Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A wordy recap of 2011

My traditional end-of-year questionnaire.   Late, I know, but hey.... it's been a busy year!

Year End Survey – 2011

1.      What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

I ran!  I was devoted to pushing my physical limits and bettering myself this year, and by my estimation I have succeeded.  I ran long; I ran races; I ran solo before dawn and after dusk; I ran with other crazy people early on Sundays.  I lost 20 more pounds. I. R.A.N. (type “ran” too many times, and you start to questions if it’s actually a word).

I also met several members of my husband’s family for the first time.  We bought our first brand new car.  I struck a balance between family, work and school that for the first time didn’t leave me overwhelmed and miserable.

And I got pregnant   ;-)

2.      Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more?

I’m 5/7 with my goals this year, which is astonishing considering how hectic life became especially in the last quarter.  To recap:

 a) Read 10 books (fiction, primarily)
Done!  And then some!   Books read this year:
1.      What is the What – Dave Eggers
2.      Eleven Minutes – Paulo Coelho
3.      Last Night in Twisted River – John Irving
4.      ***The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger***  (Best of 2011)
5.      The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
6.      Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7.      Little Bee – Chris Cleave
8.      Running for Women – Kara Goucher
9.      The Birth Partner – Penny Simkin
10.  Unbearable Lightness – Portia de Rossi
11.  The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
12.  Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
13.  Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins 

b) Run a race of some sort (no specific goals on time or distance, as long as I get it done!)
Done!  And I ran, not one, but three races!
1.      Run through Redlands 5K (04/10/2011)
2.      Mission Inn 10K (11/13/2011)
3.      Loma Linda Holiday Classic 5K (12/03/2011)

c) Be fully admitted into the graduate program
Almost done!  I’ve completed ALL the necessary coursework, all I need is to fill out and submit a form.

d) Take a painting class
Not done.  My creative goals took a backseat once this became the Year of Running.  I’m totally okay with that.

e) Learn to crochet hats and bags
Well… I made a hat!  See above regarding my creative goals.

f) Be more social and meet new people, probably by joining a club or group of some sort.
Done!  I joined a running club in Loma Linda, and it’s been a wonderful experience.  I have pushed myself further than I thought I could go, and done so in the company of other fun, supportive, interesting people.  I can honestly say that I look forward to getting up at 5:30 and running on Sunday mornings, because I get to go out with the group.

g) Stay on a strict budget and build up a good savings.
Done!  We did really well on our budgeting this year, and managed to do some fun things with our savings… like bring my husband’s parents out to stay with us over the holidays, and refurnish our apartment.

3.      What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

A baby  :-)  I would also like to take more small trips, to see some things I haven’t seen before and have new experiences (my original goals were to take some big trips this year, either to the East Coast or up to Oregon, or something… but pregnancy will end up postponing some of these).

4.      What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 

I had a fantastic time in San Diego this summer, for my annual work excursion.  Also June 7, for personal reasons; October 21st – the day we moved;  December 10th – my husband graduated; December 17th – our party, at which we renewed our vows;  Mostly, though, November 18th – the positive test!

     5.   What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Reaching a new level of physical fitness through running - joining the Lopers, and running a personal best of a 12-mile long run, and 20 miles run in a week. 

Second biggest achievement was simply surviving Fall 2011.  2 classes, moving, setting up our new place, setting up my sis-in-law’s place, two trips to LAX to pick up relatives, running, working, a husband who was rarely home, and somewhere in there finding out that I was pregnant.  Crazy. Not losing my cool was a huge accomplishment.

6.  What was your biggest failure? 

I don’t feel like I failed, really, in any area this year.  Maybe, I intended to be more mobile - travel more, see more things.  That didn’t happen because our lives and schedules became too hectic, and all our funds were dedicated to saving for other specific things.

7.      What do you wish you'd done more of?

Wine drinking.  Vacationing.

8.      What do you wish you'd done less of?

I won’t go into so much detail, but there was a certain issue that I cleared up in August this year, and I wish I had done so earlier.

9.      What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26, had a bad cold, my car was in the shop, and my husband was at work and school until 10pm. So I called off work and spent most of the day miserable on the couch waiting for the sweet guys from Hyundai to shuttle me back and forth to pick up my car.  April was a generally unfortunate month, car-wise.

10.      What kept you sane?

Running, Body Pump, Yoga.  A supportive and loving husband.  Having a second car, finally (independence is sanity, to me).

11.  Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

That I am physically capable of things that I couldn’t have dreamed of 6 years ago; That it’s okay to let go and trust, even if you’re made a fool by circumstance; That I have trouble sometimes seeing the goodness and potential in me and around me – life is grand, I am surrounded by some of the best people in this world, and have lived my life with a sense of wonder, curiosity, purpose, and  love.  I have NO reason to dwell on the negative.

12.  What are your resolutions for 2012?

a)  Read 15 books (Stepping it up a little.  Reading baby books to the little one will not count.)
b)  Keep up an exercise routine throughout pregnancy, with a focus on walking, weight training, and yoga.
c)  Get back to training and run a 5K after the baby is born.
d)  Stay in school!  Not easy, considering new time and financial constraints, but I HAVE to find a way to balance it out so that I can finish my MBA.
e)  Educate myself and know my options when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, so that my experience is as positive and fulfilling as possible.
f)  Tell my husband that I love him every day.  Because I do.  I’m always striving to be a better wife and partner, and will focus on that this year especially with all the big changes we are facing.
g)  Take one step towards advancing my career.  Whether that be taking a class, joining an organization, or mapping out a solid plan and taking the first step.
h)  Visit three places I’ve never been before.  This is probably not going to be the year of cross-country travels, like I had hoped, but there are plenty of things in the SoCal area that I have not yet explored and would love to see.
i)  Be patient with myself.  I am a perfectionist who expects instantaneous results to match the effort I put in, and tend to be hard on myself when things don’t go as planned.  Somehow, I don’t think this attitude will be compatible with a newborn.  So, this year I resolve to let go of my controlling, Type A urges, go easy on myself, give myself time to learn and adapt, and enjoy every minute of what is sure to be an epic year.

To sum it up:  2011 was one of the best years of my life!  So much happened, so much to look forward to.

Surely the best is yet to come!  Bring it on, 2012  :)

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