2012 List–7 Best Experiences of the Year

2012 List–7 Best Experiences of the Year

I’ve shared the list of products I fell in love with in 2012.  Now, I’m moving on to my best experiences of the year.  I don’t want to give the wrong idea here.  The year was not all easy times.  I faced my share of challenges, which  touched all major areas of my life including my health, increased parental responsibilities, caring for aging parent’s, lifestyle changes, unexpected financial obligations, increased demands and uncertainty at work, and countless stresses on friendships, family relationships, and even my marriage.  At times, I didn’t want to deal with things.  Other times, I wanted to jump right in, but I didn’t necessarily know the best course of action. Some of these challenges will continue into 2013, but I feel ready for them.  I’m taking my lessons with me, and I’m arming myself with tools that I hope will help me.

What makes me dwell less and less on the things that didn’t go so well this year?

It comes down to the power I feel I have to do things differently in the coming year.   This year’s challenges helped me establish my 2013 goals, and I’ve gained more insight on specific actions that will get me to where I need to be.  I’m only focused on what I have the most control over—myself.  There’s power in this approach to change.

Why is it important for me to reflect on the things that were good about this year?

Why not?  By focusing on the good, I am conscientiously cultivating my own joy.  I’m teaching myself to be happy.  It’s a lesson that never ends as far as I’m concerned.  The simple exercise of typing short descriptions of a few good experiences from the year will call up the images, feelings, and thoughts associated with those times.  I can’t wait to get to it.  So here is a snapshot of my good times from the year.

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Valentine’s Day in Washington, D.C.  I had to attend a week long leadership training course for work, which would’ve meant that I’d have to spend Valentine’s Day away from my husband.  I asked him if he could adjust his work schedule in order to travel with me.  Lucky me!  He could and did.  We had a relaxing and productive week together.  Then, we wrapped up the week at the Ritz Carlton—Tyson’s Corner.  It was a weekend of bliss!  Oh the memories!

 

Tea Time in Dallas, TX.  I knew that one of my closest girlfriends was on track to complete her masters degree in the spring, and I promised to be present for her graduation.  This was a personal goal that she’d worked hard to achieve.  I had to be there.  My husband was supportive and came along, too. We flew into Dallas with just an hour to spare before the graduation ceremony.  It had been a long time since I’d been to anyone’s graduation.  I was so proud of her!  Later that night, we met over a dozen of our close friends for dinner.  It was just enough time to catch up, but the highlight of the trip was having afternoon tea the next day at Fearings Restaurant.  The service was excellent.  All dietary needs were accommodated, and this was a treat for me (with my mostly vegan diet) and one of my friends (with her gluten-free diet).  So delicious!

savannah riverwalkFamily Reunion in Savannah, GA.  My mother’s, mother’s side of the family holds a reunion every other year.  This year we gathered in Savannah at the end of the summer for a weekend of fellowship.  I saw cousins I hadn’t seen in years, and it was such a pleasure to sit with our family elders. Bowling was the most popular group activity.  Family members of all ages participated.  As I grow older, I hope I’ll be as vibrant as the elders in my family like my Grandmother, Lillie.

Turning 80 in Florence, SC.  My family traveled to South Carolina to help celebrate my husband’s father’s 80th birthday just a few months ago.  Can you imagine turning 80 years old?  I can’t.  Not yet anyway.  My husband’s father made turning 80 look like it was so much fun.  He strutted down the aisle with his wife beside him, greeting nearly 100 guests.  He was all smiles, and we were happy we could be there to see it.  Watching him reminded me that we have to remain active throughout the early years and the middle years if we plan to be mobile in our later years.  Use it or loss it!

goldringsWedding Anniversary in Greensboro, GA.  On our way back home from South Carolina, we saw an advertisement for a Ritz Carlton resort.  My husband suggested that we stop and check it out.  We liked the property.  To my surprise, he made reservations for our anniversary.  We brought the children along and made it a family celebration.  We lounged by the pool, in the spa, and in the club lounge.  I don’t think any of us will forget that weekend.

Thanksgiving Cruise in the Caribbean.  This year we had the largest group of family and friends travel with us on a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean.  I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that I’m a sunny blue sky, ocean breeze kind of girl.  I liked that I could spend time with the family when I wanted and with myself when I wanted.  My favorite time was in the middle of the night around two or three in the morning.  I’d wake up, open the sliding door, step out on the balcony and stare up at the stars.  I can easily recall the blanket of stars over me, the sea calling to me…

20121216_172217Birthday Celebration (x3) in Atlanta, GA.  Two of my friends and I decided to celebrate our birthdays together this year.  Mimosas and champagne with fresh berries, truffles, gourmet dishes, freshly baked cookies, and the best conversations marked the occasion.  We laughed and laughed and laughed.

I can’t help smiling as I finish typing this.

What are some of you best experiences from 2012?

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