I may or may not do a year in review post like so many others. I haven't decided yet. It sounds good in theory, but if I'm honest, there's other things that are taking priority in my every day life right now. Like sewing, and making the most delicioius lemon meringue drops (only 5 freaking calories for such deliciousness!), and snuggling on the couch with Joe while we watch countless episodes of whatever tv show we choose for the day.
But, I do interupt my holiday celebrations and post-celebration relaxation to revisit a very important post from this last year.
In the beginning of 2011, I wrote that instead of a resolution per se, I was setting a word that would guide me through the year. "Gentle," I said.
My rationale was that I had become much too hard on myself. And I needed the reminder to be gentle with myself.
Truth be told, I struggled. Oh yes, I definitely struggled with this over the year.
But, my friends, I couldn't have picked a better goal for myself. Because today, looking back, I am in a much healthier, happier, and more confident frame of mind now than I was a year ago. And that tells me, I knew myself very well when I chose the word "gentle" last year.
I have learned how to reach out and ask for help.
How to talk and express my feelings instead of bottling it all up inside.
How to become comfortable, again, with solitude. This I really struggled with after so much time spent with others and suddenly working from home in a new city with a love who was busy with his own life. But I found friends and hobbies and contentment again with alone time.
I have learned I don't have to be perfect.
That I'm happiest when I am me. Not what others expect of me.
That life is too precious not to do what makes me happy. If that means dressing up to work at home, or sneaking away from my desk during the work day for leisurely lunch with a girlfriend, or crawling into bed early to finish the latest can't put down book (The Wishing Trees by John Shors), or convincing Joe we need to go out for a drink at midnight on a Wednesday, or ignoring housework for time on the beach, I'm going to do it. Chores can wait. It all gets done in the end.
I have made strides in putting my health first. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and in relationships.
I have taken care of a long term health issue (my thyroid) and am continuing to have it monitored on my way back to health.
I have finally reached out and asked for help with the adult acne that drives me nuts.
I have rejoined a gym, started working out regularly, and am taking a few gym classes to help my physical and mental well-being.
I have acknowledged my feelings, my right to feel those emotions, and tried to understand why I feel that way at that time.
Which in turn, has led to a healthier, stronger me......and that translates into a healthier, stronger, happier we.
Joe and I have had our ups and downs this year too, but I'd confidently say we're in a great spot now too because I am so much happier and stronger and confident again.
I have achieved several financial goals this year. And, instead of being upset with myself for not reaching all of my financial goals, I've been gentle enough with myself to be content with setting myself up to achieve the remaining goals in the next year.
I have begun the process of really and truly simplifying my life.
By shopping less. By desiring less possessions and more experiences and time.
By donating goods that can find better homes elsewhere.
By slowly moving towards adopting the "is it useful and/or beautiful" mantra before I decide to bring something else home.
By reassessing things in our home and finding better ways to make our home work for us.
And my dreams?
Oh, my dreams.
They may not be the same "save the world. be a rock star. achieve insant overnight success." grandiose dreams anymore.
But I dreamed plenty this year.
And I achieved.
I took pottery lessons.
I saw the family castle in Scotland. Even if it's in ruins.
I went sailing with Joe at sunset.
I rediscovered my love of photography.
And I've dreamed some more dreams that will slowly but surely come true. Perhaps one or two wide-eyed, hopeful dreams as well.
So, my friends, even if 2011 wasn't my most extraordinary year ever. Even if the downs seemed to last longer than the ups. Even if my successes were a little closer to home and chest than in years past. I'd say 2011 was a success overall. I came so far from the girl who wrote this post this time last year, for the better.
And I'm excited to see what treasures 2012 will bring! Because this year's resolution word will be simply to "live." And in, "live every day of your life."
Happy New Year my friends!