Monday, December 26, 2011

4.0 and 2011

Breaking news: I NAILED my classes with another 4.0 and I DO feel like being braggy about it. I worked so dang hard, and had to deal with some MAJOR personality clashes in one class. I literally poured my sweat, tears, and thousands of dollars into finals week this semester (the money, fyi, went to buying myself a new laptop and paying for the repairs of a second, borrowed laptop that I also ruined during finals... long story). Phew.  The image of grief I posted at the end of my first semester of grad school (here ya go) flickered to mind after I turned in my final paper a week ago, but I'm happy to report that I'm not as wrecked as I was that first semester, which was, amazingly, two whole years ago. I can't believe how long this master's is taking. TWO SEMESTERS TO GO!!!!!

2012's gonna be good. Gonna be a game changer. This scares me a little, I've actually grown to enjoy DC this year, more than I have in years past, when I've merely tolerated it. Visions of moving to the West Coast still dance around in my head, but for now I'm just going to leave my moving/career plans to fate and faith.

I don't want to make resolutions. I DO want to ruminate on what's just happened this year, though. Some years go quicker than others; this year was a long, slow haul with lots of mini-mile-markers that resulted in gradual progress and change in my life.

Biggest surprise of 2011: my job nannying Cobb, which came out of the blue in March and was a 1,000% improvement over my previous job managing the bakery. Cobb is a delightful little 2 year old, and his parents are absolute joys to work with. They love their son so much and support me in anything I want to do to help him develop into a happy, healthy, smart young man. I've really appreciated this job because, among its many, many great aspects, it has helped me realize how intellectually stimulating and rewarding the act of raising children full-time can be. I've had reservations about that in the past. But now I know I can do it, do it well, and absolutely love it. (Please oh please let my future children be perfect angels like Little Man is!)

Clearest memory of 2011: Running the last five miles of my first half marathon in November at full speed :)

Best unexpected answer to prayer: this is random, but a few weeks ago, coming home from one of my finals, I started to feel an unreasonable amount of anxiety about my train. I think I'd seen some sketchy guy with a pink suitcase on the platform or something. At any rate, by the time the train reached the bridge over the Potomac on its way into Virginia, I was convinced that death/an explosion was imminent. I know this sounds dramatic but it's true, and inexplicable. I don't do anxiety like that hardly ever. I started to pray. More earnestly that I had in a long while. I recognized the change in humility and intent with which I now spoke to my maker, and I acknowledged that I was not, in fact, where I would like to be should I really truly meet him in the next few moments. As the seconds wore on and the train chugged forward, my prayer turned to one of pleading for my family in case they were the ones in danger, and then, heart rate slowing, I began to thank Him for the many wonderful aspects of school, friends, and work that had been blessing my life lately. I thanked him for the gift of his son, Jesus Christ, who has been teaching me how to have faith and not fear all year. I told Heavenly Father about my plan to recommit to him and to use the atonement in a more dedicated manner to be who I want to be. I also told him that I have been thinking about actively trying to be more grateful to him, which plan I was going to implement immediately. :) As my train pulled safely into Pentagon City, I wondered why Heavenly Father caused me to have that weird near-death feeling (I knew it wasn't my own doing). I even said a prayer to him; "Well, that was weird, but I trust that You will tell me why You allowed me to feel that soon enough!" A mere three days later (a Saturday :) I found out I was teaching a lesson the next day on the second coming. I knew as soon as I saw my topic that Heavenly Father really wanted me to KNOW the urgency with which He wants us to prepare ourselves, our families, and the nations, for His Son's return. I needed to have some experience in this area in order to best give that lesson to my Relief Society sisters. So there you go; an unexpected answer that was actually given before I'd knew I'd had a need. I really appreciate these types of small reminders that Heavenly Father actively watches over our days and minutes.

Favorite purchase of 2011: The Red Dress :) ----seenhere----->

Love-life triumph: a fun, brief love affair with the most confident, thoughtful question-asker I've ever met

2011 Low Point: a poorly-timed visit from an ex. :)

2011 High Point: visiting my very pregnant best friend Jessica in August and then getting to meet her little daughter only a few days ago. Whatever makes Jess happy makes me happy too, so we were pretty dang happy this year!!! I'm so grateful for the enduring and enlightening power of eternal friendships.

College BFF Jess, bebe Olivia, me, bebe Jence, HS BFF Breann

Things that happened in 2011 that I want to repeat in 2012
Finish a half marathon, 
get straight A's,
make/save a lot of money,
see a musical (Les Mis at the Kennedy Center),

Things that didn't happen in 2011 that I want to do in 2012:
eat at Virtue Feed and Grain in Alexandria,
get a Master's degree,
get a job with business cards and a 401k,
visit Florida and Harry Potter World,
fall in love with a boy that is NOT 2 years old


Aaron S said...

Way to go! You definitely deserve to brag about a 4.0 in grad school, along with all those other great 2011 accomplishments.

Maggie said...

whoo hoo Linds! 4.0! You deserve it. Thanks for helping me through my first semester of grad school! Seriously from helping me know how to get into a class, to buying textbooks, to understanding grade scales, you've helped me through the whole way!

Hopefully we can see more of each other outside of the classroom in 2012.