I found this awesome post over at SimpleMom, and even though it was written for 2008 I wanted to share it here. It is a list of reflection questions for the end of the year. As many of you know, 2011 was a crazy year for my family. I have a lot to reflect on, and I have a lot of wishing to do for 2012.
I'm finding out that there are parts of 2011 that I either don't remember entirely or I don't remember the realities of life at that time. Apparently when I got out of the hospital in April everyone else knew how truly sick I was, but I did not. Thanks for letting me in on the secret Daniel!
Reflection Questions for 2011
1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year? The single best thing that happened in 2011 was getting a teaching job. I was hoping for a full-time position, but I am thrilled with the job I did get. I applied only two weeks before school started because I wasn't ready to teach before then. Beggars can't be choosers, so I took the job when it was offered. In many ways it's amazing how the timing worked out on that one. The stars all lined up for me just right there.
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened? The most challenging thing that happened this year was, of course, the shingles disease that I got and the complications that followed. I think the MOST challenging part of all of that ordeal was needing to use a walker to assist me both at home and in public. I wanted to be part of daily life, but at the same time I wanted to hide where no one could see me. I'm glad my family encouraged me to go out with them on short trips.
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year? Something that really brought me joy this year was Amber's karate competitions. I honestly didn't expect to enjoy watching her as much as I have. I really look forward to the tournaments and don't mind spending the day watching all the kids compete. It's neat that Amber found something she enjoys this much.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle? An unexpected obstacle this year was moving the same week I started my teaching job. Things got bad enough in our townhouse complex that we decided we simply couldn't stay. Thank goodness my mom and dad were willing to take us in for six weeks. It would have been longer, but my father-in-law had a rental house open up unexpectedly. Life was a little crazy for the months of August and September, but we all got through it. I actually enjoyed the time we got to spend with my parents.
5. Pick three words to describe 2011. Stressful, relief, growth
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). Stressful, painful, exhausting
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking). Stressful, changing, aweful
8. What were the best books you read this year? Two stand out above all the rest: "House Rules" and "Handle with Care," both by Jodi Picoult. I didn't get as much reading done this year as I would have liked, but those two were definitely page-turners. Oh, "The Hunger Games" was awesome, too, along with the other two books in the series.
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships? Daniel, my mom, my dad, and my girls are always important. I also enjoyed friendships with Kara, Carrie, Mira, and Darshani, especially during the months I was sick. They all kept me going by coming to visit and constant encouragement.
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year? I don't really think I've changed much this year. My illness that has lasted nine months was a big change, but I don't think it changed me as a person. I put some of the weight back on I had lost the previous year, and I've recently found out I will not be running again, but I still think I'm the same as I was last December in my strength and attitude.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally? I actually feel like my emotional growth has gone backward this year. In December 2010 I was really sure of myself and excited about where I was going. This year I've lost a bit of confidence and am more easily frustrated. I'll be working on that in 2012, though, as I come to accept some of the changes that happened in 2011.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually? I didn't really grow spiritually, either. The biggest change here is that I am thankful every day for the health I DO have.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically? Sadly my physical health compared to this time last year has gone down hill. Compared to April, 2011, though, I am doing fantastic. I am working with my chiropractor and massage therapist and making improvements each week. They are small changes, but I can now actually turn my neck to look over my shoulder when driving. That's big for me, so I'll celebrate that.
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others? I have learned how to ask for what I need from people and to ask for help when I need it. I am more honest about what I can and can't do.
15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home? I had a great time setting up our furniture when we moved into our new home. I also enjoyed picking out some new plants for our yard.
16. What was your most challenging area of home management? With Daniel and I both working, home management isn't as easy as it once was. The most challenging area is getting laundry done on a daily basis.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year? Spending four months on the couch being too sick to know what as going on around me sure wasted some time! Outside of that I spent a lot of time on my blog and Facebook. Although they "wasted" time, I don't see either as negative.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year? I spent some time substitute teaching at the beginning of the year. I think that was really time well-spent so I knew what being in a classroom alone felt like before I got one of my own.
19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year? The biggest thing I learned this year is that no matter what our plans for the future, we need to be ready to go with the flow. 2011 definitely did not go as planned, but in the end it all worked out. The four of us are together and learning how to handle life. That's the important part.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you. Life's lessons don't always come at the most convenient times. Family and friends will gather around, though, and help you through. Don't think you've failed just because you need to start again.