The Lady of Leisure tag I have assigned to myself has always been meant in jest, or maybe as wishful thinking. In truth, the need for monthly salon trips and the propensity to stuff my shelves with books have compelled me to get out there and hustle for money. Also, the Proverbs 31 woman I aspire to be is not one to be idle.
But still, this year I did become a Lady of Leisure.
It must be a testament to the power of the word. I discovered that if you say something often enough, it becomes a reality.
My 2008, indeed, is the year of living leisurely. This year, I handled my career as if they were hobbies and attacked my hobbies as if they were my career. I learned that the art of doing nothing is not about slothful loafing, but about doing things with hardly any effort because they're fun and they feed the soul. Okay, I was lazy too. And stepping on breaks because of fear of making mistakes. And being true to my procrastinating nature, I kept a lot of plans and dreams in the back burner. I took it easy. I worked hard at having fun. In that respect, I was successful in my efforts, because I had more fun than is legally allowed.
I read 53 books in 2008. And it feels to me that that was my only major accomplishment. Well, what's the rush? I can relax now, I've already passed the deadline for the TOYM. And Grandma Moses remains an inspiration for starting late.
Anyway, enough preamble. This is the requisite year-end recap of the big things that happened to me in the year that was.
In no particular order:
1) Big Island Hopping - 2008 started with me flying off to the islands of the US for a wedding. In the 3rd quarter of the year, Hubbaluvvah and I were swinging our heads very fast watching formula 1 cars zip through the streets of Singapore. For somebody who this year earned what other people would find insufficient to buy a purse, I was able to magically find the resources to travel. And shop. Thanks to God, generous relatives, and well-timed training gigs, I was able to hop across the big ponds.
2) Bye Bye, Onie - Probably the only sad note of the year. Surprisingly though, our first Christmas and New Year without daddy were not as morose as I thought they would be. I think it is because of a reassurance that dad is in a much better, happier, painless place. Once in a while, I feel the pang of his absence and ache for him to be there, but it is followed by a peace that transcends understanding.
3) Blogerella - I have been blogging since 1999, back when the word blog was not even in my vocabulary. It was a way of scratching an itch to write, just write, just pound on keyboard any leftover angst not yet fully processed in pity parties equipped with copious amounts of alcohol and/or coffee and/or desserts. To just release words gurgling inside my head and bursting from my heart. But this year, I got into blogging more than just a way of self expression. I ventured out of the confines of Multiply and got into the more public spheres of wordpress and blogspot. I compartmentalized my mindburps into different blogs with different themes. I spent hours looking for templates and days adding widgets and gadgets galore. I tried to understand the science of hit rates. I twitterized. I am not yet sure why I'm doing all that, but I'm game enough to watch how this bloggaholia will evolve.
4) Batangas Escapes - And when I just want to wean myself from the wawawa, I go where dsl means daylong sleeping and loafing and go to Batangas to read, walk, stare at the lake, and catch a whiff of rural eau de swine. Aahhh.
5) Books, Books, and Book Nuts - It's my mother's fault. Like most of life's major issues, this bibliophilia can be blamed on the parents, specifically the female parent. But it's true. She got me reading when I was 3, and indoctrinated me into book collection. And now, in 2008, I met a bunch of people called Shelfarians, and Flippers who made me feel stepping into a bookstore without buying anything is a shameful crime. They are the reason why I can no longer see the floor of our second floor and why nothing strikes fear in my husband's heart than seeing me enter a bookstore. I acknowledge that it's madness and I am sick. Yes, I am Gege, and I am a biblioaddict. And aside from my mom, there are nuts out there that I can blame.
6) Big Black Eyebags - I live 6 timezones away from where my body is. For many reasons -- like #3 and #5 above , plus reading 75 student papers every week during the first term -- I've become friends with the hours after midnight. Sometimes I get to bed as my husband is leaving it to shower and go to work. This year's move to in-law land might/will have to change that. And that's probably a good thing. Because eye creams are expensive.
7) Beach Escapade - Camiguin, my only claim to still be deserving of my Islandhopper name. This was the first time I went to this kind of adventure without husband, friend, and the family grill. Solo at White Island. Woman against nature in my ballroom-proportioned bedroom at Enigmata Tree House. Careening toward the sea in a motorbike. And who could forget Dodong?
8) Butter N Toast - How many times in the past few months have I found myself sighing the closest to a sigh of contentment? It's not a resting in laurels kind of contentment, but just this wonderful feeling that this club is making a difference in the lives of individuals hungry for learning and passionate about self development. I love this club, and I adore the people in it.
So there. The big 8 of 2008. And as I wind down this recap, I remember one more big thing -- the bonds. The bonds I've formed with so many people this year. Bonding with hubbaluvva as he spends less time traversing Luzon and more time conversing with me (minor miracle there), the transatlantic and I-knew-you-20-years-ago bonds made possible by Facebook, bonds with people who hate the books I love and love the books I hate, bonds with family, with sisters in faith, with students past and new, with faceless cyberfriends, with people who care about giving the underprivileged a voice, bonds built through cups of coffee, bonds developed every other Thursday night, bonds in a smaller and smaller world.
I don't believe in luck. I don't believe in numerelogy. But 2008 was a pretty good year.