I believe it was around this time last year that I was equally as PO'ed about this snow as I am right now. Can't it just be over already? Seriously. In fact, I am not even going to put a picture of snow. I'm putting up pictures of pretty things instead.
To know what to leave out and what to put in; just where and just how, ah, that is to have been educated in knowledge of simplicity -- toward ultimate freedom of expression. - Frank Lloyd Wright
This quote has been brought to you by Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, which is quickly becoming a favorite blog of mine as well as a favorite book.Both are an easy read with lots of simple, straightforward, "why didn't I think of that?" sort of advice in them. At first I found the book a little bit too self-indulgent, but I promise if you can get past the first chapter or two it's worth it, even if you don't end up doing your own "Happiness Project."
So, my grandfather passed away earlier this week after 89 years. Especially after my great-grandmother's death only a few days earlier than that, everyone around here has been wondering what the hell is going on in the universe right now that all of these things are happening all at once. The last funeral I had to go to was my grandmother's over ten years ago, and all of the sudden its one after another. My grandpa was the most loving, hardworking man I ever had the pleasure to meet, and he leaves behind a family that loves him very much. Needless to say, it's been an odd couple of weeks.
Although there's been a lot of sadness, the incredible timing of everything recently has really blown me away. The things that are happening right now can not just be coincidence, there's reason behind it, and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what those reasons could be. I won't go into specifics, because it would be very long winded and a little too much to share with the world wide web. However, I will say that the snow day we had on Wednesday was my grandfather's gift to us. I think he knew we needed a day off from work to just relax and wrap our heads around these changes. For that one day, it was nice to have nowhere to go and nothing to do. It was a beautiful snowstorm and I took some time out to take pictures, something I don't have too much time for these days.
Think of the long trip home. Should we have stayed at home and thought of here? Where should we be today? Is it right to be watching strangers in a play in the strangest of theatres? What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life in our bodies, we are determined to rush to see the sun the other way around? "Questions of Travel" Elizabeth Bishop
This year, my New Year's resolution is to not have a New Year's resolution. That sort of thing has never worked for me. And why should a New Year be a reason to do something? I like to think that I try to make self-improvements all year long. I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing.
Also, I am thinking about opening an Etsy shop and attempting to sell some of the stuff I've been crocheting. I doubt anyone would buy them, but I might as well give it a shot. This idea has nothing to do with it being a new year, since I've been thinking about doing it a while and decided to actually do it yesterday.
However, the new year has certainly inspired me to simplify things. I've done a lot of cleaning out and cleaning up, physically and mentally. My room, and particularly my closet, has never been so organized. I've been opening it periodically just to admire my job well done.
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I am going to refer to 2010 as a "clean-up year." All the other years leading up to 2010 were like the days you spend looking at the pile of laundry in the corner and then promising yourself you will get to it later, continuing to go about your day. 2010 was the year that I went through the arduous process of accepting, encountering, tackling, and overcoming. At the beginning of 2011 I feel far more polished, far more settled. 2010 was rough, but completely necessary. I'm happy it has come and gone.
I guess you could say a lot happened, and it doesn't mean they were bad things. They were just intense things, and some of them are great things. For starters, I graduated college, got into graduate school at NYU, and completed my first semester there with my best GPA yet. I have spent a lot of quality time with family and friends, and I have met so many new people who have turned out to be quite influential and special to me.
2011 hasn't been all sunshine and daisies so far, it's actually been kind of difficult. For example, my great grandmother passed away last Thursday. I will miss her very much, she was a special lady. However, because of my experiences in 2010 this difficult time has been easier for me to handle. I can see the good things- I am sad she is gone but I am happy that she can be in a better place now. I've always considered myself to be an optimist, but now I really feel that optimism, too.
It's safe to say that in 2010 I learned more than I have in any other year. I may even dare to say that I learned more in 2010 than in all my other years combined. It was just one of those times in my life. It's funny to think that this time last year I was just starting to go through this whole process, and exactly a year later I've finished my first semester of Social Work school and really feel like I am in the right place, doing the right things for me. I've learned how to do that. Mastered it, even. It feels pretty good to be able to say that.
2011 is a year that I am very much looking forward to. Hooray!
ps. I figured since I put a picture of myself in my post from last year that I should keep up the tradition.