Does this photo say New Year's Reflection to you?
It does to me. ;-)
I found this list on a blog I don't read but stumbled upon - (in)courage. I thought it was a decent, although sometimes redundant list, so I would use it for some New Year reflection.
20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection
Wow, this was easy for 2010. For 2011 - what would it be? I'm not sure. I guess I would have to answer just getting to watch my son grow, turn one, and continue to learn and change. It's still the best thing, I guess!
Getting used, still, to being a working mother. It is a challenge that has changed over the last twelve months, but it is still a challenge. And, I'm pretty sure that part isn't going to change. I love my job on most days. I'm a pretty lucky girl in that regard. But, my job has changed a lot in the past year, most notably in September and since, when my boss retired. LM's needs have changed as he left babydom and entered toddlerdom. I no longer interrupt my day three times to pump breast milk, which makes the work day easier. I no longer have to pack said breast milk in and out of the freezer and into and out of bottles for him to go to school. This part is all very much easier. But, I need to feel as if I'm doing justice to this thing called mothering and that is a very real, living, breathing challenge that never changes and is constantly changing all at the same time.
I think for this one, I will have to say the new work I have been doing since my boss retired. I am just filling in until they figure out what they are going to do with lots of stuff at work, but for now, the new work has been interesting and fulfilling.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
The uncertainty of the economy is still an obstacle. It is worse for many than it is for me, but because of the economy, our jobs and companies are constantly in flux and under duress. This uncertainty leads to, well, more uncertainty. We have been talking about moving. Should we move? If we move, should we consider job locations? What does the future hold? Isn't that the million dollar question!
5. Pick three words to describe 2011.
Boy-centered. Hot. Transition.
Mommy. Busy. Uncertain.
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2011 (again, without asking).
LM. Stress. Opportunity.
8. What were the best books you read this year?
I have to say my book reading has been limited in the past year, or at least for the first half of it. But, I did read a few. I'm not sure I would put any of them on a "best" list except The Help, which come to think of it I may have read before this year. But I digress. Oh, and I did read, this year for sure, Bossypants, and I loved it. Anyone of my generation would love it too. I'm not sure how well it would translate to another generation though. Other books I read included God Is in the Manger for advent, and some baby books like What's Going On in There? and Bright from the Start as well as DiaperFree Before Three.
Then, of course, there were also, read several times, things like Clap Your Hands; The Yankee Doodle Songbook; The Little Blue Truck; Bunny Big and Small; Llama Llama Red Pajama; Goodnight Moon; and many, many more that somehow are escaping my brain right at the moment.
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
With my family - my husband, my son, my parents and in-laws.
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
I do think I'm doing better - getting more used to - this Mommy thing. While I'm writing this list, I see how encompassing it is - it is molding many of my answers. But, I used to stress over the balance daily more than I do now. Now it's more like weekly. Ahem.
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I am in some ways less emotional. I feel as if I can "suck it up" better now that I'm a Mom and have to tend to the boy. Of course, though, when it comes to the boy, I am a raving ball of emotion. Oy.
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
Probably not at all except that I think about it and how I'm not growing spiritually.
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
Out. OUT. I am FAT. F-A-T!!! I have seriously got to find a way to change that situation. But, did you see this article in the NY Times? Depressing.
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
S and I have grown together into parenthood. I don't think we have spent enough time on couple-hood though. We need to make sure to not forget to grow in that way too. I have not grown too much with my friends, I would say. This is mainly because the boy and the job suck up much of my time. I've been thinking I need to be more deliberate about contacting friends. I've even thought it would be fun to organize a girl's weekend getaway. Perhaps that's a thing for 2012.
15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Professionally, the most enjoyable thing is being around live, wonderful, quality music almost every day. One day I will miss that the most, I know. Also, being able to take on some new tasks has been enjoyable. And, my co-workers really are a special group of people. At home, getting to watch my boy grow and change and thrive is the most enjoyable thing ever. And getting to share that with my S is pretty special too.
16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?
Well, since I touched on this above, the answer is the same - the uncertainty and change and balancing motherhood. One thing is for certain - things will continue to change and I will never know the future. So, I tell myself, suck it up, sister.
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
I'm not sure I wasted much time this year - I really stayed on top of it to get it all done. I sort of wish I had some time to waste...I guess you could say I "waste" time writing on this blog. But, I enjoy it and it's my own personal therapy, so its not a waste. But, when I do have free time, I do write here, and since September, with regularity.
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
This sounds so cliche, but it isn't - any moment I spend with my family is the BEST way I can use my time. This is how I feel when I am with them and it is the thing I enjoy most.
19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?
That whatever it is I'm doing - however it is I decide to spend my time - is the best I can do. There is always another way or another road or another answer. But I cannot spend valuable life second guessing the decisions I've made. I must forge ahead and continue to trust myself.
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2011 for you.
Bird by Bird. And Enjoying It, Mostly.
Happy New Year! See you soon.