Yes, it is again that time when many of us decide to write about the year that is ending, in this case the year 2014.
Although I have not always done it during the last 5-6 years, I still think that it is a good exercise to write about the challenges, successes and failures of our year. I am one of those people who believe that we always learn something from both successes and failures. Writing about successes and failures forces us to think about our life in a critical way. It also helps us identify what we did, and what we didn't do as well.
My FailuresDid not work out regularly (4-5 times) during most of the year. I was only able to keep a regular workout program for about 3 consecutive months (early in 2014). After that, it was very hard to motivate myself to exercise regularly. All my goals about losing some weight and exercising regularly did not last for much longer partially because I have trouble establishing goals for myself. I really need to work on these issues this year if I want to go leaner and focus on my goals.
Procrastination won the battle almost every single time. Whether it was an issue related to work or something that had to do with money/budget or paperwork, I was unable to dedicate the time and effort to these things when it was needed. The reality is that I simply avoided to deal with these issues as long as it was possible because I don't like to deal with them. I have to work on my procrastination problems this year because they caused me too many problems in 2014.
Not Enough Quality Time with My Husband. This year, I failed in having enough quality time with my husband. With all the work- and children- responsibilities that my husband and I have, it is very difficult to find quality time for our couple. We have been trying to be creative, but sometimes even with lots of planing, things didn't work the way that we wanted or expected. Neither my husband and I want to give up with respect to this, so we keep trying to be creative and improve our current situation. From my part, I know that I have to work on this during 2015.
Improve How We Deal with Family/Marriage Conflicts. My husband and I are what many people call "type A" personality. We are both very dedicated, energetic and intense people. Unfortunately, we can also be very explosive and impatient, especially with each other. Very often, we don't know when to detach from issues or when to stop a discussion. The good thing is that we usually tell to each other our feelings whether they are negative or positive. So, we are capable to recognize our mistakes, although this may happen sometimes a little bit late. We both know that we don't always handle well conflicts or disagreements. Although we are continually trying to find new approaches or ways to deal with conflicts, we both struggle with our reactions. We certainly need to work on the issue this year. I don't know how, but I feel that finding more quality time may also help us to deal better with conflicts.
Communicate with my mother and siblings more often. It was my intention for 2014 to communicate with my mother and siblings more often, but I did not do it mainly because of busyness and possibly a problem of priority. I did manage to call all my mother and siblings for their birthdays and a few other occasions, but it was generally my mother who called me. I did not use skype or other similar communication method to talk with them. I want to improve this and communicate via skype with at least one of my siblings and my mother once per month. I miss them.
Not Enough time for Meditation and Silence. One of the things that I missed the most from the years that I was single is silence. Don't take me wrong, I love my husband and my children (including our puppy!), but our house is small and the moments that I am just by myself are rare. I feel that if I would be more organized, I may be able to find time for myself. I enjoy so much when I am able to close my eyes and free my mind of all thoughts. I need to work on this, so I can have more time for meditation and silence in 2015.
Speak Spanish and/or French to my Husband and Children. Although Spanish and French are my first and second languages respectively, I can't simply don't remember to include these languages in my daily conversations with my husband and/or children. The problem is that I feel that my little boy (5 years old) will never be able to speak Spanish fluently. Both my son and stepson started French immersion this year and are now focusing in learning French. Although I speak French fluently, I am not speaking French at home. I am simply too accustomed to speak English even though I am still very comfortable speaking Spanish or French. I definitely need to change this and force myself to speak French, and perhaps Spanish (I don't want to confuse the kids -- French and Spanish are too close sometimes) during 2015. I need to find tricks or ways to remind myself to speak French or Spanish at home.
My SuccessesI should mention that it took me much longer to identify my successes than to recognize my failures. What did I achieve this year? I am not certain -- did I really achieve or succeed in something? I really don't know. Perhaps, I am too negative, but it's difficult for me to recognize or speak loud about my successes or achievement. So, most of what you will read below could be listed as "work in progress" instead of successes. Did I sound too negative?
Spending Quality Time with Elijah. I always tell my son Elijah that he is my gift from God -- and, I really mean it. I love to spend time with him even though I don't know the name of all his toys, video games or pokemon figures. I enjoy so, so much to be with him. It was not always easy, but I did my best to have quality mother-son time whenever it was possible. I really want to be an active participant in his life, so I need to make certain that there is even more mother-son time in 2015.
The adoption of Lola; our beautiful puppy. This year we added a new member to our family, Lola. She is our adorable chocolate Labrador puppy. Although she represents more work for both my husband and I, the influence that she is having on each member of the family is very positive. I must give myself credit for the presence of Lola in our lives (I can't believe that I am saying this!) because I was the one who found the breeder. I am very glad that I was patient during my search for a puppy because it took me many hours, and numerous phone calls to find the proper breeder. It was so much work, but I am glad that I did it because Lola is a wonderful addition to our family.
I created a blog and a website. One of my biggest accomplishments this year was the creation of my blog, and recently my website (womanbusylife.com -- will be working very soon!). It has been an amazing learning experience to write and publish posts, as well as to read the work produced by others. I learned so much about the positive sides of social media; just incredible! Although I have not been able to consecrate enough time to my blog over the last few months, I was able to write a post at least once every two weeks. Ideally, I would love to write a couple of posts per week, but it is simply not possible during the academic year.
I became better at accepting my mistakes. Although I always knew that we can learn from our own mistakes, I finally try to stop making excuses for my mistakes. This year, I tried to focus on accepting my responsibilities instead of blaming others. It is very difficult to do this because it is so easy to blame others for our problems and errors. Unfortunately, we often times create our own problems, frustrations and disappointments. Accepting and learning from my mistakes is work in progress even though this year was a good beginning.