Anytime a lesson has been learned, an adventure is embarked upon, or a new fact is remembered, I encourage our kids to process their thoughts with crayon or colored pencils and paper. They enjoy it, and it makes a wonderful alternative to journaling for the pre-writing person.
But this post isn’t about narrations, journaling, or homeschooling. This is my chance to process the highlights of the past year, review my own lessons, feel accomplishment, and consider how the past influences the future.
This past year has been a wild ride. Like, I don’t even know where to start. Unemployment and foreclosure, moving, living in a camper, beginning homeschooling, getting pregnant again, selling herbal remedies, attending six births, Papa’s new job… and every one of these had/has so many facets I could write about them over the course of several posts (or you could start here).
All of the ups and downs have taught us valuable lessons in character, values, and creativity.
At heart I am a ‘put the roots down’, ‘follow the schedule’ kinda gal. I like normalcy, predictability, and dependability. If this year’s adventures have taught me anything it’s learning to enjoy the flow of life. Life is crazy no matter how much you want to plan it, but when I decided to look at ours as an unfolding story, a journey together, I realized that it doesn’t have to be “just so” in order to enjoy it.
As part of my processing, I tried looking back to last year’s year-end reflection on Papa’s phone. Of course, my tech-savvy self permanently deleted the post instead of opening it, so I can’t tell you if I met my goals, although I’m pretty sure I did.
Honestly I can’t remember more of what was on my list than that!
This year it was also a pleasure to watch our children grow in new ways. Living closer together and being in the middle of a giant field with access to gardens, tools, and wildlife has inspired them to try new things, learn new social and physical skills, and even to be more in tune with their own thoughts and feelings.
We’ve had some pretty intense parenting challenges this year, some we’re still in the middle of, yet it has also been such a joy to see them reach higher, become more confident in themselves, and to feel that we are becoming an even stronger family.
Soon I’ll be sharing some ideas of what we see in store for ourselves in 2012, but to sum up, I see this past year as being a valuable chapter in our family’s story. It will help us to move forward to bigger and better things. We’ve learned to be thankful and adapt to fewer resources without being uncomfortable, we’ve learned to enjoy less screen time and more time spent in reality, we’ve learned to be thankful for seemingly minute, yet precious details that could get lost amongst the challenges, and our faith, spirits, and I believe even our health have been strengthened by it.
Good night 2011, good morning 2012.