The final few days of 2010 were good ones. I’ll share just a few specific highlights so I can quickly move on to the final summary and thoughts for the year.
1. I got to run in my favorite store, Crate&Barrel for just a few minutes.
2. On Monday night, before we left Denver, I spent a few minutes outside, alone, watching the night sky. I have missed the winter constellations due to cloudy nights in Utah. It was fun to see some of my favorite stars and to gaze at the heavens for a bit.
3. We had a safe drive home from Colorado and woke up to snow the next morning. We were so grateful to have missed all the storms.
4. The Christmas decorations are put away and the house is back to its usual calm color palette. I love a silver, blue and white house in January.
5. My baby is still struggling to bounce back from her illness. We’re working through it and look forward to the return of real naps and her usual cheerful self.
6. We wished the year goodbye in style, as a family, with hearts full of happiness.
And so, with all 365 days accounted for, the grand total of steps recorded throughout 2010 is 3,843.
That’s a lot of little things! On average, more than ten a day.
How do I feel about it? I’ve been asking myself this question for days. One the one hand I’ve been tempted to label it as a bunch of random lists of little things I did when I probably should have been working harder to do the things I intended to do at the beginning of the year. I’ve been tempted to feel like it doesn’t really add up to much. After all, my house is as messy as it was a year ago. I can’t claim any massive improvements in that area or a lot of other areas.
But even if it is just a bunch of random lists, it’s a fascinating record of a year of my life. A very busy year. A year of successes and failures, accomplishments and heartaches. It’s a unique look at my daily life, a look like no other I’ve ever recorded. And if I didn’t do many of the specific things I intended to do when I started, at least I have a record of what I did instead. Most of the time, the “instead” came in the form of holding, comforting, listening, etc. I guess I could say that what I did “instead” was simply be a mother.
And isn’t that ok?
The more positive take on the year would be to call it a success. For one thing, I finished. I did it every single day. And I reported back every single week. If nothing else good came from my efforts, to have been absolutely consistent is huge. I kept the commitment I made to myself. I kept it when I was on vacation, when I had guests in town, when I was exhausted. And that feels good. I’m good at keeping commitments I make to others, but I tend to let promises to myself take a back seat to other duties.
Additionally, there are so many little things listed in my book that would otherwise be forgotten. I’ve given myself a gift of memory by writing things down.
When I began this journey what I really wanted was to find my stride. I wanted to feel like I had grown into my responsibilities. I cannot say that I’ve reached that point. I haven’t found my stride. I have a lot of learning still to do.
But I’m closer. I haven’t given up. (Ha! As if I really had a choice!) I’ve kept going.
In looking over my many lists I see that I’m slowly getting better at responding appropriately when things go wrong. I’m getting better at finding the humor in hard days. I’m getting better at building myself up. I’m learning to forgive myself for the things I’m not good at and for things that are hard for me. I’m learning to seek and accept excellence instead of perfection. I’m learning to accept effort and progress instead of indicting myself for lack of accomplishment. I am remembering how much I love to write, and am slowly finding my voice. I am learning. This is success.
In some ways there is concrete evidence of this year’s efforts.
One Step at a time,
we put in a yard. (huge)
we took our family to California once and Colorado twice to visit grandparents.
I finished 7 quilts and two additional quilt tops.
we watched our baby learn to walk.
we watched our son’s finger heal.
we learned how to run our own version of a Bed & Breakfast.
we survived two soccer seasons.
we celebrated 10 birthdays, one baptism and numerous holidays.
I tried new recipes.
I developed the habit of watching the sunrise and sunset.
Truthfully, it isn’t the list of things I did that means most to me today. It’s the feelings I’ve felt, the thoughts I’ve had, the lessons I’ve learned that I treasure. These are, to me, the significant moments of the year. They’re the moments that make me feel like I’m growing up. Many of them I haven’t shared here, but some I have. Listed below are my favorites.
And just for the record, the mystery of the day has remained the mystery of the year.
Ultimately my conclusion is that I have simultaneously fallen short of and surpassed my expectations for 2010. In doing so, a wonderful thing has happened to me. With my Heavenly Father’s help I have become my own best friend. I have learned to trust Him more. I am more confident in His love and concern for me. Not the wife, not the mother, but me, the person I am deep inside. And so the final verdict is this: One Step 2010 was a success. It worked.
I feel so blessed.
I also feel grateful to those of you who have read along, who have encouraged me, who have helped me. Knowing that someone would know if I quit kept me going when it seemed pointless. Thank you. And many thanks to my husband who supported me in this experiment, even when he was tired on a Sunday night.
Happy New Year, everyone. May God bless us all with success and determination as we face life in 2011.
I’ll see you next week for my first update on a year of helpful habits.