I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, mostly because I think any time of year is a good time to make a resolution. However, I like what my career coach suggests, which is to use January as a time to reflect on accomplishments and what one learned in the past year and think about what one can do better in the new year. Prompted by her and by my sister’s recent post on “Looking Back, Moving Forward,” I have been thinking about this past year.
As always, I first notice all the things I didn’t get done and all the time I could have used more productively and all the goals I could have reached. It’s only after I go through this process that I can pull myself up and look at what I did do.
I spend a wonderful two weeks with my brother and sister-in-law in France, then helped a friend move from the south of France to Florence. I took the opportunity to see family by meeting my sister and her family in Virginia and visiting her and my nephew’s family in Connecticut. I was with my family again when my siblings and I managed the multiple transitions with my mother, including packing up her belongings and going through her papers.
I finally turned the corner on post-concussive syndrome, which opened the door to my returning to work and using my computer more (yay!). Having reached that point, I came to the realization that while I wanted and needed to generate income, I didn’t want to go back to doing what I was doing prior to my accident. That led to my working with my coach to set up a brainstorming session with a group of people ‘in my boat,’ as my coach says. I was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the people who participated – they came up with lots of ideas for me to consider and pursue.
After several months of thinking about it, I untethered myself by closing my apartment and putting my stuff in storage. (Have I mentioned how fundamentally I’ve changed my life since the accident?!) My intention is to sublet in different areas in which I might eventually want to settle.
After closing my apartment, I went to Florence for three months (and a big thank-you to my friend Catherine for offering me such a great way to launch the vagabond stage of my life) and explored new areas in Florence and in Italy.
I found a geocache every day in the month of August (the things we geocachers will do for souvenirs). I launched my revamped photography website. I started this blog to help keep my writing skills sharp and wound up using it to chronicle my experiences in Italy. I wrote an article for my coach’s newsletter.
Okay, so maybe I did accomplish some things in 2013!
What does 2014 hold? I plan on spending some months in Texas; it will be the first time in decades that I will be in the same vicinity as my two sisters. There will probably be challenges associated with that (!), but I’m looking forward to spending time with them. My sister Nancy and I are training for the Katy Trail Ride and preparing to make a documentary about the ride. We’re also planning to continue our joint photography and writing work sessions and we’ll be able to have them in person sometimes, instead of using Skype. I’ll continue reinventing my career (and my life).
One resolution I will make is to practice gratitude every single day – whether it’s taking a moment to enjoy an email from a friend, or a tea at Starbucks with my sister, or a sunny day. Life really is short and I want to make sure I appreciate as many minutes and hours and days as I can. I hope you will too.