Posts Tagged ‘new years’

For Auld Lang Syne

“And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.”

2011 has certainly been one for the books.

I witnessed some really great couples say “I do” and was thrilled to hear others announce their engagements. Amongst the “I do’s” was a beautiful sunny spring day in Muskoka where the consummate party kid married the love of his life, in the form of a policewoman. We all chuckled at the irony as we happily celebrated the two of them. And the biggest moment in wedding bliss for me was as I watched my kid brother mature into a very kind man and I cried with unbridled joy as he married a really special lady.

I was so happy to see my best ski-buddy welcome her son Max into the world and have enthusiastically watched as motherhood has put a spotlight on her quiet confidence and has allowed her to shine even more brightly. I got to live just down the street from another very good friend and so enjoyed being that close as she evolved from my high school buddy to a stunning pregnant woman, to a really fantastic and loving mother to Carson, without slowing down her unrelenting pace of exploring, creating and traveling for even a second. Her energy and creativity is a daily inspiration.

I felt my heart swell and realized, yet again, that love truly does grow exponentially, as I held my nephew Callum and my niece Paige in my arms within the first hours of both of their births. I have felt so much joy and pride for both my sister and brother, and their respective spouses, as they have adjusted to parenthood and become so wonderful within their new roles.

I have watched with awe and amazement at each milestone, as my nephews, Nathan and Jack, have grown into active, happy and handsome little boys. I have been so proud of what intelligent, thoughtful, hilarious and beautiful young women my nieces Chelsey, Kathleen, Hailey and Alannah are growing up to be.

Every day I have been thankful for what a spectacular, if not slightly insane, family I am a part of.  They love me for who I am, support me in my choices, cheer on my successes, help me overcome my obstacles, pick me up when I stumble, laugh with me at this wonderful life we are all living and help me drink away my sorrows 😀 The Clark clan is a special group of people and with each passing year, I become more consciously aware of how great they all are.

In 2011, I was thrilled to spend more time with some old friends who are very important to me (although there are a few to whom a visit is long over due). 2012 marks ten years since I graduated from high school and I LOVE that despite us all living in different locations hours and hours apart, I still count amongst my best friends the girls I shared those years with. I had a lot of laughs (and some fantastic adventures) with new friends, and I have been reminded on a daily basis how lucky I am to have such amazing people surrounding me.

I FINALLY took the extended trip I’d be longing to take and despite my vow to “sort out what I want to do with my life” while traveling, I didn’t and I’m ok with that. The journey was amazing, the experiences life changing and the people are imprinted in my heart, my memory and my life forever.

For 2012, I solemnly swear to put away my life map permanently and commit to becoming woefully lost in the experience of living. If an opportunity presents itself, I will take it. And if it changes me, I will let it.

Happy New Years to you and yours!

xo

J

Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.

So like everyone else in the blogosphere and in real life, the start of a new year (and new decade at that) has me looking back on the past 12 months and thinking forward to the next 12. At first thought, I assumed I had not done much in the past year but upon further reflection, I realized how wrong I was. 2010 was a busy year for me! Some of the major events:

January

-traveled to the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica for a 10-day surfing adventure

-started a new job

February

-turned 27

March

-had some personal tragedy

-celebrated our first wedding anniversary

-joined Twitter

April

-traveled to Dominican Republic with one of my best girlfriends

May

-floated the Saugeen River on May 2-4 with 12 great friends (including my 9-month pregnant girlfriend!)

June

-went on a 4-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park with my hubby

-welcomed my second nephew into the world

July

-spent 2 weeks at a large international camp for Girl Guides that brought together young women from across the country and around the world to celebrate GGC’s 100th anniversary (I worked on this camp for 2.5 years before it happened and 6 months after it’s wrap-up. It was a huge commitment, a great test of my strength, tolerance and endurance and showed me how much stress and difficulty I can handle and (hopefully) pull it off with grace). I met some amazing women and some exceptional girls. I was disillusioned and then reminded again why I believe GGC to be such a great organization.

-went on a 3-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park with my hubby

-decided to start this blog

-celebrated Beef Fest in Paisley and met some amazing new friends!

August

-did something terrifying when I quit my job without another one lined up as I made a commitment to pursue work where I could actively learn and be challenged (but important to note that the company for whom I was working was great and the people amazing. It simply did not fit with my career goals)

-bought the most amazing canoe (two-tone 17’4 Kevlar Ultralite Langford Prospector with ash gunnels and cherry seats, thwarts and yoke bringing the total weight in somewhere around 46 lbs. LOVE!)

-spent a long weekend camping in Tobermory with some of my best girlfriends

-night floated the Saugeen River under a full moon (beautiful!)

September

-went on a 5-day canoe trip into Algonquin Park with my hubby

-after only 3 weeks out of work, was recruited for a new job off LinkedIn

October

-started a new job

-moved to Toronto

-attended an old friends gorgeous wedding in Quebec

November

-went Black Friday shopping with a girlfriend in Erie, PA, Buffalo, NY and Niagara Falls, NY

December

-attended my first Twitter event (#HoHoTO)

-attended my second Twitter event (#ElectricXmas2) – I know you non-Twitter users will be laughing but listen up; I have met some really exceptional people via Twitter, have learned huge amounts and have opened more informative and useful (not to mention funny) links that I ever thought I would! Twitter is not what I thought it was and I guarantee it is more than you think it is!

-celebrated Christmas at home in Paisley with my hubby and pups

-rang in the new year with good friends in our home

So….turns out I did a helluva lot more in 2010 than I thought!!

And looking forward to 2012, I have some goals/a to-do list:

1.     Dedicate more time to learning (attend conferences, talks, etc.) and continue to challenge myself

2.     Read more non-fiction (I read a lot but should spend less time on fiction and more on non-fiction. I have a reading list and have purchased some of the books. I will get through them all and add more throughout the year)

3.     Travel somewhere new (French countryside? Bolivia? Panama? Finally get over to Scotland? Anywhere really!!)

4.     Re-do our kitchen (new counter tops, single French door onto a deck that will be built off the kitchen, new appliances and new finish on the existing cabinets and new paint on the walls)

5.     Finally paint our bedroom. 3.5 years in our house is long enough. Figure out the look I want and just do it!

6.     Be a better veggie gardener (ie. weed more than once every two weeks….lol)

7.     Really try yoga (not just a random class here and there…)

8.     Run more. Spin more. Box more. Lift more weights. Make this a priority and walk away from work, etc. to maintain my workout schedule. It makes me happy and reduces my stress.

9.     Find a way to spend more time in Paisley and less time in TO

Happy 2011 to you all!

I hope you have all accomplished some of your goals from 2010 and have set some new ones for 2011.

And remember that no matter what you are doing; laugh a lot, love wholeheartedly and be kind to others.