Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

Happy New Year's Eve! I hope you're having an amazing day and getting excited for tonight's celebration. I love this time of the year ... I love thinking (and knowing) that tomorrow isn't just any other day, but tomorrow is something a little different. It's the start of something new for everyone around the globe. It's the time to think about what you're doing, not doing, what you dream about, and all of the little things in between that make up our lives. A day like tomorrow definitely deserves a party hat and some bubbly.

I recently sent out a letter to my family and friends about my 2011. Here is a little (actually a lot) of that letter:

During this past year, I can look back at 2011 and smile. It's been an exciting, adventurous, heartbreaking, bold and life lesson learning type of year all bundled into one. Some of my favorite lessons from this past year are definitely worth sharing. I hope you enjoy:

  • When your car is covered in snow and a sheet of ice layered underneath, you're going to be late for work no matter what. 
    • Lesson - Wake up earlier, tackle the task, sip your coffee, and appreciate the beauty found in every season.
  • Love isn't about giving and giving.
    • Lesson - Love is about taking time for yourself, finding warmth in your own smile, and recognizing the best in everyone.
  • Planning an event for 30,000 people is tough. Komen Maryland hosts an annual Race for the Cure every October, and this past year over 32,000 people woke up at the crack of dawn and showed their support for breast cancer awareness. 
    • Lesson - Don't think you're sailing your own ship in life. Ask for help. No matter who you ask, when you ask, or how you ask, a person or committee's input or perspective is always worth listening to. 
  • I found that writing has been my source of entertainment. When you can't afford the internet, don't have a TV, and you're too lazy to pump your bike tires, start writing.
    • Lesson - Don't ever put what's most important to you in life on hold. Whether that's a person, a story, a relationship, or writing ... keep at it. 
  • Going back home will always feel different. You've left a place you once knew and the place you once knew has also left. 
    • Lesson - Grow. Grow with change and learn how to adapt. The world won't wait for you, so keep up with it. 
  • I have 3 favorite days of the year > The 4th of July, Halloween and New Year's Eve. The glitz, the glam, the sparkle, and the shimmer ... something about these days creates such a glimmer.
    • Lesson - Have fun wherever you go and whatever you end up doing. Just be sure you always have a lighter and a sparkler for moments worth celebrating. 
  • When you've passed a birthday like 25, you might be fearful of any age that's older.
    • Lesson - Blowing out 26 candles is far better than 25. When I think about the years ahead, I can only look back and be thankful for the years that brought me there. 
  • When you're lucky enough to have a family member visit, let them take all of the photos in the world they want.  
    • Lesson - We're working too much, we're signing up for more than we can handle, and we're definitely missing out on hours of much needed rest. When you find something worth capturing, or that takes your breath away, snap (and snap more) away. Relish the small things.
  • This time of the year can be the most difficult. When you're 3,000 miles away from home, make Christmas come to you. 
    • Lesson - Decorate in full force, bake all of the cookies your oven can handle, share with everyone you know, and remember the Spirit of the Season doesn't come from others. Do everything you love and unwrap your potential within. 
  • And last but not least, when you meet someone from the past who has traveled across the country  (yes across the county) by bike (yes by bike) open your doors and let them get comfortable. 
    • Lesson - Life is really an adventure and learn all that you can from those who make a rest stop at your house. Hear their stories, laugh at their jokes, and ask more questions. You'll learn more about a person, their life, and their journey in less than 5 hours. This reward is more than you'll ever know. 
Every New Year's Day I find a quote that defines the type of person I strive to be and the year I want to have. It's easy thinking one quote will do the trick, but you look at it for 365 days you really become something more. 2011 can be summed up best through these words, "You are everything that is - your thoughts, your life, your dreams come true. You are everything you choose to be. You are as unlimited as the universe." - Shad Helmstetter

As I look back on my past year's quote and my bulleted list of life lessons, I can't stop smiling. To be something you've thought about, dreamt about, and certainly altered your life for ... the feeling cannot be described. It's the extra notch in your belt, the stamp in your passport, and the free two-scoops of ice cream kind of feeling that 2011 brought me. I'm not sure what the New Year holds, but I'm ready and excited. The sense of moving forward and the emotions tied with it can be uneasy, but it's working with change and unleashing your sense of spontaneity that really define your character. 

I'm hopeful for a daring 2012 to follow, "Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves. Although they may feel very along during the quest, at its end their reward is a sense of community: with themselves, with other people, and with the earth." - Carol Pearson

I hope you have a very happy, healthy, safe, and noteworthy New Year ahead!



From one amazing year to another, let's shake our tail feathers, sip the bubble, and bounce our party hats!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you found my blog so that I could find yours! Happy New Year! xoxo