Oprah Winfrey said that, and I think it fits well.
Twenty-eleven was a very good year for us, despite the long months I was without work. We got by OK and still managed to make the most of the year. I'd like to reflect a little bit, so bear with me. There were many great memories and experiences this past year, but here are a handful of the ones that really stick out to me.
--> FACED A FEAR: At the very start of 2011 I began pushing myself at work to step outside of my comfort zone. I faced my incredible fear of public speaking and spent three weeks standing in front of a classroom full of newbies teaching them all they would need to know to begin their new job. Typed out, it doesn't sound so scary. But I assure you that this was my biggest accomplishment of the year. I conquered my fear only fractionally, but I faced it head on and did a pretty decent job. I even earned a nice little bonus and an award for doing so :)
--> ROTR: The early part of the year was spent just focusing on work mostly, but was peppered with a few good concerts, good time spent with friends, date nights with the hubs, and a pretty average amount of excitement. But the summer brought new things that I can't forget to mention. I attended Rock on the Range in Columbus, OH for the first time. It is an annual summer rock festival with three stages and full of amazing music, and this year was the 5th anniversary. It was expensive and crazy and such a blast. This year, I'd like to go again but I'd also like to check out the line-up for Bonnaroo. Music is amazing and I love all sorts, and watching live music is one of my all-time favorite things to do.
--> VACATION #1: In June my husband and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary, and I celebrated growing another year older. We took a mini-vacation to Cedar Point that month and had a blast. We rode the second fastest and tallest roller coaster in the world. We ate our hearts out, laid on the beach, spent tons of money, and enjoyed ourselves immensely.
--> PROMOTION: I was laid off from work at the end of June, so I spent all of July basking in the sun and enjoying my summer days to myself. I returned to work in August on a temporary promotion, which was a big step for me as well. This entire year I spent pushing myself and going "above and beyond" at work, and I'm proud to say that it has paid off. I was offered a new position, a pay raise, and a longer working schedule (no more getting furloughed for months at a time). I begin my new position on January 17th, what a great way to begin another great year!
--> VACATION #2: In September we took yet another vacation. I guess having not taken one for several years made us itchy for lots of beach time this year. We went to Ft Myers Beach, FL and did a lot of really wonderful things. I believe I have mentioned in a past post, but I'll say it again because I am reflecting and because these were the highlights of my year! We rented a wave runner and went on a dolphin tour. We saw lots of dolphins, manatees, and gorgeous birds-- including a Bald Eagle! We also went on a sunset dinner cruise and ate one of the most delicious meals of my life, while watching an incredible sunset on the ocean. We tanned on the beach and by the pool where a musician played great music, ate a fancy dinner at the hotel restaurant, considered buying a timeshare, watched a group of seniors sing some beautiful karaoke, had drinks at a piano bar, and had an overall wonderful time.
--> SKYDIVING: Shortly after our vacation, we did the MOST exciting thing of the entire year. We went skydiving!!! I can't put into words how incredible this experience was. If you'd like, you can watch the video and try to get an idea for yourself. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. Just do it once!
The last few months of this year have been pretty uneventful, but still worth mentioning. I delved into a new hobby (sewing), read several good books, and sparked up a new love for cooking. One thing I'd like to try in this coming year, though it may be asking a lot, is to try one new recipe a week. That would be 52 new recipes by the end of the year. I am NOT making this a resolution, just a goal. We will see how it goes.
I'm not making any resolutions at all this year. Actually, I haven't made a resolution for the past several years. I will inevitably break it, which is part of the vicious cycle of New Year's Resolutions, that I no longer wish to be a part of. But, resolution or not, I am still going to try to better myself this coming year, and every other year for that matter, by trying new things, reading new books, exploring new hobbies, making new friends, tasting new foods, discovering new music, and taking my husband along for the ride.
Happy New Year!