Good riddance, 2012

By Mir
December 31, 2012

I feel like I could make with OH SO MANY WORDS about the suckage of 2012, but frankly I am sick of it and have no desire to rehash. If you were here, you already know. If you weren’t, well, I guess we could do an in-a-nutshell retrospective as a sidebar if I could do one for real.

[I can’t do a real sidebar, so here’s a fake one. Sidebar: 2012 sucked hairy donkey balls. Chickadee spent half the year in the hospital and I spent months fighting for Medicaid coverage for her while fighting for decent treatment, and then she decided to go live with her dad. (Single bright spot during that: You all helped me do an amazing thing for the hospital and I love you for it.) Otto’s car imploded in Atlanta one day and then we had to rush Monkey to the ER with suspected appendicitis and my mother-in-law passed away. For further hilarity, I then broke my hand on an apple and became bionic. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, we capped it all off with it seeming like Licorice might be deathly ill (though, fortunately, that one turned out okay). It was kind of A Year, is all I’m saying.]

Was there ever a year I was so happy to see end? I can’t think of one. Though we all know that the human brain is a miraculous thing; if there HAS been a year similarly awful, I have clearly repressed it. Lalalalala! I can’t heeeeeear you! I look forward to this year’s razor-sharp edges dulling in my mind, as well. The sooner the better.

Naturally, there was nothing left to do but get my woo-woo on.

It’s true that I am not normally given to the woo-woo end of things. I am pragmatic. I enjoy the logical and the concrete. This year feels like a 365-day-long demonstration of how wishing does NOT make it so. Still, desperate times, and all of that.

Two years ago I made a vision board and found it a surprisingly useful exercise. I don’t know if it was because I tried to give in to the woo-woo-ness of it or just because it kind of tricked my brain into understanding a little bit about what was not working for me, but I enjoyed the process and found it useful.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it again, last year. Possibly because life was already starting to unravel a bit in December.

This year, it became clear to me that it was time to do it again. But Chickadee was here, and it also became clear to me that it might be a useful exercise for her, as well. I can assure you that she is her mother’s daughter—my first suggestion that we do this together was met with a cynical quirked eyebrow, and I had to assure her that it was FUN and INTERESTING and she should just open her mind to the idea. And then I had to promise her that I would buy her some trashy teen magazines that she could read before we cut them up, too. That was enough to win her over.

The nine days Chickie was home were a mixed bag, I’m not going to lie. We’d been apart for nearly three months. I would characterize 90% of her time here as bittersweet, with 10% of it falling into the “oh, right, I remember how unpleasant life was last year” category. We’ve both changed a lot this year. My beautiful daughter has grown so much more than she realizes, but they call those unfortunate pangs growing PAINS for a reason. She’s still finding her footing, still figuring out who she is, still sad-glad-angry that she chose to spend this year away from here.

I figured an afternoon of sitting on her bed together, cutting up magazines and listening to music, could only tell us both more about where both of us are (woo-woo or not). And I was right.

Chickadee didn’t want to share her board, but you’ll have to take my word for it that it was AMAZING. It gave me chills when it was done, for real. She was very quick to shrug and scuff and “whatever” it, but I see the woman she’s becoming all over that thing, and I love, love, LOVE what I see.

Also, those five hours or so we spent working on our boards? The very best time we spent together all week. My favorite. I am so crazy about that child, I can’t even explain it. You love your kids, of course. But those times when you realize how much you just LIKE them, too, are priceless.

I was pretty pleased with how mine came out, though I feel like hers definitely won (no, not a competition, but you know what I mean).

Here’s mine (click here to see a bigger version if you want to check out the detail):

I know that last time I did this, I also sort of explained the reasoning behind a lot of the things I chose, and shared this big epiphany I had about myself, and blah blah blah. This time, I feel like a lot of it is self-evident, though I will share two pertinent things:

First, the big yellow “HEALING” in the upper right is also something Chickadee chose for her board. (Luckily it was from an ad that ran in more than one magazine, so we could both have one.) This makes me ridiculously happy.

Second, that bowl of lemons in the center is because this year I truly came to understand the meaning of making lemonade in dark times. And I have all of YOU to thank for that. I wanted the reminder, moving forward. I want to forget so much of this year; that’s one thing I never want to forget.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2013. Here’s to a new year and everything it brings—lemons, lemonade, and all.


