There's the obvious: Wedding. Marriage. Awesomeness.
I'm probably the happiest I've been in life in a looooooong time. Recognizing that there is someone in your life so special that you want to stand by this person forever is a huge enough revelation in and of itself. But taking the step of verbally committing to that person in front of your closest friends and family is something so profound I can hardly find the words to talk about it. I don't know that having a piece of paper that says I'm now legally related to someone else has changed our relationship significantly, but I am still as in love as I was just over 6 six years ago when I first laid eyes on a tall, geeky blond boy in Belgian restaurant. I am so excited about our future and what we can accomplish together!
Then there's the money bit.
We spent a lot of it this year. On our wedding and honeymoon. While I generally have no regrets, I kinda wish we has spent less on the wedding. It was an amazing day - literally everything fell into place as I had imagined it. Everyone had a great time, and in fact, people are still talking about it. I have gorgeous photos (that I can't stop looking at). But lately I've been fantasizing about real estate, and there is so much affordable property on the market in our neighborhood (which we love, like, a lot, and never want to leave) right now it pains me to know that we just don't have the funds to capitalize on the opportunity. And the question lurking in the back of my mind is when we do have the money in a couple years' time, will we be able to find what we want and can afford? So next year, I think it may be time to institute some financial goals and go on a little post-wedding money diet.
Well, friends, this is the part I'm most excited to share. In my heart of hearts, I love what I do. Working in the museum world I think has ultimately made me smarter. And I've made some great connections. However, it's very cyclical and the kinds of challenges I like to handle are becoming fewer. But having to plan my wedding this year has unleashed this insane creative energy that I had no idea I really had in me. I've always been a creative, crafty person. But I was able to take lots of already-great ideas out there in the world of weddings and cobble them together with my own spin, feel, vibe, and creative touches. And I've never had more fun! My mind is still racing with with ideas, talents and skills I'd like to hone, but most importantly, the prospect of going out on my own. It's always been part of my long term plan to do my own thing eventually, but I just feel like I kind of have this momentum going right now, so why not harness that sooner rather than later? I have a pipe dream that I'll share with you later on, but I would like 2012 to be the year when I figure it out. What is it, of my many skills and talents, that I can offer that is special, useful to people, and at which I can successfully keep running long term and support myself? Excited to share some of my ideas in another post, but my goal is to do as much as possible! Ok, here's a little taste: it involves making awesome, interesting and beautiful things!
While 2011 brought together a lot of people, it made me realize that as time passes, I feel further away everyone. My local circle of friends is dwindling. On the one side, I was all over Facebook and discovered Twitter this year, and have gained a bunch of awesome virtual connections out there who I am excited to tap into for creative resources next year. But on the other, I realized that I need to make a bigger effort on cultivating some offline relationships. So as part of my longer-term adventure into becoming self-employed, I am going to be more social in 2012. I'm going to shut down the laptop more and stay at home a little less. Step one: I joined a Monday night bowling league! Don't rub your eyes - I actually just said bowling league! I used to play in a volleyball league here in NY pretty regularly, but a series of related and unrelated injuries kept me from re-joining. I may eventually go back to it when I'm feeling a little more in-shape, but bowling requires little physical involvement so I figured it would be a good place to start.
Last but not least, I'm going to work on my health. I was able to lose 20lbs in honor of looking fab in white dress for a day, but shortly thereafter, I took the road many newlyweds take. We've been eating out a lot. I've been buying my lunch every day. I've gone to the gym twice since the wedding. As of today, I've gained back about 10 of those 20lbs. No bueno! This year, I am going to return to healthier habits and keep it that way. So prepare yourselves for the occasional health/recipe/food amazingness posts next year.
As you may have already discovered by now, all of the above things are linked together! Having better job perspective and a goal to move toward means I can make more time to focus on those things. Which means more time to do healthy stuff like cook and go to the gym. And more time to do things that will help me be more social and launch my own business (flower-arranging classes, anyone?). Which means ultimately saving money and making money at the same time!
I'm not typically one to be excited by a new year. To be honest, I think I'm more excited about 2012 than I was about 2011. Seriously, I'm just bursting at the seams with all the ideas and plans and things I can do over the next 12 months. I hope you'll all still be around to watch and help and offer advice and perspective. I will definitely need it!
I sincerely wish you all a HAPPY new year and hope you find ways to celebrate all year round! I tip my glass to you! Until 2012...