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Out with the Old, In with the New

It’s nice to be back after a short break that, while busy, was enjoyable, interesting, rejuvenating and restorative. I’ll share more about that in an upcoming post.

As readers who follow earlier posts of mine will know, I’m big on reflection and New Year’s resolutions. In fact, the posts The Write Lesson Learned and Letting Go and then Most Alive Moment from a few weeks ago captured many of my thoughts on the outgoing 2010 and incoming 2011.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2011? Here is a countdown of my six:

6. Continue learning Nederlands. My skill level is what you’d call intermediate. I can get around, converse fairly well with others (especially if they don’t go too fast and are willing to help me with new words), understand much (okay, sometimes only some) of what I hear on the radio or television (again, if not spoken at lightening speed).

I make every effort to speak Dutch whenever possible. I worked hard on my Dutch in 2010, and am committed to working hard in 2011 to move from ‘intermediate’ closer to ‘proficient’.

5. Expand my ‘organized zone’ to include those last few straggling areas of our home. It’s only a few closets and some storage bins. (Okay, more than a few storage bins and also what has become a dumping area in poor Son’s room.)

I enjoy being organized. I don’t really like clutter. I like the feeling of knowing where everything is. Despite previous rounds of decluttering, some stubborn pockets remain. Too. Much. Stuff. Gotta tackle it, tame it, deal with it.

4. Focus on Health. I wrote about getting back into a regular exercise routine in a post on Body Integration. For 2011 I’m putting a premium on making more healthful choices (more exercise, more sleep, less snacking, better food choices, forgoing an extra glass of wine).

Confucious said ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ He had that right. Everyday I have the opportunity to make dozens of choices that while seemingly small, together add up to something much greater. Here’s to making healthful choices, one by one.

3. Savor the moments. As mentioned before, Son is a senior in high school. This summer he graduates, and will head off to university back in the US. I am trying to tamp down the feelings of panic. Panic at his leaving the family nest, at not having enough time to impart life lessons and teach skills that I think he’ll need, at his going off into what we all know can be an imposing, tough world.

Instead, I’m focusing on the wonderful, emerging adult he is becoming. Enjoying our time together as a family. Being excited for him as he meets these life milestones head on. Cherishing every minute of our life with him. Preparing for the day he spreads his wings and flies.

2. 5/11: Practice the Numbers. Okay, this one makes no obvious sense unless you’ve read my posts Five Little Words and My Eleven. But I’m going to do my best to practice 5/11 in my daily life.

1. The Flourishing Writer. In One Word I described 2010 as my year of growth, and aspire to 2011 being my year to flourish. In 2010 I took the plunge. I took a few classes with writer/author/publisher/mentor Jo Parfitt, cultivated some new friendships with kindred writers, started this blog, published my first two articles (one on pp. 14-15 in the Winter edition of this expat magazine and one at this expat website), wrote another article to be published next week at another expat website, began several other writing projects.

For 2011, I’ve got lots of irons in the fire. Here I wrote about eliminating distractions and taking action to focus on what’s important (and what’s not) to help me meet my goals.

The biggest of which I said out loud here for the first time: Write. A. Book.

Time to flourish!

Image credit: Kongsky portfolio 1841 freedigitalphotos.net

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