The Tragic Optimist


(I was going to try to come up with a clever or at least original title for a blog post that’s all about reviewing the past year, when I realized that I’m not feeling clever and a blog post about reviewing the past year – written on the first day of the new year – is inherently unoriginal).

Just a few thoughts as I review the year 2008, both in terms of this blog, and my life.  So we’ll start with the blog:

  • Total number of visits: 16,964
  • Number of posts: 122
  • Post with the most views: I know sexy librarian.  You, Governor, are no sexy librarian.
  • Post I’d most like to re-write: See above, I wrote it quickly, knowing I’d never publish it if I thought about it too much.  But it’s rambly and contradictory, and if I’d known it would be popular…I don’t know what I would do – let’s just say I’m the queen of second guessing.
  • Post that was the most fun to write:  this may be the most shocking thing I’ve ever written.  About my adventure as a vegetarian eating chocolate-covered bacon.  Also fun to do the required research.
  • Post that took the most time to write: how did you even know she needed glasses.  My guest post at Cribsheet about Zoe and glasses.  It took over 2 months to write, that whole second guessing thing is magnified when you know you’re writing for a larger audience.  And then I spent too long worried about that stupid bio.
  • Post that generated the most comments: 8 years ago.  About Chris and my 8th anniversary. That’s sweet that that post gets to go on this list
  • Post submitted to the Stirrup Queen’s Creme de la Creme (a round up of favorite posts in the adoption, loss, and infertility blog world – if you’re interested in reading infertility blogs, this is a great place to start: Last Thoughts on that Bitterness Post.  This was a really hard decision for me.  I almost didn’t submit this year.  I write about infertility far less often, and being removed from it, it isn’t as visceral, and that maybe makes for less interesting posts.  But I really felt like I was finally able, in this post, to put words to what still makes me angry about our infertility journey, even though the outcome was undeniably wonderful.
  • and finally, my favorite post of 2008:  Coffee Date.

also, on a sad note.  A sad farewell to wonderful blogger, Emilie Lemmons, author of the blog Lemmondrops, who passed away in the night before Christmas Eve.  I did not know her personally, but I learned much from her writing, and will miss her.

Looking forward, I want to write a bit more often, and I want to work on writing what I want and worry less about how it will be received.  I want to write more about being a librarian.  I want to include more photos.  I want to comment more on the other blogs I read.  You all write so well, and I want to be more intentional with acknowledging it.

~ ~ ~

and moving on to a review of the year for my life (this section otherwise known as, no really, Ann does spend some time away from the computer).

The hardest part was certainly Zoe’s eye surgery – and yes, I realize how blessed we are that our most difficult part was having our daughter go through non-serious, outpatient surgery.  Turns out that strabismus surgery is controversial in the world of childhood strabismus and amblyopia (I know, the things you learn when you delve into very specific worlds).  I won’t say that I’m a huge enthusiast of the surgery, I know that I would have preferred that the glasses alone could have resolved her strabismus, I still worry that she still may need another surgery, and I would not recommend it as a first course of treatment.  But that said?  I’m thrilled with the outcome, and optimistic (hopefully not tragically) that her vision will develop with both eyes working together.

July 27, 2008 - one month before surgery

July 27, 2008 - one month before surgery

Oct 5 - one month post surgery

Oct 5 - one month post surgery

Chris and I celebrated 8 years of marriage.  Next month we’ll celebrate 14 years of being together.  That’s crazy.  My mom turned 60.  I turned 33, which is an unfortunately uninteresting number.  I don’t think I saw any movies in the theater.  Chris and I saw Ben Folds in concert, which was a lot of fun, but was in a soulless suburban nightclub.  I started to get into the rhythm of working a 4 day week and still love my job.  My garden somehow produced despite my almost criminal neglect.  Our little family went out our first vacation, just the three of us, and had a fantastic time on the north shore.  I was excited by the election and enjoyed the chance to vote for a president that I really wanted – and not against their opponent.

Looking forward, I’ll celebrate 5 years at my job.  I want to work on being more focused, and respond to requests and questions more quickly.  I want to get back into yoga.  I want to be more conscientious of what I’m eating and strive to cook more, and eat less pre-packaged food.  I want to be better at developing friendships.

Welcome to 2009!  We’re nearly out of this strange decade that no one ever figured out a name for.  I hope 2009 is a far better year than 2008.



  1. Your ‘year in review’ post was more of a ‘my blog year in review’ which is quite original! Thanks for the links – there were a few I somehow missed.

    One of my best friend’s son is dealing with the same strabismus problems. You are so right – there is so much controversy regarding treatment. I think she has seen four different doctors and gotten four different opinions regarding treatments. Her son turned one in July and they are staring with glasses and my friend really struggles with the thought of surgery. It doesn’t matter if it is non-serious and outpatient – you are still sending your baby to surgery.

  2. Thanks for the review post Ann…I’m still in a daze after 2008 (a truly awful year), and hoping that 2009 is better. I may get around to doing a summary post on my blog, I may not…but I’m glad you shared a fun summary for the rest of us!

    A good start would be the chance to visit my friends in MN for sure (but not sure I really want to visit MN in Jan/Feb)!

    Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year! Great post!

    Also, thanks for pointing me to the Lemmondrops blog. Her blog was wonderful and I’m sorry she passed away.

  4. awesome year! and i love those photos! what a difference hey!

  5. Very awesome article. Honestly..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: