Wednesday, December 29, 2010

20 questions for an end of year reflection

This should typically be done on New Year's Eve, but I'm worried that I might be too busy running around and boozing to fill these out properly. I've lifted these questions from a blog called "Simple Mom". With this exercise I hope to gain some perspective on the year, and have a better and more specific understanding of my goals for 2011.


1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
Discovering I had the courage and fortitude to change supervisors. It was one of the biggest decisions I've ever had to make, and I was scared to death to make it. I am so thankful that I was able to, and for the friends that supported me. 
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?
Since I have my own place, but come back home to my parents fairly often on weekends, I have found it very challenging to mesh those two worlds. In one world, I make the rules and the only person I have to please is myself. In the other world, not so much. It has been challenging to make my parents realise that I am an adult, and sometimes I would like to learn from my own mistakes. 
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?
I had to give a presentation on an article for my now-supervisor's class. It was such a difficult article to read and understand. I was so scared for the presentation, because I was unsure if my interpretation was correct. He thought I did an amazing job though. It was such a joy knowing that, and knowing all my hard work paid off, even for just that small presentation. It certainly gave me a big confidence boost. 
4. What was an unexpected obstacle?
Paying bills and taking care of personal finances. It might sound extremely easy, but for someone who has never managed her own money, and always taken money for granted, it hasn't been. I was not very disciplined at all this year, and I hope to be next year. 
5. Pick three words to describe 2010.
Exploratory. Independent. Satisfying. 
6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2011 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).
I don't have a spouse or a boyfriend that I could supplement...but I'll keep it in to look back on for when I'm filling this out and I do have one. 
7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2008 (again, without asking).
Ditto. 
8. What were the best books you read this year?
Ooh...The Glass Castle, The Pact, and A Fine Balance. 
I'm sure there are more, but I read a lot, and I can't remember them now. 
9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?
With my close friends. You are probably the people actually reading this blog. 
10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?
Hmmm...I think I have become more confident. I know I come across as a confident person, but that is mainly bravado. I now feel more confident in my ability in the lab, in learning new techniques, answering questions, and actually being able to hold my own. I also feel more confident in my looks - I have always had a complex about them, but I think this past year I have realised it is all in my head. 
11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?
I have had ups and downs in terms of emotional growth. I am a naturally very emotional person, and I have been trying to harness my emotions a bit more this year. 
12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?
I am not sure I grew spiritually. I have phases of spirituality, and I felt that I was in an off-phase for most of the year. That is something I should work on in 2011. 
13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?
I changed my eating habits this year. I started eating more frequently and less. It worked really well, until the month of December and the holidays hit. I also started playing soccer and golf, and re-visited tennis. Not bad for a generally non-sporty person! I can also do a pull-up! 
14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?
I tried to listen more to others and be there more. I wasn't successful with everyone, but I was successful with a few. I also realised that I have to put a bit more effort and manage my time better in my relationships, so that I am able to stay in touch with the people that matter to me. 
15. What was the most enjoyable area of managing your home?
I love having my own place. It is so enjoyable to clean it, to have people over, to cook in my own kitchen, and decorate. I love decorating! 
16. What was your most challenging area of home management?
Keeping my place clean during busy times. It's so easy to just dump stuff and not tidy up. Then there's just a mountain of cleaning to get through afterwards. 
17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?
Facebook. 
18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?
Discovering what I want to do in life, and actually talking to other people about it seriously. It definitely gave me some insight into myself, and I think I have figured out my priorities for now. 
19. What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?
The idea of something is very different to the reality. 
20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2010 for you.
2010 has been a year of positive growth and change for me; a year of branching out, introspective thinking, and consolidating some beautiful friendships. 

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