Sunday, December 26, 2010

TSS: last sunday of 2010

It has been a lovely Christmas holiday this year.  Different, but lovely nevertheless.  And next year will be even more unique when our household will officially be an empty nest - and we add a new grand baby to the family.  This first year in my fifth decade of life has been quite reflective and as I try to summarize 2010 I have decided that the word for this year would self discovery

While I did not plan my 50th birthday to be such a watershed moment, somehow over the past twelve months I have come to believe that this has been a very important year indeed.  I am truly "over the hill"  but I do not mean that in a sad, melancholic way - it is rather just a statement of fact.  The odds of living to 100 years is rather slim, so the age of 50 does indeed mark beyond the half way point of life.  In some respects this is a blessing.  I have no desire to relive those teen years (although I am surrounded by teens nearly every day), nor do I desire to be a new parent again.  I have come to accept myself for who I am and I am no longer trying to impress anyone or fit into any particular group.  Yes, there are a few more aches, pains, and stiff muscles, but that is a rather small price to pay over all good health.

What I have come to realize is that if I truly want to accomplish something in this life, then the time is now and not "some day when....."  This has been a year of discovering what truly interests me and putting the wheels in motion to achieve those goals.  I have always known that I enjoy reading and this blog has connected me with many others who share this same passion.  I have added more books to my personal shelves as well as my wish list, that I don't think I will ever be in want of quality reading material.

I have always enjoyed traveling, although that has taken a backseat for several years.  I have spent some time this year trying to decide where I truly want to visit and begin some background research into those areas.  I know that I will return to Paris one day - and hopefully spend a good seven to ten days rediscovering famous landmarks and out of the way cafes.  I also know that I will return to London and hopefully be able to tour a few of the surrounding villages as well.  I think it would be delightful to spend a good month or two in rented cottages, but I would settle for a couple of weeks.  Italy is one country that the entire family wishes to visit - given my husband's heritage.  Rome and Venice and Milan and Florence and Pompeii --- oh, the history and the food and the architecture are calling my name.

I also have desires to travel locally as well.  We used to live in New York City and I would love to return to the old haunts at least one last time.  It is high on the bucket list to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in person - from inside a high-floor office building on the parade route.  I still have some time to research that possibility.  I have always wanted to experience being "snowed in" -- just once.  And if I were to choose the one place to be snowed in it would probably be Yellowstone National Park inside a rented log cabin that has been fully stocked with comfort food and fireplace logs.  My books would provide the only recreational activity.

I have discovered a few new interests this year as well.  For example, I have learned that I not only like to take pictures for family photo albums, but I also enjoy the creative aspect of photography.  I have been jealous of those who can draw or paint to capture the world around them, but I am learning that lack of those gifts does not mean a lack of creativity.  I want to focus more of my attention on developing this craft in 2011.

I have had a passion for creating family scrapbooks since I was first introduced to the concept in 1995.  For some reason I never allow myself the joy of doing this for fun; I always wait until there is some looming deadline before I begin to delve into a project (my youngest's graduation open house is a prime example.  That will be in the middle of May and I have yet to complete a single page in her album).  I am not sure why I sabotage my own efforts, but 2011 will be the year that I stop.  I have so many different scrapbook projects (not the least of which would be a Christmas journal album similar to what Vivienne has shown us on her blog) and I will give myself permission to pursue those projects without apology.

I have also discovered, quite unexpectedly, that I truly love to write.  I have always known that I express myself better in written form than face-to-face conversation, but this year I have learned that I really enjoy the craft of putting words on paper and the exploration of point of view in the retelling of a story.  I want to continue the pursuit of this interest in 2011 as well.

I think I would like to rekindle my passion for cooking again.  Parenting picky eaters hindered that interest for a while and lately my youngest has taken over the kitchen (much to my delight).  But when she leaves home I think I would like to rediscover the joys of cooking and baking and trying new taste sensations.    Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking has helped me realize that there are others out there who enjoy creating in the kitchen as much as I do, and while I have been rather inconsistent in participating in her weekly meme, I hope to become more of a regular poster in 2011.

I think in short I have discovered this past year that while there is a lot of life that happens outside my control and I must learn to adapt, there is still a lot of life that I do control. It is time to take the reigns and begin doing what I want to do and not just what needs to be done.

While the word that defines the year 2010 is self discovery --- I believe that the word that will define 2011 will be purposeful.  Life is too short and too precious to just slide by --- I wish to truly live.

