2012 In Memoriam

It’s that time again folks! Well, to be fair I’m about 3 weeks too late. Don’t tell my mother.

Every year at New Years my family has a tradition: reflect on the year with a series of preposterously invasive questions about the ending year that only my mother enjoys asking or answering. At least, that’s what I used to tell her. My mother has always been a good sport with her children’s irrational reaction to family traditions and discussion. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for her poisoned genes to take root in my warped brain. It’s been her plan for the last 25 years to weave targeted pathways in my cerebrum with her genetically engineering Trojan horse of a chromosome set. All so that she had somebody else to derive pleasure from these twisted games. And I love the evil genius all the more for having succeeded.

So here we are again…Raymond sits in a deli in Georgetown, and on a train, and in his apartment sipping a winter-battling whiskey….and tries to remember what the heck happened this year. As usual, my memory is terrible and my mind rusty. But we will uncover the memories, dear friends. We will.

As I say every year, I strongly encourage you to try these questions out for yourself. Be honest, be thoughtful, and be clear in your responses. If you feel bold enough to post them in a comment or on your own blog, I encourage you to do so. Otherwise, please email me if you’d like to share your answers with someone else. Until then, I hope you enjoy a snapshot of my year.

The most beautiful place I saw this year :

I was lucky enough to get to Alaska this year to visit my charming younger brother. Since ‘Alaska’ is kind of a cheap answer I will narrow it down to the Colony Glacier in the mountains above Girdwood, Alaska. It was the first time I saw a glacier up close….and I even got to walk around on it.

See for yourself:

Something I was glad I did but hope to never have to do again this year:

2012 was the year for all four of my wisdom teeth to get yanked. Truly it was not as painful as I expected, but it was not an enjoyable experience. Specifically, I cannot unhear the sound of the bone snapping near my jaw. **shudder**

The person I most enjoyed meeting* :

The honest answer is that there isn’t a single person that I enjoyed most. I think honestly my new string of non-workfriends which I will group only under the first of their kind: Laura. There is an honorable mention, though. When I was in Alaska I met this absolutely charming lady named Annie who I found to be exceedingly interesting and impressive. To be honest I don’t know why I found her that way.

The day I would most like to repeat from this year* :

On my way back from Arizona I surprised my parents in Arizona for just 24 hours. It was far and away the best 24 hours I can remember having, and I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything.

Someone I would like to get to know better in the new year* :

I have no idea. I think this is the first year I don’t have anyone that I want to get to know better. In previous years I cheated and said “myself”, but I’ve done more self-analysis than I care to admit in my life and any more would just be gluttonous. I think the answer is likely going to be my new team leader. He’s an intensely fascinating individual, and I’m curious to plumb the depths there.

The thing that I got better at during this year :

This year I truly started being centered in myself and expressing truth to myself and others. In previous years I felt far more restricted in expression, and I’m really excited about that change.

The thing I would most like to accomplish in the new year:

It’s been on my list for a long time, but I really want to travel oversees. My travel in the states is pretty solid, but I need to hop the pond and get my feet dirty with foreign soil.

The thing I am proud to have accomplished this year is*:

significantly expanding my career. Moving into handling large projects, serving as a true team-lead with all the authorities and accountability that comes with that has been extremely interesting. I never imagined I’d be where I am a few years ago, and this year has really been the best growth year since I first moved to the East coast.

Something new I would like to try in the new year is:

You know what, I’ve never been on a Jet Ski. That would be pretty fun. Or just spending a day in a place where I didn’t speak the local language. Sounds like heaven.

The Scripture verse/passage that meant the most to me this year was:

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:28. This is one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard, and if more people heeded it often the world would be a much better place.

A place I would like to visit in the new year is:

New York or Boston

My favorite outing/trip/visit was to:

Alaska was fun, but my favorite trip this year was my visit to Maine. Walking around the city and the islands alone was a pleasure and a truly peaceful experience. I could almost live there…just need a few more humans.

I most enjoyed watching the following change this year*:

My work environment has gone through and is going through huge changes and it’s really interesting. First was my temporary reassignment, then my changed leadership, and now it seems like everything changes daily. It’s a wild world we live in, and I’m just glad I got tickets to the show.

