A friend of mine posted on Facebook the quote listed above and I thought the timing was perfect. As we write our holiday letters and start to think about New Year’s Resolutions, we tend to reflect on the past year – the ups and the downs. For some, they may regret decisions they made or lost opportunities. Others may have experienced the opposite by participating in wonderful events like graduations, weddings, and births.
For me, I would like to think of 2011 as a Year to Learn and, hopefully, 2012 as the Year of Execution. As an example, there were several times this year where most of us did not have control over things with a big one being the weather. Between wicked snowstorms, a hurricane, a tornado, and flooding rains, it forced most of us to take cover in our homes and hibernate. I actually liked these times (except when my tree fell on my neighbor’s car and I had four inches of water in my basement) because I was able to sit in my dining room, scrapbook, hang out with my kids, and not have to be responsible for anything else. It was very refreshing.
I also learned this year that we can only control our own lives and that we need to set boundaries. For me, I tend to keep my mouth shut for a very long time if something is bothering me and then when I blow, watch out! I can spew 12 months of stuff at a person if I really set my mind to it which is not healthy. I also am learning that I need to say “no” more often and let others figure out alternative ways instead of expecting me to take care of it all.
Another thing I learned is that the most important things in life don’t cost anything or almost nothing. For many, money has continued to be very tight this year so I try to be creative when I want to get together with my family and friends. Instead of expensive dinners out, we organize potluck dinners and play board games. Right now I am in the midst of planning a breakfast dinner with another family which will include waffles, mimosas, and some break dancing moves in the kitchen – should be interesting and a lot of fun. Cozying up with my kids and my cats and watching a free movie when the cable company offers us one, is also a treat we enjoy.
Lastly I am trying to be better at forgiving others. I just read an interesting article in the December issue of Whole Living magazine called “Can You Really Forgive?” It had an eight step approach to truly forgiving someone with the last step as “See the Good in the Person You’re Forgiving.” It is certainly not an easy thing to do but as the article pointed out it is quite healing and refreshing to experience forgiveness and hopefully will provide you with inner peace.
The reason I say next year is the Year of Execution is that I am hoping I don’t fall back into old habits. I am confident the economy will be better in 2012 so there may be more money, etc.; however, I want to continue the “moving forward” feeling I have been experiencing. I want to set new goals of volunteering more, asking for less, and totally appreciating the moments when you just have to give up control and let fate guide your course. That last piece may sound counter to setting goals but it really isn’t. The journey to reaching your goal is as important as actually achieving it so if at times you just let go, you may reach your goal in a way you never dreamed possible. The point is that you open your mind to the possibilities!
I hope that we can all move forward in a positive way and share our experiences here with others. Remember it is difficult to walk backwards and there is a reason for that.