tag: "Y'know, I just realized that..."

Via Sharon, some structured thinking about stuff I learned this year. This will be tricky to get juuuuust right, seein' as how I'm trying not to get into a post-holiday, cloudy-day, far-away-from-someone-I'm-fond-of funk. 2006 has been a real doozy in a lot of ways, with way more embarassing drama than I care to admit (I have a low drama threshhold [for myself, that is; sometimes other people's dramas can be fun!]) and some truly heartfelt superwows and more jaw-dropping moments than I can count. This last group is mostly courtesy of my trip to India (thanks, US Department of Education!) - not to over-exoticize India, but it's gorgeous and complex and really, really interesting, and I'm so thankful I got to go there and have all those experiences...and, yeah, see, getting emotional already. Anyway, scenes like the following were constant and, as desperately as I sometimes wish I had more pictures, even more than that I feel grateful and happy that I even know of their existence at all.

huge coils of garlands of flowers in a market in Bangalore

orange and sky-blue boats bob in the smoke and flames of oil lamps along the Ganges during evening prayers

you-know-what in Mumbai

So I guess that's #1: that life is full of amazing things everywhere you turn. I already knew that, really, and it's one of the reasons I love museums so much, but it's always great to have your beliefs affirmed.

#2 Your friends can get married and it won't necessarily create negative changes or difficulties in your friendship. Lots of people know this already, though I also have good proof that it's not true for everyone. But I'm grateful that it seems to be true in my little neck of the woods.

#3 Something I should have learned a long time ago but, again courtesy of traveling in India, I finally figured it out this year: it is important - so important - to keep your definitions flexible. We all know this about expectations, that we should hold them loosely and make sure they can adjust with context. But underneath expectations are the simple little words we use to form them, and these too have to give.

Here's a stupid-tourist example: I've lived most of my life in the midwestern chunk of North America, so I thought I had a pretty good sense of hot and humid weather. And I did, for the midwestern chunk of North America. Some parts of India, in July, are hot and humid in a way I could not conceive of. The evening I spent at the Wagah Border crossing between India and Pakistan in Punjab, for example, was so muggy that my fingers were pruney from my own sweat.


But the much more important instances of this me applying this willingness to re-think what things mean happened for ideas like food and marigold and generous and brilliant and welcome and home and friend. I hope to be able to keep being flexible at home, with situations that seem familiar, with things and people I think I already know.

#4 Unlike Sharon, I'm admittedly a full-fledged dog person, and my sweet Leroy

will be delighted to know that I have finally realized that a ten-minute walk around the block in -20 weather at 6:45 am is no sacrifice at all compared to how happy it makes him.

#5 Sometimes you have to spend $3000 to make sure your tree doesn't fall on somebody's house, and that is the price you pay for owning a house, and it's for the good of all concerned, so you should just stop fretting about that money and consider it an investment in Doing the Right Thing. Since you have to and all. So the lesson to extrapolate here is that you should take care of your responsibilities and try to be positive about it, because most of the time in life you can choose to try to have a good attitude even about stressful things.

TV teen dramas are goooood, and if I want to spend an entire day watching DVDs of Degrassi Junior High, then that is okay, because, on the flip side of the version of being a grown-up that I grudgingly accept per #5, I am the boss of me and I'm allowed to do
that sometimes, especially if it is balanced out with some PBS (even if PBS is showing some kind of Masterpiece Theater adaptation that is in essence a gussied-up teen drama).

#7 As I write this it's dawning on me how it's all very well and good (the grammar of this particular phrase puzzles me - anyone else?) to think of these things but I had really better act on them, hadn't I? At least now they're all published, so any of you are welcome to hold me to them.

Tagees will have to self-select; you all know I'd love to read what you have to say any day.
And now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Gilmore Girls to watch.

I rambled about other stuff too. Wanna see?

April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 May 2006 June 2006 August 2006 October 2006 December 2006 February 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 September 2007 July 2008

projects, friends, etc.

  • I love Bollywood so much that I made a separate blog for it.
  • remember when I went to Australia?
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: literature
  • when you take grad school too much to heart re: travels
  • The Trophy Wife
  • rock and roll lifestyle
  • Why God Why
  • Technically not a friend, as not a human, but still a place I love very much, so it counts: Massey College
  • credits

  • Blog design is based largely on Not That Ugly with some ideas from Firdamatic with some additional tweaking
  • Flickr rocks! Really.
  • Hurrah for Blogger
  • And for folks trying to library-ize blogs: Blogwise and Blogarama
  • Sorry this looks like poo in Firefox. I've no idea why.