I enjoy reviewing a year's worth of posts and selecting a few to share once again with readers.
It was hard to choose my favorite posts this year in part because the blog's focus has evolved. I started writing here several years ago to share my experiences and observations about the life of an Alaskan living in the Mexican state of Yucatán. The emphasis was heavy on travel, nature, culture, and life in a foreign country.
This year was a challenging one personally and in my family, but surprisingly I found myself content -- not one hundred percent happy, of course, but optimistic and centered in my place in the world -- despite a lot of changes and stress around me. That's what I wrote about. An Alaskan in Yucatán became more personal and introspective in 2012.
One of my January posts amounted to a resolution for the new year which still looks good to me eleven months later. It was titled, Contentment: If I Had a Million Dollars.
A few months later, reflecting on many things that had quickly and irrevocably changed in my life, I found myself considering how much I'd learned about maintaining a perspective and finding meaning, even in times of change and stress. The result was a post called The Splendor of Each Day.
You can read more posts on the theme of contentment here.
In keeping with the theme of staying positive and feeling good, early in the year I posted about the fine art of napping, Mexican style (photo at top). The Art of the Siesta summarizes what I have learned about the techniques and benefits of taking an afternoon rest.
In 2012 I didn't abandon entirely the sorts of things I wrote about when I first started blogging. I continued writing occasionally on animals and our natural surroundings. My favorite on the topic this year was about the pair of tortoises I adopted several years ago and which live in my back yard.
I also continued writing the series of posts called Living Here, which focuses on everyday life and adapting to the culture of Mexico. Earlier this year I tried to help a Yucatecan friend resolve a difficult legal and personal situation, so I plugged into my network of friends and contacts in Mérida. I was gratified and humbled by the way Mexicans can come to the aid of a friend in need. I told about this experience in a post entitled The Power of Relationships.
Two thousand twelve was not among my best years, but nevertheless it was a year of great learning, and I had many things to be thankful for.
Best wishes for 2013.