Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 for 2012

I am going to try and follow in Donna's and Zoe's footsteps with a Top 12 for 2012 blog.  They both did a great job of linking theirs to blog posts, but since I may have been a bit lax about posting some momentous occasions, mine will be less awesome that way. 

1.  My family is healthy.  The year started out with a pretty major health scare for my mother, but she (and we) weathered it well, and we've been lucky otherwise.

2.  Weddings!  I attended the civil ceremony of one of my best friends in London in April, a beautiful affair joining two wonderful families.  In August I officiated at the marriage of my brother and sister-in-law, an absolutely perfect event that also brought together two wonderful families.

3.  I finished my first tour in the Foreign Service, in Jeddah.  This went a long way in proving to myself that joining the FS was the right decision for me AND that I can live in a difficult place for two years.  I had a great tour in Jeddah, with some days being harder than others, and it was a great place for me to learn a lot, fast, about the FS. 

4.  I moved back to Africa!  I spent much of 2003-05 living in South Africa and traveled extensively in the southern countries of this awesome continent.  I was excited but a little cautious moving back to Africa, albeit a different region, wondering if I'd idealized these youthful years.  I hadn't.  I love it here.  It's a huge continent with dozens of countries and thousands of different experiences, so generalizing is always a bad thing, but I think AF is a bureau I'm happy to stick with.

5.  Travel - I visited and/or lived in seven different countries this year, including four new ones for my life list (UAE, Oman, Uganda, and Ghana). 

6.  Friends.  2012 has been a great year for meeting new friends and reconnecting with tried and true friends. 

7.  Family.  I got to spend time with lots of family members, including all my brothers and their SOs and children, and lots of extended family.  My youngest niece and nephew are learning about Africa and Uganda and sort of understand why I'm not around all that much.  My grandmother and I did a fun road trip in WV this fall and discovered some new spots to visit and gorgeous scenery. 

8.  My cats not only survived numerous overseas and domestic moves this year, but they've become decent travelers.  Not good, but not as horrible as I had feared.  They love Kampala and are happy in my apartment.  Griffin is convinced the small guest room is his and guards it fiercely against intruders.  Callaghan prefers the top of the bookshelves or the linen closet.

9.  Between home leave and training, I had a great time reacquainting myself with U.S. culture.  I especially loved my time in DC and revisiting some favorite spots and discovering new ones.  Seeing lots of FS friends was great fun, as was the training itself.  Bonus was meeting a plethora of FS bloggers - such an awesome group!

10.  Parrotfish Festival - this one kind of goes along with #s 3 and 5, but it was on my Saudi bucket list and so long-anticipated that it definitely qualifies as a top 12.  And, really, where else could I have participated in such a phenomenally fun and offbeat tradition?

11.  I turned 30 in 2012.  And the world didn't end.  The two aren't related, really, but it was an exercise in patience and forgiveness to fully embrace 30.  Though I still get excited when demographic surveys place me in the 18-34 or similar group :-). 

12.  This is sort of a cop-out, but I really enjoyed getting to do things like go see the Celtics play, see Lyle Lovett in concert (twice!), go to the movies, and the like.  That wasn't generally possible in Saudi, and even in Kampala I've been able to go to a pantomime, Christmas concert, and a ballet performance in my first weeks at post. 

All right.  That was slightly more difficult than I'd anticipated, perhaps because I lumped a lot of things into pretty broad categories.  And I did manage to do more blog links than I originally anticipated!  AND I got it done before 2012 ended!  Though I clearly need to do some updates dating back many months...

Here's to an awesome 2013 for all of us!  I'm not into resolutions, so I won't go there, but may 2013 be all that you want it to be, and more :-).


Randyn said...

Yes, I've discovered that, actually, 35 is the new 30, and I had nothing to worry about all along. At least...not for a few years.

Sadie said...

Love that perspective!

Heather Dray said...

Dang. I'm hoping 37 is the new 30. ;-) Happy New Year!

Bfiles said...

Happy New Year, Sadie!! Great post.

I didn't realize you had arrived in Kampala, will have to read more! Hope it's a great year for you.

Kim said...

Happy new year to one of the most thoughtful people I know. I don't think I've yet thanked you for the congrats on the baby and the offer to help out with Liam. Good luck with 2013 in your new post, and keep in touch!