Skimming through to pick my favorite posts inevitably led to some reflection of the year. I completed a leadership program, the girls changed schools, and I performed on a stage for the first time in over a decade. X drama was at an all-time low, and I don't think any of us sat on a therapist's couch at all this year!
Posting became harder because of it. Turns out being content doesn't compel me to write as much as despair, frustration and anger do. But you know what? That's okay. I'll take it. I also partly blame the commute (only partly because it only started in August). Being away from home from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. doesn't leave a whole lot of time for blog reading or writing.
I'm trying to think of any life lessons I can take away from 2011. I guess it's that progress is slow, but definitive.
We started 2011 not knowing where the girls would attend middle school and high school, and then they both got into our dream schools for them, and those dreams have (for the most part) paid off.
Sylvia is struggling a bit academically, but I see slow, definitive progress that makes me believe it's going to be okay. She had to change some, I had to change some, and together those small changes are already making a big difference.
Riley's progress was swifter and more readily apparent, but it has been her steadiness that makes me confident it can continue not just this year, but for all her middle school years (so long as nothing drastic changes).
I've also been making small, definitive changes. Some make me a better mother, a better friend and employee, a better person. The biggest, most definitive change has been that I'm more patient with me. It's so easy to get caught up in always seeing the negatives, to get mad at myself for not doing this or that, but I've stopped wasting all that energy. I acknowledge, and then I go straight to thinking about how I can solve the problem for me. Turns out I don't need all the self-flagellation in the middle. And yes, that includes blogging about some failures, which can easily turn to dwelling.
There are some problems for which I haven't found a solution. If it's been a few minutes, and nothing is coming to me, I've gotten much better about letting it go. It's still swirling around, and sometimes, the answers reveal themselves unexpectedly. Others? Well, I'm still waiting.
The biggest change, however, is acknowledging that I'll never be perfect and that's okay. No one is! I will make mistakes with my children, at work, with friends. I will say and do incredibly stupid things sometimes. I either laugh about it, or hope for something shiny to come along soon and distract me. Eventually, enough time will pass and I will laugh about it. (Tragedy + Time = Comedy)
I don't expect any big changes in 2012, but I also know that you never know. But if 2012 ends up being as quiet as 2011 was? That would be as perfect as life can get!
Happy New Year!