It seems that everyone has a "Top 10 List for 2012". Since I prefer to not follow the crowd, this post will not contain any lists (unless midway through I change my mind, which I do reserve the right to do) about this past year or the one we are about to enter. Rather, I'd like to take a moment to just remember a few of the more poignant moments from my own life and/or the events that changed our world.
Politically, 2012 was a huge disappointment. It is amazing to me that we have all the information we do about President Obama and his plan for the USA, be in an on-going economic downturn, constant war and STILL have people so brainwashed and full of entitlement that he would be re-elected. Part of the problem was the fear of the GOP to really tell the people the truth about what this country needs in order to avoid the massive problems that are coming as well as avoiding telling the truth about who Obama really is - out of fear of being labeled "racist" or whatever. When Romney picked Ryan as his running-mate, I was overjoyed and filled with hope that finally the GOP would get the truth about Conservatism out to the people, but as the campaign went on, once again I was disappointed by the lack of chutzpah the party with which I most associate demonstrated. Until we elect leaders who have true backbones and who are willing to cut spending and limit entitlements (quit handing out taxpayer money like candy to corporations and lazy people), we will never see our country return to the path of prosperity and greatness that it once was on.
Along with politics goes the two failed proposed Amendments to the Minnesota Constitution - Voter ID and the Marriage Between One Man and One Woman. The first I fully supported and am still somewhat shocked that it didn't pass as it seems to me to be common sense. The second one, I was on the fence. Unfortunately, the way our system works forced me to have to choose since leaving the little circle empty equated a "no" vote (I think that one should have the option to not vote; how hard is it to make three tallies - "Yes", "No", "Chose not to Vote"?). I personally lean Libertarian in my views and believe that the government needs to just stay the heck out of everyone's personal life - the smaller the government the better. I also think that if someone wants to make a contract with another person (which really is what a "Marriage License" does) and form a "civil union" that it shouldn't matter what sex they are. Then, if they want to "marry", let the free market decide: if a church believes that same-sex marriage is within their tenants, then they can perform the ceremony. If not, the couple can go to a church that will perform the ceremony. There ya go. Done. Enough with the fighting over this issue. Make all people have civil unions and be done with it. (Seriously, with the economic problems the USA is facing, does any of this REALLY matter? If America goes down the toilet, who really is going to care who is shacking up with whom?) As a person who has gone through a divorce, I think that if same-sex couples want all the "rights" heterosexual couples "enjoy" (yeah, especially the marriage penalty on taxes), then by all means, let them also enjoy the flip-side and find out how much fun it is to have to employ lawyers when they realize that "love of their life" really isn't "the one." (I had a fun Twitter debate one time with some gay activists who insisted that they wanted "the Right to Marry" so they could call their "partner" their "husband." To which I replied "Who's stopping you from calling him whatever you want?" Freedom of Speech is still our First Amendment, I believe.)
The day prior to the election, I decided to forgo any last ditch effort to get out the vote - honestly, if people have not figured out by the day before the election their choice in candidates, I don't want them voting. (Sometimes I think it would be smart if we could have each person take a "current events" quiz prior to voting just to make sure they actually know for whom they are voting and for which issues that person stands. There could be some pop culture questions tossed in to make it easier for those who pay little attention to politics, too, and to make it harder for those of us who really could care less about which celebrity got fat or pregnant or divorced or is back in rehab.) I'm not advocating returning to poll taxes or anything like that, but requiring the electorate to at least be a little informed might help change things for the better. However, considering that my great state (cough cough) can't even pass an amendment asking that each voter have a valid ID to vote (seriously, Minnesota? How is it disenfranchising to require someone to show ID at the polls when you can't even buy beer or cash a check or get on a plane or get into an Obama rally without valid ID?), I'm pretty sure that my Poll Current Events Quiz Amendment wouldn't pass either.
Personally, during 2012 I think I gained and lost and re-gained the same 20 pounds about three times; experienced having all four children in school all day for the first time in September; spent half the year as a 90% single-parent since Hubs worked out of town 5-6 days a week; fought with SwimGirl enough to age about 15 years; watched I don't know how many hockey games and swim meets; sat for hours waiting for kids to get out of the locker room after practices, meets and games; went through the college-selection process with SwimGirl (yay me, I get to do that three more times! ugh.); watched SwimGirl attend Prom; watched Tbone finally skate for his High School team; watched Sparkles sing a solo in public ("The Star Spangled Banner" at a JV hockey team - she rocked it); put my baby Buttercup on the bus for her first day of First grade and watched as SwimGirl drove off on her first day of her last year of High School; and many, many other events that are two numerous to count.
I realized that I want to work and earn money, but that an office job is probably out of the question because I'm not sure I could play the office political game (and therefore, not be quickly fired). I also discovered that one needs to make sure that one does all the research possible and gather all the pertinent information regarding an issue when one embarks on organizing a fundraising project/event for that issue/person or else be forced to back out when all the information becomes known, and when one is honest about the "whys" of the resigning from said project/event, that sending an email isn't the way to go (and sometimes, being "too honest" may also not be smart, either) even when one works hard to phrase the "whys" in such a way as to not hurt or offend anyone, the written word can always be misconstrued by the other party. (Who then may or may not distribute above-mentioned email to all his/her associates while accusing one of malicious intent causing great distress all around.) I also realized that my writing talents are put to better use attempting to entertain anyone willing to read my blog.
Looking forward to 2013, I am resigned to the fact that Minnesota has a Democrat-controlled government and the US still has Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Boehner still in office. I am not happy with the status quo, but I am at a loss as to how to change it. So, I've decided to go with brilliant advice given by the phenomenal Christine Caine: "Stop trying to change someone else's mind & work on your own. It's not what someone else thinks about you that limits you it is what you think!" I've spent much of 2012 desperately trying to change other people's minds/beliefs about various issues with little to no effect, leaving me feeling like I'm banging my head against a brick wall (which, really? If I want to experience that feeling, all I have to do is start up on pretty much any topic with SwimGirl and let the headache begin). So, for 2013, I am going to work on becoming a better parent, a better friend and a kinder, gentler, classier person who understands how to make people feel comfortable and happy and in so doing, makes others want to spend time with me. (How's that for platitudes?)
Happy New Year!