After what seemed like a very long holiday break, we are slowly getting back to our normal routine. While I am still trying to figure out my life and a more regular routine for me personally, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on 2012, and set some intentions for 2013.
2012 was a crazy and very unexpected year of change. At this time last year I was miserable at my job and feeling overwhelmed with responsibility. The thought of quitting my job hadn’t even entered my head yet. For the first quarter of the year I was still trying to fix my job and understand my purpose there. Then in April something happened with my boss that was the catalyst that drove me to jump. At first it seemed like a hopelessly depressing situation, but then it became completely liberating. I’m my own boss for crying out loud! I thought. Why am I wasting my time here, struggling to be compliant, struggling to fit into a really unhealthy culture, instead of doing something that fulfills me and provides value?
So I started to think about what I wanted out of life, stopped complaining about the things I hated, stopped feeling stuck, and started doing the stuff I wanted to do. I decided to stop thinking of my self worth in terms of how much money I was making or my position at work, but in terms of the quality of my life. 2012 was the Year of the Dragon, a year of empowerment and big changes according to Chinese astrology, and I have to say it really was for me.
So here is my top ten list of the things I did, and learned, in 2012:
- I joined a “Lunar Manifesting Matrix” group with some friends (we call ourselves ‘The Dragon Ladies” in honor of The Year of the Dragon, and because it’s easier to say). It’s kind of a spiritual/woo-woo thing, but mostly it’s a group of women helping each other reach our fullest potential. I learned that I actually am a spiritual person, in my own way.
- I quit my job! Apparently we can get by without my salary. And thankfully Todd was incredibly supportive of my decision. My quitting scared him at first, but he understood my need to be happy, and things have only got better between us.
- I spent an amazing summer with my kids, and adapted to a life less hurried and less scheduled.
- I started a blog, and discovered I really like to write. It’s scary to think that what I write is out there for anyone to see and judge, but besides a diary, isn’t all writing like that? Plus, writing provides me with clarity and makes me notice the world around me better, or differently I guess.
- I took in a lot of inspiration with all kinds of books, movies, articles, blogs and TED talks. I went through a big stack of books this summer, and I have another big stack next to bed right now.
- I spent a lot more time with my kids, their friends, and at school. Every afternoon I spent an hour or so on the playground. While they ran around with their friends I chatted with the other parents. I now feel much more connected to the community at school.
- I launched the Blackbird Iron site for Todd and have taken over a lot of his bookkeeping. I learned a ton about setting up WordPress sites, and managing the books with QuickBooks.
- I joined the North End Flower Club. This is a group of ladies (mostly over 60) who meet once a month in my neighborhood to share gardening wisdom. They are so nice and so welcoming and so knowledgeable, and it feels really old fashioned, in a really good way.
- I focused on my family’s health more. The kids got an earlier bedtime. I made healthier lunches. We rode to and from school every day. Jumping provided me with the time I needed to make these adjustments.
- I took a much-needed sabbatical that I’m still on. Jumping is allowing me to step outside of my regular life, slow down, be introspective, be inspired, make new connections, and re-assess the lifestyle I want, and what’s’ best for my family.
Looking back on 2012 I have to say, it’s been an incredible year, and we all seem happier and healthier. Jumping was scary, but the minute I did it I released so much negative energy and emotion. It’s still a little scary at times, but overall it feels really right. And I am kicking off 2013 in a way better mind-set than I did with 2012. So, on to this year…
I think my motto for 2013 is ‘no more crap’: no crappy job, no crappy lifestyle, no crappy spending, no crappy food, or furniture or appliances or clutter or toys or TV shows or health/beauty products or clothes or wastefulness. The list goes on. But the Dragon Ladies would say “Don’t talk about what you don’t want, say what you do want.” So here’s my top 10 list of what I want in 2013:
- I want us to earn more than we spend, but not kill ourselves doing it. I’m hopeful that Blackbird Iron will have a great year, but I also know we can spend less, so I need to get better at budgeting. I also hope to bring in some dough this year and I actually have a freelance job I’m working on now – another web-site – so I’m off to a good start. And I have a few other ideas I want to explore.
- I want to be crafty and make things by hand. I hope to get ‘craft club’ started again, we plan to be in the Fremont Solstice parade again, and I would like Todd to teach me some metalwork.
- I want us to eat healthy fresh food. I plan to expand my vegetable garden to the side yard and hopefully get some chickens and fresh eggs. And I plan to consume a lot less refined food.
- I want to expand my creativity and get better at writing, drawing, and photography, so perhaps some classes are in order.
- I want to spruce up the house and de-clutter. I dream of going through the house, room by room, and clearing out all of the crap and making small improvements. It’s also time to spruce up our kitchen and dinning room, which desperately need the floors refinished and a fresh coat of paint.
- I want to spend time outside with friends and family – skiing, camping, biking, exercising and just playing.
- I want my kids to have lots of time playing with their friends, exploring, learning new things, figuring out what they are good at and what they enjoy most.
- I want to make less of an impact on the environment by riding my bike, avoiding unnecessary packaging, composting, installing rain barrels, scaling back, mending things, shopping locally, repurposing, reusing, upcycling, etc, etc.
- I want to continue my sabbatical, execute “The Plan“, and choose an endeavor to focus on. And it’s time to make and hang up my big ‘inspiration board‘.
- I could only come up with 9 things, but those seem pretty ambitious, so I think I’ll stop there. Wish me luck!
It feels like the world is changing, which of course it always is, but I also feel like a paradigm shift happening, like our culture and our values are being recalibrated. And it’s totally exciting, but maybe also a little unnerving, trying to figure out how to stay relevant and do what’s best. So, just for fun, I thought I’d see what ‘the experts’ are predicting for 2013.
Chinese New Year begins on February 10th and rings in The Year of The Snake, the ‘water snake’ to be more precise. Here’s what I learned about what to expect in a water snake year.
Like a snake, the year will be very changeable and unpredictable, but handle it well and you will only be stronger and better off. And while the year brings lot of change, beware of impulsive decisions. Attention to detail is also a snake trait, so you may find yourself noticing things you haven’t before. Snakes dislike noise or excitement, so focus on some quieter pursuits and relaxation. You can read more here.
My Chinese astrological sign is the horse, so for me the year of the snake is supposed to be filled with opportunities (because of my energetic nature) and dangers (because I’m often impulsive). The opportunities are supposed to be in business (yippee!) and the dangers are to my health (yipes!). To find out what year you were born in, and what to expect in 2013, you can try this site or this one.
My zodiac sign is Scorpio, so I thought I’d also check to see what 2013 has in store for Scorpios, and I really like what I read. According to astrology.com “Transformation, metamorphosis, passion and sexuality are all heavily pronounced this year for you.” And “The force for rebuilding your life from its very foundation is doubled.” And my favorite, “Trust that whatever you’re putting your passionate energy into this year will indeed build out to something lasting and beautiful.” Find out what’s in store for you here.
Sounds like it’s going to be an exciting year! I think it’s going to be amazing.