2010: The Good Parts

It would be really easy for me to dwell on the all that didn’t happen that I wanted to happen in 2010, to count my “failures,” but I’ve already done that in private.  I’ve already hinted about it on Facebook and been buoyed back up by the blessing of good friends, for which I am truly grateful.

That said, some good things did happen in 2010.  In no particular order, the list:

  1. I finally told certain members of my family that I am no longer to be considered the referee of their quarrels.
  2. By year’s end, I had developed a regular yoga practice.  For the last month, it was daily!
  3. By year’s end, I had also developed a regular meditation practice.  Hurrah!
  4. I became more confident in my abilities as a photographer, and, as a result, entered a local contest.
  5. I placed second in one category of the amateur division of the contest.
  6. Going into the contest, I had printed up some of my best, and showcased a range of styles and subject matter in that collection.
  7. The contest was also a public exhibit.
  8. The people milling around the exhibit really seemed to like my work. (Eavesdropping in this situation, not so bad.)
  9. I was able to go to an inspiring local lecture by a professional photographer who grew up here.
  10. I finally released myself from the half-hearted pursuit of writing a novel.  I figured out it was one of those things that I just assumed I should do, since I like to write and was told most of my life that I’m good at it.  I was beating myself up for never finishing one, when the light bulb went off above my head that I just don’t have the burning passion for it.  I like telling stories, but novels are a different animal entirely.
  11. I took two photo inspiration e-courses, which were a lot of fun.
  12. I bought my first DSLR (in layman’s terms, pro-capable camera) and lens, the (entry-level) Canon EOS Rebel XS EF-S 18-55 mm IS kitWith moral support from my Dad, who went with me to buy it so my penny-pinching tendencies wouldn’t win out.
  13. I did a lot of clarifying what I do and do not want out of life, both through general life circumstance and through taking and completing Mondo Beyondo.
  14. I saved more money than I thought I would, particularly considering that I had two rounds of major car repairs during the year.
  15. I gained a “niece,” the September-born daughter of my friend Misty, and got baby cuddles from her for Christmas.
  16. I wrote: poems, morning pages, journal entries, blog posts.
  17. I started a photo blog.
  18. I got a Twitter account, and have had a lot of fun connecting with new people and existing friends in 140-character bursts.  Some days, that’s all I wanted to publicly say.
  19. I read some really good books, including Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit, and Women, Food, and God.  (There are more, but these stand out.)
  20. I started some other really good books, which I hope to soon finish: Old Songs In A New Cafe, Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart, and An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.  (There are more; this is just a sample.)
  21. I made some strides in cleaning out a lot of old mental tapes, and the ones that haven’t been cleaned out I can now recognize them–most of the time–for what they are.
  22. 2010 was the year that my skin was its best since puberty began, thanks to Origins and developing the self-confidence to allow people to see my bare face.
  23. I learned to not live in fear of having a migraine, and, when one came, I learned that fully surrendering–taking my medicine, getting in bed, and breathing through it until I fell asleep–was the best way to get through them, as doing so allowed them to make a quicker exit and also diminished their severity.
  24. I branched out of my photographic comfort zone some this year.  Nature, plants, flowers, etc., are my favorite subjects, but I did well with capturing some architecture, abstract subjects, and light painting this year, too.  (The photograph that placed in the contest was a local statue, the World War I monument, backlit by the noon sun, and captured some nice sun flare.)
  25. I found or was introduced to some really good music: Mumford & Sons, 8mm, Josh Ritter, and Florence + the Machine.

I’m sure there are more, but the top 25 is a good stopping point.  I did live up to my word of the year–bloom–after all, just not in the way I had planned or expected.

Goodbye, 2010.

Welcome, 2011.

Sunrise through a window.

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