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2011 in a (rather large) nutshell.

1 January 2012

(image via)

In 2011,

I gained a new career, new friends, a beautiful new nephew(!), a decorated home office, a new computer, time to read books and have a life, and more pounds than I lost or care to admit.

(books not related to college or teaching! what fun!)

(new home office, version 1.0)

(version 2.0, with white desk)

(version 2.1, with some of my boy’s art)

I lost the ability to do the career I thought I’d have forever, 20 pounds from a workout program I referred to as “football camp”, and the illusion that I can control things.
I stopped vomiting every morning due to stress.  Definite upside.  It makes it much easier to have, you know, a life.  Or fun.  Or breakfast.
I started valuing health more, especially after spraining my ankle.

(the unfortunate puffy-foot incident.  which ankle was sprained? can you guess? 😉

(new nephew benjamin, made only cuter because he’s wearing his brother thomas’ hand-me-down outfit that i have a picture of thomas in)

I was hugely satisfied by how different the family dynamic between my in-laws and me became.  I really enjoy spending time with them.

(i also still love spending time with my family in town, too.  that’s never changed)

And frustrated by the absolute selfishness and ignorance of people’s own issues and poor choices made that I witnessed from some people amidst a terrible crisis.
I am so embarrassed that I waited so long to try liquid eyeliner.  Genius, I tell you.

(goofing off with my lovely sister-in-law, morgan.  this has nothing to do with eyeliner.)

Once again, I resolved to totally change my perspective about health and eating.
Once again, I did not totally succeed, but then realized that there is no “success” destination, just continual attention paid.  So, in that light, I paid more attention for more of the time, and that produced good things.

(it’s hard to focus on eating well when you find out there’s a cupcake truck near your vicinity and your workplace institutes “fun treat fridays”.  i mean, COME ON)

The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is that I have actual life in my eyes, not death.  Seriously, ask anyone who saw me this time last year.  Also, I have my nose pierced again and my hair has returned to the exact same color it was a year ago, but not because i kept it the same all year.

(got my nose pierced with my friends jenny + kristine)

The biggest psychological difference between me last December and this December is embracing freedom, more and more, every day.
I loved spending time playing with my littlest nieces and nephews.  having long chats with my mother over the phone late at night, having dinner parties with friends, planning a birthday scavenger hunt for my husband, having my 30th bingo birthday, walking around Chicago in the summer, listening to radiolab during long car rides to and from grand junction, eating lunch and real talks with morgan, painting pumpkins with my mother-in-law, going to bronco games with my father-in-law and family, riding my cruiser all around town, going to vegas with my girl’s group, cooking so many delicious dishes, seeing my first roller derby bout…many good memories this year.

(my boy with my newest nephew, as if this could be any cuter)

(pumpkin painting)

(roller derby with my niece, heather, and a life list item completed!)

(30th bingo birthday + blonde hair)

Why did I spend even two minutes worrying about what was going to happen next or if my ankle was ever going to get better (it has and hasn’t, really)?  It’s not because the answer is right around the corner, but because you know who will provide it.
I should have spent more time knowing God more.
I regret buying the drinking glasses we got from goodwill.  They were cheap, and we needed glasses, but I still just don’t like them.  It’s renewed my sense of only buying what is truly useful and beautiful.
I will never regret buying the tickets for our trip to Chicago, even though with that money I could have bought another vacation (We ended up having to spend way more money than we were intending due to an inadvertent mistake of not checking on the day we were supposed to leave.  missed flights, extra rental cars, hotel rooms, etc.  Eeeeesh.)

(cubs played the rockies in a fun twist that ended with us losing horribly)

(the bean)

I puttered aimlessly on the internet and became daunted by what I read or saw there way too much.
I didn’t follow-up intention with action enough, on many fronts: from work, learning more, pursuing people or God, etc.
Unreasonable people choosing unreasonable actions and responses surrounding my mother-in-law’s cancer diagnosis drove me crazy.  Also, my husband not closing his sock drawer which conveniently is in my sight line in my office every. single. day. That’s put me into new levels of dementia.
Was people having babies crazier than ever last year (see: twin Byrds!)? Or was it me?  Runner-up: vague facebook posts.  That seemed preposterously rampant, in addition to the hatred for hipsters, and facebook.
The most relaxing place I went was to Las Vegas (specifically poolside) with my dearest girls or on the Oakes’ back porch for drinks and gab.

(my friend ashlee a-sunnin’)

I feel so cold (temperature-speaking) when I write that down, even though we’re having a fairly mild winter.  I have no insulation in my office, so the floor is fit for penguins.
Why did I go to the lengths I did to procrastinate on working on things?

(my ‘i’m finally getting focused’ look that comes after being a pro at crastinating)

The best thing I did for someone else was spending 2.5 months of my life in grand junction to spend time caring for my mother-in-law during cancer treatments and spending time with that side of my family.  I won’t ever regret the time I’ve spent, and have seen so much good amidst the bad.

(birthday celebrating in grand junction during chemo camp)

The best thing I did for myself was give myself a break for not being perfect and continue with counseling.
The best thing someone did for me was take care of our house and cook us meals when we were traveling so much.  And the people who intentionally pursue being my friend…it’s never, ever undervalued.

(these are some of those people)

(and these too)

(and these.  and there’s more — i’m a lucky, lucky girl.)

The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, is the way I spend my time – more intentional, less unintentionally aimless.  That sounds like a motto:

2012, now with 50% more intention.  Aimlessness-free.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 January 2012 11:28 pm

    It was a roller coaster of a year, Sara Darling! I’ve enjoyed so many wonderful moments and memories with you in the last year. Here’s to more memories. more pool-side sunnin’, and Chuck Bass 🙂 LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!! xoxo

  2. courtney permalink
    2 January 2012 3:06 pm

    I was just thinking about getting my nose re-pierced. I too, regret the low-ball glasses I bought from good will this summer. let’s rectify that in 2012? 🙂 you are welcome on our porch anytime friend. here’s to the new year! xo

  3. Kelsey permalink
    2 January 2012 5:12 pm

    FYI: I like you, and the things you write. I especially like the zero typos that I always find. Well done.

  4. 16 October 2014 1:21 am

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having issues with your RSS.

    I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS issues?
    Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond?

    Thanks!!

  5. 28 November 2015 11:14 pm

    Great astrology work! This is the type of info that are meant to be shared across the web.
    Thank you =)

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