Resolution: Did you stick to your 2011 resolution(s)? What’s your resolution(s) for 2012?
I intended to never need a day job again at the onset of 2011. I had hopes for a bright future and days filled with students and clients who bring me joy. As the year comes to a close, I regret to inform you that I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t put enough energy and time into myself and my business. My energy and time got spent on other people and their needs. At this very moment, I’m resolving to quit wasting what little time and energy I have. I’m resolving to give myself more credit and spend more time developing myself and my business. I’m resolving to nurture my soul and cultivate my dreams. In 2012, I’m not going to let the fears — or naysayers — hold me back anymore. There’s no excuse why I can’t make things work. All I need to do is go out there and do it.
In 2012, I intend to turn Electrate Editorials into a viable business that will earn me at least $45,000 in 2013.
Letting Go (Inspired by Alice Bradley): What do you need to let go of to move forward in 2012?
I need to let go of the edge. I need to be okay with freefalling, not knowing if a net’s waiting below to catch me or if my chute’s functional. I need to let go of my fears and take risks. I won’t know if my business idea is a complete failure unless I go out there and market myself. I need to trust that all the pieces will fall into place. I don’t know what lies beyond February 1st, but I frankly don’t care. I’m ready and willing to take the risk. A varying schedule doesn’t make for a stable income, but neither does working for yourself. If on December 31st, 2012 I find myself in dire straits, I’ll chastise myself then. But then and only then can I chastise myself and live with the regret of jumping — not now. I can’t talk myself out of this. It’s time to move on and move forward. The life I’m living right now does not fulfill my soul, nor does it nourish me. I need to let go in order to thrive. It’s time to let go of that edge and fall.
New Friends (Inspired by Martha Mihalick): Tell us how a new friend changed your life or perspective this year.
I’ve met a few new friends this year, both on and off the Internet. I couldn’t possibly pick just one of them because they’ve all changed my perspective this year. At moments when I doubt myself or feel regretful about my move, these new friends remind me that I’m doing the best that I can — and I wouldn’t have met them or bonded with them were it not for the move.
As a side note, I chose to skip Insightful Peace because it became the same convoluted prompt I was hoping to fix anyway. During the 365 days of a year, we don’t always remember each and every moment for what it is. Even when we remember particular moments, they may not embody a particular mood or feeling that we’re attempting to express. This is my first year hosting my own prompts, and I’m hoping next year I’ll do better.
Stories (Inspired by Molly O’Neill): What stories touched your heart this year? How will you find and cultivate the stories of 2012?
I soaked up so many stories this year, most of which were unwritten bits and pieces of individual lives. Admittedly, most of these stories have come from my job. I’ve found the stories behind co-workers and customers to be quite fascinating and enjoyable. I’ve considered sitting down, creating new aliases, and writing several short stories to document these wonderful tales. I’m a sucker for compelling stories. I also love good story tellers. I became enraptured with Hemingway’s brilliant work — three more of his books are en route to my mail box as we speak, thanks to the magic of Christmas. I’ve met several great story tellers through Reverb 11, and I can’t wait for them to join me during Cultivate 2012 (more on that in a few days). Some of the stories I’ve seen unfold have lifted my spirits, while others broke my heart. Only one thing was constant — all those stories touched my heart.
I aspire to find and cultivate many stories during 2012, literally and figuratively. In a literal sense, I’m considering revisiting old stories and completing them. I’m giving strong consideration to documenting stories that I have and have had the privilege of hearing. I plan to spend more time reading and enjoying stories. I plan to spend more time writing and sharing stories. I plan to visit inspiring locations to cultivate my imagination and my soul. I want 2012 to be a year of embracing stories and story-telling.
Gift (Written by Holly Root): This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?
