Reflecting Backward. Living Forward.

’Tis the last day of 2016. Usually this is a time that I want to reinvent myself. But not this year. As I reflect backward, I find that I am on the right track to live forward on this life journey.

What did I accomplish in 2016?

I set myself ONE goal last year – to build Meandering Mind. I wrote my first four posts during the holidays of 2015 and knew that I was on the right track. I had been journaling for several years and this was the next level of journaling. So my goal for the year was to keep writing and test the waters with a wide variety of topics.

I published 63 posts – not as regularly as I hoped, but I exceeded the average of one a week.

Reflecting on that goal.

This one goal opened the door and my mind to other achievements for the year.

1.  I stepped back in time and attended my 50th class reunion with the surprising result of making new friends. They were not all former classmates. One in particular is the wife of a special classmate. I hope to keep her (and her spouse) in my life. I also treasure the reacquaintance with others that I did not know so well in those young and tender years. Youth is often blind to potential friendships.

2.  I published Postcards to My Younger Self! The concept for the book was a shape-shifter. Suddenly one day it occurred to me that the messages people were sending (including some from the 50th class reunion) were very inspiring and perfect writing prompts! Boom! The book created itself into a journal. Reflecting backward. Living forward.An unexpected plus was the process was self-publishing – not a journey for the feint of heart and powerful ego. This was certainly a learning exercise. It took MUCH longer and MANY rounds of trial and error – the worst of which was discovering a typo on the cover one month AFTER it was up on Amazon. Live and Learn and Correct.

3.  I started another unplanned business. Glamour Pet Digital Paintings. This came out of an evening bemoaning to friends about my inability to work at a call center because I can no longer multi-task effectively. They strongly suggested that I was on the wrong track and should combine my Photoshop and photography skills to create funky images of pets.Two months of work and I launched Glamour Pet in November (seems to be a good month for me to start things). I had a terrific write-up in the local paper and encouraging holiday sales.

4.  I planned a Bucket List Adventure. January 2017 in Spain. I have always regretted my inability to speak a second language and decided it was time to rectify that mistake. So I’ve booked into a language school that will allow me to visit different cities in Spain while studying the language.It’s my first time traveling alone to a country that is not English speaking and my first long trip (4 weeks). It is also postponed.Health issues have reared their ugly head once again, and I am grounded for a bit. BUT the trip is now scheduled for March. One does not give up Bucket List Adventures easily.

5.  I readjusted my moral compass and became much more aware of the world around me.For this I thank another friend from the past who was teaching a class in Senior College. Her topic, White Privilege, and her life experiences around the world intrigued me. I came to realize that as a child of the 60’s, I was blind to the civil rights movement and even more blind to the innate privilege of being born a white woman in the USA. The books and discussion in that class forced me to open my eyes, to examine the world around me, and to question everything that I had accepted as good and fair. My place within my community. My place within my country. My place globally. I see all in a new and disturbing light. Now what do I do?

Reflecting backward, I consider 2016 to have been personally quite successful. 

  • I continue to learn and create. 
  • I am much more critical in my thinking.
Those are VERY important objectives for me.

 

Living forward, I have 5 goals for 2017?

1. Turn that critical thinking and action into a physically healthier person. I can be mentally and creatively active without being physically active but it falls flat. I need to be healthy!

2. Work with a professional to build both Meandering Mind and Glamour Pet Digital Painting into viable online businesses that I can run from any place on the globe.

3. Become unreasonable in my expectations for myself and the world around me. Much more to come on that topic.

4. Write Book 2.

5. GO TO SPAIN!

Reflecting backward, how do YOU feel about 2016?
Living forward, what is your goal for 2017?

 

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