The sun is starting to set. I am resting on the couch after a jam packed week of hosting my sister. As I stare up at the ceiling, I am going through the past year in my mind. I had some successful firsts: first time to Disney World, first time driving from Austin to Phoenix, I took the GRE (and passed) and my sister visited me in Austin for the first time since I moved here. I had some setbacks too: I didn’t get nationally certified, had a minor, but scary car accident and work has continued to demand a lot of me.
After a first brief round of thinking, I decided that this year hasn’t been really bad nor, really exciting. Sometimes, I have been VERY happy to see the year end. I’ve said to myself, “Thank goodness that year is over! Next year, has got to be better!” Sometimes I say, “Wow! What a year! I hope next year is as good!” But, this year was neither. It was not a spike nor a low. This year was more of a flat-line; steady and straight. Now that I have decided this, I start to ask myself all kinds of questions. I am bothered by my lack of emotion for the past year or the upcoming year. The questions start off and I can’t get them to stop: Why am I feeling so indifferent to the end of 2010? Did I just waste a year? Maybe I had a good year? Why don’t I know? What am I judging it against? Am I maturing and just getting better at handling life’s ups and downs? The questions continue and I try to explore my mind for possible answers.
I don’t have all the answers to my questions, but I do have some. I decided that I earned a good, solid, steady year. Like most people, I have had my share of ups and downs. Moreover, it was kind of nice to have a year where my drama (or my family’s) was not the main topic of conversation. This, I should be very thankful for. Like the saying goes, “It could be worse.“
That takes care of the stuff that life throws at you, but what about the positive things that have happened but just were not “crazy good”? I decided to take a different approach to this. Rather than thinking of this year as a 2.0 on the Richter scale, I decided that this was a year about “planting seeds” and getting ready for what 2011 has in store for me. “Planting the seed” is a term I hear quite a bit in teaching. We are always hoping that once a piece of knowledge is introduced to a child, it will be planted in their minds and hopefully grow as they learn more. I like this idea and I am going to use it for myself. Thinking about the events of the past year as “seeds” that will grow to be much more fruitful for 2011, sits well with me and helps me remain positive.
The question I still don’t have an answer to is, “Am I indifferent because I didn’t stretch myself more”? Yes, that one I still need to work through. I really wished I had taken more risks. Once again I have to go back to my “seed theory” and tell myself that this year, I planted seeds for greater things to happen in 2011.
Coincidentally, just as soon as I clarified my thinking, the universe talked back to me. It tells me my thinking is right on track. I found this out after a random check of my email. Right there was my “Thought For The Day” email and here is what it said:
“Maybe this year...walk through the rooms of our lives not looking for
flaws, but potential." -Ellen Goodman
How apropos is that?!
look for the potential, not the flaws