2011 New Years resolutions: a look back

I love the chance to think about the year from a big picture perspective when it comes to a close. Review the sorrows, joys, challenges, what I’ve learned, what surprises came our way–all that good stuff. I recently came across the list that I made 1 year ago. They were my goals for 2011–a big to-do list, essentially. So I decided to go through and track what happened with each of those items–what got accomplished and what got pushed aside.

So first up, here are some of the things I set out to do and DID!

Finish writing one song. This is the one resolution I’ve blown out of the water–2011 has been a year of songwriting for me. Not only did I finish and perform my first song around April of the year (Under the Shadow), but our band Thornfield has also performed seven more of my songs. It’s been a process, but there’s nothing like sitting down with a guitar for 2-3 hours–or a number of days–and bringing a scrap of a melody that’s been echoing around in your head into full fruition.

Overcome stage fright. It’s a work in progress, but I’ve come so far since my first gig with Carrie and Eric back in December of 2010. I’ve learned to hold my nerves at bay until the performance has actually begun (as opposed to wallowing in misery for days prior), and it’s been months since I’ve felt the whooshing, sickening “I want to die” feeling. There’s still a whooshing, and some degree of vocal instability when I first start a song, but at least there’s no longer a death wish!

Continue blogging. Yes! And it’s all because of you lovely people who have, somehow, for whatever reason, signed up for the ride.

Some fun added things I didn’t plan on:

The resurrection of the guitar! After studying classical guitar from age 12 all the way through my sophomore year at Indiana University, I decided I didn’t want to be a classical guitarrist. I changed my major from music to English and French, and the guitar went to the closet, where it remained for years. It came out a handful of times, but this past year–8 years after putting it away–it has come out with a vengeance. With the encouragement of my bandmates I’ve rediscovered this instrument and the joy of playing it. I’m loving it.

My first paid photo shoots–four of them so far, to be exact, plus an almost equal amount of pro bono ones. I’ve recently changed cameras and am shooting with a Nikon D90, and I’m thrilled with the amount of progress I’ve made in the past 12 months. I can see the improvement both with my straight-outta-the-camera shots and my Photoshop processing (hopefully I’m learning about the light touch! A hard thing to master, to be sure).

And now the things I didn’t get around to:

Making Grandma Sue’s cream pie recipe. A year ago, Aunt Laura gave me a handwritten recipe card from my husband’s favorite grandma, who died of cancer when he was a sophomore in high school. I really do need to make this, especially because the instructions read “cook until blurps.” Maybe 2012 will be the year of the blurping.

Buy a dining room table. We decided to hold off on this and to make do with our small table–so I’m crossing this off the list with no regrets.

Fix broken necklaces. I have two necklaces sitting around, broken and unwearable. One needs to be restrung. I even bought some wire to work on this . . . but I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. Moooooooom! Please send help in the form of your jewelry expertise and motivational abilities.

Make biltong. That dang biltong. I think it may hang over my head forever–until my sister Heidi comes to whip my butt straight into South African culinary wonderland.

Tomorrow I’m going to set down my thoughts about this year, and what some of my hopes and plans are. How about you guys? What did you set out to do last year and get done? What got pushed aside?

8 thoughts on “2011 New Years resolutions: a look back

  1. Julie M.

    That’s a pretty decent list! I can’t remember what I set out to do yesterday let alone last year. I do know that this year is dedicated to working on my photography (can I come over and get some pointers?) and finally getting my old blog posts updated. We’ll see how it goes. Let me know when you make that cream pie and I’ll be sure to drop by and grab a piece. :)

  2. Becky

    I have never done this exercise very seriously but it is interesting to give it more thought. I have a quiet night with kids sleeping already, so now might be my chance! Thanks for the inspiration. The more I read, I think we must be the same age? 83 baby?

  3. Amrita

    Looking at the things you accomplished in 2011 shows you had a fabulous year! I’ve always wanted to learn to play the guitar but, never put my heart into it and so, it is now all rusty. I do intend to get down to it someday! Also, your pictures are just so beautiful!

  4. Suzie

    I don’t really make a list for the year but, I just have a never-ending list that continues to grow. When I do get to cross out a few things it does feel great! Sometimes, I have too many lists and have to compress them…lol!

  5. Veronica Miller

    Well, your list is pretty impressive! I’d say you got the most important stuff done, and some big things you didn’t even count on! On my list was to read the Bible cover to cover. That did not happen, but I’m back at it, no longer putting it as a resolution, but knowing that I will read as much as I can every day so that it is accomplished, whether in a year’s time or not. :) May 2012 bring much blurping to your kitchen! :)

  6. Kimby

    Jenna, I haven’t made a resolution list for years, but there’s a general “to do” category that looms in my mind… lol. SOOOO glad you took up the guitar again — I thought you sounded pretty accomplished as a “picker!” (Neat that you studied English and French, too, though — will you be my translator?!) And sour cream pie that cooks til it “blurps”?? — LOVE IT!!

    My significant accomplishments in 2011 (whether I set out to accomplish them or not!) were starting my blog, snagging a pretty decent job, and being invited to participate in an on-line writing group that rocks my world. Plus “meeting” YOU, and a multitude of people I never knew existed until I dared my technological (lack of) know how to BE STILL. :) The blessings in all of the above are unfathomable. Ahhhh…

    Off to see what in the world “biltong” is now…….!


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