This year has come and gone, leaving us with many memories to Ponder...
Although 2011 didn't bring everything we were hoping for, it was a very rewarding year for us.
I spent the first half of the year focusing on losing 30 pounds. It was time to make some changes...to start feeling better about things. It felt like an uphill battle at first. Mostly because I love food, but also because I had let my willpower wane. I truly believe that we can "train" our willpower. And I spent the first half of the year exercising my willpower! I successfully lost thirty pounds in 2011. In the process, I learned to love myself much more than I had been. It hasn't come easy, because I've spent a lot of my life worrying about what other people think of me. That will always be a part of me, but I've gotten better at shushing that voice.
I learned that things I never dreamed myself capable of are possible. For instance, running. I ran five 5k's in one year! I used to say, "I HATE RUNNING!". But really, I just hated the way my slow, stubborn, out of shape body felt while running. I learned to get past that feeling. I discovered that I am a runner and no one can tell me different. I may not run fast. I may not run far. I may not run daily. But I am a runner and I find joy in that.
I learned that I can change my habits. I can eat an apple instead of a bunch of crackers. Or a hamburger on lettuce, instead of on a bun. I can eat healthy and light and still feel satisfied. Or attend exercise bootcamp in the park, where everyone can see me in all of my sweaty, red-faced glory. Yikes.
In 2011, I learned that I can say "NO". I CAN say no, and many times I SHOULD say no. Sometimes, no matter how much we want to please others, it is just better to politely say "NO". The awkwardness goes away. We must find a balance between wanting to do what others want, and doing what we need to do for ourselves. Okay, I really learned this before 2011, but I practiced this skill in 2011. You've got to love yourself. No matter how much you love the people in your life. No matter how much you want to do for everyone else. You've got to say "no" sometimes, and the earth does not stop moving. And your friends and family will not stop loving you. (Unless they are just selfish and petty, of course!).
I learned that even in our forties we don't necessarily have all of the answers. When I was young I always pictured myself growing up and being wise, and confident, and settled. You know ~ an ADULT! But now I know that with age, we just get better at dealing with life's uncertainties. We don't stop having them. We may always be wandering, learning, and seeking. Maybe this is not a bad thing. Life has many destinations and just as many U-turns, detours and wrong way trips down a one way street (why is everyone staring and honking at me???).
It's the journey, right?
Late in 2011, we started this blog. Pondered Primed Perfected came into existence on November 3, 2011. What's funny about this is that Scott was the one pushing me to be more creative. Hadn't I talked enough about wishing I could open up some invisible door and let my creativity run freely? What on earth was holding me back? So, with a little bit of nudging from Scott, I leaped headfirst into creating a blog to showcase our creative projects. Very quickly people showed an interest in what we were doing. Some of our projects have been featured on Houzz, Apartment Therapy, and Roadkill Rescue, among many others! What a great feeling that is! The blog really has ignited an enormous amount of creativity in both of us. If only we had more time!!!
There is this anticipation inside of me that soon I will be able to bring out a blank canvas, some brushes and paints and really create. Everywhere we look there is a new project just begging to be realized! It's kind of like seeing the world in color after many years of black and white. How did we stray so far from our passion? Why did we let the everyday, the necessary, the survival mode, dampen our creative souls? Hopefully we will see some artistic creativity flowing freely in 2012!
2011 is the year that Scott went back to school to finish his degree. He learned how to be a student again. He is doing quite well in his classes and that is a great confidence booster for him. It was a little scary getting started. For both of us. He was worried about how he would do in classes and I, well I just worry. We are both so proud of what he is accomplishing!
We can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us!
Here are some of our favorite projects from 2011:
Our Craft Room Storage Cabinets started out life looking like this:
But ended up looking like this:
Then came Scott's unbelievable, upcycle transformation of the old radio cabinet he got free off of Craigslist.
We designed and created our own mudroom style entryway:
We threw in a few smaller projects to keep things interesting:
Here's to 2012 and much, much more creativity!Sherry and Scott