It is always interesting how looking on the past has a way of sparking a bit of positive motivation for the future. I am not sure if it is just a "me" thing, or if other people feel that way too. I hear quotes about not "living in the past", and I totally believe that to be true, but the simple act of reflecting seems to be quite healthy.
As I sit here in reflection of 2011, I am thinking about my "One Little Word" that I picked, (you can view that here). I am thinking about how it worked for me, and how I maybe could have improved, (I always think that!). I am thinking about how I incorporated it into my daily life. I did a pretty good job at doing a lot of what I planned. It didn't all occur at once, it happened at lots of different times throughout the year, but I do feel like I did "Live".
I didn't let work get to me as much as I had done the year before, although that does continue to be a challenge a lot of the time. Towards the end of the summer I got a new boss that I absolutely love. I made some good progress at work and did earn another promotion. The new job that I did throughout the summer was quite fulfilling. The promotion did require me to travel, but I actually quite enjoyed that part of the job! I got to see parts of Idaho that I had never really seen before, and now appreciate the beauty of my state so much more.
Besides traveling for work, I traveled for pleasure. LOVE that! Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, and believe me if I could, I would do it way more!
I took trips with friends...
I took trips with Bryan...
I took trips with the kiddos...
I do know I had a more positive approach to work and life in general so I have to credit the positive attitude because I honestly believe that attitude is half the battle. One thing I am trying to make an effort to do is be an inspiration to others by being positive. I know I am not happy and positive everyday, but I do try. Always room for improvement there. :)
I would love to say that the year was fabulous and amazing and all rainbows and lollipops, but I would be lying. I had many struggles personally as well as a few professionally, and the two definitely collided to create those struggles.
Bryan was in school and working full time. This was definitely a challenge. I changed a lot of things just to make things work. I changed how I did things, how I reacted to things, and I definitely "chose my battles". The positive out of that situation: I became much more aware of my own temper, lack of patience and habit of overreacting. There was no room for this at all. I learned how to be much more organized, money conscious, and prepared. There were calendars, lists, and meal planning. I learned how to balance a bit more and enjoy the moments at home with my family because there were so few of them, and to leave work at work.
I also had some friendship struggles. Those are never really any fun, especially if they end and you go your separate ways. It is extremely difficult if it is a friend you would consider family, just because it is truly like a death. I think we go through the same steps of the grieving process, because in the end you know it was both of you at fault, and no matter what, they are missed deeply. They are still loved with all your heart. They just can't be your friends anymore. The positive out of that situation: I learned that there are other people around me who care for me, possibly people who I had been neglecting. There are new people to meet. There are always people who could use a friend, and those people could turn out to be some of the most quality people you will ever meet.
Ultimately I know in my heart the struggles have helped me grow personally and professionally. It is so difficult to see the "whys" when you are in full blown crisis mode, but they eventually make their way to the surface. It is how you deal with the struggles that really matters anyway, right? It is what you learn at the time, or even later that truly makes you understand that there was a purpose for the struggle in the first place.
I will continue to grow and fully engage in my word from last year by taking those lessons , some of which I guarantee I am still learning everyday. I will use it to propel me forward into this new year, while embracing the new word for 2012, "Grace". By reflecting on the past, I will try to live up to the new word, and learn the new lessons. I will do my best to become like the word I have chosen, and be an example to others.