December 10. Wisdom. Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
(Author: Susannah Conway)
You know, this was a difficult prompt for me to respond to. I guess you either know right out the door your response to this one or you really have to step back and consider your year from start until today. I had to do the latter of the two.
That said, the only thing that really stood out to me was giving up running. The only reason I say this is because if I had not come to the sad realization that giving up running was in my best interest health-wise, I could do myself more harm and pain.
Don’t get me wrong, giving up running has been one of the hardest things for me to do since I had to leave North Carolina due to my lay off in 2008. I fell deeply in love with the sport of running in the short time I took it on. Running and I were developing a love/hate sort of relationship between the end of 2009 and the first few months of 2010. I struggled to take on the challenge of the C25k training program and was immensely proud of myself for doing so.
So, learning this past April that I had herniated my back was heartbreaking. My doctor told me right out of the gate that my running days were over. It took me about two months to completely accept that she was right. Even when I was going through all the pain and discomfort that my injury brought on, I wasn’t willing to admit to myself that it was over. I remember it being a very emotional time for me. I will say however, that while I have accepted that I’m no longer a runner at this time, I still retain hope that someone might one day come up with a surgery that is a definite fix for my injury.
There you have it, the wisest, or at least one of the wisest decisions I made in 2010. A tough one, and one that I find myself thinking about almost daily. It goes to show that sometimes the wisest and smartest decisions in life are the roughest ones. I believe though, that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand that reason for a very long time (or maybe ever).
December 9. Party. Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)
I’m definitely not a big partier, nope not in the least. However, I do go to the occasional gathering of friends at their homes during the year. I suppose some of those are probably considered parties, but I think of them more as gatherings.
In 2010, I didn’t do many gatherings at all. I know that will change in 2011 once I move back to Asheville, since I used to go to a number of gatherings when I lived in North Carolina. It was usually just a group of three or four friends having dinner and playing volleyball or something outside having a good time.
The only thing that I would consider to be a gathering that highlights my 2010 would be my trip to Asheville in July. I drove up to visit my friends and to just enjoy my favorite mountain town. I had a few nights and times where I was just hanging out with my friends. To me, those are memories I enjoy.
One evening, I went to the local second run movie theater (Asheville Pizza & Brewery Co.) which is also a food/beer restaurant with two of my good friends and their parents. It was a great time. I enjoyed seeing Iron Man 2 again, having soy cheese pizza and just spending some time with some of my favorite people. Definitely a highlight of my vacation.
Two other nights in “The Paris of the South” were big high points for me. One evening, I huddled up on the couch with another friend enjoying chips and salsa and we watched Fight Club. The other night was my final one in Asheville, my friends and I ordered in rice cheese pizza for delivery and watched another movie, G-Force. It’s all about spending quality time with friends for me.
December 8. Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different â€“ youâ€™ll find theyâ€™re what make you beautiful.
(Author: Karen Walrond)
I am a very out of the box kind of thinker. My way of thinking and how I approach life has been questioned by others. I’ve been asked many a time why I ask “random” questions and talk about seemingly unrelated topics. I attribute that to being a creative thinker. As a writer and photographer, I’m one to always be considering many things at once. I suppose to some that is odd, but I love the way my mind works. I can see beauty and promise in things that others cannot.
Also, I have a good sense of humor. While my journey to lose weight and get healthy has altered that a bit, it is still very present in me. I think that we all go through times in our lives where we grow up more and my weight loss journey proved to be one of those times. However, I still enjoy making people laugh or smile on a regular basis. I don’t necessarily joke around like I used to, but I still find that humor makes the day brighter for everyone.
I’ve never been one that is big on outer beauty. Sure, I want to look nice when I head out the door (even my workout clothes down to my socks need to match and look cute), but I have never overdone it. I believe in inner beauty and personality over things like makeup and jewelry. I wear both of those things, but I choose to let my personality shine more brightly than those material things. In my mind, our true self is what makes us who we are.
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’m a big fan of online communities. I’ve been on Facebook and Twitter for quite a while now. I tweet numerous times each day via my twitter account. I’ve met many great folks through twitter and Facebook. It’s so great having easy access like that to meet people that share your interests and goals in life.
As far as off the internet, I am a member of a few local meet-up groups. They are based online through a site called Meet-up, but they contain all local people who work together to organize events and gatherings. There are two groups that I have been most active through meet-up, those are the local Animal Rights group and the Central Florida Vegetarians.
Finally, but definitely not considered last in any way would be NaNoWriMo. The challenge to write a 50k novel in a month has helped me find many other writer friends throughout Central Florida and Western North Carolina. During the month of Nano, there are numerous write-ins scheduled so that you can not only have a set time and place to work on your novel, but you can meet other novelists.
Looking back though, I’d say most of my communities are somehow based online. I suppose that is the way most folks tend to meet others and organize events now-a-days. It’s definitely an easy and quick way to communicate and get things done.
December 6. Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
(Author: Gretchen Rubin)
The last thing I made were great photographs. In fact, I just went out with my Nikon DSLR in hand yesterday with my best friend and her two-year-old. We had a great time at EPCOT Center. I not only used my creativity to shoot things inside of the park, but I also was able to capture some great mom and daughter memories of my friend and her little one.
