While so many of my friends where experiencing not so great things happening for them in 2011, I was having a relatively great 2011. Yes there were moments or days where everything felt overwhelmingly bad, but for the most part it was a great year. I had a list of things that I wanted to do before I turned 42. While I haven't completed all of those things, I have done a lot of them, at least two thirds of them. I don't feel like I have failed because I didn't complete the list. In fact, quite the opposite. It's a record of all that I have achieved.
There are so many things that energised me - clearing out toxic things, people, places hugely energised me, simply because I was no longer wasting time and energy on things, people and places that sucked life from me. I learnt to recognise and ACT on that recognition of when that is happening, and not feel guilty about it. My time and energy is precious. And I can't fix everyone - especially people that don't want to fix themselves.
I met a man that is my best friend, and it is the biggest thing to make me feel happy in 2011. I can look at him, smile and feel joy in my heart. The time we spend together is precious, and whether we are cooking up a storm, playing with the kids, watching a movie, looking at the stars, or just laying holding each other I feel peaceful, and hopeful, and calm. But most of all, happy.
I am finding that it is easier and quicker to return to that place where I feel peacefulness now. When anxiety claws at my body and mind, it is becoming easier to let it pass over me. Ironically, it is from not fighting it, but instead I almost surrender to it. Like when you are caught in a rip in the ocean. Instead of swimming against it, I lay back, float, breathe and end up out of it quicker, and less exhausted, then if I furiously fight it.
Going on holiday to Daydream Island was amazing. Not only being there, and doing all the wonderful things that we did, but GETTING THERE! I did it!! I saved, and scrimped, and juggled. But I did it! It was the first real holiday I have had in a long time. Achieving that was monumental in itself. I felt very proud of myself.
There are so many things I am grateful for.... Having the ability to live on a shoestring... the gift of my three children, that I constantly learn things from every day... my beautiful friends that are my family... a man who loves me and my children... and then there are the "little things" - the things that are so easily taken for granted - clean water, food, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, easily attained medical assistance, the view from my bedroom....
Learning how to practice mindfulness has probably been my most positive lesson in 2011. The only moment I have any control over is the one I am currently in. Learning to let go of looking anxiously forward, and regretfully backward is a big lesson to learn. I'm glad that I have finally got it!
Thank you 2011 for all that your brought me. Here's to 2012 and all that will come....