2011 was a good year for me. Like so many others, I’ve been working on an annual review. I may be a little bit late, but I have done a lot of reflecting. I’m not going to share everything that I’ve written in the past week on here, but I’m planning a series of posts to be added in the next couple of weeks. Each post in this series will be focused on something that I value and have made a priority in 2011. I’ll cover high points and low points, and perhaps ponder what the future holds for that sector of my life. For now, here’s an overview of the whole year.
I made the decision to quit my job as a teacher so that I could move back to Austin, I decided to complete my 200 Hour YA teacher training at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica (a life changing experience in so many ways), I hit the halfway point in paying off my student loans after only 3.5 years, I started my own business, I got out of a stale relationship and into a much better one, I decided to move to Colorado, I’ve uncluttered my life to a point where I should be able to make the move with just my car and an attached U-Haul trailer, I’ve finished some fabulous knitting projects, and I’ve begun to realign my life and my work so that it really reflects my values.
One of the most stressful points of my year was the night before I was scheduled to fly to Costa Rica. I was almost finished packing when I went to grab my passport and it was nowhere to be found. This set me into a panic, but, once I calmed down, I was able to rebook my flight and get an overnight replacement passport and everything was okay. It did cost me a little bit more than I had planned to spend, but when I got to Costa Rica and had to deal with buses that were overbooked and the consequent changes in itinerary, it all seemed manageable. Losing my passport and almost missing my trip made every challenge that came my way seem manageable.
While I was in Costa Rica, we lost our family dog, Chib. Sad as this was, I was in a wonderfully supportive environment, and it got me thinking about how I would handle it if I lost my grandmother. She was 93 and suffering from pretty severe Alzheimer’s/dementia. It also opened a door for me to a number of very personal and profound spiritual experiences which I won’t go into detail about, but I am truly grateful for that.
When I got home from Costa Rica and talked to my boyfriend of roughly four and half years for the first time in over a month, he broke up with me. I agreed that the change was necessary, but I wasn’t really prepared for the eventual process of separation and severing ties that we would undergo. We continued to hang out together regularly for a month or so, but then it became clear that we needed to stop. This was a difficult transition, but again, my experiences in Nosara buoyed me through. Now I feel like it’s one of the best things that has happened all year.
Finally, on December 16, my grandmother passed away. She held on for a long time, but, with the help of hospice care, she finally let go. I flew home on the 19th and worked closely with my parents over the next few days to set up a slide show documenting her life for her service on the 27th. It was a wonderfully healing process and, through a lot of tears and laughter, I think it helped us all to reconnect with her and replace the image of who she had become in the last few years with the memories we really want to hold on to. At some level, I feel like she was waiting for me to meet a really good guy because her departure dovetails so neatly with the start of this new relationship. I wish the two of them could have met, but I think it was enough for me to find him while she was still here. I showed him the slide show when I went to visit for New Year’s, and he watched it willingly. How many times do I need to say I’m grateful? So grateful.