Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the Old . . . Farewell 2011

Today marks the 66th change of year commemoration during my lifetime. I don’t count this as unusual. Every living person will experience this same event based on the number of years each has spent on this planet. The interesting thing to me is that each year seems to pass faster and faster, yet nothing has changed. Each year still consists of 365 days (except leap years, of which 2012 is). Each day still consists of 24 hours each representing 60 minutes and so on. So, time is still constant. What is changing is my perception and . . . me.

This posting is about what was – what happened. What occurred this year of my life that made an impact on me in some way? This is my retrospective. Perhaps, you’ll want to consider your year in retrospect. Everything that happened to each of us this past year made us a slightly, or perhaps, a considerably changed individual. I won’t even guess about your year, but perhaps some of the things that happened to me will spark your thoughts.

  1. I spent the month of January in Florida, the first time in my life where I spent longer then at least a month someplace other then the place I considered “home” and I loved it.
  2. I lost two of my contemporaries to death – two people of my age bracket who each was a part of my life at some significant level. I faced my own mortality on a much more realistic level.
  3. I was involved in the worst auto accident of my life, an altercation with a deer on a very dark mountain road in North Carolina. The car was a total loss, but I walked away unscathed. I could have been killed. I, again, faced my own mortality.
  4. The wrecked car required that I replace it. Through a lot of soul searching and past and immediate research, I decided to buy the used high-top van I’m converting into a micro motor home for one person – the 40-foot dream scaled down to an 18-foot reality.
  5. I broke out of, yet, another comfort zone. I broke the large comfort zone on October 31, 2008 when I left the ranch for my life of nomadic freedom. I promptly created a new comfort zone (actually, three) with my friend’s place in Falls Church, VA, my other friend’s office in Fairfax and my other friend’s place in Winchester (the small rural city I lived in for the past 27 years). The deer/auto accident in August and the acquisition of the van were the catalysts for breaking these comfort zones – probably 2 ½ years late.
  6. I actually accomplished a major breakthrough in simplifying my life. I met with my accountant of about 25 years and gave him the preliminary financial data for my 2011 business year and it required only two pages. He was astounded and congratulated me on making one of the most positive moves since he’s known me.
  7. I didn’t travel as much as I would have liked this past year, only about 6,000 to 7,000 miles. But, that will be rectified in 2012 with trips that are already scheduling up.
  8. Generally, my health remained very good other then contracting Lyme Disease in June. I caught it early and received treatment and that appears to be in the past. But, I got off track after the August accident and breaking the comfort zones this fall, allowed stress to gain a bit of a foothold and I packed on some of the pounds I had lost and with that my cholesterol and triglycerides have gone back into the too “high” range. Work to do.
  9. I’ve moved just about all of my long-term storage out of Winchester, VA to a storage space in Keyser, WV. It’s near my friend’s house that I’m now using as a temporary base of operations as I clear up the final vestiges of my former life and comfort zones.
  10. I completed the writing for my first book. I’ll complete going through it and cleaning it up a bit and then to the editor and the designer. I believe it’s the hardest book to complete (in my estimation). The book will be ready for consumption by anyone who cares to read it very soon in 2012.
  11. The year has been a time of introspective analysis, especially the last five months, again, the catalysts being the loss of one important person in my life and the accident with the deer. I’ve looked back over 54 years of business involvement (beginning at age 12), nearly 50 years in the recording and audio (and a little video) industries and about 12 years in the book publishing industry. I’ve finally faced some self-made myths, apparitions and realities and accepted them. I’m finally able to release certain things that I’ve clung to and that have held me back in many ways. More freedom realized.
  12. I have focused on my writing and blogging. My blog following, though still small, is constantly expanding and encompasses some 20 to 30 countries. I’ve learned a lot about what I have to do to grow in the cyber world. I’ve met (though not in person, yet) several new people traveling similar, yet, unique paths in freedom, simplicity and frugal living to mine own. Their life adventures affirm my own and, I hope, I’m contributing a little to theirs. All of this is clarifying my future projects and pathways.

So, there are twelve things I can immediately identify as events during 2011 that have shaped my living free experience. There were surely numerous others, but each of these twelve things will form a part of the foundation for 2012. Each requires me to follow through on some positive course of action. Will these be New Years resolutions – absolutely not. I am of the mindset that New Years resolutions don’t work. They are a form of goal setting based on a date that simply marks the end of a man created period of time and the beginning of a new one. Do I have goals? Of course, but they are not determined by this intangible change of time period.

This morning I had my own celebration of the end of this year. I stopped at the local Sheetz convenience store and bought one of their “made to my order” breakfast muffins. I pack them full of all kinds of great stuff. Mmmmm! Delicious. Then I made a stop at the local WalMart and picked up a few things including almond milk, which I much prefer to regular dairy milk and it’s better for me as well. But, while I was there, I purchased two large, powdered-sugar covered, jelly-filled donuts and a pint of chocolate milk. I then devoured them in the van while listening to Click & Clack, the comedic Boston based auto repair mavens on their public broadcasting show, “Car Talk.” Did I need any of that stuff in my stomach? Of course I didn’t. Then why did I do it? Simple! Because I chose to do it. I don’t make a habit of eating so destructively, but if I can’t indulge in some of the delicious evils of life, am I really free and is life really worth living? Now, it’s back to healthier eating, which is my normal pattern.

If you're reading this post, you are one of the terrific folks who stop by and consume my musings. Thank you for your time and eyes. I can only say I appreciate you and I sincerely hope that you've gained some useful information or ideas to make your life more like you want it to be. 

Farewell 2011! It’s been a good year and a bad year. But, I choose for it to all end up good for me. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and abundant 2012.



Unknown said...

In reading different lifestyle blogs this year, one thing I learned is appreciation for the changes made and shared, taking stock of my lifestyle and needs and recognizing it is different - but benefits from different perspectives.
Enjoy the pastry! We do, on occasion, need to party :).
Happy New Year!

Ed Helvey said...

Well put, Roberta! I am constantly learning from others and adjusting as it works for me.

Happy New Year to you, too.