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As we calmly and simply rang in the New Year last night, watching a movie, playing board games, and having a simple ham dinner in front of a lovely fire, I had the opportunity to revel in some quiet moments of reflection.

I mused on the mixed bag that was 2011. For me, it was the year of “lost and found”. I guess it’s only natural that when one experiences so much change, in order to make sense of all the chaos, one could have a tendency to compartmentalize things. Don’t get me wrong – I couldn’t have enjoyed the gains without feeling the losses, so I appreciate the presence of both in my life.

Lost: Another year of my boys’ fleeting childhood.
Found: Two middle-school boys who are (mostly!) well-behaved, charming, sensitive, giving and who can have (mostly!) wonderfully intelligent conversations. It was also great practice for this year when in the fall I will have *gasp* a high-schooler! Oh my!

Lost: Time – I went back to work full-time this fall after working only part-time for the last 14 years. I am still adjusting!
Found: New readers (Thank you!) as I redesigned the blog and made a commitment to blogging more often – even with less time.

Lost: Cancer was far too close at hand this year as it took from me several people who had such impact on my life, including a dear family member. In addition to people we had to say goodbye to this year, we also had 4 pet funerals in our backyard.
Found: Several new animals in our house and a more close bond with my mother-in-law (for me, as well as for the boys) as she mourned the loss of a spouse, relocated from the East Coast and moved in with us – adding her pets to our already large pet family.

Lost: A small bit of my self-confidence, with a potential job lay-off and ensuing difficult job search that preoccupied much of my time this year, and as I start a another job and adjust to the new work routine with its own set of politics, people and procedures. I also miss all my friends at my old office that I worked with, and built relationships with, over 6 years.
Found: An amazing new job with an incredible local organization! New challenges! New friends!

Lost: “Normal” – as life changes we have to find a new “normal”. Is there such a  thing?
Found: New experiences. There were some pretty exciting, incredible moments for me this year – re-uniting with my older half sister after 30+ years, a backstage sneak peek of the Seattle Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, glass-blowing with a good friend, and of course many great meals, outings and parties!

And now for a look ahead 🙂

Some things I can stand to lose in 2012:

  • a few pounds
  • my inability to say no
  • the feeling that I have to do it all!
  • any negative thoughts, words, and actions against others

And things I would love to find:

  • new adventures
  • more time to do all the things I love
  • AND more writing time – I hope to grow my blog even more this year!
  • lessons in how to take better photos
  • continued inspiration to provide my readers useful, insightful, fun and inspiring information
  • more patience

This year is not being ushered in with a bang, but a quiet welcoming that is hopefully indicative of the year to come – not that I don’t want ANY excitement, but just maybe a bit LESS. 🙂

What do you hope to find this year?