Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Year of the Dragon... & teeth & passports

In honor of our friends in the Far East, let me wish you all a very lovely Year of the Dragon, which apparently started on January 23. (How do you keep track of New Year’s when it always falls on a different day? Chinese New Year is not always even in January. Usually it’s February, right? Just wondering….)
So far 2012 is looking more like the Year of the Teeth. This year my dc need a total of ten teeth surgically extracted. How can that be? I have no idea. Sometimes things all happen at once like that. Last week was a bugger of a week for my poor dd who had to have oral surgery just before returning to college.
2012 is also the year of passport renewals for the dc. Both American and Mexican passports are expiring this year for our three youngest dc. Between that and orthodontist and oral surgeon visits, it looks like I may spend a crazy amount of time running back and forth to the city, waiting in lines, and filling out paperwork. I’m not going to even think about the finances for all these extras.
Who knows what else this year might represent. Both our vehicles are getting up there on mileage, so 2012 might end up being the Year of the Car for all I know. 2011 was the Year of the Plumbing, among other more fun memories.
How about you? Any glimpses of what the New Year is looking like?
One annual task I failed to do in January is to type up a list of the year’s highlights. Usually I don’t know what to call a year until after it is past. Recent years are easy to recall because of weddings, and of course 2011 will be the year I became GJ. As I get older, though, I am thankful to have my handy file of yearly bullet points to help jog my memory. I can’t recommend this enough to you younger women with your minds still intact.
If I ever get around to writing my memoirs, it would be a nightmare to find stories in all my journals. Now when was that…? You think you will never forget, but trust me; it all gets jumbled together after a while. My “cheat sheet” is a folder of yearly highlights. I can flip through that pretty quickly and then find what I seek in my stack of journals. When random photos show up in a drawer or a packing box, my little file folder helps me pinpoint dates. (Why, or why did I not put dates on photos in the first place is another issue.)
Each year I make a list not only of what I did, where I went, and significant news items, but I also list new friends who have come into my life. Sometimes friends come and go so quickly, I only vaguely remember them when I look back on a particular year, but other times it is fun to look back and mentally celebrate how many years I have known a particular person.
2009 was the year I “met” WOTH. 2010 was the year I “met” many of you! Now I am enjoying my third year of blogging with WOTH.
IRL* I’m vowing to carve out more Real Life time for the people God puts before me this year (besides the orthodontist, oral surgeon and immigration agents).


  1. Hi Jamie Jo. The bullet list summary of each year intrigues me. Do you go month by month and and make a list, is it a one page summary you do? I'm curious. Is it just bullet points with no description?

    Sorry about your year of the teeth...We're looking at having to get separate residence permits for the kids this year. (Up until now, they've been on mine.)

  2. I have 7x 5 index cards-about 10 or so that travel with us. Each year gets one side of the card. Who was on the team, major events-personal or political, who visited...this way I can quickly look up the major stuff. I also have a 1 sheet list of all paperwork-passport dates, driver and professional licenses and what year they need renewals.

    We will have 4 teeth removed this year, in the fall, as daughters mouth is to small for her adult teeth. Thankfully our children do not need residence permits.

  3. My bullet points are in chronological order, more or less, but I don't say what month things happened unless it is a birth, death, or anniversary I might need to recall for future reference. Right now I am really behind on photo albums, but I used to include a page of important events that I have no photos of. That's helpful, too.

    And yes, the bullet points have no description, assuming the descriptions are in my journal if I ever need them.

    Sub-categories are movies we saw, travels, friends we made, and sometimes funny quotes from the dc. (Last year, ds saw his brother kissing his wife and said, "Well, we have the show - all we need is some popcorn!" Cracked me up at the time, so I made a note of it.) Sometimes I include big news events, too, but not many.

  4. Ooooh, I can hardly wait to read your memoir! :) I know you said "if" but --- you will! you will!


  5. ...really good idea for keeping track. Seriously my memory is so BAD, I can't remember one year to the next what we have done, where we have gone, where we have lived, guests... etc. I like all the ideas. I do have a "Miracles and Blessings" list I started in 1999 which is where I write... miracles and blessings..down from the year (as the year goes). So, this sort-of marks the biggies (births, salvations, major gifts, etc.). But, I like your 3x5 card idea. That might help my memory!

    I would like to start a "friends" list... people I meet and connect with. I feel that sometimes those one time (but significant) meetings come and go like a whisper---and I don't want to forget.

    ...great post.

  6. Still Jamie, The Year of the Car is better than The Year of the Plumbing! Things are looking up. :)

  7. Thanks for more description on your list of the year's highlights. I love this idea. Practical. Do-able!


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