Ten Good Things

January 1, 2010

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Note: First thing this morning I stated that I would update my blog today. Cut to end of day: It’s New Year’s Eve, I have 45 minutes until it’s time to leave for dinner and I have not showered or changed…so, it looks like Part 2 of Live to Eat, which I was intending to write today,  will have to wait for another day (another life?) when I have more time.

For now, I will take the suggestion of my friend-and-neighbor, Jonathan Sherwood, and whip together a Top Ten list. Because anyone who has ever had a writing assignment knows that it requires way less thought to write a list. And that is good news because as I write this there is a dog trying to play a game with me, and a four-year-old having a full-blown conversation with me, despite the fact that I’ve plopped her in front of Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, her new fave. So without further ado, I present to you…

Me, in Mill Valley, August 2009.

Me, in Mill Valley, August 2009.

Ten Good Things from 2009

Was 2009 a flawless year? HA! Not by a long shot. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, as I’m sure is the case with many of you – things that never get posted to Facebook or Twitter. As we get older, life gets more difficult, fraught with losses too painful for words and challenges we never knew existed. But in a way, that’s what made me write this, as a reminder of all the excellent memories and accomplishments from 2009. It could also be called Ten Things for Which I Am Really Grateful. In no particular order:

1) Trip

We had an amazing trip to California in August. We visited the north and south, spent time reconnecting with friends we hadn’t seen in years, went boogey-boarding, swam, ate good food, and relaxed. It was truly one of the best trips of my life.

2) Escape

Last February, we spent the entire month in FL and, despite the utter weirdness of that entire state, it was spectacular to escape the cold and snow and swim in the perfectly heated pool every day. Lucy the bulldog was with us, and we spent lots of time with my parents. The drives down and back were actually fun, and we saw family along the way, as well as cities like Savannah and Charleston. A total adventure.

3) Garden

While in FL, David and I both read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and decided to plant a garden. In the end, David did 90% of the work but I greatly enjoyed the fresh produce all summer and into the fall. It changed the way we think about food and we are already planning next summer’s garden (golden beets, anyone?).

4) Tennis

A silly one, perhaps, but fun nonetheless — David and I separately started playing tennis earlier this year (me with my parents, and David with his friend Jeff) and it’s turned out to be a fun hobby that we can also do together. I got a sweet new stick for Christmas (that’s a racquet, if you’re not up on the lingo) and we joined an indoor club. We’ve already played a few times this month and while the suckage level is quite high at this point, it’s something I look forward to continuing in 2010.

5) Cooking

Another excellent new hobby of mine! It’s funny, because, historically, I’d always hated cooking — I mean, just the list of ingredients would make my back start to spasm, never mind all that chop, chop, chopping. These days, I am on a cooking and baking tear. I’m constantly looking for new recipes and learning new things about combinations and techniques. And the pay-off comes in numerous ways: we eat better, we save money, and I have fun!

6) Writing

In 2009 I started writing again. Before film, before retail, before Caralena, writing was my true passion and I feel like I’ve reconnected with an old friend now that I’m writing again. It started with an online writing class and it continued with this (admittedly dinky) blog and an essay contest and even though I have yet to see any of my writing in print, I still find it satisfying to write. I have some Big Ideas, too, so we will see if I can make things happen in this department in 2010.

7) Izzy

On a sad note, 2009 was the year I lost my Lucy, and I still miss her all the time. I knew I could never replace Lucy, but aside from missing her specifically, I also found that after about six months I also just missed having a dog. What can I say — I just love having a four-legged friend here, lazing around and making me laugh. And despite all my claims that “my next dog will just be a pet: no sleeping on the furniture, no expensive food, no falling in love ” (me with it, that is), along came Izzy with the ridiculous spot over her eye and I was left powerless. She can be a naughty puppy for sure, but ask anyone who has met her: The Izzer is gentle and mellow and a great addition to the family.

8) Work

Oh, wait — you didn’t think I meant ME and work, did you?! Hahaha: NO. I am in early retirement. I meant David. He’s had some great professional success this year, well deserved after all his years in the trenches. He is currently the founder and CEO of his new venture, Performable, and I am really happy for him.

9) Milestones

Oh, uhm, I turned 40 this year — I guess it’s debatable whether that’s a good thing, but I think we get to choose so I’m going to say YES. David and I also had our ten-year wedding anniversary and that one is more black-and-white. (It’s good.) In addition, Caralena turned four this year and it is such a fun age. The thing about these milestones is that they make you think, about what you want and what you have and I can never think about any of that stuff without coming to the same conclusion: Man, I am lucky.

10) Friends

People can talk all they want about how FB is lame, and silly “older” people like me have taken it over to talk about our lame lives blah blah blah. I say, FB is as good as the friends you have who also use it. I have had a blast on FB this year, reconnecting with “long-lost” friends from high school and college and NYC, and receiving great recommendations on books, recipes, Christmas gifts and way more. I’ve seen new babies, heard happy and sad news, and bantered with people as if we hadn’t been out of touch for 10-20 years, and I’ve loved all of it. I look forward to hearing more from all of you soon.

Happy New Year!

  • Okay, I am writing from San Anselmo, CA (just a few miles north of Mill Valley), and yes, I will move to the Bay Area when you do. Yes, Lise, I said YES, I will!! San Francisco is the only city that doesn't immediately make me think of its deficits in relation to New York. I am so glad your trip out here made it to number 1, and since you mentioned boogie boarding specifically, I feel a bit of personal pride. Just a bit. Love the list. Also love #10, because you hit the nail on the head for me re: FB. I feel silly about how attached I am to it, but it makes me feel like I have all my friends back! That I am simultaneously in grade school, high school, college, and beyond — but only with the people I liked most from all these places. (Well, there are others. But the 'hide' button comes in handy.) I hope to see more of you in the next decade, Ms. The Friend!

  • lcarrigg

    Clare – Thanks so much for being my #1 fan. This list was thrown together so quickly, you were probably feeling all itchy with the need to edit. (Feel free to notify me of any glaring errors in this post or any others!) I think we should make a plan for 2-3 years down the line. NoCal, baby. Happy New Year! xoxoxoxo

  • Cathy Clark

    I love your list and I love your writing, Lise. Keep it coming!!


  • lcarrigg

    Cathy – Happy New Year and thank you so much for your comment! I am totally loving this silly blog and it means a lot to me to get your feedback. And not only your feedback, but some visitors – I was looking at my stats and you've sent a couple people my way! Thanks.


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