This picture has nothing to do with New Year's Eve. I just like it.
I haven't been much for making resolutions in recent years. It's not that I think I won't keep them, but I just didn't have a whole lot more to resolve to do that work out more and eat healthy and get more sleep. These are on my mental list every year, I just don't make a big pronouncement or anything.
But this year a couple things happened that have me thinking more about health and mortality and setting a good example for my children.
A couple months ago I had a routine mammogram. A couple days after that I got that phone call you just don't want to get. The technician had seen something, and could I please come back for some more pictures. Don't worry, it could be nothing. I took their next available appointment. I had a second mammogram, and then an ultrasound. I watched, somewhat anxiously, as the tech highlighted things on the screen and made notes. At one point I asked about the highlighted portion - I said something like "Is that the spot you're concerned about?" And the technician said, "There are two spots." That's when it really hit me that this could be something. I lay there thinking about my family and all the things I still wanted to do. It felt surreal. The technician called in a doctor, and they continued to look and discuss what was on the screen. By this point I was ready for bad news. Whatever it was, I was going to accept it and move on, and do whatever it took to get past it. And the news was good. The doctor and the technician had determined that what they were seeing were just lymph nodes - healthy lymph nodes. Big sigh of relief. But now I'm taking this moment to remind you to get your annual mammogram. It doesn't have to be a resolution, just an appointment on your calendar. But be sure to schedule it.
The other near miss happened just last weekend. And this was much more of a physical near-miss. I was coming home from a musical with my kids. We had just met my mom at a local theater to see The Music Man (front row seats, so we could see the spit and everything!), and my mom drove home and we were on our way home. Almost there, actually. We had just started singing our own rendition of 76 Trombones when the red light we were sitting at changed to green. I started out into the intersection and within seconds there was a car speeding toward us on my side. Another surreal moment. The other driver was going really fast (the speed limit on the street he was on is 45 mph), and I barely had a second to react. I slammed on the breaks, but we were hit quickly and hard. My kids were screaming, and I'm pretty sure I was screaming. We came to a stop facing traffic. My girls were crying. They were buckled up - one in a booster seat, and both were fine. My son was next to me - he was fine. We were all just shaken up. But we were, physically, fine. I had never been in an accident like that. There was no time to react. Those few seconds while my mini van was out of my control seemed to last forever. But I could not have asked for a better outcome. My van was hit in front of the driver door, and the other car took off my bumper, as well as a lot of other parts. But we were fine. The other driver was fine, too. And here is the part I will remember, and I will make sure my kids will remember, too: the woman in the car behind us pulled over and came over to our car. She calmed me down while I called the police. She checked on my kids. She asked for a pen and paper to get the other driver's information, just in case he took off (he couldn't take off because our cars were pretty much attached at this point). She stayed with us while we waited for the police. She spoke to the police as a witness, and then she left. My kids got to see firsthand how to act in a situation like that. This woman was wonderful, and her example is exactly what I would want my kids to learn from. I asked the police for the woman's name, and it turns out she lives in our neighborhood. I've been without a car for a few days, but yesterday the other driver's insurance set me up with a rental car (no one will recognize me in a Ford Flex!), so today I'm headed to the store for a thank-you card for this amazing woman. So for a personal resolution, I'd like to be more like her in 2011.
On a lighter note, here are my other goals for 2011:
1. Buy firewood and use it before the winter is over.
2. Plan on and go on a vacation for more than 3 days (a week would be great!).
For my work lampwork, I have a few things I'd like to do in 2011.
1. Get my beads or jewelry into a shop or gallery. I had the perfect art shop picked out and I just found out it's closing. It was called The Wandering Turtle and it was in Bloomington, IN (yes, where I went to college). From what I saw online, it looked like a great fit for my glass turtles. But obviously I have to fully research where I would like to be represented because I don't want the shop to close while my beads are being sold there, just in case there are issues getting them back. So I've been looking for a fun, eclectic place where my beads can hang.
2. Find some different ways to advertise. I'm starting off 2011 with a new advertising venture. I follow a blog called The Curious Pug, and last month Alycia, the blogger, put out a call for advertisers. This blog has nearly 1,000 followers! It's a tremendous blog - lots of crafty posts and plenty of personal ones, too. So I made a couple new pug beads, photographed them, and my husband turned them into a small button ad for her blog. I'm curious to see how much traffic this brings to my shop. I'm as curious as the curious pug.
3. Speaking of blogs, I'd sure love to increase the traffic to my blog. I would love to hit 200 followers by the year's end - which would be 37 more followers. I don't think I'm going to participate in the One World One Heart blog event this year, but I will definitely do the dog version called GABE. That's how I gained some new doggie blog followers last year, and I really enjoy those bloggers and the comments they leave.
4. Relax and have fun. Sometimes the business part of what I do can really get to me. But making beads is fun! I want to continue to enjoy what I do.
Happy 2011 to you!!!