Last night, Lina and I did I The Year-End List for 2011. It’s an exercise I first did with my friend Kristin, and then, when partnered, with Lina. And I try to spread the word about it to everyone. It’s powerful!
First, write down all your accomplishments/joys/good stuff from the year before. Pull out diaries, datebooks, whatever, to recall what the heck you did, and list everything that seems worth listing. That can include something as huge as a new job or as “small” as trying out a challenging recipe. Whatever to you seems like an accomplishment. It can be serendipitous things, too, like inheriting money or reconnecting with an old friend. Speaking of friends, I have a special category for people who are important to me who I didn’t even know a year earlier. This year’s list includes three writing-related friends who I now can’t imagine not knowing. Can’t wait to see who will be on next year’s list!
OK, so that fun part is done. Now write down your disappointments and sorrows, anything from the loss of a job to the loss of a friend, or maybe that idea who loved and pitched was rejected. Remember that sometimes disappointments have flip sides. If you entered a contest and didn’t win, heck, you took the time and initiative to enter it! I remember a couple years ago Lina had the disappointment of not yet telling her parents about being transgender. But she’d been building up to it in many ways, and HAD told two important friends. I’m not saying to ignore your losses but to really examine them and see if maybe there’s not a gain underneath it all.
Finally, write down your intentions for the new year. These are not resolutions but more like goals. Many of mine this year had to do with being more open-hearted and kind, but some involved writing desires.
So here were my three biggest joys. 1) Embracing Lina. Yes!!! Early last year I was engulfed in the sorrow of losing Wessel. So, phew… 2) Realizing that it really makes sense to expect the best in people instead of the worst, because when you offer yourself up honest, openly, and with vulnerability, people almost always respond kindly. I tried my best to deny this truth, but events of 2011 have proved it over and over. 3) Having my dang book published (Farm Fresh North Carolina). Loads of work and a huge accomplishment.
After we’ve written everything down, we share it, discuss it, and at the end shout YAY US! YAY ME! (Krispy-and-Didy-Patent-Pending.) If you give it a try, let me know how it goes. YAY YOU!