On the Upswing

As most of my close friends know, New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday. It’s more magical than Christmas and more meaningful than my birthday, I always say. It’s not because of the parties. Those are usually disappointing and lame. It’s about the list of goals for the coming year that I spend all of December drafting and the feeling that I have on December 31 that I will be able to make all those dreams come true. 

This year, however, things have been different. Creating my list of aspirations has felt like a chore and each time I add a goal I’m hit with a twinge of doubt. “You really think you’ll be able to do that next year?” a small voice says. 

I’m not sure if I’m having this feeling because I’m about to turn 30 and therefore more jaded or if the stress of the past two years — new job, new city, wrecked car, lupus complications, etc. — is taking its toll. But whatever the cause, the result is a girl who’s not so excited about that big countdown to midnight. 

Recently, I stumbled upon something I’m hoping will get me in the spirit. It’s called Reverb 10 and it’s an annual online initiative designed to get folks to reflect on their year and “manifest what’s next” through daily prompts in the month of December. I found Reverb 10 late, but I’m still hoping it can help me get back on track. Here are some reflections from my favorite prompts thus far: 

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

I have found great community at church and work — both of which were a surprise to me. The church I attend has thousands of members so it’s easy to get lost in the masses. But through small groups and an amazing women’s conference I’ve met a great group of girls with which to share my spiritual journey. And, as mentioned in a previous post, my closest friends at work, the women I can’t wait to share lunch with each day, are in their 40s and 50s. Next year, I want to lead a church small group and grow even closer to my gal pals at work. 

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

This was a tough one. The answer would probably be sitting on the sofa watching bad TV with the hubster, but I’m not sure I want to give this up, not because I’m attached to the television shows, but because Edd’s running commentary is always so hilarious. Then there’s Facebook. Yeah, I can’t think of much of a defense for that. I plan to give up Facebook during my church’s 21-day fast next month. Maybe I’ll add TV to that as well. We’ll see. 

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Upswing. Yes, I know that’s an ugly word, but it’s the one that describes my year best. Things started off horribly. Edd and I lived in an awful apartment, I was quite unhappy with my new teaching career, and in May my car was totaled while parked in front of the crappy apartment. But mid-year things started to turn around. We moved to a great place, I got a new car that I adore, and I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of this teaching thing. 
The word I hope will describe 2011 for me is adventure. I will turn 30 at the beginning of the year and I want to kick off my 30s feeling as if I’m finally having the time of my life. 

Now I’m off to work on that list of mine. 



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