10 questions for YOU as we greet the new year

by Kristin on December 29, 2011

in Culture, ideas & paradigms

Photo by Colin_K

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is always one of transition. It’s a time when I want to feel most focused and grounded, but I end up feeling most scattered and flighty. First I get stuck in the past—a full range of nostalgia, critique and regret of all that happened the past year. Then I swing wildly toward the future, making resolutions and goals that aren’t always rooted in reality.

As you can imagine, sorting this cacophony of thought into a blog post is a challenge, so I thought I’d anchor myself by asking some questions to lead the way into 2012. I’d love it if you feel like sharing one or more of your own responses.

1. What experiences most shaped you in 2011?

2. What is something you learned (or learned to do) this past year?

3. What is something you want to learn to do in the upcoming year?

4. Is there a hurt, frustration or fear that you’d like to heal/let go of in 2012?

5. What inspired or encouraged you in 2011?

6. What gift could you use to inspire and encourage others in 2012?

7. What do you want to experience more of in your life this next year?

8. What do you want to give/share more of?

9. Is there a word that sums up 2011 for you?

10. Is there a word you want to carry with you through 2012?

Thank you for all of the ways you directly and indirectly encourage, feed, and inspire me here at Halfway to Normal. Happy New Year!

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  • http://shawnsmucker.com Shawn Smucker

    For some reason, the word “solidifying” came to mind when I thought of 2011. A sort of coming together.

    Happy New Year, Kristin! Looking forward to what 2012 has in store for all of us.

  • http://www.manypinksneakers.blogspot.com sarah louise

    Ah yes. My normal writer friend asks me this. I think I’ll blog a post, and give you the link. I really wanted to do this, so I’m glad YOU asked. (As opposed to some guru type…you are grounded in reality and I am so grateful for that quality in you, dear friend.)

    A word that sums up 2011: Busy.
    A word that you want to carry with you through 2012: Acceptance.

    #4 is the hardest…but I think it is learning to love my brother-in-law. It was really hard on me that she got married, for a number of reasons, (not that I’m not THRILLED for her, I am!) but getting used to the new configuration, and her new last name and her new “half” is going to take some time.

  • Elaine Tolsma-Harlow

    I think I may write these down in front of the new journal I’m starting on Jan. 1, they are good questions to sit with for a while.

  • http://www.10minutewriter.com Katharine

    Kristin, I never pass up an opportunity to pour out my heart. ( I love questions like this!) 2011 was a hard year for me.

    1. What experiences most shaped you in 2011? A financial disappointment pushed me into a dark depression for two and a half months. But, God was faithful and pulled me out of it with a new vision.

    2. What is something you learned (or learned to do) this past year? I learned how to run. I still shock myself by saying that I am a runner, and thinking “I have time today to get in three miles!” But running has turned out to be the perfect stress reliever, energizer, therapist, weight loss help and Prozac substitute. I feel like I can conquer the world every single day.

    3. What is something you want to learn to do in the upcoming year? I’d like to see our family move into financial freedom, which would go a long way toward my emotional health.

    9. Is there a word that sums up 2011 for you? HOPE
    10. Is there a word you want to carry with you through 2012? FREEDOM

    Thanks, Kristin, this was fun!

  • http://www.halfwaytonormal.com Kristin T.

    Shawn, what a great word! I love not just the coming together—the idea of separate entities joining forces—but also the idea of how something takes shape or form when it solidifies. I’m so glad you’ve just completed a year like that.

    sarah louise, I never thought I’d be referred to as a “normal writer friend.” How nice! :) Thank you for sharing your heart here. We all struggle with things that we know we should accept and be happy about, but our hearts don’t always keep up with what our minds “know.” Your honesty about this will help you along the path! (Btw, I like “acceptance.” I’m still contemplating what my word will be, but that’s definitely a contender.)

    Elaine, that’s a great idea! I was just talking to a friend about how I am not a fan of resolutions, but I am a fan of good questions to ponder and work through. The questions lead us through a process—one that might include some surprise—while the resolutions often are dead ends. Blessings on your thinking, writing and living!

    Katharine, the fact that you “never pass up an opportunity to pour out your heart” is one of the things I like so much about you! Thanks for sharing your struggles and triumphs with so much openness and hope.

  • http://www.jenwritesstuff.com Jen

    “Acceptance” is a word that comes to mind when I look back on 2011. I’ve spent the last two weeks revisiting 2011 blog posts, and I realized today that the last two I shared were stories from my life kind of contrasted. One was about my self-imposed isolation tendencies, and the other was about finding a quirky place to fit in. I don’t think any event shaped me like flying off to Nashville in September to spend a weekend with people who love Jesus, art, and storytelling like I do. That feeling of belonging I wrote about three months ago is something I still carry with me. (guess you could put that under #1 and #5)

    I hope to carry that with me into 2012. Accept others as they are and myself with all my quirks. Not fake and conform in an effort to get people to like me. (something I’ve been bad about doing in the past.) Open up a little more and embrace the things I love.

    And on a more practical, almost resolution-ish level, I want to devote more time to writing for myself and becoming a better, more expressive creative writer. I’ve written more poems since that weekend retreat than I have in the past few years, and I’d like to keep that up. :)

    Thanks for this! Sometimes asking questions is a better place to start than trying to sort everything out in writing. You’ve given me so much to think about in your writing, and I am so thankful for you! Happy New Year!

  • Kirstin

    Were it not for this post, I probably would not have done much reflecting this New Years–too many other distractions! But you asked and it got me thinking. Life doesn’t really divide itself into year-long increments that separate at the New Year; but the word I’d use as we go from 2011 to 2012 is “order,” with the understanding that creating order, restoring order, maintaining order is an ongoing story. 2008 – 2010 were years of fairly profound inner upheaval and self-redefinition for me, and things finally feel like they have (without me noticing, until you brought it up) settled into a place from which I can grown and build. “Settling” (2011) and “Ordering” (2012) sound misleadingly grim, but they reflect an inner peace that I am thankful to recognize and toast as we enter a new year.

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  • http://www.halfwaytonormal.com Kristin T.

    Jen, I love it when life presents opportunities to celebrate and develop different sides of ourselves—even sides that might seem opposing. Acceptance is a great word when framed this way: “Accept others as they are and myself with all my quirks.” I’m looking forward to seeing what you write in 2012, too!

    Kirstin, I’ve always felt like the start of school is more a new year than Jan. 1, which is probably why I need a bit of help focusing and reflecting this time of year. I’m glad the questions inspired you, as well. I like the deep peace and centering you’re focusing on. It might not seem exciting, but it’s so necessary in laying a foundation for whatever is next. Happy New Year!

    (Btw, all, I put up a new post yesterday that includes my answers to the questions I asked you!)