Sunday, January 22, 2012


I realize I'm a few days weeks late in posting about the brand new year. But I figure the extra time really provided ample opportunity to reflect on 2011 and dream about 2012 without getting all wrapped up in everyone else's profound, reflective, and erudite blog posts. Everyone was writing and thinking about 2012 and resolutions and goals three weeks ago. And since the average New Year's resolution only lasts about 10 days, chances are no one is thinking about it anymore. Except me! Sometimes it pays to procrastinate...

Last year I wrote a blog series, "Love Yourself," (some which were dually published here), starting with this post on why. The year 2010 had not been great, and I was stricken with the idea that I was sabotaging my own happiness by not creating it. It had been my goal to write every month on a different way to love yourself, and while I may have totally blown the last several months of the year writing-wise, the idea was always there in the back of my mind. 

I am happy to report that, for the most part, it was a huge success! (Hurrah!) 2011 was not without its yucky moments, and I definitely made some repeat mistakes. What was different was my perspective. I refused to victimize myself, knowing that the choices I made were my sole responsibility. How I chose to respond to situations, whether I chose to do or not do made all the difference. 

I took some risks, I said some goodbyes, and I embraced some changes. I got a new job. I moved and am living completely by myself for the first time. I could have, should have, done more. But overall, I'm very happy with the way my year of loving turned out.

And you know the great thing about love? The more have, the more you can give. In 2011 my focus was on me, and in 2012 it's going be on others.

For years my family has celebrated Christmas with a special tradition. Instead of making New Year's resolutions, we give a gift to God. One gift. We write them down on a piece of paper and wrap them up in Christmas wrappings. Each year we open them and reflect on how we did in fulfilling our gift, and then we make a new one. Or sometimes the same one, because sometimes it takes a long time to live up to a promise.

This year, my gift is to love on and encourage others in small ways--some specific, some not so much. It doesn't take much to brighten someone's day, to bring a smile to a face, to remind a friend that they are cared for and important.

So, here we are, 2012! Welcome...

p.s. If you would like to be the recipient of some encouragement this year, send your mailing address and/or email address to stephanie[at]stephaniegracephotography[dot]com!

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