Reflecting on 2011
Last day of 2011. Just another day in my book. As a society, we mark it as a milestone and reflect back on the past year. What really annoys me is how the media started putting its lists of best and worst, highlights, etc. together back around Thanksgiving. Apparently, the last five or six weeks of the year don’t count. I find it highly amusing that only a few rogue news outlets will dare to talk about 2011 after January 1st, like it’s suddenly a taboo topic. Doesn’t it make more sense to review a year after it’s over? I guess everyone wants to be the first. If you’re not first, then you still have to put it out there quickly and not be the last.
At the movies last week, I noticed a couple of yet-to-be-released movies are already advertising themselves as the best drama or comedy of the year. Does anyone seriously buy that? If it is being released in January and it is the first or only comedy to be released so far, I hardly think that earns you the title: BEST of anything.
I’ve heard a number of friends say, “2011 was the worst year, next year has to be better”. That annoys me. I always want to ask, “but did you learn or accomplish anything this year?” Whatever happened over the course of the past 12 months is not the calendar’s fault and there is no guarantee next year will be better or worse. You can’t control everything that happens around you.
Reflection. What occurred and how did you respond to it. That’s what is important to me. Everything we do, every experience that comes our way, colors our lives differently. We are a culmination of every event, every person, every thing that touches our lives. We can only become the people we want to be by reflecting on our experiences and our actions.
I think I learned a lot about patience and diligence this past year. I’m finally at the age that “I want it now” has given way to “I want it right” and “I want it better“. Quality really only comes through patience and diligence. I found the anxiety of the beginnings of tasks, give way to the excitement of the process and finally, the bittersweet completion. I both love and hate deadlines because I am both driven by, and a slave to them.
Two big milestones of my year were completing my Masters degree and my play, September’s Heroes. Two great accomplishments and I’m extremely proud of both. I realized how much I love to learn, read and research; and how what I can do to have an impact on others.
The most important milestone is that I think I finally understand and like myself. That may sound odd, but the journey to self-acceptance is probably the hardest road many of us will ever climb. In accepting myself I feel I’m much better equipped to understand, help and encourage all the wonderful people in my life. It’s a pretty terrific feeling.
My Facebook Addiction
Addicted to Facebook? Why, thank you, yes I am. Facebook is always up on my computer. I’m not staring at it 24/7 but it’s always open. I love the ability to reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with current ones and make new friends as well.
I’m the type of person that can’t just sit and watch television. I always have to be doing something else to keep my mind occupied. I used to work on a variety of crafts while the TV was on… then I was selling books on Ebay… and now, Facebook.
I can proudly say that I’ve recovered from my Farmville addiction. I no long try to schedule my free time around planting and harvesting crops and fertilizing friends’ farms. Now I’ve moved on to about a dozen games I play on a regular basis.
The most important thing that Facebook contributes to my life is the ability to connect with others. I’ll frequently troll friends’ pages, hijack a conversation, or attempt to be witty and lighten someone else’s day. I can actually keep up with what my family is doing and encourage them along the way. Sharing and viewing pictures is fun and I absolutely love the new timeline format. It actually forced me to figure out how to use my scanner so I can go back and scan old photographs to add to my timeline, tagging friends along the way.
In addition to the ability to share life’s joys and sorrows across the miles, the most fascinating aspect I’ve discovered is who I chat with most. I’ve found Facebook has allowed me to build great friendships and carry on some pretty amazing conversations with people I never would have connected with, in the same way, through other forms of communications. I look forward to chatting and teasing a couple of my high school friends daily. Friends that weren’t in the same cliques back in school. It’s really made me realize how important people are in our lives–how they can enrich our lives– and how much we can miss out by not connecting.
I actually had over 180 people wish me “Happy Birthday” yesterday… including an award winning actor and a Broadway Diva! Before Facebook, I might have received a couple calls and a few cards… see a few friends for dinner… but Facebook allows us to be there, no matter where we are in the world. For that, I am extremely grateful. Right now I have 748 friends on Facebook. Yes, some are gaming friends, some are celebrities I like to follow but most are actually people that have played an important role at some point in my life. We may no longer be in the same place or have the same interests that originally connected us… but Facebook allows us to stay connected, even if only marginally, for many years to come.
Today’s picture is of Collin’s munching on the infamous Chia brand’s Cat Grass. I broke a piece off and gave it to him the other day and he played with and ate it. Yesterday, he found the planter on the counter and proceeded to entertain himself, rubbing his face in it and munching. As soon as I got up this morning, he followed me downstairs and was up on the counter munching away before I could even turn on the light. Go figure. I wonder what he would do to the Chia Obama?
Today is my 49th birthday. I’ve been think a lot over the past few weeks of how I could commemorate this year. I decided I wanted to try to blog daily. I also want to try and take one photograph each day as well. It will be interesting to see if I can actually accomplish this.
The name for this blog comes from Jonathan Larson’s song Seasons of Love from the award-winning musical RENT. “How do you measure a year in the life?”
Every day we have the opportunity to influence another person and potentially change their lives forever. It has been proven time and time again that the actions of one single person can forever change the world. Each and every one of us have the opportunity to make a difference. Will we?
Working in the performing arts and primarily with high school students, I see the world differently than most of my friends. I have the opportunity to see it through young eyes and experience it through an older but wiser mind. Yes, times are changing and yes, it’s not like it used to be. The world is constantly evolving and we continue to adjust. How do we measure those efforts? How do I measure? That’s what I hope to explore.