  1. deva

    Happy New Year, Mir. May 2013 bring you growth, healing, yummy lemonade instead of nasty sour stuff, and happiness.

  2. vanessa

    I made a vision board for 2011 and really enjoyed it although it was actually not a GREAT year, and 2012 was a definite, erm, MIXED BAG. to put it mildly. but today i am vision boarding the hell out of 2013, and may we all find our, erm, positive visions reflected in the year to come, or something.

    I am glad that it was overall a good-ish visit with Chickie. I think of you guys often.

  3. Beth R

    Healing. May 2013 be all about healing for your entire family.

    Hugs and good wishes for the new year!

  4. Korinthia Klein

    It’s a beautiful board. I wish you all kinds of wonderful in 2013.

  5. Little Bird

    I love the idea of a vision board! I think I’ll do this with MY mom! Besides, I have two trashy magazines and it’s snowing out right now.

  6. diane

    One of my best friends from college throws a “Treasure Mapping” party every January to make vision boards. I wait with baited breath to see if it happens again this year.
    I sort of feel like I failed miserably at last year’s board. I’m not balanced, relaxed, less stressed, or happier with my career. But my sweetheart and I are still going strong so maybe the universe was just trying to tell me that was the most important item in 2012.
    Cheers to 2013, Mir & co. :)

  7. Issa

    I hope 2013 is a wonderful year for all of you. You sure as heck deserve it.

  8. Jessica

    I should probably let a little more woo-woo into my life. Thanks for the reminder. And I will save this idea for when my Little is a Big.

  9. ~zandra~

    Happy New Year to you and yours. And may this year not come close to the suckage that was your 2012.

  10. beth s

    Yes, 2013 cannot get here soon enough. Only 14.5 more hours until this year is GONE FOREVER!!! I will not look back with any fond memories of the crap we’ve been thru this year either. Besides the baby girl’s birth it has been one shit storm of a year. We are so ready for the new year to be better!

  11. bryan

    When I saw your tweet, I texted the cistern (Margaret) and told her we need to do this. Our year hasn’t quite managed to measure up to yours, but it hasn’t been all biscuits and gravy. (1998 was our year. That was when my grandmother died, 6 weeks later my stepmother died, my brother admitted his addiction–which was a good thing, but it sucked at the time–and various other things which have been swept under the carpet of time & my bad memory.) She’s more woo woo than I am; I tend to be a bottom line, solution sort of person. But you’ve sold me on the vision boards.

    Here’s to 2013.

  12. Midj

    Have never done a vision board.I might try one this year. Or do a year of gratitude again. I did it about 15 years ago, when the Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Journal of Gratitude came out. I might even read my old one each night and see how it correlates… Thanks for getting me thinking. Warm wishes to you and yours.


  13. Lindsey P

    Here’s to a better 2013! I may have to try this exercise myself.
    Much love you and yours!

  14. Melinda

    It has become my own personal tradition to make a vision board every new year’s eve for the past several years. Looking forward to that process tonight and appreciate the reminder of what a wonderful process it can be. So glad you and your girl could share that together.

    LOVED your comment: “I look forward to this year’s razor-sharp edges dulling in my mind…”
    Me too!! Here’s to 2013 with new vision and a little bit of amnesia.

  15. RuthWells

    I wish I could muster such a positive outlook for the coming year — you inspire me to try. Hugs, my friend.

  16. Brenda`

    Love it. I’m so glad you had that special time with Chickadee. And now I want to make my own. Maybe I’ll tackle that tomorrow. We have tons of magazines at work, so that’s easy. 2012 wasn’t bad for me; it was actually pretty good overall. But there are things I want that haven’t happened yet, and it’s always good to have a reminder, especially a visual one. Here’s to lucky 2013!

  17. Barbara H

    My favorite, oft-repeated Phil Dunphy quote (y’all watch Modern Family, dontcha?):

    “If life gives you lemonade- make lemons and life will be all like “whaaaaat?”

    Happy 2013, Mir & family.

