I am joining the 52 week Simplify Your Life challenge which is the brainchild and heartwork of Debra Dane from Home Life Simplified.
I am always seeking ways to simplify my life but often end up overcomplicating the process ( does that make sense? It does to me). I love this year long view of creating a more peaceful, simple and authentic life. It took many years to get ourselves this crazy,frantic and screwed up, it makes sense that it is going to take more than a cup of chamomile tea and new filing system to un-crazy, un-frantic and un-screw ourselves.
The challenge for Week 1 (which I'm running late for...of course) is to decide what went right for me in 2011.
What happened? Did it happen. At first mental glance it is just a blur of cooking and lunchboxes, nursing assignments and parenting teenagers who we will kindly refer to as 'strong willed'.
On second glance, if I scrap off some of the melted chocolate and Christmas pudding, some things are starting to shine. My first instinct is to try and prioritise the listing, and have it read pretty. but this is the start of a year of seeking simplicity so I'm just going to type.....
In 2011 I started this blog. I found an outlet for my need to write and share, and along with that I found new friends. I have written about some stuff which has eaten me up, which is terrifying, but also exhilarating and freeing.
I joined twitter, which is, to me, like a new mothers group on steroids, except you don't have to have a newborn or any born, you aren't judged on your Gucci Baby Bag and there is always someone available for a chat and light entertainment. Some might call it networking, I am more romantic and believe I have found real friends.
I managed to bring all 4 children into the year 2012. They are all feisty and argumentative, strong willed and stubborn, but they are mine so none of that should come as a surprise. I look at my gorgeous almost-a-man 17 yr old son and cannot believe we have made him. I look at my 7 yr old and can't believe she's not a newborn anymore. My teenage girls are lovely and beautiful in the most terrifying way and I get to sit in the front row watch them blossom.
I passed the years nursing studies, and (if am allowed to brag here) I so far have received distinctions and high distinctions for every subject. That makes me proud. It means my brains did not, against all odds, melt into nothingness during The Toddler Years.
My marriage, our marriage, has made it through another year. In March we will celebrate 19 years of marriage. 2011 was a happy year of marriage. Anyone who has been married for years knows that there are good years and not so good years, peaks and troughs, hills and valleys, ambrosia and arsenic. The Man I Married is big and gruff with a loud voice and a stern face. It has taken my mother years to realise he is not angry 100% of the time, that is just his normal voice. But through 2011 he again showed me why I love him. He is a good man, and he puts up with all my crazy messiness. 2011 was a good marriage year.
I started going to the gym. AAARRGGGHHHH It hurts and I hate every second that I am on an elliptical trainer, but I love the endorphin high when I've finished. I am taking care of myself and making sure that I am here to write a similar blog post this time next year. I have rediscovered how much I enjoy running, and I can now run 5km without stopping or dying. I'm aiming for 10km in 2012.
I let go of a friendship which has placed me in danger more than once. I decided I'm worth more. And once I did that I discovered that actually, I'm really okay without them. Yes I have one friend less, but I have gained many more, as other people have avoided me due to my time spent with her. Isn't that interesting!!! I miss her and wish it were different, but you can't undo, and un-know things. You can't magic the truth away. It might seem weird to have this on my "Good things" list but this is a step in the right direction, away from toxic people who make me sad. Good Thing.
Yep, 2011 was a good year. I am blessed. I am grateful. I have the people I love with me, we are safe and healthy. We have choices and options. We have a pantry bursting with food and home big enough for an entire other family to come and stay ( and they do!). Life is good. Complicated... but good.
How was your year? What worked for you? Visit the 52 week Simplify Your Life challenge and join in. You don't have to blog or tweet. You don't have to tell anyone you are doing it, just do it for yourself. It's going to be a wonderful year.