Over in the sidebar, you'll see a new button for an activity I'm going to try to do every day. It's Reverb10, a commitment to reflect and write on the past year, and manifest the next one. Theoretically, this is what I try to do every year when I enter the last month, but I've not been overly successful on my own. As a result, I figured a focused attempt, with prompts from Reverb10 might make a difference.
I'm 8 days behind, of course, so I'm going to try to catch up here in one post, with just a paragraph or two on each of the prompts (including today's!).
December 1: One Word: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word, Explain why you're choosing that word. Now imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
Last night, knitting away on Christmas gifts, I sorted through my thoughts about this past year and what one word I might choose. Not an easy thing to do, but I finally came upon this one: Awareness. I entered the year trying to become more aware of specific things:
1. my attempt to lose weight once and for all, becoming aware of the foods I eat and how they contribute to my health and well-being;
2. the environment, becoming (more) aware of the forces that damage this earth and the personal steps each one of us can take to nurture her and try to return her to health.
In both of these areas, I came to a better understanding of the concept of locality and community - buying local, healthful, and organic food not only makes me healthier, it makes my community healthier from the standpoint of the economy, it brings me into communication with local growers and citizens who are attempting to make a difference for our region, ecologically, economically, and politically as well. I was awakened more fully to small and local businesses, folks just trying to hang tough thru the Great Recession. New authors, new blogs, new friends, new projects all helped me to focus.
Next year? I think I'd like the word to be: Discipline. Moving forward in a practical and effective manner to implement changes in my own life and in the community with regard to those issues that I have become aware of this year. A continuation of what seems to me to be a strong positive movement as I enter into the powerful years of my life as an older woman, a crone from the perspective of ecofeminism.
December 2: Writing: What do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing - and can you eliminate it?
I rarely watch much television, but when I do, I find myself immersed in the political shout-outs and duels on cable television. I actually dislike the shouting, the incessant one-up-manship of these programs, and while I don't lose enormous amounts of time there, it is time lost that could be better spent writing or crafting. I can eliminate it, and probably will, by stopping my cable TV service and reducing my news gathering to NPR.
December 3: Moment: Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail.
In June, I participated in my first ever 5-K Walk as a part of Weight Watchers. Our location was a lovely park/greenway that runs through my town not far from my house. We were very lucky that the temperatures and humidity weren't extraordinarily high at that point. There was a breeze, the sun was brilliant - the greenway was in full leaf. And the camaraderie of the members of my Tuesday night WW Group made the day very special. Even as part of the last group of walkers to complete the event, other members remained at the finish, ensuring that everyone returned and was cheered for the accomplishment. We do have a very special group, but that simple act of community, of support, made the day extraodinarily special for us.
December 4: Wonder: How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year.
I made a commitment to try to seek out local sources of virtually anything I might need this year. I was consistently amazed to find businesses, farms, crafters all within a reasonable radius of my home. I did not answer every need, unfortunately, as my own business relies on supplies that are not available locally, but to find mostly local sources for food, housing, transportation, and recreation, and trying to work individually with people as opposed to corporations was rewarding.
December 5: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
By the end of May, I'd let go of 30% of myself! Losing 50 pounds that had dragged me down for all of my adult life and contributed to terrible health consequences, was an enormous, and engrossing process. By finding Weight Watchers and committing myself to a lifestyle change of such magnitude, I came back to my high school weight. I'm healthier, I'm happier (and unfortunately, poorer financially, as I had to replace my entire wardrobe - I didn't factor that part in, go figure?). And I hope to never go back to that "old me."
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?
At present, I'm making presents! :) I can tell you I'm trying to use natural fibers (yarns and fabrics) to create those presents, but till the holidays are over, I really can't tell you specifically what they are! I do hope, in 2011, to finally make my first sweater for myself. A lovely tweedy wool yarn is ready and waiting, the needles are wood. In my favorite shade of light-wash blue jeans blue, I hope to begin in January!
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?
There have been several! Online, there's Ravelry the social networking site for knitters, spinners, and crocheters as well as Facebook where I not only have my personal page, but my business page as well. Locating folks from my past, and customers from my present has been delightful, but wow, doesn't this form of community take up a lot of time? Locally, my yoga classes, Weight Watchers group, and the local vendors I've supported are communities I think are definitely worth the time. Far more personal than I allow my online presence to be, the local groups know me about as well as anyone does. I'm comfortable with that closeness, unlike that of the communities online. Certainly I'll continue there, but hope to expand my business online community.
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 - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.
I think, I hope, that my commitment to quality in every aspect of my life might be what makes me beautifully different. The work I do, the products I create, the people I influence, the friendships I am a part of, all benefit from my personal code of ethics that insists on quality. I believe that if you choose to do something, you must do it well. I try to put care into everything I do - ultimately, caring shines through it all and benefits those others in your life.
December 9 (Today!) Party. What social event rocked your socks off in 2010.
After 11 years absence, I flew to Vermont to participate in my family's annual reunion. I reconnected with aunts and uncles and cousins, met new family members I just knew the names of, and while I was there, my dear granddaughter was born (all the way across the country!). Other family members ensured I had access to the web to find her photos, and see the newest member of our large group. I hope they never think I didn't want to be with them over those 11 years away. It was economically impossible until this year. It poured rain all day, we were stuck in the basement of a very ancient small community church, but this reconnection with family was mind-blowing!
Ok...thank you for bearing with me in catching up these posts. Hopefully, I can keep up the rest of the month!