As I look back on the year almost completely behind us, I can't believe what a change from January. Diagnosed with health issues, way over-stressed from my job, frustrated because my creative outlets were stymied. That was a lot of negative to manage through.
But manage I did, and I thought I'd take a few minutes to enumerate the positives from the year just past. You see, I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in what needs to be done, that I forget to mark the accomplishments of what did get done.
So here we go, the top 10 accomplishments of the year!
10. Took a few lunch breaks and used my vacation time.
This would seem like a no-brainer to most people, but I have a long-standing habit of eating my lunch at my desk and working straight through. With the job switch, I had a little more flexibility to go for walks, and/or take actual breaks. I had also managed to rack up a goodly amount of banked vacation over the last few years and I took some quality time for me.
9. Changed to a less-stressful job.
I'm not a person who particularly relishes change, nor do I necessarily manage it well. However, things came to a head this past year when I absolutely needed to make changes for health reasons. Specifically, reducing the 140 mile round trip drive I was making daily for work. I was able to make that happen by May and within days Mr. Eggshells could see and hear a positive difference in me.
This likely seems odd to many out there in the interwebs, and it's possible that there are a few out there who think I'm an extrovert. Fooled ya! I actually have a social anxiety disorder which means that groups of more than 3 or 4 are too much. Bracing myself for social activities not only takes a huge amount of my energy (which due to #9 above was often in limited quantity), but it takes me a long time to rejuvenate it afterwards. So this year Mr. Eggshells (similarly of the cave troll ilk) and I decided that we'd make a concerted effort to socialize on a regular basis. With people. Outside of the house. (We survived it, too, go figure! :P)
7. Found the House Rhythm
With schedules resembling chaotic whirlwinds over the last few years, managing house stuff has also been fractious at best. Add into the fact that we keep doing renovations and reorganizing, keeping everything going has often been a full time job. That neither Mr. Eggshells or I really had time to do. No more! I completely attribute this to excellent thyroid medication and 2 hours less on the road, but we've been able to keep a routine going for the last few months where we can not only finish projects, but also keep the day to day stuff working. I know, right?! Crazy.
6. Fixed Those Pesky Health Issues
Oh, they're not gone completely, but I made great strides in the past year. Re-balancing my thyroid made a world of difference to my energy level (from non-existent to actually being able to function). As well I headed off a pre-diabetic condition and made my doctor very happy. Made me pretty happy too for that matter.
5. Supported People Around Me
I don't think about this too much, because it's really just who I am as a person. But I think it's important for me to acknowledge that my connecting with others around me has been an important part of my year. Some have been long-term friends, others have been far-flung family, and yet others near strangers on the internet. I tried to make a special effort to 'be present' for people when they had a need - be it a kind word at the right time, a joke to make them smile, or a listening ear when their world was imploding. I hope that my efforts helped, even just a little bit.
4. Asked for Help from Others
This isn't an easy thing for me to do, but like #5 above, it's important to acknowledge. I've tried to reach out whenever I've needed help with something, and to accept what people want to do for me at face value, without trying to pay them back or make it 'even'. This, whether it's a minor (or major) issue, or just taking me out to get a cup of coffee. Because I've come to realize that just as it's natural for me to do things for other people without expecting anything in return, other people can and do feel the same way. And just like I'd want people to let me do that, I should let them.
I started writing again! After many years of creative writing abstinence, the drought has ended. Obviously, the blog has been a part of it, but I also participated in NaNoWriMo, a month-long writing extravaganza. Not only did it give me a sense of what I could accomplish, it has also helped me understand how to incorporate writing as part of my regular life.
I've always got projects going but rarely have I had the time or inclination to work on them or finish them. This year I set small goals and achieved most of them. In addition to the feeling of accomplishment, having a creative outlet did wonders for my mental health.
1. Treated Myself As I Treat Others
Like a lot of people are to themselves, I am my harshest critic. I'm also a perfectionist, often having unrealistic expectations of myself. (Mr. Eggshells kindly reminds me that I don't realize I'm overdoing something until I've overdone it.) That said, this year I tried very hard to be non-judgmental of myself in terms of perceived failures. Instead, I took a step back and asked myself how I would respond to someone else who didn't succeed at "x, y, or z" in the way they wanted. The result was that instead of wearing myself down with negative self-talk, I took it all as a lesson learned and moved on.
Now, it's your turn. Leave a comment and name at least 1 thing that you are proud of doing/achieving this year. :)
As for 2012, I don't do resolutions because the concept just seems way too formal for the likes of me. But I do have a couple of goals that I will continue to work on, and they're basically in the same vein as the things I did this year.
I would like to wish you all out there a Happy New Year and hope that 2012 brings you love, joy, and peace. I also want to thank you all for your friendship, and for the time you take to drop by and read my little slice of life here.
All the best for 2012!!!