Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: the wrap up

Here we are. At the end. The finish line. The summit. The end of the road. The last page. And in a few hours, we will be at the beginning.The starting blocks. The trail head. The beginning of the road trip. The blank page. A New Year is super exciting. Pouring a glass of bubbly, spending time with friends and family, reminiscing about the last year, hugs, kisses, and the ball dropping. A New Year is the unwritten permission to "start fresh," to make a plan, put everything behind us, and attack whatever goals we have set for ourselves.

I look back on the past 365 days and a lot comes up for me. There are areas in my life that expanded beyond my wildest dreams. There are areas I still need to grow in. There are amazing memories and periods of grief, celebration, exhaustion, and utter love and compassion. I don't want this post to go on and on about the past year but reflection is important and writing about my goals and where I am at with them allows me to get them out of my own little head and out into the world for the matter of completion.

Here were my 7 goals from 2011 and where I ended up.I truly believe that we are always in process. Things happen, sometimes we have the best intentions and life and the universe create a different plan for you.

Healing my knees and running again
I am thankful and so incredibly stoked that my knees are better than where they were in January of 2011. I started Crossfit and got serious about healing years of abuse on my joints. I am happy to say I am running again and plan to continue.

Started Giving Back...Volunteering
I was so lucky to start volunteering at Jubilee Women's Center in Seattle. Every week, I travel down and give some of my time. Sounds simple, so gratifying. I always leave grounded, appreciative, and feel like my heart has expanded just a little more.

Grew my first Garden
The Man built me a 13' x 3' raised bed and I grew a lot of my own veggies, herbs, and flowers. It was magical to be in the dirt, see the process, and eat the fruits of our labor. It was fun and I am hooked.

Saw My Family...A LOT!
This year, I saw my folks more than I have ever seen them since I moved away in 2003. Between vacations, 1 wedding, and a funeral, I had so much fun with them. And to end the year with my family, including my brother, in Maine, it was so spiffy.

Expanded my community
I started doing stuff with people. Made new friends. Got out a little bit more. Joined a book club. There is nothing that feels so good in the world like being part of a tribe.

Didn't Happen

Writing 100 Blog Posts by the end of 2011
Well, two posts ago, I explained how I didn't achieve this goal and I was sad about it. The reason I took the goal on in the first place was that I wanted to hone my craft of writing. Coming into the identity of a writer is new for me and putting myself out there and developing my own voice has taken me to new places in my confidence and vulnerability. I ended up with just over 60 something posts and I suffered from not making the time to write.

Emergency Fund
My financial health was a huge priority in 2011. Getting my student loans under control and my finances in check was big but I am still catching up and getting real with the "cash money" part of my life. :) Thankfully, The Man is so good at mentoring me in this department, I have literal in-house support.

Getting Outside
The outdoors and nature is a huge part of my life. Growing up, the woods were my church. I didn't escape as much as I would have liked. So, I bought The Man and I a tent. No excuses :)

Still Happening

Maintaining a regular spiritual and self-care practice
I tried. I did my yoga. I meditated. But I didn't make it a priority. Things would slip. Overwhelm happened. Stress ensued and I collapsed at times. This is an ongoing process for me and I am clear about what I need to do to make these things a priority.

Overall, when you look back over the year, I stay focused on the good things. It just happens that way. Sure, we can't get it perfect all the time, but we can use our life as a microscope to adjust what we need to so we are living powerfully in every area all the time.

Happy New Year folks!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wishcasting Wednesday: What is your wish for the New Year?

I came across this photo via Pinterest. It is the floating lantern festival in Thailand. It makes me think of wishes being cast off into the universe to be processed and manifested. The New Year is upon us. I am loving my time in Maine and I am finally adjusting to the timezone. The walks, the yoga, the couch time, the laughter, the amazing food have consumed my days in a fabulous way. 

At this time of year, it is totally natural to sit and reflect on the year by asking two questions: what went well & what do I want for this upcoming year. It's very typical when approaching year end reviews with oneself to think of things in terms of accomplishments. I noticed while penning my year in review while flying home, a lot of my sentences started with, "I did X," "I finished Y," "I wrapped up Z." 

I popped on Jamie Ridler's Blog over at Jamie Ridler Studios and what perfect way to approach the New Year than her Wishcasting Wednesday Prompt: What is your wish for the New Year? What I love about this Wishcasting is that by wishing, things stay light, hopeful, optimistic, and low pressure. Wishing keeps things magical. 

What I Wish for the New Year...
...that my year is centered around two main themes: Alignment & Letting Go
...I operate holistically in my 4 Values: Abundance-Vitality-Intention-Growth
...that I stay connected to my family & friends and see them often as they warm my heart & soul
...that I maintain my practices of yoga, writing, self-care, and nature dates
...I nourish my physical body with regular exercise & bountiful nutrition
...I am full of bliss and joy in my relationship with the man
...that at the end of the year, I am living my best life

Monday, December 26, 2011

homecoming & goals

In the beginning of November, my dad and I were working tirelessly to track me down a cheap flight home to Maine. For a few weeks straight, we collaborated via phone, e-mail, and text message and finally settled on an Expedia ticket that brought me home Christmas day.

The weeks leading up to my visit mirrored a twisty, curvy, up and down rollercoaster at Six flags. Life was busy and on top of life was the Holidays, getting ready for my trip, and tying up loose ends on multiple projects.  The Man and I were living at what felt like the speed of light. Coming and going, rushing around, getting little sleep, and neglecting things like dusting and dishes. My lesson in all of that craziness was that at some point, you just have to throw your hands up and surrender to the divine, knowing that in the end, everything will take care of itself.

I sit here in my parents house on the living room floor and admire the beautiful New England Christmas tree. I am cuddling up with a cup of tea and a plate of cookies and laughing with my parents. Pure bliss.
When I arrived on Christmas day, I was a very lucky gal. My flights were on time, there was snow falling from the air, and on my way up the turnpike I closed my eyes, took a full breath, and smiled as I immediately fell into the space of vacation amazingness.

When I come home, I truly can relax. I can let go. Turn off and tune in to what brings me joy: meals with my family, laughter, board games, crisp air, snow, and cookies and coffee. As I said before, true bliss. We went and visited some family friends up at Sugarloaf, a famous Maine ski area and nestled into their camp. Eating, sleeping, laughing, and walks outside comprised the last two days.

Coming home is such an amazing experience. There are memories, tears, smiles, and laughter. Love fills the rooms. Everybody gets back in sync. This trip is exactly what I have been needing.

It is almost the end of 2011 and I have not reached my goal of 100 blog posts by the years end. Part of me is sad, for sure. I loved the goal because it was specific, measurable and realistic. The other part of me is eager, because I am going to shoot for 150 posts in 2012: 3 posts/week.Yikes!

While I am here, I am doing some major visioning for 2012 regarding goals, personal values, and dreams. I am putting together my 2012 Manifesto: The Year of Alignment & Letting Go. I am looking forward to sharing this on my blog in the new year.

Here is to champagne, goal setting, and bringing in a magical and wishful New Year! Cheers!