I am not going to lie to you. 2011 was a very good year for me.
My new job turned out to be every bit as FABULOUS as I'd hoped. Yes, it was hard and sometimes it was challenging and maybe even a little bit terrifying but I did it and I'm SO FREAKING PROUD and happy!
My children have grown so much over the past year! My oldest is 9, HOLY HELL, NINE! He is reading books that I read in college and teaching me about history which is SO COOL!
My 7 year old played football this year and loved it. He's channelling that unbridled energy into constructive things (instead of into destroying my house) and I can't wait to see where it takes him!
My 6 year old is learning to read and is running circles around boys 2 years older than she is. I can't wait for her to start track in the spring and find books that she loves.
My 5 year old is smart, crazy smart and she's challenging us all with her observations. I can't wait for her to start kindergarten and be able to learn at her own pace - instead of feeling like "my school is so SMALL!"
We had a wonderful trip to Acadia National Park this summer that I nearly ruined with worry over something I couldn't control. (Ok, it was CRABS.)
I travelled quite a bit for work this year. I liked it.
After taking a year off, I started running again in the spring. And then I fell off the wagon again this winter once the weather got cold and sunset started coming early. Balance is a struggle.
And you guys... You have been with me through it all and I have loved every minute, every comment, every email, every tweet, every drunken bacchanalia. Thank you for your support. It means the world to me.
There were a few things that I didn't get to this year that I missed. I was so wrapped up in being successful in my new job and so distracted by all the travel that I didn't plan as many family activities this year and didn't cook as much.
I was going to make a list of resolutions for 2012 but then my friend posted a link to this article called 12 Things Happy People Do Differently and I wanted to 1) Share it with you and 2) adjust my resolutions with an aim toward Happiness in 2012.
Please read the full article here.
1. Express Gratitude
I resolve to thank someone every day - and I don't mean thanking someone for holding a door open for me - I mean writing or calling or stopping to look someone in the eye to tell them, "Thank you for taking the time to make my day better. I appreciate it."
2. Cultivate Optimism
I resolve to expect the best out of situations. If it's a situation I can control, I will use my powers for good. If it's a situation I can't control, I will call on all previously accrued good karma. And I resolve to smile. Nothing bad can happen if you're smiling, right?
3. Avoid over-thinking and social-comparison
In my affluent town it is hard to focus on what I have, rather than on what I don't have so I will AT LEAST resolve to remember that if you change places with someone - you get their troubles as well as their granite countertops.
4. Practice Acts of Kindness
I resolve to do 1 nice thing every day. Sometimes I will see a woman who looks great and not say anything - and then I will chase her down the street to say, "I wanted to catch you to tell you that I LOVE your dress and I wasn't going to say anything but then I remembered, 'DAMN, I would want someone to tell me!'" I will do this more often until the restraining orders pile up.
On the days I don't leave my house I will put every scrap of waste in the recycling bin if it can be recycled instead of into the trash.
5. Nurture Social Relationships
Ok, this one is easy, TWITTER.
AND I resolve to keep in touch with old friends and not beat myself up over the fact that it is HARD to make new friends right now.
6. Develop Strategies for Coping
I'm guessing they don't mean Brigham's Coffee Icecream. Okay, my plan is to overcome the initial panic of a bad situation with a 4 mile run - preferably in a Wonder Woman outfit. Nothing seems as bad when you're exhausted and jacked up on endorphins. Plus you can't eat icecream while you're running. But you can enjoy it guilt free afterwards.
7. Learn to Forgive
When I'm driving I think that runners who wear all black at dusk are morons because, "Dont they know I can hardly see them?" But when I'm running after work I think, "Doesn't this black outfit make me look like a bad ass?"
My point? Most people aren't thinking about the world from other people's perspective. I resolve to remember that most hurt feelings are accidental and that reacting defensively exacerbates the situation. And I resolve to wear more neon clothing.
8. Increase Flow Experiences -
You'll have to read the article to understand what they mean by this but I resolve to put my iphone away more and let distraction into my life less. I resolve to realize that I don't need to be at my computer 24 hours a day to meet every email and tweet as it arrives especially if it means that I can squeeze in more workouts and more time with my children.
9. Savor Life's Joys
I resolve to do more fun things with my family. Even if I feel like I don't have time.
And I resolve to make time to CELEBRATE how lucky we are.
10. Commit to your Goals
I resolve to run 500 miles this year and to be a rock start at work.
11. Practice Spirituality
I'm not much for religion but I believe in karma. I believe that the good you do comes back to you and that happy people spread happiness. I resolve to let it radiate when I am happy and keep bad days to myself.
12. Take Care of your body
See that 500 miles thing...
I will work on the Diet Coke addiction in 2013.
Because I am going to need the caffeine to keep all of these resolutions.
Have a safe and wonderful New Year. I can't wait to spend 2012 with you!