One thing I wish I could change this new year:

The biggest thing that is missing from my life is balance, and if 2013 could bring me anything new it would be a little more of that. I suffer from a personality type that favors extremes…but I think I can pull off a little more normal than I give myself credit for.

A special prayer answered this year:

It’s a small win, but a critical one. I have some amazing friends and this year they were able to find peace and stability in spite of very trying times. I so thankful to have friends that are happy and safe.

My favorite special event this year:

One of my good friends had a great birthday party. We took him to a food tasting, met some strangers, up to POV at the W and then grabbed pizza after he fell asleep. It was a rip-roaring good time.

My favorite holiday memory this year:

I had one of the most spectacular 4ths of July on record: a quiet night of conversation, wine and companionship. I need more of that in my life.

Someone I missed seeing this year:

I’ve still got a big chunk out of my heart from an absent friend that I haven’t been able to reengage with. He’s still in my thoughts frequently, and I wish we could have seen each other this year.

Someone I hope I can visit this new year*:

I would love to visit two very dear old friends living in St. Paul, MN. One just got back from overseas and the other I haven’t seen in far too long.

The scariest thing that happened to me this year:

Taking off out of Seattle to Anchorage happened to send me straight through a snow/electrical storm. I had never flown in lightning, and I’ll tell you…it’s pretty scary. Purple flashes, bumps and a haze of snow shooting by the window.

My favorite possession of this year:

This one is tough. I’ve clearly used my iPad more than any other device this year, but I do love my Yamaha DTX Multi-12. Getting back into drumming this year was so much fun and a welcome diversion.

My most satisfying accomplishment this year*:

Hey! Speaking of drumming, the answer is the Drumeoke radio show I did with @Supadupdip. It was so much fun to just let go on Monday nights and have a good time with music. I really am thankful to him for working with me on that. I realize I still have some unpublished shows. So much of my life is unfinished :D

Something new I learned realized about Faith :

This year I really separated the idea of “the faithful” from “the respected”. I used to support a strong correlation between those two. This year I realized that such associations don’t lead anywhere but the land of broken expectations.

I experience personal joy when I remember:

new friendships created in 2012.

The hardest thing to let go of this year:

my free time. It’s been a hell of a busy year. Between excessive working and an immense expansion of my social life, there hasn’t been time to breathe let alone meditate.

I really felt at peace when I:

floated down the Shenandoah. A friend of mine organized a tubing trip down the river. While beer and I are unlikely friends, I found that cold beer on a hot day in a gentle flowing river is just about the best way to unwind.

The most embarrassing moment of this year was when I*:

I don’t know how much I want to admit to embarrassing things in public…but lets just say that I woke up one night standing (sort of) on something alive. Good experience. I won’t go back.

I am really looking forward to :

moving into DC. I’ve lived on the fringes now for a few years, and I really can’t wait to sink my teeth in.

Something I tried for the first time this year:

flying in a helicopter! wearing suits to work every day! human sacrifice! (one of these things is not true)

I hope I get to do this again this year:

travel alone. Something rewarding about being alone with your thoughts on the road for a few days. Maybe I can connect that with my travel abroad.

Something I have been working on but don’t expect to complete this year:

my photo editing. Man. I just have too many photos. I’m also finding that sitting at my computer in the evenings is no fun any more.

If I could name the year just passed, I would name it the “Year of the _____________”:

Open Door

Just one more time I would like to:

have dinner with my two best friends.

In the new year, my wish for you:

is that you find joy in the choices that you’ve made and mystery in the choices you have ahead.

Here’s a list of the major events that defined this year for me:

Jan – Spun up on hot new project
Feb – Praised, pulled off project
March – Started new job
May – Trip to Maine
August – Derecho! No Power! New Chapter of my life!
September – Returned to old job and promotion
October – Obamaney Election Wraps up into Nov.
November – Crazy Work Travel and Alaska Trip!
Dec – Got project back, in similar state to when I left it

1 Comment(s)

  1. So happy to be on your “day to repeat”. You were ours, too. I am glad that you do the questions because it would be sad if I didn’t worm my way into your life somehow, and this seems like one of the better ones. Love you!

    mamaberg | Jan 27, 2013 | Reply

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  1. Dec 31, 2013: from 2013 In Memoriam: Berg Family Questions : Raymond Berg

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