Way back at the beginning of 2011, I took my inspiration from Ali Edwards's blog and picked a word for the year instead of making a New Year's resolution that I wouldn't keep anyway. The word I picked was opportunity, and what a year of tremendous opportunities it has been. The first opportunity was presented to us on January 2, and it just kept going from there. As I expected, not every opportunity was positive or happy, but each one taught me a lot about myself and helped me become, well, more "me".
So what did my opportunities look like this year?
- I had the opportunity to learn. I learned from some amazing people, I learned in a new setting, and I learned through class just because it was important and interesting to me. I'm starting to find my passion, and I recognized just how important and fulfilling learning is to me.
- I experienced tremendous loss this year and had the opportunity to grow closer to my husband. We're both still working through this and trying to become stronger because of it, but it is still quite painful for him. I imagine each holiday and landmark will get easier as time passes, but it won't happen quickly.
- I had the opportunity to make some marvelous connections! Oh the amazing people I have met and the things they have taught me about learning, thinking and connecting. I'm looking forward to making more connections and growing even more this year. Thank you to each of you for giving me the opportunity to connect with you!
- I had the opportunity to experience a tremendous change this year. I left the school where I worked for 13 years and moved to a brand new building, into a brand new grade level, with a brand new teaching structure, as part of a brand new faculty and a brand new team. It certainly hasn't happened without growing pains, but I am proud of how I have worked through the change and learned how to work with different people.
- I had the opportunity to travel and see some beautiful places and some beautiful people. Between our summer vacation and a Christmas trip, my husband and I covered the entire east coast of the United States from Acadia National Park in Maine to the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama.
- I had the opportunity to realize that sometimes the best things in life aren't things. The best things are the moments: those times when I was helping others, surprising the ones I love, and spending time with the people I care about. I have the memories and love that I will carry with me forever!
These certainly aren't all of my opportunities for the year, but you get the point. I wish I could keep the word opportunity for 2012, but in the true spirit of One Little Word, I've chosen a new one. The word I picked is GROW, and I think it's a great word that will build upon all that started with my opportunities in 2011. I'm looking forward to sharing how I grow during the upcoming year.