Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Brand New Year!

I can remember when I was in grade school, more than one teacher told me to keep up on my reading and academic skills over Christmas and Summer breaks, or my brain would turn to mush.  Yeah right.  Right?  Well now that I'm a grown up older, I guess I know what they meant.  If you don't keep working out your brain, you fall into the lazies, or at least I do.  It's very easy to just keep going with what you have, but it's hard to improve anything if you don't try new things and try to make things better.  Learning something new is pretty cool.  I like to learn.  I did not like school much, but I like learning things on my own time, and things that I'm interested in. 

I learned a lot in 2011. 

I learned a bunch of new knitting techniques.  Several books from the library, and videos on YouTube helped me huge.  I love looking at something finished, and researching how it was made, and just digging in and trying.  That "I did it!" feeling is awesome.  I completed several projects, and began documenting them online.  Seeing them all in one place is fun too.

I learned a TON about photography.  Most things I learned by researching them online, and just giving it a shot. Some of my attempts were successful, some of them were very very not.  I tried to learn from the ones that were not though, so I wouldn't do that again.  I'm loving this new hobby, and wish I had dug into it sooner, when my kids were much younger.  I still have a very long way to go, but I'm having fun getting there.  With the photography hobby came the blogging hobby.  I've learned that putting down my thoughts and sharing my pictures is really enjoyable, and it's fun to go back and read through what I've written.  It can actually be very therapudic.

My kids have tought me a lot about sportsmanship this year.  I can't explain how proud I am when Andy comes off the ice after a huge loss with a smile on his face.  That feeling beats the feeling after a win, hands down.  I don't know how he does it, but I am trying to be more like him, since I feel the disappointment after a loss (apparently way more than he does).  I hope he keeps that attitude forever.  Morgan has really learned what paying a small compliment to someone after a dance performance can do for them.  Even if it's not one of her closest friends, or someone she doesn't even know.  When you give a compliment, the added bonus is that you usually get one back!

I've also learned a lot about myself this year.  I like to think I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be.  I try to be good at all the things I do, but when I don't live up to my own expectations, I try to just let it go, and be ok with how things ended up.  I'm disappointed with my pictures from Christmas this year.  It doesn't mean that it made a terrible Christmas for everyone, and that I'll walk off the edge of the earth tomorrow.  It means that the pictures are a little blurry.  So what?  They will be better next year.  This is a really hard one for me to grasp, but I think I've improved on it a lot this year.

I asked my kids what they've learned this year, and Morgan said, "I learned that if you work really hard, you can earn a spot at the point of the pyramid in dance".  Andy said, "I learned that the Bulldogs are better than any hockey team anywhere."  I know they've learned more than what they even realize.  I'm watching them grow into young big people.  They are becoming more mature every day and it's been very fun to watch.  I can't wait to see what they will learn in 2012.

Nate had nothing to add when I asked him if he learned anything this year.  I know he learned a bunch at work though, taking on a new position exactly a year ago!  I think it has been a whirlwind of a year for him, but I think he's enjoying it.

So, in 2012, I'm going to try and continue to learn.  I will learn from my family how to be a better parent and wife.  I'll learn from coworkers how to do my job better.  I'll seek out new things to learn about my hobbies, and my kids' hobbies.  I won't succeed at everything I try to do, but I'll try to be ok with that.  I hope to inspire.  I hope to teach.  I hope to appreciate.  I hope to learn.

Wishing you a safe, healthy, happy 2012, and encourage you to continue to learn.



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