Confucius said the first, most noble way to learn wisdom is through reflection. As the year ends, I find reflecting to be one of the most important things to do before looking ahead and planning the coming year.
2010 was a good year.
David and I had a fabulous trip to Quebec in February. We watched one of Canada’s longest running snowmobile races, the Grand Prix de Valcourt. We visited the Bombardier Museum and Ski-Doo factory — two things that have been on our to-do list for three decades. Then we snowmobiled a thousand km through the mountains of Maritime Quebec. What an experience! On our trips in other years, I’d been a passenger on a two-up sled, but this time I drove myself. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, either the km or the mountains, but I did, proving to myself that even if things are difficult they’re achievable with hard work.
In fact, 2010 was an amazing year for traveling. In March I did a castle tour of Wales, attended the TMAC travel writers conference in Cardiff, then spent four days in London. Next on the list was Georgia in May, where I paddled in the wake of Olympians and swung from the treetops like Jane (on a zipline). Switzerland at the end of August took me high into the Alps where I stood at the top of Europe, then hiked down a mountain path better suited for goats. From plane to train to boat, I explored this tiny country I’ve dreamed about since reading Heidi in sixth grade.
My fall school visits took me around the province for 10 days during Saskatchewan’s Education/Library Week in October with my almost-out new book, L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet. And finally, a 10-day drive with David in November took me right across the U.S. to the tip of Georgia and back again with our brand new snowmobile trailer.
Each trip brought me new experiences and stories to tell, but even more, enriched my life.
I grew this year as a teacher, too, adding the Business Administration program to the Library Technician training program I’ve already been teaching in for the past four years. My first students finished the library program in December and I know I’ll cry at their graduation in March as I reflect on how far we’ve come together. I’m proud of them all, of the content they’ve mastered and the skills they’ve acquired. Even more important to me, though, these years with them have shown me so much about being a mentor and teacher.
At home, our remodeling made progress this year and my office will be moving to our second level shortly. The process is teaching me patience, a virtue I have little of.
We’ve also made some big decisions this year, like selling our carwash. It was, as we hoped, a fast and painless process, since it sold just three weeks after listing in December. All that’s left is to go through everything and move it before the end of March!
So, now to think about what I’d like 2011 to bring…