22 comments:

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

Sounds like a great plan to me! Even though I'm a few years behind you I too do not wish to "turn back the clock." I am not the same person now as I was in my youth. My teenagers and all their drama also remind me daily that those days were not my favorite. There were no tragedies or anything like that; I just have enjoyed more life since then than I enjoyed then. Does that even make sense? Our first bird leaves the nest this year and I know that will be a challenge for me, but instead of wishing for times gone by, I am going to try and look forward to what we have ahead of us. Life is what we make it and like you, I'm all about taking hold of it and living it fully :)

Liz said...

Wonderful! Can't wait to see what unfolds for you in 2011:)

s said...

A powerful statement of intent, beautifully expressed.

JoAnn said...

What a beautiful post. Molly! I was nodding my head in recognition or agreement the entire time. Not only are we at the same stage in life (though no grandchildren on my horizon just yet), we have many similar interests. In addition to reading great books, I look forward to a 2011 filled with travel, more cooking, learning photography, rediscovering knitting...

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

What an awesome wrap up post about 2010 Molly. It sounds as you've done lots of meaningful reflection...how great for you.

readerbuzz said...

Good for you! I remember turning fifty quite fondly. I feel so much more confident these days, so clear about what I want and do not want in my life.

I'm planning to take a photography class this semester. I hope you find a way to learn new things, too.

I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that you will enjoy some travel time this year.

Here's my post: Sunday Salon: The Best of 2010 in Books.

Florinda said...

Your reflections certainly indicate that this has been a remarkable year for you, Molly. I hope all of your discoveries lead you through an equally memorable 2011!

C.B. James said...

I so enjoyed this year end post. I thought it would be a list of books, but found so much more.

Dave and Tami said...

What an insightful post! It has been fun reading along with your year of self-discovery. 2011 is my "50th" year. I hope I can have your positive attitude and look forward rather than backward.

Have a great 2011!

Bonnie said...

Molly, you definitely have a beautiful style of writing and it's so honest and sincere. I enjoyed reading about your self reflection and self discoveries and what a perfect defining word for 2011, purposeful. I look forward to continuing to read about your journey! I'm still on my journey of self discovery as I inch toward 5-0 in a year and a half and I will have a teenager then.

Amanda said...

I love this post!!!! I hope 2011 is really fully a year of purpose for you!

Staci said...

You are a gifted writer. I eagerly look forward to your Sunday posts and this one really struck a chord with me. I will turn 42 in Feb. and now after reading your eloquent thoughts I too have become a bit more reflective in regards to what interests me, what do I like to do? I love to scrapbook but haven't done one page this year...how horrible is that?? I also like to cross stitch but haven't done it once either. I need to make time for myself too....thanks for the nudge!

fleurfisher said...

Bravo! I am just a few years younger, but I admire your goals and should aim to emulate them myself. A wonderful and inspiring post!

lifeonthecutoff said...

Wow! What an insightful post and a template for many of us to follow, Molly.

Self-discovery is so rewarding, though the process can be sometimes painful and I am often resistant to it. The decades come faster now, for sure (I have a good 10 years on you - try to catch up to me), but, it is such a wonderful time of life, especially with relatively good health. A new baby on the way just sweetens the pot.

Happy New Year.

Lisa said...

You really have had a great year of self-discovery! Have you really never been snowed in? Or are you hoping to be snowed in someplace more fun that your own house?!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Molly, you are truly inspiring!

Thomas at My Porch said...

Your travel musing has me musing myself. But the house will keep us from doing too much of that. But you suddenly have me wanting to watch a bunch of my favorite films that take place in Italy.

nat @book, line, and sinker said...

love this post--reflecting and setting goals is so important. my husband and i really try to do things today instead of waiting for 'later'. we've taken 3 epic road trips across the country and those experiences are so meaningful to us. when we told our family and friends what we were planning, most expressed a desire to do the same. for us it's all about doing...not waiting! :) wishing you a wonderful year in which you continue to reach personal goals and check items off your bucket list!

Kathleen said...

I've enjoyed hearing about your journey of self discover in 2010 and look forward to all you can share in 2011. You are so right about taking the reigns and living NOW instead of "some day". You are an inspiration!

Bree said...

Absolutely! Live that life now. I feel exactly the same way you do. Lots of self-reflection this year. We have very little control over outside life and can only adapt but what we do with our lives can be somewhat controlled. My word for next year is Relax.

Beth F said...

Embrace life! I would love for you to participate in Weekend COoking, but it should never be a burden. Join in when the mood hits.

I love having goals, even if some of them are unrealistic -- but I like the journey as much or more than the destination.

Jenners said...

I think it is great how many interests you have ... and I do think it is best to pursue things NOW rather than to wait.

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