This year is almost done and I thought I'd have a look over my resolutions and see how I went. I had three.
One was to run 5km without barfing up a lung. I think I ticked this one off the list back in March and so chose to add to it. I decided to try for 10km, and managed to do that in late April, when I entered the Lausanne 20km event. All told, I ran in three races this year: a 10km, a half-marathon and a 5km Christmas run through Lausanne's Old Town. The half-marathon was by far the hardest, as it was snowing and bitterly cold. All I wanted to do when I crossed the finish line (2hrs:14min:34s, in case you care) was weep. Running is not a natural fit for me. I struggle with technique, boredom, motivation, the fact that the so-called 'runner's high' hits me only one run in about 20 and lasts for about 1 minute after a good 60 minutes of exertion... Running is the sort of thing I feel good for having done. I don't feel good when I'm doing it.
But I did it. I stuck to it.
The second resolution was to go to a country I haven't been to before. Sadly, this was not possible. The sheer fact that my new year's resolutions can include such privileged goals (no mention of running water, educating my kids or keeping a roof over our heads here) is telling. I'm already a lucky person. The newest place I went to was Ibiza, and that was good enough for me. In fact, it was great. Ibiza is bloody beautiful.
My third resolution was always going to be the hardest: to be a better listener. I tried, I really did. I managed to catch myself about to interrupt someone so many times it was ridiculous, but I put much of that down to getting way too excited when I get to catch up with old friends. I'm not an interrupter in French, so perhaps I need to have a lot more French conversations in 2013.
I just wish I felt as though I was the person I used to be when I'm speaking French. A lot of who I was has disappeared over here, for no other reason than a second language often takes you back to verbal basics. Anecdotes don't translate as well, or have no relevance to where you find yourself. Cultural references are meaningless and therefore close to unsharable. The way I used to play with the English language is not available to me the way it used to be. So I guess one of my goals for next year is to get more comfortable with French.
I'm close to fluent, by the way, but far from comfortable. Somehow I need to find a space for me to curl up inside French and relax a bit.
Until then, here is my favourite photo from 2012. The little photographer -- as they say in French 'Tel père, tel fils' ('Like father, like son').
Happy 2013 everyone.