2012 did not suck.
Tell the truth, it rocked.
I spent it all with J, and it couldn't have come any more natural to share our lives with each other. Now we're in our newly-remodeled home together, and can enjoy those spectacular sunsets and even more spectacular night skies in the mountains.
Do you have an idea just how many stars are visible to the naked eye once you're not in a light-polluted city? I didn't. It's humbling.
What else was there?
Well, shopping for a home and buying one, then remodeling it. Some say people break up and get divorced over stuff like that, but they also say the Stig only knows two facts about ducks and both of them are wrong.
I drove a lot. Not as much as I'd liked to (which would be full-time), and not always as well as I'd want to, but today I can consistently outdrive my performance from the year prior. I had to rebuild and repair most of my race car: motor, roll cage, containment seat, safety harness, shock absorbers, differential, rear suspension bushings, power steering. Most of the first half of the year was spent dealing with that, and the second half was me getting used to the new handling characteristics.
I have added Laguna Seca to my repertoire, and I would say out of the three I got, it's my second most comfortable track after Thunderhill. Sonoma is still a challenge, yet being there makes me happy before I even turn a wheel on the track.
I lost my grandfather that year, and after a week of mourning, I went to Sonoma Raceway, and sat on the hill there, overlooking the track, and was able to leave there at peace, ready to return to my life.
I suspect Sonoma will keep its special place in my heart and in my life.
Speaking of which, J and I enjoyed a lot of good wine together, and I have developed meagre cooking skills.
Professionally, it's been a year of growth.
In 2012 I took over managing the vExpert program, ran it, loved every moment of it, then changed jobs. I still miss my colleagues and my vExpert friends, but life is a funny thing. Just when you are getting comfortable, new challenges come around.
I am at Nebula now, working to build a community of cloud computing users and enthusiasts, and helping out with marketing work along the way, seeing that I am the only marketing professional in our company at the moment.
I think 2012 was the year when I realized that I was not poor anymore and did not have to live in constant "prepare for the worst" mode.
Both J and I enjoyed good health and spent tons of quality time together.
I am very grateful for all the love, and growth, and positive change I have seen in 2012. As years go, this one may well have been the best of my life so far. It would be silly to expect the curve to keep going up and to the right at quite the same rate, but even if 2013 just flatlined at the same level, I'd be very content.
Oh yes, I have learned a little about contentment and zen in this year too. There's more to learn, but I think this also played a role in the overall 2012 experience.
Looking forward, I would like to spend more time in 2013 working on my yoga and meditation practice. Finally, I intend to spend more time with my friends, because that's really what life is about: being healthy and content, so that one may enjoy good company.