Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Annus mirabilis

Okay, so the year is winding down but I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge what an incredible year it has been. Please forgive this brief lapse in my stoic even-keeledness, but holy smokes - I can't recall the last time so many amazing things have happened to me in one 12-month period. I know that I won't find every year to be as fantastic as 2012 has been, and I know that some years inevitably end up at the opposite end of this spectrum. (2006/07, I'm looking at you!) But I think it's important to speak up and recognize when fortune shines a little luck your way.

The best and most important highlight of the year is that this woman and I got married. In your face, bachelorhood! My wedding day was without a doubt the happiest of my life and we got to have exactly the kind of celebration we wanted. So many friends and family were able to come and experience for a few hours what it's like to be on the inside of our lives together--the words, stories, music and carousing that represent the very pulse of our relationship. And I'm happy to report that the high from that day has not worn off, that we are growing happier and closer to each other with every week that passes.

One of the great things about being married to RR is that I have someone there to remind me that it's important to take a break and celebrate successes, as this is not a natural inclination of mine. The biggest success to celebrate in 2012, beyond the wedding, is that my new novel was finally accepted for publication. This came after many years of hard work and anxiety, and there is still more hard work and anxiety to come, but I was able to take a breather and really allow myself to enjoy the moment. It was sweet.

The novel's acceptance was not the only success I had, writing wise. Again, I don't have many years like this, but some of the accomplishments include:

  • Getting three poems published in This magazine in the spring/summer.
  • Getting two poems accepted in August for publication in The Nashwaak Review. (Publication date TBA.)
  • Having some nice words written about me at Open Book Ontario, also in August.
  • Winning The Puritan's poetry contest and having my piece subsequently published in their fall issue and Best-of anthology.
  • Getting a short story from my current manuscript-in-progress accepted in October by PRISM International, for publication in January.
In other awesome news, I got a new day job, at this place, which I love very much and am so happy I held out for. Oh, and RR and I got a new cat. Her name is Alice and she is extremely affectionate, especially around 3:30 in the morning.

Of course, with any moment of reflection like this, I also think it's fair to acknowledge that for many people, 2012 was in no way a good year. I know that the most recent gun tragedy in the U.S. has left many people with broken hearts and loved ones stolen from them. I saw a friend lose the love of his life to breast cancer back in May. I have a family member who has been struggling with his health all year. To them, and to any of you who may also rank 2012 as a shit year, all I can offer is this trite and wholly unproven maxim: another year, somewhere down the line, may be better for you, if you let it be. I've been in some fairly dark places (again, 2006/07, I'm looking at you!) when I believed that a year like 2012 would never be within my reach. But it was. It was. The winter does end, if you allow it to.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this festive little video I found today. Hey Rosetta! remains one of my favourite bands and this video pretty much captures the atmosphere of my inner world these days. But I also like it because it shows the work and effort that must go into a joyous life: the groggy mornings, the inane repetitions, the sometimes grueling drudgery needed to make good stuff happen. It shows it, and shows why it's worth it. As with life, this video is best played loud and at full screen. Merry Christmas everybody.

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