So, it’s 2011.  Feels the same as 2010, so far.  Everyone is looking back on the past year, and making predictions and resolutions for the coming one.  I mean, you can’t escape “the best of” and “the worst of” 2010–whatever subject, it seems, someone has put together their top 10 list of good and bad things about the previous 365 days.  So, what’s another voice?  I apologize in advance for the more “personal” nature of this post, as opposed to most of my other ones, but that’s the nature of the day, yes?   In no particular order, then, here’s my personal take on 2010 and hopes for 2011.

High Points of 2010:

  • The West Point Summer Seminar.  Seriously.  It is everything it is cracked up to be, and on top of learning a heck of a lot, I also became friends with a lot of wonderful people.
  • Seeing Christopher Plummer in The Tempest at Stratford, Ontario, with my friends.
  • Rediscovering how much I love what I do; my dissertation is fascinating, and I’m going to let others know!
  • Making new friends–such as Tanya, Will, Sarah, Rob, and Laura from West Point, or our visiting fellow-in-residence Jess and her husband, or new colleagues Sam and Regina.
  • Spending more time with old friends, who really do care.
  • Seeing the parents after nearly two years (last year’s 4-day visit doesn’t really count…).
  • Visiting the Patton Museum at Fort Knox with brother Joe, a few weeks before they moved everything down to Bragg.
  • Publications and conferences: there really is something energizing about seeing one’s name in print.  This has certainly been a good year.
  • Seeing brother Matt give a paper at Kalamazoo; a brilliant chap.  He introduced me to Peggy Brown, not the other way around–and he’s not even a medievalist!!
  • My friends Jon and Clare’s wedding.
  • My friends Jeff and Katie’s engagement.
  • Learning to face oneself, to look in the mirror and accept what you see, whether you like it or not.
  • Taking up karate again; it is a blessing in every possible way.
  • Rediscovering Faith, Hope, and Charity.  The jury’s still out as to which one is the greatest…
  • Re-earning my letter ranking in fencing, after not practicing for months.  Have to admit, I got a kick out of that.
  • Thanksgiving with my friend Megan, and the Superbowl at friends Laura and Marc’s.
  • Seeing my friends Craig and Zoe, and their little boy Meran, this summer.  Granted, I hurt my back while helping them move from Missouri to Texas, where Craig has landed a tenure-track job, but that was a small price to pay. I mean that.
  • Teaching.  That includes everything from world history to the Enlightenment to a seminar on the Hundred Years War.  It helps when you have students this good…
  • Colbie Caillat’s Breakthrough album.  I’m dead serious.

Wow, that’s a lot of positives…and the list isn’t exhausted yet!  Too much positivity, blech.  Can’t stand that much positivity….I guess I’ve been giving the low points too much space.

Low Points of 2010

  • Love and its object.
  • Colbie Caillat’s Breakthrough album.  Again, I’m dead serious…
  • Losing “friends” through their pride and manipulation, and our mutual misunderstandings and ill-will.  I could go on for a long time, but instead I’ll bite my tongue, and leave it at that.
  • The Giants stumbling and being…well…the Giants.  Though I’m still cheering for them tomorrow–GO GIANTS!!
  • Learning to face oneself, to look in the mirror and accept what you see, whether you like it or not.
  • Falling ill four times in one semester; seriously, again???
  • Injuring my back  in August.  Still bothering me; ironically, the more karate I do, the better it gets.
  • Smashing my knee in February; I couldn’t sit cross-legged or kick for nearly 8 months.

I guess there were fewer bad parts to 2010 than I thought.  They sure overshadowed everything, though.

Resolutions for 2011:

  • Finish the dissertation, or be in a position where you simply have to set a date.
  • Finish these articles and projects, as there’s nothing nicer than to wave at a project as it leaves the house.
  • Do not lose any more friends.
  • In making new friends, before you let them in close make sure they’re not like the ones you lost.
  • Keep to your PT schedule, regardless of the pressures of work.
  • Reach 3rd kyu, if possible.
  • Visit Canterbury, Rochester Castle, Ely Cathedral, and maybe York.
  • I’d almost say “do the Santiago pilgrimage”, but I think that’s too ambitious for my time and budget this summer.
  • Be open to new relationships, but don’t be hasty.
  • Visit the brothers at least once each.

Lessons learned:

  • Most romantic comedies are bunk.  The guy’s pathetic antics just make the girl mad, they don’t touch her heart.
  • There is no substitute for hard work.
  • Focus and discipline breed focus and discipline (well, this is a lesson re-learned).
  • Blood is thicker than water, and small items make compatibility.  Two quick examples: if we disagree over things like the movie Rocky (a major part of my coming of age) and the finer points of the Civil War (e.g., what it was about), we probably aren’t meant to be.
  • There is no joy and pain like that found in being a Giants fan (shut up, Bills fans!).  But we love ’em anyway.
  • Dunkin Donuts beats Tim Horton’s hollow.  NOW I’ve done it!!!
  • Tim Horton’s doesn’t take Visa.  What the WHAT??!?!?!
  • Faith, humility, hard work, and love are still where it’s at.

There it is.  I have a feeling that this is going to be a very good year.  I sure hope so, anyway.  But I wish you all the best as it unfolds.  Pax vobiscum, and good night.

  1. hayleyism says:

    Hearts reach a saturation point, after people have been fighting, where they become exhausted and numb to attempts at reconnection. I don’t think romantic comedies touch on real estrangement so much as miscommunication, where sometimes pathetic antics can be used as ice-breakers for people who really do still love each other. They don’t provide healing. One time I made a sign with glitter on it. Wasn’t well received, even though it was freaking adorable, but that’s tangential to my point…

    I wouldn’t ever apologize for being someone who loves powerfully, and remains affected by it. I can’t separate that from my posts, either. Anyway, I try to just take solace in knowing that I have love even if other people don’t.

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