Last Blog Post of 2011

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Well dear Reader, it’s the final day of 2011. We’re about to embark upon a new year and I’m not sure about you, but personally I know for many of us the end of something often makes us think of the beginning, the middle, and all that fell in between. 2011 was something wasn’t it? National disasters, nuclear plants exploding, earthquakes, deaths of political leaders – so much has happened globally and locally.

 I have fallen so many times in my life, but I get back up. And sometimes (just as I mentioned in the previous post “sometimes you need the crash”) sometimes you need to fall. Sometimes you need to feel the bottom for your feet to be able to push back up to the top. Is there a difference between crashing and falling? I think so…sometimes you can see yourself about to fall, sometimes it feels like it’s happening in slow motion, and sometimes…someone pushes you.

 Yesterday I spoke on the phone with a friend; she reminded me that when something positive happens, something negative usually coincides with it. Such happenings remind us of balance. This was something I most needed to hear especially at the end of this year as many are readying themselves with mentally preparing for what is to come.

 Reader, do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Did you make any for 2011 and how many came to pass?

 Every year I make myself lists. I make lists when I have to make decisions and try to imagine what my “best self” would do in situations. I try to not make so many decisions based on emotions, but that self-control can be difficult at times. I have to remind myself that I’ve been charged to do certain things with my life and with those endeavors come certain responsibility. I make lists for goals. In 2010 I made a list of 10 resolutions, in 2011 I made 11 and it works! Many of those things have come to pass because I willed it through hard work and dedication. Here is my list of 12 for 2012:

  1. Run a half-marathon with a 10 min per mile or less or run a full marathon
  2. Publish 12 poems
  3. Finish my MFA in poetry
  4. Publish a nonfiction essay
  5. Submit my manuscript to at least 5 first book competitions
  6. Travel to another country
  7. Take guitar lessons
  8. Reunite with old friends
  9. Visit North Dakota
  10. Be a better friend/sister/daughter/cousin/niece/teacher/etc.
  11. Be good to others
  12. Be good to myself

Now some of these are tangible, some are “reaches” and some are more abstract concepts for me to live by. How can I judge if I’m being better or good?  I’m not so sure, but I at least want the motivation. As a writer, I believe in the power of words written and spoken, which is why I think it’s important to write down resolutions and goals. Somehow, writing it makes it real – or it at least makes you accountable in a way. Once it’s there you can take pleasure in crossing it out once you achieve it. Have you tried this before? And I don’t just mean a “to-do” list I mean goals, dreams, the things you shoot for!

It’s important to have goals. It’s important to believe that your best days are still ahead of you. Some people go through life complacent, comfortable in their day-to-day existence. They get used to going through the motions and forget that each and every day you can be inspired. I, too, am guilty of this sometimes when I focus too much on the little things, the every day stresses that prevent me from seeing the bigger picture. But before we enter the new year, I want to remind myself and you that you can make a difference Reader. You have the power to achieve anything that is in your heart; those desires have all been placed within you for a reason, so never be complacent about the dreams that reside in your heart. We are all destined for our own special purposes

I’ve been told by someone, who knew me less than 30 minutes, that I was a very passionate person, someone with an “all or nothing” personality. And she’s right. This trait can be very benefitting to me at times, but it can also be hampering. In training for the half-marathons I run it’s a good thing, I give my all and with each race I improve my time per mile and overall time as well. In writing it can be good because when I’m in it I’m in it, but often when it comes to teaching, my other job, and writing… it can be difficult to find balance, and in love…well, even more complications arise. I fall fast. I fall hard. I trust too much. I don’t trust enough. But maybe what I should really do in 2012 is try not to judge myself or others too much and trust in myself. Trust in yourself dear Reader. We have all endured so much throughout our lives, made mistakes, (hopefully learned) or we keep making the same mistakes until we learn the lesson. Either way, we should trust ourselves enough to know that we’ve dived into our own individual wrecks, however big or small, and have come out ok. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that the most: I am ok.

 Maybe the ultimate resolutions should be “It’s ok to be happy.” It’s ok to let yourself be happy or as a friend told me not too long ago “It’s ok to love yourself.” So, I say this to you too Reader, Love yourself this new year and greet each and every day with an open heart and open arms to embrace whatever the universe throws your way – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful and great… those experiences help carve and mold us in ways we can’t yet see.

 

Happy New Year!

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