  18. Stephanie Stenner

    I’m so happy for you and Chickadee that you had that special time together. We were blessed, over the holidays, to spend an entire week with Sydney in NYC which meant NO FRIENDS and not even *too* much texting. LOL I will really cherish that time with her because I know how fleeting it truly is. They just grow up SO quickly, it’s as though you go to sleep one night and wake up, the next morning to a “almost-grown-up”. I miss my baby girl, but I love the human being she is becoming.

    Happy, Healthy, Harmonious and HUGELY Wonderful 2013, Mir! I’m glad we’re still in touch. :)

  19. Karen R

    Here’s hoping that 2013 is the best year ever for you and yours.

  20. Tracy B

    Mir, I completely and totally agree with you about getting on with 2013. Although, my 2012 wasn’t need as fabulous as yours, I am still ready to move on. I am so glad that you and Chickie got to spend quality time together and I only hope those hours are cherished for a lifetime. Kids have no idea how much they are loved!
    Happy New Year to ALL of you and I can’t wait for lemonade!!!

  21. not supergirl

    2011 was my year to leave behind, and 2010 was pretty bad, too. For us, 2012 was a meh kind of year, and that’s such a huge improvement beyond 2011’s death, death, death and 2010’s dying that I can almost call it good. I’m sorry it wasn’t for you. I don’t want anyone to have these bad years. May 2013 be a truly good one for all of us.

    Also, in a completely non-creepy and totally respectful-of-real-life-boundaries way, I kind of love your family. :)

    And now, onward!

  22. jodifur

    Mir, I wish you the happiest, and for you and your family, the healthiest, of 2013. You are, and always have been, one of my favorite people in the world, and I simply can’t imagine anyone who deserves it more.

    Much love and happiness to you and yours.

  23. CuriousCat

    Yeah. Suckage: thy name is 2012.

    Also, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

    Bring it on, 2013!! You can either sink me lower or lift me up. You choose, because I’m done.

    I am really hoping 2013 is much, much better for your family, Mir! Happy New Year!

  24. Chris

    Wishing your family a truly happy new year and all the best for 2013. My two teens have their moments but also those glimmers where I can see the wonderful women they will be. (I hold on to those when we swap back to the hormone-laded, too-tired science experience that they can be at other times).

    I don’t think I could convince either of them to do a vision board with me but maybe with the promise of magazines they otherwise aren’t allow to buy we can give it a shot.

    2012 out.

  25. Lisse

    Mir, I have always admired your perseverance, and I hope that this new year brings you many, much happier moments.

  26. Megan

    This year as I transitioned from being the active parent of my kids (my last one left home this summer), one thing that made the process easier for me was to realize how fortunate I am to LIKE them so very much. We can find our footing as adults together, with mutual respect, because they are funny and cool and interesting and great to be around. Do I still have to learn to couch my ‘advice’ in language that is neutral and non-demanding? Yes (getting better) (I hope), but the relationship we’re discovering, the one we’ve spent a lifetime together creating, is so fantastic and so very rich, and much of that is based on the mutual affection as well as love.

    That you’re seeing that in Chickie is such a bright light, such a good thing, and hopefully is a star to take into 2013.

    WHICH WILL BE BETTER (you listening to me, universe??).

  27. Sharon

    “And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” I have that quote by Rilke framed and on my desk. I love that sense of possibility. I wish all of that for you and yours, Mir. Happy New Year ~

  28. Casey

    In the spirit of ending one year and starting another, I want to thank you for your honesty, vulnerability and surprising good humor in the midst of the darkness. Your blog is such a gift and while in some senses, it would seem we have nothing in common (okay, I am a mom, so there’s that), when your share your journey, I see how connected we all are. Of course, my 13 year old daughter laughs at me when she sees me sitting at the computer with tears streaming down my face because Chickadee wrote a guest blog or your mother-in-law died, but every once in awhile, she does ask me how things are going at Casa Mir. (Okay, she doesn’t say Casa Mir but she does ask about the family I’ve never met who I check in on every day.) I wish you everything wonderful in 2013 and the time to keep blogging about it!!

  29. karen

    Happy New Year Mir and Family – may this be the year of major rejuvenation for all!….

  30. mandy

    I can’t tell you how much I wanted to order a Christmas ornament from Lisa Leonard for you with “Tampon Lemonade” stamped on it.


    I didn’t know if you’d want that reminder on your tree year after year about the suckitude that was 2012.


    despite the little stories I tell myself, we aren’t friends in real life and I don’t know your address. (I assumed you canceled the UPS P.O. box.)

