Reverb 10 for December 1 – ONE WORD

I am a little late in starting this year-in-review project, but if I hadn’t been procrastinating on Facebook, I might never have stumbled upon it at all. This proves that Facebook is not the evil time-suck we all make it out to be. If you are curious about the Reverb 10 project, use the badge on the right to learn more.

Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?

Grueling. It is such an awful, ugly word. It makes me think of the medieval period. Or lots of mud. That’s how I feel about a decent portion of 2010. It’s not so much that life seemed to be physically demanding as it was emotionally draining. Most of this year has been dedicated to finally putting my father to rest. One would think that this would have happened after he was interred in Arlington National Cemetery in July of 2009, but no one ever tells you about all of the work that comes after the friends and family have left and gone back to their respective lives. There is an estate to “settle”, clothes to donate, possessions to distribute. The deceased is broken down piece by piece into a series of relics that the rest of us will desperately cling to in an attempt to remember what was once human and now just mere wisps of memory. The remembering is grueling. It is tiring. Over time, it becomes more and more difficult to recall the specifics of facial features, the tone of voice, that one peculiar look. This is why eyewitnesses at crime scenes are hardly ever reliable – soon you don’t know if you actually saw the red car or if you merely imagined it. Maybe now my memories are really more like stories to which I have added and subtracted key details.

If I was writing this one year from now in 2011, I would prefer to say that the year was surprising. Now that I have completed my second-degree in Nursing and will be starting my career in February, I can honestly say that I am extremely excited about the prospects that the coming year may bring. I don’t say surprising as in people jumping out from behind your couch on your birthday, but as in I want to be better attuned to the marvelous things  – no matter how seemingly inconsequential – that each and every day brings. I think that it will be especially important for me to see grace and beauty and love in those I care for so that nursing doesn’t become merely my job, but continues to be something that I genuinely love. I also hope that life might genuinely surprise me by throwing something unexpected in my path. Sometimes it’s nice to know that god/the universe is listening to the unspoken yearnings deep within. I also hope to surprise myself by accomplishing certain goals that I have had on my “to do” list of resolutions for years. And, if someone wants to surprise me with a really amazing gift on my birthday in January? Well, I’d be open to that as well.

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