Friday, February 5, 2010

2009 A Look Back

I am forcing myself to look at those goals I set for 2009 and see where I succeeded and where I have some opportunity. I really don't like the word failure, it doesn't exist in my vocabulary...

So from this list of lofty goals, here are the things I would rate as successes for 2009:

From Who I want to be:

1. fearless (well maybe sometimes I was. 12 miles up a mountain on a bike with a toddler and and a thunderstorm pending and only an hour or so before sunset?!? Fearless I think!)

2.adventurous (I did take my 2 year old camping for 3 days in October in Maine in a camper that we had just finished a year long restoration on, without a test run!)


4. sassy ( I mean really though, haven't I always been this, even when I tried not to?!?)

(Cunningham Photography)
5. confident (in varying degrees!)
6.capable (I managed to keep my daughter fed and alive, my husband still laughing, my business running and my house in relative states of organization and cleanliness)
(Cunningham Photography)

7. determined (I can't seem to quiet this internal force ever)

8. successful (Well, I am not sure I really defined that well enough. In general I think I was...)

9. fulfilled (when I stopped to realize that I actually was)
(Cunningham Photography)

10.positive (most of the time! I really am a "what-if" type of thinker, I can't help myself)

11. passionate (can't seem to squelch this even when I try...)

12. fair (I even allowed brownies after lunch sometimes and staying up late times and skipping a nap or two times and one more time on the slide times. I will remind her of that when she is 14 and says, "You are so unfair!" before an eye roll and a door slam)

13. forward thinking (I am getting better at defining the future and planning for it personally)

14. happy (generally, when I am not ranting and raving to my poor husband)

15. curious (and better at asking others for information and help when I need it to satisfy a curiosity)

16.funny (according to my husband, who says,"where did you come from? You crack me up!" a few times a week at least)

17. loving (who can resist a 2 year old to hug and read to?)

18. strong (don't we have to be?)
19. and myself (sometimes too much so!)
(Melissa Mullen Photography)

From the "who" category, characteristics I still think I have some opportunity with:

1. Spontaneous. I can't help it, I really am a planner in my fabric, it is just how I am woven. It is hard for me to just do something without proper and ample research, planning, and thinking about...Note: thing learned about self in 2009!

2. Strategic. I still have some clarity to get to on a strategy for the business, my life. I did check off quite a few goals in 2009, but some of it felt like serendipity, or coincidental, not planned and directly arising from a clear plan.

3. Tough minded. Again, hard to weave a new thread into an existing piece of fabric. I can't help myself, I care about everyone and everything so much, it disables me from being critical and willing to say "no" as much as I should.

4. Realistic. I really still believe I can accomplish all of this (life, baby, husband, business, clients, house keeping, cooking, bill paying, gardening, snow shoveling, knitting, getting dressed and brushing my teeth, etc.) in a 24 hour day. I might event slightly believe that I actually have more than 24 hours to work with...Delusional? Likely. Don't tell anyone. I can't shake the feeling of possibility though...

5. And the unicorn of my existence: patience. Thought having a baby would force me to have patience, and maybe she has increased my levels, but overall I feel that this continues to be a life long opportunity for me. I just can't seem to harness the internal ability to feel patience, or to choose to feel it. Patience makes me uneasy, uncomfortable, restless, panicked sometimes even. Is it possible to learn to have patience? I don't think my lack of patience is a threat to others or myself, but I might have to seek outside counsel on this one if I can't find some soon!

From the what I want to do list, the successes:
1. Open my heart and mind to possibility-I did this in varying degrees. I took some risks this year under the premise of "this just might work"...I really believed that things could happen.

2. I did a better job at staying connected, and at defining what makes me and my business different, and even determined how to show this to others, some design photo shoots became a way for me to implement this plan, and couldn't have happened without the first part of this goal, being connected. It was with the encouragement and participation of several other talented and creative wedding professionals that I achieved this goal. Together we achieved it. If you all are reading this, thank you, you know who you are. Personally, being published, having something I created in the glossy pages of a magazine, posted to a wedding blog that is read across the globe, is a huge life achievement for me, regardless of how tiny in the big picture of things.

3. Reading magazines, blogs, making time to keep up even a little bit each week was a big step for me!
(Top photo of Maine Seasons work: Sharyn Peavey Photography)(Bottom photo Laura Klein)
4.Introducing myself to 50 new people? Well, I surprised myself here and met 78!

5. Finish a knit sweater? At the time of the goal writing, I really had my doubts. I think I closed out December at 15 or so finished knits. Yippee!

