Recently I began reading A Design So Vast, a writerly, reflective, unassuming blog by Lindsey Mead. I like it. It's simultaneous simplicity and depth appeals to me. She just posted her 20 questions and answers reflecting on the year now gone by, 2012. I thought I would play along.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
Falling (unexpectedly and belatedly) in love with sports. Watching my two older boys play soccer and basketball at a more competitive level was no longer a test of endurance each weekend. I look forward to games and have even begun following some televised sports with my all-male family. (It was either join them or get DVR on my bedroom TV!)
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Feeling a loss of direction mid-way through the year. I lost the oomph to blog, to bake, to create. I decided it was my soul's way of telling me to simply cocoon for a while so I did. I read a ton of books, went on walks, began sleeping in (past 6:00 am!), ignored outside pressures and allowed myself to simply be in each moment. Maybe it was a subtle mourning of the passing of my youth? I don't know and am not even trying to figure it out. It was good for me and I feel myself emerging, renewed, from my cocoon.
5. Pick three words to describe 2012.
steady, calm, friendshippy
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2012 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
insightful, quiet, rewarding
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2012 (again, without asking).
stressful, exciting, challenging
8. What were the best books you read this year?
Fiction/Romance: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness , The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani, Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
Inspirational: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Cookbook: Make It Paleo by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason
Non-Fiction: The Memoir Project by Marion Roach
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
Definitely my girlfriends. From the MOMS group members to my CRHP team, from my neighbors to my small circle of besties, this has most definitely been the year of forging new and lasting friendships. It is only now that I realize how profoundly God has answered my prayer request of last year :"Please help me find a few treasured friends."
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Learning to truly let go, to unclench my fists and loosen my need for control.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
Age brings maturity (hopefully) and I have felt the effect most profoundly in my ability to maintain a certain stability in the face of emotional turmoil. I learned that when peace prevails it multiplies.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I listened more closely to what the Spirit was nudging me to do. I followed a call to attend Christ Renews His Parish retreat and then stepped way way out of my comfort zone to lead the next one in April. The fear that engenders in me is both exhilarating and crippling which only convinces me to follow it into the unknown.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Since I have no exercise epiphanies to share does it count that I have begun taking sacred care of my skin? No more sleeping in my make-up for me!
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
As I mentioned before this was a "friendshippy" year. Several new people entered my life's ever-widening circle and became residents in the inner circle of confidantes. There is nothing like finding friends in Christ to bring women together and quickly.
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Having the time. The fact that my youngest attends school everyday for four hours was the key to becoming a better mom, wife and friend.
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Feeling a little lost. It's been 11 years since I worked full-time and with my babies officially babies no more I've had to reconsider my job description.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Following the election coverage. It only occurred to me only post-election that it was all an utter waste of time and effort. I have vowed never to slip into that black-hole of nonsense again.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Reading. Bar none. Nothing else inspires, grounds and moves me like the written word. I am eagerly awaiting this book which should arrive on my doorstep tomorrow. It will be my official literary kick-off of the new year.
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
That it is ok to abandon a boring book, to quit a project that no longer works, to stay quiet when there is nothing of value to say.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2012 for you.
Be present. Be in the moment. Be yourself.