Less focus on the curly bits for 2013

BECK ELEVEN
Last updated 10:50 05/01/2013

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Beck Eleven

It's the last place they'll look . . . yeah, right Getting a handle on the kitten can be tricky All that cabbage soup a prelude to tears Just a one-dish kind of guy Grief in a digital world Confessions of a crazy cat lady Arguing our way through love Eleven: Joy found in a road cone Searching for a diamond in the rough Eleven: Why does no-one shut the door?

If someone - even if it was my true love - gave me a partridge in a pear tree, I'd really have to question the relationship. If I get a bird, I don't want it hanging out in some tree that I'd probably end up killing anyway. I'd like the bird to be on my shoulder, pirate style. I've long thought the pear tree was one of the major faults of The Twelve Days of Christmas which is why, when reflecting on the past year, one of the happier moments was suddenly having a bird on my shoulder during a holiday in Melbourne.

I do so enjoy those quirky little moments of life.

Anyway, it came to New Year's Eve and frankly, I was tired. Tired from work, tired from the year and tired from too much Christmas drinking. So I decided to stay in. The trouble with staying in, however, is that you start to feel sorry for yourself.

Around 10pm I started wondering why on earth I was sitting alone on a porch in the dark when all those high and glorious hopes for a fresh start included the exact opposite of being alone on a porch in the dark.

It got even worse. I hate quiet reflection yet suddenly I was forced to quietly reflect.

The year of 2012 was so magnificently crappy in so many areas of life. I lost it mentally and physically many times over. I'd like to think I was like a duck, paddling madly beneath the surface while presenting a calm exterior but even the duck mask fell off last year.

So I thought about the areas in life in which I was rich - and that was friends.

And where does one go to thank friends? Why Facebook, of course. So in the middle of all the happy new year updates and people talking about how they were grabbing 2013 by the horns, I admitted 2012 had come with more than a few curly bits.

"So, if you've kept me afloat when I've needed it, " I said, "I thank you. But hopefully I've said it to your face already. In saying that, it appears to be ending on the up, so happy new year to you all, and, remember, if you've been a good mate to someone, your job is pretty much done."

And that's it really. While many of us have been through torments of various kinds and to varying degrees, there has usually been someone who will listen.

But before I could curl up in a maudlin ball in the dark, my friend Jane reminded me of the bright side with a list of things that didn't happen to me in 2012:

"Turning 41. Herpes. Fatal gardening accident. Appearing on The GC. Having a hairy top lip. Being dumped via Twitter. Having a medical condition named after you. Breaking your ankle on the Queen Charlotte walk. Indoctrination by Destiny Church. Forced to divorce Tom Cruise."

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She's right you know.

Someone stuck a bird on my shoulder, two best friends moved from the United Kingdom to New Zealand, I looked hot on my 40th birthday, I decided I liked cats and I survived.

Last year was capped off by a lovely small family Christmas rather than the extended, unwieldy version. Mum stood up to say grace during which she started going off script and delved into thus far uncharted prayer territory of Sandy Nook and Syria, then on to Israel.

The heartfelt, if not slightly rambling, prayer was interrupted by a giggle. One of us was being a bit naughty. It was Grandma. When you have your grandmother giggling at the table, can life be all that bad?

It's the little things right? And I'm going to keep a better watch out for them this year.

- Fairfax Media

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