Week #52: L’année de fin*

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln

This week has been full. (It seems somewhat appropriate since it gets two extra days (I’m lumping in the Sunday & Monday for a nice round 52 (instead of Week# 52.285714 (can you tell how much I love using parentheses?)))). Full of mini AN52 things (julienned carrots, explosive drinks & hurriedly—but unsuccessfully—trying to finish this post at the library before they closed), happy little surprises & the appropriate year-end retrospection.

Looking back over all of the things this year surprised me. There were some really cool things I did that I’d forgotten. I’d have to say that some of my favorites were going curling, car buying & selling, crazy foods, colored hair, Pride & Prejudice marathons, cute, beardy men at the tree climbing competition & dressing up for midnight premieres.

While completing this blog post in itself would give me my new thing (I’ve never done something for a whole year with only myself as motivation), I actually did do a new thing. In the past, my favorite Christmas movie has been Elf, which is a bit silly since it doesn’t have anything to do with the real meaning of Christmas. But it’s funny & loud (like me) & very quotable (also like me). Plus, all of the claymation Christmas ‘classics’ freak me out (those little things are so creepy!); I think A Christmas Story is awful & I’m not a huge Chevy Chase fan. But on Saturday, I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. I wasn’t a huge Peanuts fan growing up & my interaction with it was limited to the Saturday funnies. But I really enjoyed it, especially the sweet emphasis on Jesus’ coming & birth.

So that’s it—a new 52! Thank you so much to all of you who have journeyed with me & encouraged me in this. I don’t know that I’m a totally new person, but that’s good ’cause I’m already super awesome & now I can add a ton of new experiences to make my life a little more epic. May your 2013 be full of awesome epicness!!!

Thumbs up for rock & roll—& 2013!!

*French for “the year’s end”. Je suis américain, but I like different languages 🙂

Week #24: Every day I’m shufflin’

“You work faster & faster & every time you look up there seems to be just as much left to sweep as before, & you try even harder, & you panic, & in the end you’re out of breath & have to stop…” – Michael Ende, Momo

There are so many things to thank Canada for—Nathan Fillion, maple syrup, & many, manly beards—but I never would have thought I’d add curling to that list…which I’m doing..right now.

One of the brightest (that’s an inside joke, just so you don’t think I’m insulting the rest of you) of the AN52 readers suggested curling as an activity when I was trawling for AN52 ideas (thanks!!). I signed up almost immediately—here it was something completely foreign, somewhat obscure, but with style & panache enough to spare.

In case you don’t know what curling is, it’s just like this—at least if you’re Canadian. You begin by pushing off from the hack (a block stuck into the ice) with the “rock”, that stone with the handle, in your dominant hand & a broom in the other. The idea is to transfer your mass’s momentum to the stone and get it to land in the center target on the other end of the rink. 2 members of your team have brooms and shuffle along the ice sweeping in front of the rock. Too slick & too much momentum, it goes to far; too little, & well, you get the picture. There are 2 teams who alternate throwing & with the strategy that ensues, I can understand why it’s sometimes called “Ice Chess”.

If I haven’t communicated the game play well, at least I can let you know how enjoyable it was. Coming into an ice rink in the middle of the summer heat is refreshing & even though it’s incredibly low-impact, I worked up a sweat & “felt the burn”. I’ve never played a sport that was so social & low-key, kind of like, “Hey, you want to come curling with me? Bring the kids & the dog & the burgers & we’ll all have a good time.”

Despite that there’s still a moment of thrill.When you’re sweeping like mad & the rock is getting closer to your broom (if they touch, they’re disqualified), all that matters in the world is sweeping faster & shuffling faster to set a good path & keep ahead of it. You don’t even have time to ask yourself, Why am I fleeing from a rock sliding down this ice with a broom in my hand? It’s just that much fun.

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