Fare thee well, 2010, and don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
Originally, that really felt like the best way to get started. This past year has been rough for a lot of people, myself and mine included. But lo, my friends, I come not to bury Caesar…but to praise his successor! Oh my, yes. Because while ’10 kept kicking a**es right and left, right up to the end – the lead-in to 2011 is showing a great deal of promise.
Now, I confess that my natural tendency is to a low-key but relentless optimism, tempered by a healthy understanding of reality that grows more sensible as I age. Were I to stop and detail all the reasons I couldn’t wait for the old year to evaporate, I dare say that I’d lose what’s left of my Pollyanna and take yours with me. So I won’t.
Instead of the whole year in review, here’s my favorite sweet parts of 2010:
On my visit to the DFW area last spring, I’d asked Caety (for new readers, the best friend – aka Cat or Catherine) for permission to take Thomas out for a fun evening. Upshot was, of course, that she and her husband got to go on a date. As we drove along, Thomas asked why we were going somewhere different than Mommy and Daddy. I told him that sometimes parents needed to go out on dates.
His response: “What’s a date?”
I said: “It’s when two people who like each other a lot go out and do fun things together.”
Thomas replied, very brightly: “Oh! Like what *we’re* doing!”
“Exactly like what we’re doing.”
Then, long about August – barely a month after a rough house move (yes, we’re still renting) – we got a surprise in the front yard. Three of them, to be exact. And here’s what they looked like in mid-November.
Stella has definitely chosen us as her forever home. We’re still trying to figure out our next moves for Tank and Little. Everybody’s been getting appropriate vet care and plenty of love, cuddles, good food, and playing…for now, it’s working great. How can you not enjoy these faces?
I made only two blog posts in the entire last year. Not making excuses; also not happy about it. I’ve had so many ideas, and I’ve Taken Action (and been Motivated) in so many other ways. So it is that you now find me at WordPress, where I plan to work on a thorough, solid evolution that involves improved content and volume. Imagine!
And so I come to my traditional purpose: the annual Lookin’ Ahead post. I’ve chosen a theme for a third year in a row, and this time around I’ve thought of some sub-themes that I’d like to carry along, because I’m awesome like that. Ready?
My theme for 2011: Find the miracles.
In my personal belief system (with which I will not strike you over the head very often), there is a reason for everything that happens, and almost everything* happens as it should. The problem is, it can be pretty damn difficult to see the reason and find the good. Sometimes it’s all but impossible to discern what’s good about a day, a week, a year…a life.
But as I thought over where I should go with my theme, I realized that I’ve spent the last couple of years building my awareness of the many, many miracles in my life…and that even so, I still get bent out of shape and walk around unaware and ungrateful too often.
So as I go forward into 2011, I’ll be taking more time to be conscious, to look every situation straight on (or turn it sideways or upside down or inside out) and find out what’s miraculous about it. Maybe I can do a better job of seeing what the Higher Purpose is that I’m missing. When I can’t do that, maybe I can create a purpose for it and not let the wonderment be wasted.
Sub-theme 1: Go retro!
Just like the main theme, the sub-themes can all mean a variety of things. When this one came to mind, I was originally thinking of fashion – but I realized it could go a lot further. No, I’m not giving up the Internet or my MacBook (obviously), my cell phone, or my cable (not yet, anyway). But if there’s a simpler or more interesting past-time way to do something, I might just pick it up.
And my absolute snail’s-pace progression toward something approximating a modern pinup personal style WILL achieve a greater momentum. I have started by putting a flowered clip in my hair for the last two days. Just saying.
Sub-theme 2: Do it yourself.
Literally, figuratively. I remember growing up running around with my grandmother, always hearing her say, “You know, we could do this at home.” Scarves, snacks, decorations, you name it. And the more crafty skills I’ve acquired, the more I find myself saying the same thing…and, just like back then, never doing a thing about it.
I’m going to change that this year. All the inspiration I’ve gathered from friends and The Online (especially reposts on FB) and books and and and…it’s going to start going somewhere. I’m historically a bad finisher, but you definitely can’t finish if you don’t start.
Case in point: My favorite cardigan is a lovely hand-knit piece with a gorgeous cabled yoke and sleeves. No one knit it for me…and I didn’t knit it for myself, BUT I COULD. So what if it takes forever? So what if it’s hard? In the end, I would have made myself something to be proud of. And to be warm in. Double win.
Sub-theme 3: Don’t be afraid.
Let there be no doubt, a healthy amount of fear is useful; it’s what keeps us safe and sane. I’m not exactly talking about being fearless. I’m not going to start doing extreme (or even moderate) sports or outlandish activities in general.
What this means to me is altogether more important. In some of last year’s difficulties, Taking Action was hampered when I wouldn’t take a chance on making things better – because I was too afraid of making them worse. My fear hemmed me in, blinding me to the fact that the “worse” that so frightened me was not, in fact, all that bad. It was the status quo that hurt me.
If I can remember to stop panicking long enough to run worst-case scenarios, or at least “will this matter in 50…10…5 years…1 year…a month” measurements, maybe I’ll have a better chance at not freezing up, at not missing some really good opportunities.
Sub-theme 4: Know when to stop digging…and when to start.
In a few ways, I’ve done well with learning when to stop over the last few years. That’s still a work in progress, as is when to start. Vague enough for you? :) Let’s just say that trouble with funds and stuff and situations don’t usually start without you digging yourself into some kind of a hole, or under a pile – and they don’t improve without you digging yourself out.
It’s well past time for me to dig out of several areas. The especially cool thing about this? I’ve got some really awesome people standing beside me with extra shovels.
I figure this is ambitious enough for now, don’t you? Not too different from usual…a lot of words, not too many pictures…
Not sure how much that’s going to change, but I do, at least, plan to do it more often. The main miracle I hope to find this year: my ability to follow through with the things I ask of myself. If any of my miracles happen to be of use to you, so much the better!
Now it’s your turn. Do you have a theme? A plan? Or just a basic hope that someone will hand you some weapons-grade armor to get through? I’d love to know.
Happy 2011. Hope to see you back here soon!