Obligatory End of the Year Stuff

We’re sentimental creatures, particularly when we hit the end of another roll around the sun.

Also, most people have a very slow week at work.  Okay, I have a slow week at work.

It was the year that….was.  I don’t have a grandiose adjective for the last 365 days because it just wasn’t that great.  Or, at the very least, I didn’t feel like it was.

I spent a lot of time being disappointed, either in myself or in the actions of others.  I spent most of the year on a roller coaster when it came to my future and it wasn’t fun.  I had high hopes so many times and…well, they got stomped on quite a bit.  It just never quite came together for me for whatever reason.  I have my own theories on this that I’ll spare my readers from.  It is the holidays and no one truly wants to think too deeply at this juncture.

While my parents’ collective mortality always seemed far off, it came crashing home this year with learning of my Dad’s seeming last stand with the beast known as cancer.  At present, his health is about the same. His doctors gave him a prognosis in July of about a year.  You do the math.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid or want to curl into a ball on the couch and cry over this (trust me, this has already happened multiple times).  At Christmas, my Dad passed on a plastic tote of decorations collected over several decades of marriage.  This included items I made in Girl Scouts,  a couple boxes of Snoopy decorations circa the late 60s/early 70s, ornaments sent home from my time in New Orleans and a Care Bear.

It was another warning that our time on the planet is fleeting at best.

Four bright spots this year:
1. I got to see my name in print a couple times for the storied “Indianapolis Monthly” publication.  It’s always an honor to write for those folks and they always give me great assignments.
2. I committed to finally running the Mini Marathon on 5/6/2016.
3. Michael won medals at two different Brazilian jiu-jitsu and earned three stripes.  In my derby off-season, I earned a stripe on my white belt.  This was the biggest surprise of my time off skates.
4. My best moment of the year:

March 22nd, 2015:  The Naptown Third Alarm hosted the Bone City Rollers in a scrimmage.  This was the first time I’d scrimmaged outside practice in awhile.  I spent all of last off-season working endurance and footwork.  I was not known for anything fancy prior to this moment.  As the Third Alarm took a commanding lead, our bench coach asked if anyone outside of the rotation wanted to try jamming.  I raised my hand.  Why not, I told myself.  The worst that could happen is that I wouldn’t get through the pack.

I stepped onto the jammer line and joked with the opposing jammer.  I asked if she normally jammed for her team (point-scoring person).  She said no-I told her the same.  The whistle sounded and I started driving forward.  The next few moments are a blur, but I exploded out of the pack.  It was like a slow motion scene in an action movie.  I looked over at the referee and she silently pointed to me with her arm raised.

I was the lead jammer.

On the first scoring pass, I had a teammate fling me across the inside line.  I had scored my first-ever “grand slam” (five points).  I would go on to do several more passes and score 25 unanswered points.  At one point, I looked over at my jammer ref and asked, “is this real?” She nodded and smiled at me.

When the jam ended, I turned around–the bench was on their feet, cheering.  I skated over, in a daze.  Having once been told I’d never be fast enough or a jammer, this was quite the moment.

I’ve had many more moments like that this year and I intend to have many more in 2016.  There is no stopping the roller coaster of life.  There are going to be bumps or huge potholes on the road.   There is no quit–only going forward.

With that, I leave you all with my song of the year from my favorite record of the year.

See you on the other side!









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