2011. It was a long, strong, brilliant, challenging, landmark year, one where I tried to balance out life while keeping a keen eye on happiness and gratitude.
Twenty eleven marked my launching boldly into decade #4, and the birth of a long longed for, beautiful, healthy baby girl (even if her entrance proved a bit tricky); the perfect final addition to our family foursome.
I’ve enjoyed the transition from mom of one to mom of two, which is definitely exhausting sometimes, but joy far outweighs any poop. One of the many things I’ve always wanted to be is a mother, the best one I can be, and if having great, happy kids is any reflection, then I’m doing just fine (though I certainly can’t take all the credit, having an equally committed and enthusiastic partner in this is something I’m constantly grateful for).
We’ve done countless fun things as a family (camping, hikes, museums, art shows, community events, playgrounds, movie/game nights, projects, etc.) as well as taking the time for just talking and listening and being together.
As a couple, M and I obviously had less alone-time, but there were still plenty of entertaining and affectionate evenings together talking, having popcorn/DVD nights or following chosen series, even if actual “date nights” have been hard to come by. We did have a very nice dinner out at the tail end of the year, and will be trying to carve out more “Us Time” in the future.
Busyness and location aside, I’ve also tried to make more time for family and friends (old and new), both in person and with calls, messages, cards, and Skype dates. There have been some (though not enough) girls nights, truffle parties and solo visits, which is another thing I want to continue to work on – strengthening important connections.
I’ve aimed to have enough Me Time for luxurious baths, reading, creative ambitions (I managed to cross some longtime ones off my list), long walks, reflection & relaxation – time to balance pleasure and getting things done. I’ve tried to keep healthy – I got back down to my goal pre-pregnancy weight, kept up with health issues, got daily exercise, tried to eat well (treats and all), sleep (some), and keep stress at a minimum. Aesthetically, I still get to the salon when I can, paint my toes and powder my nose, and am trying to update my wardrobe bit by bit. I’ve faced fears, followed unfamiliar paths, met new people, and learned new things.
It’s been good to strengthen my grip on our financial reins, both with building our savings and investments, working towards our big goals in this area (car – yes, house – not yet), and continuing to do more work from home so I can add even more to the nest egg.
Shit happens (both literally and figuratively), and I’ve weathered fresh grief, both my own and that of people I love; I’ve had stress flaps and pain slaps; tough days and sleepless nights, but the good has outshined the bad, and I’ve learned from as much of it as I could.
Here on 43 Things, I hit 5 years & 100,000 cheers. There were boot-camps, scavenger hunts, daily lists (particularly helpful), things added and checked off. I’ve tried to keep up on my daily happiness list (still catching up!) and focus on the all the good and hopeful things in my life.
I’ve attempted to whittle down both longtime clutter and daily mess, even if it seems futile. Both grand leaps and baby steps are helpful, as long as they’re in the right direction.
I’ve made time to focus on things I believe in, be it education, small stands towards saving the planet, anti bullying, or trying to help others to achieve their goals too.
I don’t know if we ever live exactly the way we want to, there’s always something more to strive for, but I’m feeling happy and content where I am now while aiming still higher.
L’année est morte ! Vive la année!