I love shooting photos of people, but I tend to end up shooting more scenic and landscape types of things, so being able to take pictures of my friend and her daughter was a great experience. I’ve been a photographer now for over fifteen years, but there is never a time, never a photography outing that I don’t learn something new. I love that about both photography and writing, there is never a dull moment,
nor is there ever a time when you can’t experience new things and incorporate them into your craft.
December 5. Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Author: Alice Bradley)
I’m learning to let go of my fears and let God guide me. I learning how to relax more and take things easier. No, it’s not easy to do every day, but I’m slowly but surely learning how to leave it to Him.
Of course, I have to do my part of the work, but fearing things only compounds those tough and difficult times I’ve learned. God knows my dreams and hopes for my life and He is going to get me through my journey to get where I need to be, but in His time. Yes, it is hard sometimes to be patient, but I’m through my walk with God, I’m trying to learn to be more patient. We can’t have everything that we want in life, nor do things always happen in the way that we’d like them to.
Sometimes, one door closes so a better one down the hall opens for us. There is a reason for everything that happens. He has a plan, and I’m letting go of my fears and letting Him lead me through the doors he has unlocked and opened for me because I want to experience all the great things He has planned for me.
December 4. Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
(Author: Jeffrey Davis)
(photo copyright Derek Olson)
The first thing I did when I read this prompt was look up the definition of ‘wonder’ in the dictionary. Not because I didn’t know what it was, but I was immediately prompted to want to read the different meanings of this word.
For me, I was most at wonder with the world in 2010 when I went back to visit my favorite place in the world, Asheville, North Carolina. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the awesomeness of Asheville still thrill me to this day. I honestly believe that I will never not feel in awe of not only the mountains, but of the Paris of the South (one of Asheville’s well known descriptors).
There is just an amazing beauty and greatness within the Blue Ridge Mountains. I finally had a chance to explore them a bit during my trip and I was in love with every moment of the experience. I felt so alive and memorized by the views and sights that I was able to witness on my venture. My breath was taken away more times than I could count. I look forward to having many more wondrous experiences in Asheville and in the mountains when I move back to my favorite place in 2011.
â€œLife is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath awayâ€
December 3. Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)
The moment that comes to mind to me was during my C25k training back in March. For the first time, I ran twenty-five minutes straight without stopping for a walk break.
The feeling I got during that time was like nothing else I had ever experienced before. I felt invigorated, as if I were truly alive. Running that long really made me believe that I could do anything I wanted to. Nothing was going to stop me from conquering whatever I wanted to do.
Of course I felt more alive when I changed my life and lost the weight, but there is just something about running, getting out there with the wind in your face that makes you feel more alive than before. As I was running, I knew that if I could finish that run, that nothing else seemed that difficult. I recall telling myself over and over again during the run, â€œyou can do it, you are strong and capable of so much.â€ Those words, and words like it continue to aid me in pushing myself each day.
December 2. Writing. What do you do each day that doesnâ€™t contribute to your writing â€” and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
Procrastination and allowing the monkey mind to take over and run the show. Those would be the two main things that don’t contribute to my writing, nor do they aid in my writing, they do just the opposite. They distract from my writing big time.
What can I do to eliminate these things from my writing life? Well, I think the latter of the two will always hang around in one way or another, but I can work to silence the money mind more than I do now. More regular freewriting and journaling should help that become a reality.
As far as the procrastination portion goes, I don’t have a lot of time to procrastinate, but I do have times in my day where I could be writing. I don’t use my lunch hour well enough sometimes for example. I could be writing for at least half of my lunch hour, whereas I usually read a book or just chat with co-workers.
Otherwise, my weekends could definitely be better utilized for writing. My ADHD can get in the way of the free time I do have on weekends as I usually end up window shopping or just wandering around places, not really getting anything done during that time.
So, my plan for the new year (and starting this month), is to better utilize the free time that I do have and to journal and/or free write more often so that I can better write my fiction when I sit down to work on it.
December 1. One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why youâ€™re choosing that word. Now, imagine itâ€™s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)
Discovery. I would have to say that the year has been one of lots of discovery for me in so many ways. In 2009, I may have completed my weight loss/health journey, but I would later learn that my journey had only just gotten going.
2010 began for me as a year that I could do anything I put my mind to doing. Not only did my health journey really get more revved up with my decision to go completely vegan at the end of November 2009, but this year has had me discovering how strong and how determined of a person I truly am.
When I injured my back at the end of March, I wasn’t willing to give up my running or fitness life. Since then, I’ve discovered that while you may have to give up something for the ultimate good, I also discovered that power walking comes close to satisfying my thirst for outdoor fitness.
In 2010, I also continued to discover that my dreams can and will come true. I trust in God to make things happen in His time. I wanted to move back to Asheville in 2010. It seems that He did not have that plan for me. There is a reason for that and while I may have had times where I felt discouraged, my journey to get back to the mountains is still very much a work in progress. Sometimes, we need to be patient and know that there is a reason for everything. There is a reason why you may not have what you want when you want it. Good things comes to those who wait.
As far as the word for 2011 goes, I am choosing believe. The reason I am choosing that word is because I believe in my dreams for the new year and the future. I believe that God is going to aid me in achieving my dreams and getting me where I want and need to be in my life.
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