Looking back at what has occurred in my life in 2011, brings to light the observation that many of us don’t realize how much we’ve grown or what we’ve accomplished during any given period of time. Until you put it on paper or…in the blog!
In February my mother was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. In March I had a family reunion while she was still able to spend some quality time with people. The first photo was from 2007 – you can see how she changed in a few years.
March was a busy month…I took a flight to Los Angeles for the Travel & Leisure show– to network for employment within the travel industry.
A week later I drove my mother from Ohio to Ft. Myers, Florida for a mini vacation…knowing this would be her last time to see the beach…it was bittersweet!
April was filled with lots of exercise…hikes, hot yoga, a 5-K run, and my first boot camp. I spent more time with my mother…picking her up to spend the day with me at my house. She enjoyed soaking up the sun on my back deck…surrounded by trees and the beautiful beginning of spring.
I helped a friend organize her house one day, met with hospice for my mother’s evaluation, and did lots of yard work. I bought a new camera (Olympus PEN) and won third place in a photography contest at the Krohn Conservatory in Cincinnati with this photo…
I volunteered at a food bank in May, took my son to the traveling “Cirque du Soleil” show, attended a derby party, organized a couple of social events for meetup.com–a motorcycle meetup–and a winery tour in Madison, Indiana. I moved my mother into my home at the end of May to take care of her during her last week of life.
She died on June 9th and I made a short movie to show at the memorial service. The rest of June was somewhat quiet.
July was filled with pool parties, boating, jogging, yoga, hiking and traveling. I hiked on the Appalachian Trail for a couple of days with a friend and you can read about it here…
We treated ourselves the third evening to an overnight stay at a beautiful bed and breakfast!
A week later I left for a vacation to Washington State and British Columbia that was absolutely breathtaking…filled with beautiful scenery and amazing hikes! Read about it here…
I quit smoking cigarettes one month from the date my mother died…and consider it my most significant accomplishment of the year!
In August…after only two days at home…I was blessed to be able to go on another trip…this one to New Mexico and Colorado. It was truly magical and stunning! Read about it here…
In September I started training for a half-marathon that was coming up at the end of October. I took photography classes to learn more about aperture, F-stop, shutter speed, etc.
I also made the decision to follow my passion for travel and enrolled at ITMI (International Travel Management Institute) for a two-week class that was starting in October, to become a Tour Director–to take people on trips around the world! It was held in beautiful San Francisco…
The class took a trip to the enchanted Sequoia Nat’l Park and Kings Canyon Nat’l Park…
I ran my half-marathon at the end of October and completed it in 2 hrs. 15 minutes.
In November I went on a girls’ weekend to Lexington, Kentucky…
I joined Toastmasters! And I started a temporary full-time job for the next couple of months until I start Tour Directing!
My blog was “freshly pressed” twice this year…which I am so grateful for and I’ve met a lot of interesting and nice people both online and off!
The two quotes or philosophies that have stuck with me this year are:
Your attitude + Your choices = Your life
Collect experiences…not things!
It was a year filled with beauty, challenges, sadness, joy, confusion, and much gratitude!
Beautiful photos and a great review of 2011!
Ok, that was an awesome post. Probably one of the favorite ones I have read in a long time. It was sweet and sad and heartwarming and full of happiness and hope for the future all in one place. I also really liked the idea that you can look back on your blog as a way to capture your year.
May you have many wonderful adventures in the new year. (and congratulations on running your first half…. I did my first half this year also and it is such an amazing feeling to cross the finish line!)
Best of luck to you as you embark on your career in the tourism field.
Dawn…thanks so much!
What a year! Lots of ups and down. It’s amazing what can happen in such a short/long time.
Thank you for taking the time to read and leave nice comments!!
Thanks for the journey of your year and the pics were good reminders of the memories I have had at some of those locations. Sorry to hear about your mother’s passing during the year. Thanks for sharing the importance of reflecting on your journey to remind us of the highs and lows were always encounter.
Wow ..I love your blog…………………..Sean
Thanks Sean…I love yours too! Sherry
This is a beautiful post with beautiful photographs. It is a lovely tribute to your Mother that you are so amazing and such an inspiration.
Michelle – Thank you so much!!
Hey Sherry, it was a pleasure meeting you last night. You have beautiful photos on your blog. In the immortal words of Garrison Keillor, “Be well, keep in touch, and do good work.”
I also enjoyed very much talking with you…a kindred spirit!
I am so sorry you lost your mother this year. Thank you for sharing all you do via your wonderful pictures.
Thank you for your sweet words!