Sunday, November 13, 2011

Year in Review

For the Idon'tknowhowmanieth time, I find myself sitting at my computer, ready to write an apology for not having written in a while.  I started this blog one year ago today, and I am now forced to think about what that year has entailed.  I think about what I wanted for this blog: what I wanted to bring to it, what effect I wanted it to have, how I wanted it to make a difference ... and I see how infrequently I've written lately. I am disappointed at what I've put out (or more accurately, what I haven't), and I'm saddened by all the things that I've allowed to get in my way.

My original reason for starting this site was to inspire.  I wanted to show that even though life can be rough at times, we are strong enough to get through it.  I wanted to continually find the positive moments to help us smile through the pain, or make us laugh to keep us from crying. Unfortunately, life seems to have gotten in the way, and I haven't been able to do that anywhere near as much as I wanted to.

But I'm not done yet.

Many times throughout life, we are set up to reflect on the past, see where it has gotten us, and think about what we want to do differently in the future.  As we approach the holiday season, many begin thinking about new year's resolutions.  As we approach birthdays, we think about whether or not we are where we thought we'd be by this age, and how we may need to change course to get to where we want to be.  Even at work (perhaps most specifically there), we have an annual evaluation.  We look at our previous goals, identify whether we have achieved them, and set new goals for the coming year.

So I'm going to take this opportunity to create my own annual evaluation of sorts.  I may not have achieved all that I'd hoped for, but that doesn't mean the past year was wasted.  I did have a few inspiring, funny, and interesting posts, and I have said something that has helped someone somewhere.  So I'm going back to the beginning, to give myself the motivation I once had to get started, and still need to continue.  The past year has been an emotional roller coaster, with some of the lowest lows I've ever known.  But I'm still here, and the ride is still going.  That was the point when I started, and that's got to be the point I hold on to now. Despite all the struggles, the tragedies, and the pain that the past year (or decade, or lifetime) has brought us, we're still here.  We can look back and remember only the hurt, or we can focus on the good times in between.  And we can take that experience to guide us in the coming year.

A year ago I gave myself an out, never really setting a goal. I wanted to write every day, but knew that wasn't realistic.  Still, I felt the need to apologize whenever I went a week without a post, and I felt awful when a month went by (or longer, like now).  While I'd like to write at least weekly, I don't want to make a commitment that I may not be able to keep.   So I'll set a goal for 1-2 posts per month, and hope I can exceed that.

What has usually stopped me from writing more is not so much my crazy schedule (though that is a reality), but rather the fact that things have been rough.  I wanted this blog to be positive, motivating, and inspiring ... and if I wasn't ready to "turn that frown upside-down," then I felt I couldn't write anything at all.  But perhaps there is an alternative.  When that happens again, my goal is to find a way to write anyway ... even if it's about something completely unrelated.  Perhaps the distraction will help get me in a better frame of mind, and then I'll have fuel for another post!

With that in mind, one of the other things necessary for an accurate evaluation is feedback ... so I need yours!  I know which posts are my favorites, and which ones I feel didn't quite hit the mark.  I've got some ideas about things I'd like to write about in the coming months, but I'm interested to know what you think, too.  Which posts really struck a chord with you?  What topics do you want to see me write about?