6. Trip to Bar Harbor? Check, did it twice!

7. Take Ava out into the world to see, hear, smell, taste, explore and learn about life. We did this, she has had a lot of experiences and adventures for being so new to the planet! Lately she tells us she likes to "lay down in bed at night and close my eyes and dream about turtles and rays" "Like a Manta ray?" I ask. "Well of course I am talkin' about a Manta ray mommy" OF course.
(Brea McDonald Photography)
8. The whole drinking tea thing at nap time might have been a bit unrealistic, but I did increase my tea consumption as a whole. It just didn't always occur at nap time. And nap time didn't always occur either...

9. Be true to myself and my values. I think this one is a guiding light for me. I don't think I have to try that hard in this area, I just can't live any other way.

10. The camper completed? Yes, we miraculously finished it on October 7th, 2009 just in time for it's maiden voyage the next day. Phew! Where is the long promised blog you ask? I know, I really am going to get it finished one of these nights for all to see, I promise!
The things I wanted to do that eluded me? Read on:
1. Write a work schedule for each week. I did try, but with being the full time care provider of a small human, working from home with that small person every day and just needing to work when I can, the nights, weekends, weekdays and mornings just all ran together more often than not. I am rolling this goal over to 2010!

2. The fabrics I had dreamed of designing took a back seat to the wedding designs I ended up creating.

3. Ava's book did not get published. For the record, I finished writing it, I am just waiting on a certain someone to finish the illustrations. Ahem..
4. Swimming in Echo Lake with Ava and Chris didn't happen, due to weather related obstacles when we were in Bar Harbor. We did swim in the ocean a lot though. That counts, right?!?

5. Taking a bath once a month?!? Yeah right. I revised this goal to include shaving legs and trimming bangs at least that often.
6. The whole weekly exercise commitment really didn't commit either. I just don't think I wanted this badly enough to make time for it...There are always so many other things I need to be and want to be doing...

7. Spending quality time with my husband was satisfied by arguing in the husk of a rotting camper for a year and we did some laughing and talking too, but I think this year, there needs to be maybe one or two dates or times we actually leave the house just the two of us together. And running errands doesn't count.

And finally, from the things I want to have list, the successes:

1. A sense of wonder. With a child in your life, this is not optional.

2. A healthy child. Thankfully yes, 100% healthy.
3. A happy child. Have you met this one? She is a happy little nut and we love her.

4. A happy husband. Well, he might not be wired as a jolly, happy, jubilant kind of guy, but if I can get him to laugh a few times a week, I think we can count this.

5. A strong marriage. Well, this will be year number 10 for marriage and year number 22 for really wanting to be around each other, and it doesn't look like either one of us is going anywhere so I think I will count this. (I asked just to check!)

6. A finished camper! Thank goodness, that thing might have done us in on all fronts if it hadn't been finished.

7. A positive impact on those around me? Well, I am not sure on this one. I will have to ask around!
8. Faith in my abilities. I did doubt myself, but kept pushing forward through the doubtful times, so I am counting it!

9. I finally do believe that all the wonders I seek are within myself.

10. Hope for the future. I did gain this hope this year.
11. Guts. I have them, I just don't always exercise the use of them. I did try them out a few times this year though.

Things that are still opportunities: (remember, we don't say "failure" in this house!)
1. The whole tidy house thing just may not be realistic for a creative project minded couple with a 2 year old and 3 cats...Clean? Almost always, but always not so tidy...maybe next year.
2. Organized workspace may be a non existent beast while working from home with a toddler on your lap as you e-mail...I did have several desk clean up sessions, but am sitting here today with piles around me. I feel lonely without the piles...

3. Peace of mind? I am not sure I will ever have this again after becoming a parent. I do experience moments of it though...

4. Clean garage? Don't laugh if you have seen it recently. This item just might come the closest to me actually admitting failure on. It is not organized, it is over stuffed and we have spent another year collecting and bringing home and not removing or cleaning out. Spring 2010, I swear.
5. The whole financial plan thing still eludes me-does surviving count as a short term financial plan?!?

6. I can't believe I am writing this, but it has now been since June of 2007 that I had my hair cut professionally. Maybe my husband should go to hair school to make it official.
7. I still don't have a clear vision for the future of my business though I do know a lot more about what the vision entails. I know much more about what I don't want that vision to involve too. Good year for learning and clarifying and being finally okay with what I want for this, and okay with the kind of work I want to do, not what anyone else might want for it.
8. Yeah, I didn't fare so well in the closet department either. I gained and lost and gained the same 10 lbs. in 2009 so the wardrobe stayed in a state of flux...
So there we have it. A long snapshot of my successes and opportunities over the course of 2009. On to fill 2010. Who's coming with me?