Reflections on 2011

In 2010, I spent the last day, December 31, 2010, journaling and creating a mandala that I posted in my writing area.  I’ve spent this entire year, looking at it everyday.  I’d never actually set goals for the year in such a concrete and specific manner, and as I’ve spent time during the last two weeks of 2011 reviewing and reflecting before looking ahead to 2012, I have to say that I’m happy with what has transpired over the last year.

My happiest accomplishments during 2011:

  • I started this blog in March, posted twice a week with great regularity until late this fall when my job and mom duties made life crazy.  I also got brave enough and after a few months and some encouragement from a new writer friend (thanks Susan) to link my blog to Facebook where people that I know (other than immediate family) would read it.  That was a scary day for me – not sure why it was so scary, but I overcame it and now I’m okay with whoever reads it, or not.
  • I wrote 70,000 words in a novel with the working title, The Overlander’s Daughter.  Just writing that title makes me happy.
  • I applied for and received a new passport which will help me fulfill travel dreams.  I haven’t needed a passport since I was fifteen, and hopefully, after a 17 year hiatus from international travel, I will need one in the near future.
  • I made it to almost all of my kids’ soccer and hockey games.  I love watching them play.
  • I visited the Redwoods which I’ve always wanted to do.
  • I started and completed three full quilts – Megan’s fairy quilt, my Man quilt, and Haley’s denim nightmare quilt.  I also finished six Christmas table runners and started a scrappy block quilt. I have it all designed, but it’s currently in my WIP pile along with my hand quilt, a beach themed quilt, and a block exchange quilt.
  • I participated in the Willamette Writer’s Conference and learned a TON about writing, the writing industry, and publishing.
  • I ran a 5K.  I wanted to also run a 10K but was unable to find one that I could get to on a free weekend.  Having my own kids in sports as well as my own coaching responsibilities tends to keep my weekends full.  In fact, I had to miss the first quarter of one of Haley’s games to finish my run.  I’ll keep the 10k for next year I think.
  • I read Writing Down your Soul by Janet Connor.  It was a great book that inspired me to write three to six times a week in my “Soul Journal.”  This has helped me to clarify what I want and who I am.  It also helped me to feel much calmer and more grounded each day.

One thing I haven’t included on the above list is the awards my Speech and Debate team won which we’ve definitely earned or those accomplishments with students in my classroom.  Those aren’t accomplishments that ring true to me right now, maybe because I’ve been so focused this year on writing and moving forward in other areas.  I am ready to move on to adventures that excite and inspire me.

As I look over this list, I’m pleased, and I think its okay to celebrate what I have accomplished.  So often we focus on what we didn’t do or fail to accomplish.  In fact, its been surprising to me how many people have blogged about how ready they are for 2011 to end as its been such a bad year.  One lesson I’ve learned and been able to appreciate as I’ve gotten older is to take time to celebrate what we do accomplish and achieve, even if they’re small or seemingly insignificant.  Taken altogether, as I look at my list, I can say “I’m a writer,” and overall, 2011 has been a good year.  I’m excited to see what 2012 will bring.

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5 thoughts on “Reflections on 2011

  1. What a great year you have had, I have enjoyed meeting you on this blogging journey, I find your posts inspirational and look forward to reading more and to one day reading ‘The Overlander’s Daughter’ – love that title!

    Now that you’ve linked to facebook, you might want to try twitter, the three main social networking tools of a writer so it is said. I never thought I would be saying that, but I find twitter even better than facebook for a blog and to connect with other readers/writers.

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    1. Thank you Claire! It has been a good year – for instance, I’m right now “talking” to a brand new friend half a world a way. That right there is great, the way this whole process has built connections with people. I actually did sign up for twitter and link my blog to it, but I’m still not sure about how to really use it. What strategies do you use to connect with other writers through it? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

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  2. Hi Amy, wow what a great list, definitely one to be very proud of. I too have created a new mandala for 2012 – love that process! One of my aims is to start a blog and I completely understand the Facebook fear, I think I am still at blog fear. You have inspired me though. Happy 2012! Shanee (from Plug In)

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    1. Thank you! It was fun to write, to really look at all that I have done rather than focusing on those things I didn’t quite get to or do as well as I had wanted to. I so hope you begin a blog. It was very scary at first to post and share, but now I feel so much more confident in my writing. Some days only one or two people read but some days 50+ read it. To me, that is amazing!! It’s also very affirming. You are a beautiful writer/poet – please share!

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