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Cultivating 2013...A Year in Review

I'm going to repeat what everyone is saying...I can't believe 2013 is coming to a close. It feels like it has been an extremely long year. Of course, it also feels like we only just got started, and how can we possibly be at the end?

Part of my choice of the word Cultivate for 2013 was to eliminate some of that feeling, that "whaaaa?" feeling when I got a chance to come up for air. Clearly, that part wasn't achieved. I completed almost none of the One Little Word class prompts. In a lot of ways, my first gut reaction is that I didn't do such a great job of cultivating 2013. I have a very strong sense of "whaaaa?" these days.

But I have taken a deeper look at my life in the moments I can grab between feeding and cleaning and organizing and working, and (thankfully) I think that first gut reaction is wrong.

Cultivate originally meant for me actively bringing in all of these things that I am craving - more writing, more playing, more projects completed and challenges met. In taking an active role in creating my life. In doing the work required to finish a day, a week, a year, with a sense of achievement.

So I didn't complete One Little Word. My Project Life album is still hard to find in my office (although I've gotten myself way more set up for 2014...more to come!).

On the other hand, I loved and worked (mostly) through some journalling projects and courses this year. I'm journalling more than I ever have. I'm asking myself questions about what is the Most Important Thing in my life. I'm writing just for me, and also to plan for the future and make sure I'm putting time in the right places.

It's a struggle, but I'm taking the time to think about the kinds of activities and projects that are taking my time and figuring out if they are really worth it. If they are the kinds of things I want in my life.

I've been steadily working on my December Daily album (more posts to come!) in a way that has solidified for me that playing with pictures and memories and words and crafty tape/glitter/papers is a really nice way for me to just have fun in a way that is meaningful to me.

And those four simple goals? I'm more mindful about vegetables (even as I gorge on holiday chocolate), my house is functionally organized, the decorations are up! and I already mentioned the journalling.

But also, that sense of "whaaa?" comes from being in a completely different physical and (sort of) family environment than I was on January 1. We've left the city behind. We have a house! A yard! A car. And when I really get down to it, that is the true cultivation that has happened this year.

Our family has changed so much in the last several years, and this year, it was about creating a family life that worked with our jobs, and that helped serve our goals for raising our child. Making sure Little Bear had space to run, neighborhoods to explore, a good free public education and a community of family nearby.

And so I did make baby steps towards cultivating the personal project and creative life that I focused on when the year began. But what has really come out of 2013, I cultivated a life.

As I get focused on 2014 and ask some good questions about where I want to be at this time next year, I've realized that the point isn't what I cultivated, but that I was there doing the cultivating along the way. I'm pleased what I have accomplished this year and I can't wait to experience what happens next!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Shine: 2014

December Daily 2013: Cover and Day One