Yesterday I wrote a little yearly recap on 2011, and I almost didn’t publish it because I was so frustrated with myself at seeing my resolutions from the beginning of the year. Then I began mulling over the post I would write where I would scold, prod, and shame myself into change . . . really put those shortcomings out there so I would HAVE to get my act together. Publicly sharing goals is vulnerable for me. Publicly failing at those goals? Even worse. But as I sat down to write my manifesto entitled STOP SUCKING IN 2012, I took a quick look at my reader and saw this post by my friend Karen, inspired by this post by Erin, about non-goals. Both of them reminded me of the importance of acknowledging our areas of growth, both in word and in action. I decided that I would put my self-flagellation on the back burner and take a moment to recognize the areas where I didn’t suck in 2011. Amazing concept, right? Something tells me this might be a better way to start my year – with some affirmations for where I’ve succeeded, instead of a list of goals that are setting me up to fail. Wanna join me? Leave a comment below, or link up to your own post, and write down a couple things you’re proud of for 2011. Here are mine:
My relationship with Kembe has vastly improved. I no longer feel like we are in transition mode, or like I am babysitting. He and I made great strides in bonding this year. I’ve taken time to cultivate a cuddling relationship with Karis. She was my least affectionate baby, and honestly, that was sort of easy for me with so much going on in her first year of life. This year, I was really intentional in being more affectionate with her. The change has been pretty dramatic, and now she is constantly initiating a snuggle or a kiss. I love that. Jafta and I went on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet this year. I’ve worked hard to do this without having Jafta feel deprived or left out. W’e’ve both seen huge benefits to this diet change and I’m proud that I’ve stuck with it. India is in preschool and is reading first-grade books. I’m not sure I can take credit for that one (it belongs to Starfall.com) but I am very proud. I’ve managed to abandon most of the middle of the grocery store. We have made a major shift away from processed foods. Last night I had three kids eating salad for dinner. We’re still working on India, but it feels good to feed my family healthy foods. I hosted a few events in my home for friends that were very fun. This year I let go of some commitments that I really enjoyed, recognizing that my time is finite and my stage-of-life requires more time being present with the kids. Saying no is hard for me, and I’ve said no a lot this year. I’ve made great strides in having better boundaries. I’ve worked hard to be more pleasant in the morning, and see the kids off to school with a smile. I hate mornings . . . a lot, and the start of the school year was a rough transition, but I’ve rallied and continue to try to have more peaceful mornings. I have never been late to pick up my kids from school. Our family gave generously to a number of charities that we feel good about. I provided a ton of opportunities for the kids to learn and grow this year. They’ve been involved in sports and in music lessons. I got to take each of the big kids to a broadway play. India and I went to the ballet twice. Our house is full of music and dancing. Mark and I spoke on adoption at a conference this year. It was our first time speaking together. It went really well. We are both looking forward to doing it again. I got all four kids to school on picture day, wearing clean clothes and with relatively well-groomed hair and clean faces. (Darn you, winter eczema patches!) I’ve continued to grow some amazing friendships, both locally and across the country. I’ve been blessed with meeting amazing women from this blogging gig and 2011 provided many opportunities to deepen those friendships, and make a few new ones. I pushed past some long-standing insecurities in regards to a few situations this year, and didn’t let fear win. I had some nice awards and accolades for my blog this year. I partnered with a friend and bought ShePosts – my first ever business venture. I took a lot of great photos of the kids. Mark and I continue to love each other and like each other. We got away together and continue to try to establish regular date nights. I organized the house and threw away a lot of junk. I continued to make progress in coping with my post-earthquake PTSD and anxiety in general. We paid off our adoption debt.
Alright, that wasn’t so hard! (YES IT WAS).