simply “I tweet stuff” and began understanding just how important the job of engaging our online and offline communities really is. I found myself thinking and saying “I can’t believe I get paid to do this” on more than one occasion. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity.
By far my favorite things of 2012 were the adventures I had with family and friends. There’s no way to list them all, but much love and thanks to all of you who took time to hang out with me in 2012 – whether for five minutes or five weeks. I appreciate all the shared hugs, laughs and tears!
What were YOUR favorite things in 2012?