    Yeah, I sound like a weirdo.

    Best wishes for an amazing 2013.

  31. Leslie

    Here’s to a better 2013 for you and your family! You deserve it!

  32. addy

    Saying good bye to the horrible year that was. Warm thoughts and bright wishes for a much better New Year. “Do one thing every daythat scares you .” Favorite quote.

  33. Jenn

    I wasn’t on the 2012 Hate bandwagon right away. My dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in May (he’s made progress, so yay), and I thought huh, this sucks, but it’s not insurmountable. Then my sister started gphaving mystery health problems, then my mom started having chest pains, then as a final kick in the ass from 2012, I (and my car) was hit by a fire truck the day before my birthday (car is totaled but I am mostly fine). So yes, so long, 2012! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  34. Lady M

    Wishing you all the best in 2013!

  35. Mom24

    Praying 2013 is full of good things for all of you.

  36. divrchk

    I hope that your 2013 is as awesome as your 2012 was shitty.

  37. dad

    Here’s hoping 2013 brings you all the peace you crave and all the support you need.
    Life’s a roller coaster.
    In 7 minutes we are celebrating the New Year in Rio de Janeiro. Let the bubbly flow.

    We love you.

    dad and Leila

  38. Lara

    Beautiful Mir! Love your vision board and immediately knew why the lemons were there. I sincerely hope that 2013 will involve much, much less “making lemonade”. Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2013! I love your writing and humour – thanks for sharing your lives with us :)

  39. Beth in IA

    Happy New Year, Mir! I see the strength, resiliency and unrelenting love you demonstrated in 2012 – the year of suckage – as a concrete foundation for a fabulous 2013. Lemons, yes. Perhaps just stay away from apples?

    PS – Still so grateful for your willingness to give witness to real life with such astonishing honesty. In my work, I continue to cite some of the things you’ve shared as anecdotes when advocating for fundamental changes in “the system” (no names, of course!). And even though we’ve never met, I don’t feel funny at all about saying, “I have a friend who is dealing with . . . “

  40. Cele

    Good ridance 2012 – hello 2013… It was so nasty and the relief for it to be behind us to huge I wrote….

    Summer’s gone, and autumn’s old
    as winter breathes a breath so cold
    Another year has come and gone
    for the green of spring, oh, I long.

    Parties gay and partings sad
    picnics, funeral, and weddings had
    all moments that have come and gone
    a year in pictures, words, and song.

    To 2012, adieu we bid
    of it’s sorrow and grief we shall be rid
    woes and troubles once come, now gone
    For 2012 I will not long.

    2013 is bright and shiny new
    it’s promise and hope I send to you
    blessings deep of peace and love
    May God watch us from above.

    Happy New Year, Calista Cates-Stanturf

  41. brigitte

    And the vision board will have the great subtext of those 5 hours with Chickadee every time you look at it. 2013 had better cooperate!

  42. JennyA

    Goodbye, 2012! Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2013 for the Mir family and all the Mir groupies.

    I did a mood board when you did one before and it was an interesting excercise. And then I had one of my better years ever. And then I didn’t do one last year. Correlation? Hmmm. Might be time to cut up some magazines. :)

  43. suburbancorrespondent

    You know, I don’t generally do these things; but I was looking at your vision board and caught myself thinking, “I’d fill mine with pictures of knitting and books and yarn and books.” Because those are the things that are always set last, after I do what I usually term as the essentials; but, what if those are essential too? My subconscious seems to think so.

  44. Sheila

    You made it, Mir. When 2012 tried to kick you down completely, you still got up. And that, I think, is another thing you can hold on to from The Year That Shall Not Be Remembered Fondly.
    Hoping for all the best for you and your family in 2013.

  45. J from Ireland

    Oh Mir, I wish you all the very best, I hope that you get all that you want, need and wish for in 2013.
    2012 has been such an awful year for so many people myself included, so glad to see the back of it.
    I’m just catching up on my blog reading but so glad you got your girl home, she has you for a mother so she will be fine. Also your son turned 13 as did my youngest son on the 28th of Dec, I am as devastated as you, my little boy growing up and away, sob sob.
    Hope Otto is well also.
    Best wishes to you all.

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