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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Saying Goodbye to An Average Year

It's the end of another year, and one that I won't be sorry to see in my rear view mirror.

2011 has not been a good year for me. I ruptured an ear drum early in the year, which left me nearly deaf for a couple of months (I have little hearing in one ear already). I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hands and I suspect it is in my elbows as well. Lingering pain from a fall more than two years ago has made my shoulder and both arms hurt. My daughter suffered through three bouts of tonsillitis and a strep throat to end the year. Other bad things happened to our family this year as well.

On a more positive note, I got to spend quite a bit of time with the wolves and wolf-dogs in the rescue for which I volunteer. I went on some interesting photographic excursions with a local amateur photography group. I visited the Grand Canyon with my daughter, and revisited Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks in Utah. I started volunteering with a local food pantry, and I made considerable progress on my book. I also took care of several home improvement chores, some necessary, some optional. And we started planning a trip for the summer of 2012 to Russia, where my daughter was born, with a stop in London while we're in the neighborhood, so to speak.

My daughter has just four classes to complete before she graduates from high school. I am continually amazed at how mature and grown up she is now that she is 18. She has changed so much since I adopted her 7 years ago.

I have just a couple of things I want to accomplish in 2012:
  • Finish my book and get it published
  • Brush up on my Russian language skills before our trip
I have to decide whether to renew my photography Web site next year; I've sold only a handful of pictures, and it hasn't been a good investment of my money. I also want to figure out how to increase readership of my blog. Actually, readership is way up, but the number of dedicated followers has remained flat. But I published 53 posts this year -- a record for me. I hope my readers enjoyed my writings and got something from them.

So 2011 has been a mixed bag. If I were to give the year a grade, it would be a C. I hope that at this time next year, I'll be able to assign a grade of A.

Happy New Year, everyone. I hope your dreams for the new year all come true.