This is probably the first year in my adult life that I am starting off a new year without even the slightest hint of a resolution. I’m feeling kind of boring and bland without any new goals or ideas for 2012.
Someone asked me this morning what was the best thing that happened in 2011. My struggle to answer doesn’t mean I’m not thankful for absolutely every minute I had breath for the past 365 days. But it also feels like I finished a marathon that left me longing for quiet and solitude over grand plans and big ambitions.
The year had plenty of challenges. And yet the list of things for which I’m thankful is a long one: an amazing husband with a new job that is restoring some normalcy to our schedule, the three big kids who are growing up right before my eyes, the littlest one who gives us all a chance to relive the early years of learning and growing and see the world through those innocent eyes, an amazing community of friends who listen to me and laugh with me, and the chance to work from home doing all of the things I love.
Last year, my goal was to take a photo and blog about it every day of 2011. I made it 109 days. I’m glad for that first third of the year that I tried it and did it, and I’m glad to have those daily “journal” entries in my blog to remember all of those moments of 2011. I’m also glad that I was OK with giving up on that goal when I realized it was weighing me down more than it was lifting me up. My love of taking photos starting becoming a chore when I felt like I had to do it every single day.
At the risk of sounding arrogant or annoying, I decided to make a list of the things I accomplished in 2011. It’s kind of nice to look back at a year that feels like a blur and remember that I’m starting 2012 as a person who is (at least a little bit) different than I was 365 days ago:
I learned a ton of new Photoshop tricks. A year ago, I didn’t know how to “refine edges” or fill using “content aware” or master my “blending modes” or “create a clipping mask” or “rasterize type” or even use the “stamp tool.” I have learned so much, which makes it more fun to build on my base of knowledge to learn even more in 2012.
I also taught myself how to use InDesign. I remember sitting in my bed at night watching tutorials on my iPad so I could work on a project that required it. A few months later, I’m feeling like an expert in InDesign and can do quickly what felt like a monumental task last summer.
I’ve learned a LOT about video editing, thanks to a friend who has given me so many great tips. I would love to graduate beyond iMovie and use some more advanced video editing software this year to see what I’m missing.
I got a new camera lens that has helped me work on my photography skills. I would like to purchase Adobe Lightroom this year and learn more about photo editing, as well as create a better system for storing my photos.
I started shopping at Costco. Doesn’t that sound like the most hilarious thing to include on my list? It’s actually an accomplishment for me because I don’t like to grocery shop. But it’s symbolic to me of the fact that I’ve been more on top of stocking up on the food we need so I can do a better job feeding my family.
I organized a lot of my recipes on allrecipes.com. I started using their more advanced features to create my meal plans and grocery shopping lists. I’m still sporadic in this area, but I feel like by the time my kids all graduate and move away, I will FINALLY be on top of my meal planning. 🙂
I ran nine miles. Yep, that’s right. I ran nine miles in one year. I realize some people like to lump their miles all together and run them all at once. I ran my miles one at a time. I walked and biked a whole bunch of other miles, but for some reason, the ones I ran seem more important. My hope for 2012 is to run more miles than I did in 2011. And, thankfully, the bar is super low, so hopefully, I’ll be able to accomplish that. 🙂
I blogged a lot less in 2011. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I’m working on creating a photobook from all of my photos from 2011, and I love incorporating my blog posts into the book. In that respect, I wish I had blogged more. I would like to post photos and write about my family at least once a week in 2012, but I also realize it’s harder than it looks. I don’t want my effort to chronicle my memories to get in the way of enjoying the moments.
I made some new friends, renewed some old friendships and realized that I need to invest more in the friends I have. The year started with some difficult news for a dear friend. It’s ending with the news that some of our closest friends are moving away. This kind of stuff makes me want to kick the curb, curl up in a ball and yell, “Not fair!” But I know God has a plan with all of this, and I’m trying to enjoy the people He places in my life the best that I can.
I made my marriage more of a priority. I realized how easy it is to get so caught up in the needs of the kids and the demands of keeping things going and forget the one person who is most important to me. This is definitely something I want to keep working on in 2012.
Well, it’s kind of funny that in making that list I realized that I do have some goals for the new year. I’m also starting things off by going on a 40 day spiritual journey with my church. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when I make it a priority to read the Bible and pray every single day.
What about you? Do you have big goals for 2012? Did 2011 turn out the way you had hoped? What’s on your list for the new year?