What do you wish you had done more of in 2011?
There is always this type of reflection as a year begins to die. The should have beens or the I wishes. We begin to feel a certain nostalgia for lost chances and opportunities when we attach a sense of our own mortality with the year we see coming to terms with its own. It all centers around a feeling of regret, which is something that many of us are uncomfortable with feeling. We don’t want to be regretful. We don’t want to admit that maybe things should have been done better or maybe even less intensely. But there it is — regret– just sort of hanging around like the awkward centerpiece that is either too tall or too short for the table.
There are certainly some things I wish I could have done more of this past year; I am far from perfect. And yet I have already reconciled these things in order to improve. Most of 2011 was spent in bed with my pregnancy and so it is not like I could have been on the Harley more like I wanted or done more with photography. These things can wait. I cooked more in 2011, which made me and my family happier. I wrote more. I watched less t.v. I became more patient. I wish I could have been more charitable and kind-hearted in 2011. Yet as 2011 ends and 2012 begins these are not lost chances. I want to be a good example to my children of these things.
2011 is a year that I focused on my family, and I enjoyed that. As a mother, you always wish you could do more. I could have kept the house cleaner, but my boy knows his exuberance is welcome. I could have kept up on the laundry, but my family knows that a walk up the canyon is more important. I could have read the books I wanted, but my baby will feel safer being rocked. I could have gone back to work at the university, but I needed to volunteer in the classroom. Clutter, laundry, books and work? All these things can wait. Like candles on a cake waiting to be blown out and wished upon, there is always more fire to relight them.
I don’t believe in bucket lists or “somedays”. I believe in priorities and making things happen. The stars will hold my wishes for me, but I act on them myself. 2011 was a very fulfilling year for me. I couldn’t wish for anything more.