1. What were the best things that happened to you personally in 2013?
- Getting to teach ballroom dancing at the local university, which has the bonus of giving me an opportunity to dance. Next round of classes begin the day after MLK Day.
- My mom's visit in July. My mother hasn't been to visit me in a long long time. It was nice to have her see my apartment and then to see Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks at the peak of their summer splendor.
2. What was the worst thing that happened to you personally in 2013?
- I can't remember anything particularly terrible that happened. I do live in a state of perpetual uncertainty with my employment status. I feel confident that I'm doing a good job and get continual positive feedback, but I'm not sure that they can afford my position. I know that I'm not the only person in this situation, but it's a difficult place to live.
- The federal budget deal. Republicans & Democrats coming together and getting something accomplished without putting the whole country and the world into a panic. I know we still have a long way to go, and I'm sure there will be relapses. Just the idea that it is possible in this polarized environment gives hope.
- The revelations about the NSA from Edward Snowden (and the journalists who are covering the story). It was/is terrible that it's happening, but it is great that it has seen the light of day. Secret police are the tools of totalitarian states not democracies. With everything behind closed doors it is a secret police regardless of how ethical and rule abiding they claim to be. The government says, "Trust me." I am reminded of an old phrase, "Trust but verify." There has not been a lot going on in the government that has engendered my trust of late. I might have to find myself a tin hat. All the conspiracy theorists' claims seem to be coming true. We'll see if Obama implements any of the recommendations of the panel he appointed to review what the NSA is doing.
- The Syrian chemicals weapons deal. It doesn't look like it has helped much in the civil war there, but just having those things out of circulation is a good thing, period. I think that it also may have facilitated the nuclear agreement that we got with Iran. A long way from seeing where that will end up, but there's cause for hope there too.
- The Boston Marathon bombing.
- NSA revelations. I know I said it was a good thing, but good grief, I can hardly believe the extent of it. Nor can I believe that we only have one lone federal judge so far that thinks it constitutes unreasonable search and seizure and is therefore unconstitutional. I always considered myself a great supporter of our National Security apparatus. Like I said. When it gets to the level of "secret police" (read Gestapo, KGB, etc.), we have gone too far.
- Intransigence in Washington. The system was set up to make it difficult to do things, but that was to prevent rash action. Slow things down a little to give people a chance to really think about what they're doing, but this is too much. We don't seem to have leaders. They seem more like petulant children. I have hope because of the budget deal, but I just saw today or yesterday another grandstanding maneuver about no negotiation. "Fine," I thought. "You obviously don't want to get that issue resolved. What's the point?"
- Star Trek: Into Darkness I really like where JJ Abrams is going with this reboot. I loved how the Khan storyline was twisted and tweaked but still stayed true to the characters. Now, last I heard, he's heading up the new Star Wars movies. Let's just say, I'm pleased.
- RED 2 The comedy? Fantastic. The spoofs on spy & other action/adventure films? Great! Helen Mirren? Fabulous, as always.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Tolkien nerds can whine all they want. I loved the way they incorporated more of the elves and especially Legolas into the storyline. Made my heart go pitter-pat. (That is by no means the only reason it make my top three. lol) Can hardly wait for the last installment.
6. Review of 2013's Resolutions. I might have actually accomplished some of them this year!
- Find an alternate term for "bucket list." I've never cared for the euphemism of "kicking the bucket," so bucket list was never very attractive. What I'm now developing is a Leap List. I saw it somewhere online. I don't remember the origin story, but I'm thinking of it as Leaping into Adventure. :)
- Find a non-church activity in town. I did it! I mentioned earlier that I'm teaching ballroom dance at the local university. They liked me so well that I'm starting another round in January.
- Make action plans for my goals, so I have a plan on how to get there instead of just wishing that it'll happen. I did make the action plans. I'm not sure how much they contributed towards me achieving my goals, but it's a start.
- There were a few others, but we won't talk about those. *smirk*
- I'm sorry to admit that I haven't made them yet. I have some goals, but that has to do mostly with my employment situation. They aren't particularly focused on self-improvement. I'll have to think more about hat.
There you have it. I went into a little more detail than I intended. Guess I had a little that I needed to get off my chest.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2014 for us all!