It's a great time to reflect. It's a proverbial line in the sand for us to stop at. To get on our marks. To go. Travel down a new road. Take a new path. Start a new race.
In fact, the whole of last year was a line in the sand for me. My 40th year. It was a great year of discovery and celebration and an expanding girth. It was also a significant year of learning.
Here are 12 unexpected things I learned in 2012.
1. Blondes don't have any more fun than brunettes... but the greys are much less noticeable!
2. Throwing a surprise birthday party for someone you love is EXTREMELY stressful but may well be even more special for the host than the guest of honour. I hosted two and the joy they both brought me was unimaginable.
3. Making a conscious and public effort at being grateful was easier than I thought and actually filled my heart with light.
4. My 7 year old is a 'stand up and notice' kind of awesome soccer player AND has courage enough to face his fears to perform on stage for the school production.
5. There are still far too many moronic Americans who believe in a 'right to bear arms' and I have been ASTOUNDED at some of the ridiculous arguments I have read in the case to support that lunacy.
6. Returning to paid work after a long time at home is a tough adjustment and I will certainly be doing my best to support any friends taking that journey.
7. The definition of a wolf in sheep's clothing... as discovered by too many women in my life.
8. My 5 year old has such strong and unexpected willpower. Last year he made the decision to swim without floaties and to give up night nappies and to ditch the training wheels on his bike. He did it himself and they each took only days to accomplish. Certainly makes my job easier.
9. It's really easy to make jam!
10. Celebrating your own milestone birthday in grand and lavish style is an absolute must at least once in your lifetime.
11. Bridesmaids. Best chick flick. Ever.
12. I am a story teller and some of my stories, are your stories too.
The stranger who tells our stories when we cannot speak not only awakens our spirits and hearts but also shows our humanity...
Mende Proverb, Sierra Leone