The best gift was offered to me ten days ago by a very dear friend. She’s my blog buddy and has been for quite some time now. Nicki of Suddenly Not So Single Journey gave me a copy of her newest book, Live the List. Live the List is one part narrative, one part self-help, and one part inspiration. At a time in my life when the ups are fewer and farther between and the downs are crushing, soul-shattering moments of hopelessness, Live the List reminded me that everyone needs to find moments of happiness in even the toughest situations. It reminded me that spring always follows winter — that spring is coming, and I need to bundle up just a bit longer before the new blooms of opportunity and hope begin to appear once more. Live the List inspired me to gather my family together on New Year’s Day for some good family bonding over listing our goals and intentions for the year. I want to remember to “find my happy,” just like Nicki does. Even now she’s still finding her happy, even while on bed rest — life or death bed rest that could result in not only the death of her unborn baby girl but also the death of herself. If she can find happiness while doing her very best to fight for her daughter’s survival, then I should have no trouble at all finding happiness. And while I’m almost 36 hours late on this post, I’m glad I’m writing this review today because I’ve once again remembered that I must work extra hard to be happy. I can’t just flop on the couch and bemoan my woes. I have to get up, dust off the misery, and find the nearest opportunity for a smile. And so should you. Grab a copy of Live the List and get inspired to start living for those moments of happiness. Start living with the intention of being happy, even when the line seems ten miles long. While you’re waiting, you just might find a good reason to smile, giggle, or have a belly laugh.
*Note: I decided to skip the Defining Moment prompt. I reread it and realized I was about to give myself the same headache as I did last year — only this year I’d get the headache of attempting to determine a defining moment. Let’s leave obscurity out of this process of reflection and manifestation.
Photo (Written by Tracey Clark): Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.
Well, this isn’t exactly a “good” picture of me, but I didn’t feel like I took “good” pictures this year. The battle of the bulge has been rather troublesome this year, but this picture captures my essence. My husband took this earlier this year when we were enjoying a meal of baked ziti, salad, and Italian bread at the table. That door is the door — the separation that maintains our privacy. On the surface, this picture shows that I’m a married mother who really doesn’t mind a messy baby. He was eating — you want me to aggravate him between bites to wipe up the drool and crumbs? There’s no shame in wearing your food well. If you want to go a little deeper, this picture shows you exactly who I am and who I strive to be. I’m the mother who values quality family time around the table — and a good meal. I want to enjoy as many of these moments as possible. I want to nourish my family with love, good food, and strong values. And most of all, I want to be able to dictate when and how often we enjoy these meals. Not some schedule. Not some work stashed in a brief case (or in my case, a messenger bag). Me. Strong-willed little me. They’re growing up so fast, and I want to experience it.
Achieve (Written by Tara Sophia Mohr): What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.
As if you couldn’t already guess, I of course want to achieve the dream of becoming my own boss. I would like to end 2012 with the comfort of knowing that I call the shots, I arrange meetings with clients and students, and I meet my goals. How do I imagine I’ll feel when I get there? Lighter, secure, fantastic, and much, much happier. Now translating that feeling into the here and now would be a lot more difficult. Where I stand now feels oppressive, shaky, entrapping, and just plain miserable. To somehow even feign the feelings of elation that would come with finding and moving to my own place AND making my business a success seems nearly impossible. However, I know a woman who’s ever present need to find her happy on a daily basis touched my life in a big way after reading her book. I plan to discuss Live the List more in depth in two days, but Nicki‘s book really touched me that much. So despite the fact that my outlook has been rather bleak most of the year, I’m going to dig deep and think of 10 ways to feel a little happier and freer right now.
1. I will open the bank account and look at the Christmas cheer that came from relatives today. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like knowing that those “I wish”‘s will be “I have”‘s.
2. I put on the music station that brings me back to the 90s and the rock I grew up with. Back then I was most concerned with living through high school and dreaming of college.
3. I’ll sip my chamomile infused with a cough drop — something warm and soothing to help fight off the germ of the week.
4. I’ll cross the days off the calendar, knowing I’m growing even closed to Moving Day.
5. I’ll light the frosty peppermint snow candle to enjoy the sweet scent of candy canes wafting through my living space.
6. I will think towards February 15th, when some sweet anime goodness comes my way again. In my fandom, the vampires fight with guns, swords, bazookas, absorbed familiars, and fangs. We’ll have none of that sparkling in the sunlight here!
7. I’ll remember that my experimental batch of mint chocolate chip cookies made with agave nectar tasted wonderful and have an incredibly low glycemic index. Only 1 cup of agave nectar was needed to replace 1 packed cup of brown sugar and 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar.
8. I just stared at the cat while she was sleeping. She may be named after a demon cat, but she’s really quite angelic when she’s asleep.
