So-long 2011, Hello 2012

It seems so cliche, and I hate to be a cliche, but there’s no getting around the facts that the end of something demands reflection and the beginning of something offers hope. For this post’s purposes, I’m talking about “so-long 2011” and “hello 2012.”

I don’t doubt that you have a list of happy things and sad things that you have experienced this past year. There have been years in the past that I couldn’t wait to kick down the road and other years that had so many beautiful experiences, that I thought would never compare to any year to come. But usually, it has been a combination. Being the prevailing optimist that I am, I can usually see the reason or the resulting growth for the painful times and can eagerly embrace the blessings for what they are.

Now, let me wave my “Being a Mom is Complicated, etc!” banner and encourage anyone out there who has moments of confusion, identity crisis, questions of worth, longing for an old life or a more exciting life. I really don’t think there’s enough talk about these years with little ones and how intense it can be with no end in sight.  How vulnerable or insecure you can feel, comparing yourself to other moms and so on. I can hardly put it into words what it feels like to love the job of being a mom and loving those precious babies so much and yet having moments of feeling like wondering who you are separate from those babies and that role and trying to remember what you like to do without feelings of guilt or selfishness.

I’m sure you have your own version and I’m sure, like my version, it’s more complex than 3-4 sentences and it is tied to experiences about your own mom, your hopes for being the best mom you can be and p.s., all of the other roles you have in you life as a human. And guess what? There’s not really a pause button on life where you can take your time and analyze it, strategize it and then press play and put it into action. But, I will say that it’s a worthy quest with no wrong answers and no dumb questions.

I’m not big on resolutions, but I do like these questions for reflection from SimpleMom. So, this New Year’s Eve, find a quiet spot and your favorite hot drink and treat yourself to some personal reflection because you’re doing a great job and you deserve it! Happy 2012!

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

5. Pick three words to describe 2011.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).

8. What were the best books you read this year?

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.

This post brought to you by Jenny Leggett, who has been known to talk to herself out-loud to puzzle through these very issues.

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