winter garden

This week has been a little crazy for me.  Parties, friends and my whole family at home (encroaching on my workspace) — its all great, and I am grateful, but to some extent, I am looking forward to the quiet of next week.  All I want to do at this time of year is to have some peaceful uninterrupted introspective time where I can plan for the coming year.

Last night I was able (with the help of a blogging friend) to get my focus on thoughtfulness started.  I have the classic overachiever tendancy to want to do way more than is realistic and expect myself to be able to accomplish it all in unattainable time frames.  So, sometimes my introspective times can feel stressful because I can’t figure out how to do it all.   The suggestion to look back rather than forward, at least as a start, turned out to be a good thing.  Instead of trying to get my head around a realistic plan to do all the things I want to do in life, Holly proposed to look back over 2011  and list what was accomplished. Turns out the list is longer than I expected and it is a good one that I wanted to share with you.  I found that in celebrating it, I am able to focus a little less on what I didn’t accomplish in 2011 and now feel compelled to achieve  in 2012.  Instead, I feel good about what I did do and can move into the next year with both a more realistic set of expectations as well as a little less anxiety.

I’m putting my list in the comments —  I thought you might want to share your list too.  I would love to celebrate what you guys did as well.

image from flickr commons. More info about image: Taken Dec 10, 1870
Beautiful and festive scene from the grounds of Clonbrock House, Ahascragh, Co. Galway. We don’t know whether the man with the rifle was a member of the Dillon family or a gamekeeper on the Clonbrock Estate.

rochelle December 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

So here is my list –
- Finally and officially shut down my design business (whew – on to bigger and better things)
- Finished building my last three gardens for clients
- Achieved my highest ever blog readership for the month of April (only to see it dissipate as I later focussed on other things – sorry – resolving to be better at studio’g’ with 2012)
- Became a fairy godmother for the second time.
- Met Michelle Obama
- Wrote a huge (but unsuccessful) federal grant application for my farmers market.
- Taught both of my kids to snowboard well. (awesome family vacations lie ahead!)
- Helped build a native american longhouse
- Began but didn’t finish countless house projects (building a deck, barn painting, furniture makeovers, laundry room reno, etc. etc. etc.)
- Worked to finally get my farmers market to be an official 501c(3) charity
- Had one of the best vacations ever (road tripping and glamping though 11 National Parks with my little family)
- Helped my chickens to hatch and keep alive 3 baby chicks!
- Put on another Kids Farmer for a Day weekend extravaganza
- Buried my first ‘just mine’ pet (RIP Chuck – you were the best)
-Began blogging as a columnist for Apartment Therapy

and last but certainly not least (this one was huge!),
- Launched Leaf Magazine.

Tiff December 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm

What an amazing idea to look forward instead of backward in relation to accomplishments! My husband and I like to spend part of our New Year’s Eve making a giant joint journal entry of all the miracles that happened for us in the past year. It’s a great way to remember how very blessed we have been and put things in perspective. Then, on New Year’s Day, we make goal posters with our little boys. It’s great fun, but I am always stymied when I look at last year’s poster and realize that I only accomplished half of what I thought I would.

I’m going to use your trick this year, though. My time was not devoid of action. I may not have done all I thought about last New Year’s Day, but I did other great things. Thank you!!

My short list:
Flew to New York to visit my sister before her move to Russia. (First time traveling alone!)
Fulfilled a life long dream of going paragliding.
Chaired the book fair at my boys’ school.
Started learning to play the guitar.
Started teaching my two oldest children how to play piano.
Hosted swimming lessons at my home.
Made some of the closest friends I’ve had since my college days. (yay for relationships!)
Went zip lining upside down at girls camp.
Raised four beautiful boys who love each other, appreciate beauty, and constantly hunger for new knowledge. Learned as much as I taught, I have no doubt.

Julie Klapper Sennott December 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm

i’m still trying to think of something I accomplished this year.

Rochelle Walter Greayer December 31, 2011 at 9:04 am

Julie – Let me help you get started. 1) Took family to Austria for an amazing trip full of terrific and inspiring people who instilled wonderful experiences in everyone. 2) began substitute teaching 3) furnished living room 4) helped husband in a million ways so that he can go out and do the amazing things that he does….. you take it from here…..

Ann of Monona December 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

I feel good about what I accomplished in 2011 and am looking forward to even more creative endeavors in the coming year. It’s fun to review the whole year –
Decided to retire early in 2012
Planned with my sisters to have a Thanksgiving family reunion that was wonderful
Chaired a successful state master gardeners conference – a two year commitment
Opened garden for conference’s garden tour – also renovated two ponds a month prior to tour
Turned a lawn area into a moss garden – it’s coming along well!
Started running again

Kamela January 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

What a beautiful post! I have loved this blog for many years and I can’t believe how much everyone has accomplished in the last year! I was like Julie when I couldn’t think of anything then I it was like wham! My quickie list:

1. Hosted first workshop on Beautiful Living in Toronto
2. This one is major! I had my first beautiful baby girl!!!! That was a real feat and one extra kudo to me, if I can say so, I had a home water birth! Every day is a blessing with her!! My husband and I couldn’t be happier!
3. Wrote up a nonfiction book proposal in April and landed an agent for it one week after delivery!! Yes!!
4. Got 430 pages done on my novel…which means I’m almost done with it! It just needs a revision in the new year!

As a writer and blogger, I can feel like I never really get anything done. But, wow, I feel proud of my accomplishments! What a great prompt! Thanks again for helping to inspire me!!

rochelle January 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

kamela!! Impressive — way to go and with a baby to boot!

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