9. I’ll pause to reflect on how amazing it is that I’ve made this journey through the year alive.
10. I will remind myself that things could be much, much worse. Food, shelter, and a family. No, things could be much, much worse. Life isn’t so bad, really.
How about you? What 10 things can you do or think of to make you happier right now?
Beyond Avoidance (Written by Jake Nickell): What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)
This year I was supposed to turn Electrate Editorials into a thriving business. I was going to be the best little English consultant I could be. I was going to tutor, write, edit, and discuss the finer points of grammar mechanics with clients. I was supposed to be turning this idea into a viable business venture that would negate the necessity of an out-of-home job. So why didn’t I make that happen? Why didn’t my dreams manifest as reality? Fear. Worry. Uncertainty. Preoccupation. Depression. Poverty. Distractions. Drama. A lot of things and emotions got in the way of success. I’ve been afraid that I’ll fail. I’ve worried that I wouldn’t be able to earn enough money to support my family. I wasn’t sure that anyone would be interested in my services. I became preoccupied with the mandatory job search that supplied my bank account with a steady source of income to pay my bills. I have — and still do — suffer from depression. How could you blame me? I spent 5.5 years and $42k on a degree that hasn’t amounted to much after being fired from a job for no real reason. I took a job that I’m overqualified for after struggling to get either a good job or a low-wage job for over a year. Really, it took me more than a year to find a job at all. Of course, this means we’ve basically been poor for a while. I wasn’t in a good income bracket before I lost my job, but this has been a difficult year and a half of scrimping, doing without, and feeling like the lousy relative that no one expects even a card from. It sucks.
Why haven’t even gotten to the distractions and drama, but we’re not going there. You’ve gotten quite a bit of intimate information out of me already, so I’m just going to have to tell you to trust me when I say things have been interesting for me. When it comes right down to it, I’ve avoided creating a better life because I’m still trained to believe that a better life comes from working hard for The Man. I want to shake that silly notion straight into the dumpster where it belongs. However, for the moment I realize my day job needs to fund my dream job. So I trudge on, still avoiding that which I desire. I neglect my need to create. I neglect my nerd to spread my knowledge. I neglect my need to change lives. But that stops now.
Starting next year, I’m going to create. I’m going to get nerdy. I’m going to make money. This can’t be all there is to life, and I’m not going to keep settling for less than I deserve. Next year, I’m going to start changing lives, starting with my own first.
Healing (Written by Leoni Allan): What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2012?
As I admitted yesterday, this year I’ve been a mess. Not much healing occurred this year as there were continued blows absorbed. However, the joy of experiencing four seasons brought a certain level of peace to my heart. Experiencing the awakening of the trees, flowers, and animals during spring healed my heart. Watching the leaves change colors this fall healed my heart. Seeing the morning frost on the grass and plants has healed my heart. Slowly but surely I’ve realized that life has led me to a very lovely place, and I need only to draw inspiration from my surroundings to find the courage to persevere.
I’m hoping 2012 brings healing in many forms. Most of all, though, I want to be healed in a place of my own. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been manifesting home vibes all over Reverb 11. This is what I want to manifest most of all. Even if all my other dreams must wait until 2013, I’d end 2012 happily knowing I’m once again operating as an autonomous individual, forging her own path to care for herself and her family. May 2012 bring the healing we all so desperately need.
Lesson Learned (Written by Tara Weaver): What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
I learned that I crumble under extreme pressure. My foundation cracked this year, and it’s been an incredibly rough ride. Nearly all of my hot buttons were slammed — we’re talking someone sitting at a control board, bashing their fist against all the buttons. My constitution was already weak and fragile given my life’s circumstances, so it wasn’t very hard to fall into that pit of despair. I’ve seen rays of sunshine in the way of wonderful people and some good luck, though, which helped reseal some of those cracks. But without getting into the dirty, intimate truth, I basically fell apart this year — a lesson in and of itself.
Going forward, I’m applying this lesson as a reminder that I’m fallible and require proper care in order to thrive. I must take extra special care of myself to prevent such a thing from happening again. When life gets tough, I must be even stronger in my efforts to nurture my soul. I must maintain my health and composure. I must work to identify my triggers and discipline myself to reaction in a different manner. And above all us, I must always trust my intuition.