The 365 days which make one year don't seen sufficient to hold the enormity of change and personal progression that occurred during 2012.
My dog rescue saved 41 dogs since November 2011. I moved from a second floor studio apartment to a studio in a duplex to the adorable little one bedroom casita (sort of like a cottage) with a yard that I live in now.
I got a "regular" full-time job, then got laid off because the company is run by a bunch of 25-year-olds with no business acumen.
Lola Lulu turned 2 in January and Gatsby turned 7 in August.
I rescued Jack Lemon on May 29th. He died of cancer on October 17th. From him began my new-found and surely lifelong love of English pointers (especially the lemon and white Elhew ones).
A lot of other things happened that already seem firmly in the past. I finally sought professional treatment for my bipolar disorder and am doing really well on medication. I have even been dealing with the post-losing-my-job-right-before-the-holidays depression fairly well. I also wrote about my illness publicly for the first time ever and feel a lot more comfortable about it in general. I started biking, running, and moderating my caffeine and alcohol intake.
But some of the most meaningful the things I will take with me from 2012 are not even things that I experienced myself. They are all events experienced by friends of mine in that last week or two and I think they reveal that which is real and true about people and life far more than the my personal triumphs and hardships. I may not get all the details just right, but I don't think that will impair the message.
A very good friend of mine is a prosecutor and had to work on Christmas Eve, which she was not at all happy about. It was nearing the end of the day and the last case she had was an older man who had been charged with theft. For stealing two hot dogs from a convenience store because he was hungry. He was quiet and clearly very embarrassed. The police report stated that he broke down in tears when talking with the officers and explaining his circumstances. And here he was, on Christmas Eve, waiting for what would likely be punishment for his "crime." Instead, she dismissed the case, hugged him, said "God bless" and wished him a Merry Christmas.
Another friend was at an arcade with her children and noticed a young boy by himself who seemed to be enjoying watching them and others play the various games/video games. He didn't take a turn at the games himself and didn't ask anyone for money. When they were ready to leave, she put money into the machine and told him, "it's all yours."
Outside of a convenience store another friend saw a college aged man sitting on the sidewalk in shorts and flip flops. In the middle of December! When she asked if he was alright, he told her he'd been evicted from his apartment and while he had friends who would let him shower or stop by to eat or sleep on occasion, he didn't have anywhere to go. He asked for some money because he hadn't eaten that day. Instead, she took him inside and bought him lunch. Guess what he wanted? Two hot dogs.
If there is a moral to these stories it is probably something along the lines of how a small kindness when given is a large kindness when received.