A Year of Reflection

Two weeks ago, I remembered a blog post I wrote about my “mini dream index” for 2010. I thought to myself, I should write a blog and title it “Two Weeks Notice” – giving myself two weeks to accomplish my mini dreams that I didn’t yet complete in 2010. But the rush of the holidays and life distracted me from writing. So now I have four days to finish unfinished business, but I’ve made a list to serve as my reflection of 2010.

My mini dream list for 2010:

1- I weigh 215 lbs. today. From reading my previous blogs, I’m sure you realize that I have issues with eating/my body. When I was at the deepest point of my eating disorder, I weighed 159 lbs — hip bones sticking out in all. My new years dream with my body is to NOT give myself a number. Just give myself a break. I just want my jeans to fit a little better. I want my mind to drift away from negative thoughts about my body to positive thoughts. I’m healthy. I’m cancer free. I’m disease free (for the most part). I just want to develop habits to help me stay this way.

Reflection: I’ve remained relatively healthy in 2010; however, my weight has jumped up nearly 15 lbs since I wrote this blog post. I’ve since developed a passion for running. And just today I went out and spent nearly $100 on new running clothes. But, I have not let myself be controlled by a number. Therefore, I consider this goal accomplished.

2- I want to buy a meal for a complete stranger. A few weeks ago, Justin told me read an article about a couple who randomly paid for another couple’s bill in a restaurant. The rest of the day, people paid it forward and bought someone else’s lunch. Pretty awesome. I want to be a part of that experience.

Reflection: On Dec. 23, I had my family Christmas with my mom’s side of the family. I packed up my little brother and sister and we headed to the store. Along the way, I saw a homeless man standing on the side of the road. He looked frozen solid. His eyes were weak. He wasn’t holding up a sign, simply standing there. I couldn’t drive past him again without making a difference. We drove to Burger King and I got him a double cheeseburger, large fry and a large coffee. I then got him a gift card for dinner. My little brother looked and me said, “Ashley – you are the nicest person I know.” I smiled, but I know a lot nicer people. “You know Devin, I’m not too worried about what people will think of me for doing this, though. I just want to make a difference in his day. Give him food. Get him through another day. That’s what this life is really all about.” Accomplished, but I have marked this one down to continue throughout my lifetime.

3- I want to write a to-do list and really do everything on the list. I am fabulous at making to-do lists, but my problem is completing everything on my list. Never once have I done every single thing on my list. Maybe I didn’t work out. Maybe I didn’t pay off more money to my student loan. Maybe I didn’t write that thank you card. But I am going to do everything, at least once. Perhaps that will create the confidence I need to continue completing all my daily tasks. Or it will remind me that not everything needs to be done in one day. Time management is key.

Reflection: Accomplished! Getting a big girl job has also really helped me make a list and keep it!

4- I want to smile at complete strangers. For no reason at all. A smile is more contagious than the flu.

Reflection: Accomplished! I always do this now. I get such joy out of the simple things in life and it totally makes my day when a complete stranger smiles at me- so I always return the favor.

5- I want to thank everyone, yes everyone, who has made a difference in my life. This will be a task, but I can tell you right now that I will complete this mini dream. I need to get one “thank you” completed now– hopefully you read this: Thank you Brad King for inspiring me in so many ways outside of my understanding. “Just know that today is not the end of all knowing.” I can’t even thank this man enough for what he has done for me and the way I approach the world. And he also inspired me to write a blog. And Tiffany Holbert- keep writing in your blog. You too helped me get started.

Reflection: I believe I have learned the importance of always saying, “Thank you!” – but I definitely need to work harder on sending personalized thank you messages to those who have made a difference in my life and inspired me to be the best person possible! Overall, this goal will carry over through the next year; in fact, I see myself working on this for the rest of my life.

6- I want to scuba dive in the ocean. We all know that one of my biggest fears is sharks. But fear can’t control my life. And if I am going to afraid of something, I mise well make it more practical. I have never seen a shark in my entire life, not in a lake, not in the ocean, and not driving down the street. I should be more afraid of drivers on the road than creatures in the ocean. So I need to get real and get over it. And dive in.

Reflection: I DID IT! Accomplished; although we did not go on a deep ocean boat dive, I did scuba dive in the ocean. I thought of doing it again absolutely terrifies me. I really should stop watching the news and Shark Week, though. Until then, my husband might need to find a scuba diving girlfriend. Kidding. This is one is labeled as “a work in progress” – and “maybe one more time before I die- like when I am 89 and don’t have a care in the world.”

7- I want to get on dean’s list my final semester of college. I’ve accomplished this task for the last four semester, but I can’t let my final semester slow me down. I need to remind myself of the importance of being involved and engaged in my education.

Reflection: Accomplished! Although I did not get a perfect 4.0 during my final semester at Ball State, I learned the importance of not letting a grade control the perception of what I have learned. Brad King thought me this- it doesn’t always matter the grade you get if you have learned something new. And applied it in future work and life.

8 – I want to read more. My mind already feels better after reading just one book. Can you imagine what reading just three more will do? Watch out world.

Reflection: Accomplished. I’m addicted to reading now. I even got 5 new books for Christmas. I can hardly wait to dive in and read them all. I just started reading “Eat. Pray. Love” last night. Also, I might start a blog about book reviews. I’ll keep you posted on that one, don’t you worry! 🙂

9- I want to finish the introduction to one of my book ideas. I have four ideas going right now. Baby steps. I will write at least the introduction to my book, even though David Foster Wallace points out most people skip the introduction in books. I, however, will at least be motivated and focused on finishing it with having competed that.

Reflection: Still need to complete this task! I always have the stories and ideas flowing in my head, but I have yet to sit down and actually write my introduction. I’m giving myself four days to complete this task! I have my title and outline in my head, now I just need to apply the introduction into a written format. I can’t wait to publish my book!

10- I am leaving this one blank. I want to find something new to add to my list within the new year.

Reflection: I ran my first half marathon! What an accomplishment. That was seriously one of the most rewarding and exciting memories of 2010 and I got to share with two of my very best friends, Brittany Gerig and Sabrina Schnurr, the best running partners a girl could ever ask for!

I’ll be posting a new blog with new goals for 2011 soon.

Much love,
Ashley

2 thoughts on “A Year of Reflection

  1. Brad King says:

    Hey lady, I appreciate the thanks but you know – I didn't do anything. As I said: I can't make any of you learn. You all decide that on your own. I just put some things in front of you.

    The rest is all up to you 😉

    Much love to you lady.

  2. Ashley Marie says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Brad. A year after leaving your classroom, I am still learning from your words and actions. Never change. Always be YOU! Sending back my love and support your way! 🙂

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