Chronologically: The year began with a bit of worry and uncertainty attached to it. January– I started the year with a doctor’s appointment on the 2nd, which is an appropriate start for the whole year. We got (another) new refrigerator and this one actually worked once the repairmen came back three times. I made our duvet cover after months of planning. I love it. Still.
February– I got my iPhone, we went to The Moth storytelling event and stayed overnight at The Heathman Hotel on a mini-vacation and I spoke at Ignite Portland 10. And that was all in the first week. I ended the month with the launch of my BOOK! (book! book! book!) March– I got rainbow hair (which I’d been working up the nerve to do for years) and went to Berkeley for a weekend at Teahouse with Jen and Liz and Stef and Phyllis and Caren. I didn’t get much sleep that month, though. It was my first long stretch of insomnia. I was worried about April. April brought the Buckman show (which was amazing as always), my best birthday celebration in years, an I (heart) Art event in Portland with Etsy (I got to be a SUPERSTAR, which was super fun since I love talking to artists as they’re starting out) and a follow-up mammogram that I’d been dreading for months. On April 27th, I had a biopsy and spent the weekend recovering.
May brought good news and sound sleep. I was fine. We went to New York for Chris’s book launch and I finished knitting my second sweater of the year. Then I stayed in Brooklyn for a storytelling night and celebration of Beauty Everywhere with Jen and a group of fabulous people. I painted my studio walls a pale gray-blue. I taught a few classes at Happy Knits and shipped copies of my book around the world (which still makes me giddy!)
June moved us in to full tilt WDS mode. Or book promotion mode, since that was going on around here too. I met a longtime reader and collector (Hi Pat!) when she and her husband came to Portland on vacation, and I began winding down the 100 stories series.
July brought the World Domination Summit and a week of intense work and happy energy. Amazingly, the whole thing went off astoundingly well and we were thrilled. And exhausted. So then we took a week’s vacation to Alaska, which was perfect. There was a lot of sleeping. Another big event was my first TaeKwonDo lesson. Who knew being a badass was such fun? The month ended with some bad news though. On the 31st of July, at my three month follow up appointment, my doctor found another lump in my breast. Gah. So frustrating. And the most irritating part is that we’d have to wait six weeks to fully investigate it.
Which brings us to August. I started a new painting series– 100 stories of the present. My mom and Michelle came for a visit, I took a class at Modern Domestic where I made my own shirt, and I went to Denver for a fun working weekend with Jen. I also picked up a couple of extra art students just for the summer and we had fun beginning to paint together.
September finally brought the chance to check out that pesky lump. I had an MRI at the beginning of the month, which led to an ultrasound biopsy (I’d done that before in April, so I felt like a pro) and ultimately an MRI biopsy at the end of the month. It was pretty rough. But here’s the thing: EIGHTY percent of breast biopsies are benign. And yet, since no one talks about them, they become this huge scary thing. All year I dealt with insomnia and low grade anxiety, just because I didn’t know what to expect. So I’m telling you, early detection is the key. Go get that mammogram and if they want you to have the biopsy, have it. Be kind to yourself for a couple of days and know that the odds are in your favor.
And then celebrate that it’s over by getting a yellow belt in TaeKwonDo. At least that’s what I did. Two days after the biopsy, I took my yellow belt test under the watchful eye of my husband and instructor, and I passed! Me! Queen of Klutz. It was awesome.
The rain returned in October. After more than two months of totally dry weather, I got to pull the rain boots out again. I was so excited! The second week of October, I bought myself a pair of red boots to celebrate the test results return of good news. (See? 80 percent.) I spoke at another event here in Portland with an inspiring group of women in the audience this time. And I started a big painting. Really BIG.
November seemed to be consumed with one thing–preparing to fly to India. I know there were other things that happened that month, like some sort of election that made me pretty happy, or getting glasses again seven years after LASIK surgery (which made me pretty unhappy), but mostly the month was about getting ready to board that plane on the day after Thanksgiving. Chris was traveling for most of the month, but he returned in time to celebrate a few holiday traditions with me and then we packed our bags and were on our way. We spent two days in Hong Kong exploring and adventuring, then landed in Mumbai on the 26th. Book and media events began that very day, and didn’t stop for two weeks, so December began the same way November ended. Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi were almost a blur. There was so much happening every day. When we finally slowed down, we were in Agra looking at the Taj Mahal.
I flew back to Portland while Chris continued his adventures, eventually making his way to Guinea Bissau (country 191 of 193 for him). For the next week, the cat wouldn’t let me out of her sight, even sleeping on my chest every night, despite the fact that I wasn’t really sleeping due to jet lag. I carried a Christmas tree home, decorated it with felted ornaments, and made lots of hot chocolate in an attempt to kindle some Christmas spirit around here.
I made a couple of big decisions and started planning 2013–which is looking pretty bright so far. Then I completed my large painting series on New Year’s Eve. A perfect end to an unexpectedly good year.