December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)
The only thing I can think of is speaking up more, in situations where I was being bullied or mistreated. I didn’t stand up for myself because I was too scared, but it has taught me how to be assertive & how important it is to speak my mind, especially if someone is mistreating me.
December 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)
So, I’m imagining future Jen writing to past Jen, but past Jen is, in fact, the future Jen to me; the present Jen? Easy.
Dear 2011 Jen,
The next year is going to be extremely AWESOME. You are going to have so many amazing experiences that you will never forget, & you are going to achieve some things that you never thought possible.
My advice to you is this; just enjoy it. Give everything 100%, be as present as you possibly can, & soak up all the awesomeness. Forget about the petty things that don’t matter in the long run, just focus on the important stuff – love, purpose, family & friends. Make this quote your mantra:
“Do what makes you happy,
Be with who makes you smile,
Laugh as much as you breathe,
Love as long as you live.”
Love, future Jen.
To my younger self, from 10 years ago, I would say:
You’re right, it will get better. I promise.
I wouldn’t say much more than that to my past selves, because if ‘Back To The Future’ has taught me anything, it’s that knowing too much about your future can dramatically affect the space-time continuum & even destroy the Universe itself. Great Scott!
December 22 – Travel How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year? (Author: Tara Hunt)
This year I really kicked ass in the travel category of my goals list. Living overseas has always been something I’ve wanted to do, & I am very proud & happy to have achieved that this year.
Next year, I want to visit Beijing & walk on the Great Wall of China. I would also love to visit Shanghai & Hong Kong (especially Hong Kong Disneyland!) before we leave.
As for other places around the world, we are still deciding on where to go for our honeymoon – at this stage it might be Ubud, Bali. Also, we are going to Fiji two weeks after our wedding for Mike’s brothers wedding. So traveling is absolutely going to be a major focus of 2011, which makes my heart smile.
December 23 – New Name Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)
I love my name. It’s perfect for me, & I would never change it, not even for a day. I’m Jen, it’s who I am 🙂
December 24 Prompt – Everything’s OK What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
After my guest post was published on Tiny Buddha, I re-read it. Reading it again, I realized just how much I had been through & how much I really have grown & learned from it. Seeing it published, & reading all the comments from people who could relate & who were inspired by my experience… that’s when I knew it was all going to be alright, because I can handle anything.
December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)
This photo was taken, by Mike, as we were walking through a small patch of forest about a block away from our apartment complex. I love this forest, especially in the snow, we walk through it every time we go out.
I chose this photo because I look really, truly happy… because I am 🙂
I’m in the beautiful snow, surrounded by my wise friends; the trees, & you can tell by my loving smile that I’m more focused on Mike than the camera. I’m full of love, light & joy. This is how I always want to be.
December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)
There’s a few meals that come to mind; the vegan quesadilla that Mike used to make back home is so good, & I can’t wait to have it again when we go home; pizza always makes me smile; & the food at both the vegetarian restaurants (& only vegetarian restaurants!) here in Daqing is both delicious & healthy. One of them makes mashed sweet potato balls that are so good! Yum 😀
December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: Brené Brown)
I love this question! I just had one of these moments on Christmas Eve. It was our first Christmas away from home, so I was trying to make it as special & as jolly as possible; I put our three presents under out little tree, lit some candles & had Christmas carols playing.
When Mike came home with our Christmas Eve pizza, he took me by the hand & started dancing with me in the lounge room. It was so perfect. I was completely in the moment, dancing with my love to John Lennon’s ‘Happy Christmas’, & admiring the candles as we waltzed around the room. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Get ready for another Wise Words Wednesday post very soon!
Keep Smiling 🙂