A Year in Review… And a Magical One Begins

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It’s been a year.

Rob’s parents sent a nice card this week. My mother-in-law wrote a note that I should only do what I truly want to do today. I loved that message. If I would have thought ahead, I would taken the day off of work. 😉

But despite that, I am going to make it the best day possible. I’ve recently learned a new way of life. It’s something that I can’t believe has taken me this long to realize.

Before I get to that, let’s go back to what I posted last year – the list of what I *thought* I wanted to do by now. Boy have things changed! A lot of the list is running-related because I was in full swing at the time. Let’s take a look at what I’ve completed, what I haven’t, where I may have changed my mind and what I’d still like to do.

This list was written 9/26/12:

  • Do a Beer Run – I still would like to do this one day. They look so casual and fun.
  • Do a Color RunCOMPLETE!
  • Complete a 5-mile raceCOMPLETE! It was one of my slowest, but happiest races.
  • Incorporate weight-lifting into my fitness routine – Not even close.
  • Run a 10k race – Running is off the table for a while.
  • Take a trip abroad to a country I’ve never been – We travel somewhere internationally every year. This year, however, with two weeks off for back surgery and, well, less money due to said surgery that left little resources to go abroad in 2013. However, holding off scheduling an international trip meant that when I learned about a friend’s wedding in L.A. that I can attend and will extend a little vacation there!
  • Use my Bahamas Cruise Gift CertificateYou can read about that trip here. I guess that could have counted as international.
  • Reach my goal weight – Ouch. The hard truth is that I lost almost half the weight I wanted to over the course of a year. Since my back surgery, I’ve gained 12 pounds back. No excuse. I know what to do. I just can’t do it running right now. It’s time to adapt.
  • Read more booksYES! Among them include:
    • The Hunger Games series
    • 50 Shades series (Yes, I had to find out what the hype was a about. But if I see the word “murmur” one more time…)
    • Through a Dog’s Eyes
    • In a Dog’s Heart
    • Stuff Parisians Like
    • Histoire de Z’idiote This one’s in French, but I don’t recommend it. It’s about a little shih poo that looks just like Sophie! It was fun to read to feel like I haven’t lost all of my French, but the book was very bizarre! I am still grateful that Rob found it and I had the opportunity to read it.
  • Run around Lake CalhounNo, but I walked it and then some.
  • Run in Eau Claire, WI – No. Running is off the to-do list for the time being.
  • Run the Challenge Obesity 5k in AprilWell, I didn’t run it, but I did walk it post-surgery!
  • Write more concise posts – Even if I tried to convince you of this, you probably wouldn’t agree. 😉
  • Create a written bucket list – I’ve come to realize that I don’t need this. If there is something I really want to do, it’ll be on my mind. That’s all that matters! A vision board is more suitable. Visualization is key!
  • Organize Rob’s favorite recipes in one place – COMPLETE! Reluctantly, I joined Pinterest, but only for organization of favorite recipes and those we want to try.
  • Do something {even a little something} for someone else – every single day – I don’t even know how I could begin to measure this.
  • Organize Music – NOPE. A winter project perhaps?
  • Put together a wedding and honeymoon album – NOPE. Add that to the list of wanting to put together a photo album of our trip to Ireland for my in-laws. I’ve been meaning to do that for months. It’s a matter of organizing all of the photos and selecting the best with a slooooooowwww computer.

This year, I’m not putting together such a list. Not because I feel like I’ve failed or that these are like resolutions, but because I’m learning more and more about gratitude.

For the first time, ever, in my life, I’m filling up a journal. I’m not talking about this little public weblog journal I have of favorite places to eat and such around the Twin Cities metro. I’m talking about a real, hand-written journal. A friend gave me this leather-bound journal at my bridal shower a few years back. I’ve recently labeled it as my:

gratitude journalIt sat empty, without a marked page until February of this year. I was afraid to write in it, afraid to ruin another journal. You see, over the years, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started a journal. But it always made me feel bad. The words I permanently penned to the page were harsh and embarrassing to look back upon after the fact.

They were so negative.

You see, I thought journaling was supposed to be about that. I thought by writing my thoughts and feelings that I would feel better… that I would work out whatever it was that was bothering me whenever I ran into a challenge in my life.

But I was wrong.

Instead, I felt worse. And later, I always felt ashamed by what I had written. So many journal pages have been torn up. Journals themselves were thrown away because a few pages were tainted. I wanted to start fresh with a new one.,, with new words… to begin a new chapter in life. This never worked.

Until I started writing about gratitude.

journal

This journal is now three-quarters full. I’ve never kept a journal this long. At the beginning, I didn’t journal in it every day. In fact, I went months without doing so. But when I came back to it, I didn’t feel the need to start over. I didn’t feel ashamed, guilty or negative about anything written in it.

So I’m focusing this year on Gratitude.

I’ve been reading the book The Magic, by Rhonda Byrne. You know, the author of The Secret. I’ve always loved learning about the Law of Attraction and I even have the audiobook as well as that of The Power. However, I was never quite sure how to implement everything. Sure, there were suggestions. But I needed structure. The Magic gives me homework every day for thirty days. Yes, I’ve started and stopped the book a few times. But there are two practices in it that I now use every day.

And even those have changed my life.

And let me tell, you my world is a better place, no matter what is going on in my life. Because no matter how difficult things may be, there is always something for which to be grateful.

Today, I’m grateful for another year.

Cheers~
Carrie

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11 responses »

  1. What a beautiful way to share your past year. Hope this next year brings you good health, joy and happiness. I love getting your blogs! They are very enjoyable and insightful. Glad this year has been about gratitude and I love your idea about a journal. 🙂

  2. Awesome post Carrie! I just bought ‘the miracle’ on my kindle fire. I love the fact that it walks you through 30 days with homework. Excited to start reading it! I’ve had the same thoughts about a journal… maybe I will try it again, your way.

  3. I love that idea Carrie! I have been stressed out with my husband’s work situation, how we are going to make ends meet, etc., and that has been my focus lately – still trying to find a second job, but until that happens, I am just going to concentrate on the positives. Happy Friday!

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