Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan
That's how I sometimes feel about life.
In 2012, it was easy for me to say, "Life sucks," whenever I felt as if life were treating me badly.
When measuring a year, it's all too easy to forget about the good in life when tragedy strikes.
I became angry and sullen when I ran out of money, when we lost all our food during Hurricane Sandy, when my grandmother had a stroke and when I watched the news about the massacres in Newtown, CT and Aurora, CO.
Although we faced many difficulties last year-- receiving harsh reminders to appreciate our loved ones, dealing with Equis' speech delay and battling my depression--my family and I still found ways to have fun in 2012.
Like the song "Seasons of Love" says, we can measure life in both laughter and strife. Today, I'm choosing to measure 2012 in times we laughed.
Welcome to Part V, the last post, of the "How Do You Measure a Year?" series!
One of the biggest events I attended last year was the BlogHer '12 Conference, and it was tons of fun. I ate three delicious meals a day. I handed out the first business cards I'd ever made for myself. I downed drinks with other bloggers. I took home at least five bags of free tubes of toothpaste, coffee creamer, cookies, books and more. I heard Katie Couric and Martha speak. And my son and I had a blast at BlogHer's Family Fun Day at Chelsea Piers.
I also met great people. At first, I had been terrified of interacting with dozens of strangers, but I'm so glad I didn't just keep to myself. I made a wonderful friend of Miz KP, author of Sailing Autistic Seas. Her insightful and heart-touching posts on life with her son, Angel, inspire me. I also reconnected with Virginia Gudiel, author of Mom In Love Forever, which focuses on her life as a mother to a beautiful little girl as well as fashion and beauty. (Please, check out these awesome ladies' blogs!)
Most importantly, BlogHer '12 taught me a lot about the blogging experience and instilled in me a greater confidence in who I am as a writer.
During the summer, we hung out at Pier 25 at Hudson River Park where Equis perfected his mini-golf game and chose to use my adult stick over the child's one, we swung on swings and had a picnic at Governor's Island and we got wet in the water at Imagination Playground.
We also visited the beautiful Central Park Conservatory Garden where Equis ripped up leaves even after I told him not to, we barbecued at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx, we bowled at Frames in Port Authority, and we wandered around the South Street Seaport.
We even went to the Prospect Park Zoo for the first time, and although I worried that Equis would be scared of the animals, he happily fed pellets to sheep. For July 4th, we enjoyed a barbecue in the park by our building, and then we headed to the roof to see the fireworks, which Equis LOVED.
And one day, my lovely sister babysat Equis so my boyfriend and I could enjoy a date at Camelbeach Mountain Waterpark in the Poconos. It was amazing to have that quality time with him.
Even as I write this post, I'm realizing just how much we actually did, and I am so glad we did!
What is life without conversations with family and the celebration of growth? What is life without strengthening our bonds with our family members and friends by spending time with them?
PUERTO RICO VACATION: Last summer, Equis and I went to La Isla Del Encanto! Boy, how I miss the beach water, the flamboyant trees and the chorus of coquis chirping throughout the night.
We did so many wonderful activities in Puerto Rico, including trips to Las Cascadas Waterpark, a Carnival, Go-Karts, and a long hike through El Yunque Rainforest that I'll remember this trip forever.
Numerically, for example, one year in the life of my 81-year-old Abuela seems minuscule, but a year is half the lifespan of my 2-year-old.
But a numerical measurement of a year does not tell the complete story of that year.
A year isn't just 525,600 minutes or 365 days or 52 weeks.
A year is a sum of our life's experiences, both good and bad, in that time period.
I like the idea that we can measure our lives in laughter, strife, growth and achievements.
So, as the lyrics of "Seasons of Love," say: "Let's celebrate" as we look back on our years and look forward to the ones that come.
What's your favorite "Fun Time" of 2012? What makes that memory special?