Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dear 2011, I have some things to say to you.

~ Memorandum ~
To: The Year That Was 2011
From: Deb @ PaperTurtle
Date:  December 31, 2011
RE: Year-end Performance Evaluation

Dear 2011,

I’ve been thinking about this letter to you for a few weeks now. I had formulated all the things I wanted to say about how much you totally sucked. Yes, sucked. But then I felt bad about blasting you because I certainly don’t want to seem ungrateful for all those amazing lessons you provided for me. Oh, let’s see… there was a father-in-law with throat cancer and months of horrendous treatments {he’s fine now}, financial challenges that were beyond us, a weekend in the hospital for Doug, the ‘letting go’ of our beloved northern Arizona property, a move to a…well…fixer-upper-house, ridiculous personal health issues for me, the loss of my job {and even worse, a friendship}, my mom’s ongoing battle with ovarian cancer, and my right arm in a sling to complete the year. Gosh, 2011, are you proud of yourself for all of that?

You know, 2011, I had to really dig deep to find the blessings you provided. Amidst all the aforementioned junk, you did offer up some good times in the mix, and I credit my trusty camera for capturing moments of joy that make me reconsider labeling you, 2011, as The.Worst.Year.Ever.

The ignorant bliss of good health was turned upside-down all around us. Thank you, 2011 for helping me to appreciate the gift of good health and the ongoing desire to maintain it. Thank you for showing us what it’s like to love someone with cancer and to cherish every moment and say all the things that need to be said. Thank you for keeping me humble in terms of where I live, and for proving to me that walls and location do not make it home.

Thank you for all those trips to California to be with my family – four of them in one year {when the norm is one or two}. And if it wasn’t for you, 2011, there wouldn’t have been that awesome road trip with my girl C to meet up with three different blog friends. Amazing. Oh! And what about that trip to Tennessee in May to witness the fairytale wedding of my brother Ron to my sweet new SIL, Ryann? Yeah…that was really cool.

I turned 50 during your reign, 2011. Carrie gave me the most amazing gift of love and friendship and surprise I could ever imagine. And the incredible gift that is “Team Teal?” Words just can’t express! I made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and really appreciated all those in between.

So you see, 2011, while you were busy doling out all those lemons, I came back at you with some darn good lemonade! Gosh, 2011, come to think of it, you really rocked in terms of friends and family and love and laughter this year. Maybe I’ll reconsider the “you sucked” part.

Respectfully {and with gratitude},
~ Deb

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
~ Memorandum ~

To: The Year That Will Be 2012
From: Deb @ PaperTurtle
Date: December 31, 2011
RE: Welcome!

Dear 2012,

Hello new friend! You are a sight for sore eyes, and not a tough act to follow given the talents of your predecessor. It is with hope and eyes-wide-open that I welcome you. I understand there are some amazing things in store for us during your tenure!

Let's do it!

Peace and love,
~ Deb

69 comments:

Karen said...

It was an awful year for you in many ways, but when I think of you my first impression is ALWAYS one of positive attitude and cheerfulness!!! You brighten our lives with your wonderful photography, stories, and creativity so it's not surprising to me that you found the good amongst all the bad this year! Here's to a healthy, happy, prosperous 2012! I'm looking forward to hearing about it right here.

helena said...

hoping for a great 2012 for the best lemonade maker I know

Cheri said...

You know there are some parts of this I could have written myself? Health turned inside out, turning 50, learning a lot of lessons about appreciating life and abundance even when you are feeling lack. I'm so glad to have gotten to know you this year and to have been a part of team teal. Still wishing you and your family lots of healing vibes - and a happy and healthy 2012!

Fiona@staring at the sea said...

I am totally in awe of your positivity in the face of adversity. You have dealt with everything life has thrown at you in 2011 with such grace. Wishing you love and light in 2012 xx

SammyD said...

Love, love, love the positive attitude... hope nothing but good things come your way in 2012!!!

Kirsti said...

Oh this is so good Deb...and you have lots of good memories too (you only have to look back your blog posts to see that) but I do hope that 2012 is a much better year than 2011(for me too) as I think 'we' deserve a break!!

Happy Hogmany and may yer lum reek lang...

Kirsti xxx

debs14 said...

Seems like 2011 was disliked by many of us and for many different reasons. But you made some pretty tasty lemonade from all those lemons and are proof that 'what doesn't break you, makes you stronger', however, you've had your strength tested now and it's time for 2012 to arrive and be gentler with you. I guess we need to have the 'downs' to appreciate the 'ups' and the lessons learnt are to take hold of those good days and make them last as long as you can, just in case a bad one is round the corner!
I do hope that you have a much better year in 2012 and it's 'mid year performance analysis' will show a great improvement.

Lizzie said...

Aww... made me cry, Deb!
I didn't realise you had lost your job, in amongst all the other huge challenges that were thrown your way in 2011. Don't know why/how I missed that - I am sorry and hope you have a new one now - or else very soon, which will make you happy.
You have coped so well with everything. I admire how you have tried (and mostly succeeded, I think), to stay positive and not let it bring you down.
I also had some challenges this year; somehow many of them seem to have faded into the past and no longer matter so much (not in the bad way anyway). Many lessons learned, which I hope will help me to go forward into 2012 with just such a positive attitude as yourself.
What a lot has happened in the past 12 months. I am so glad you felt supported and loved by friends and family, while all that was going on!
One day I will come to see you and drink a glass of something cool and refreshing, sitting in the garden you and Doug will create in 2012, at your new "fixer-upper" little home. We will talk about the bad stuff, as well as the good; but I hope we'll have much more Good to tell about, than Bad!
Happy New Year to you Deb, and to your wonderful family. I wish you all a good year in 2012, with recovery and improvement being the major trend! I wish you health, happiness and, if you can't have "wealth" as such, at least a return to normal levels of prosperity!
XX

Jennifer Lebowitz said...

Wow, what a year Deb. But what I love and admire about you is that you always look for the good in any situation. I could only hope that I would have your positive attitude faced with those obstacles. The good news is that you only have up to go in 2012. I know that amazing things are waiting for someone so blessed with love and talents. BTW if you have any extra time, I would love to pay you to make me a slightly larger version of your circus art. I would pay you whatever you thought would make it worth your time. Just thought I'd throw it out there in case you had some time. Love reading your amazing blog!

scrappyjacky said...

That definitely was 'the year that was' for you,Deb......but,like Karen,I always think of you as the most positive and cheerful person....your posts invariably brighten my day.You always meet all challenges head on and I'm sure 2012 is quaking in its boots in preparation for meeting you!!! Here's hoping for a far better year for you in 2012, my friend.

Ruth said...

I could feel my heart squeeze as I read this post. Dearest Deb, you've overcome so much this year and will continue to do so in 2012. No that you are much loved. This little family of 3 here in London send you much love as the world moves in a new year.

Rhona said...

Deb, You are an inspiration to me, and I'm sure many other people too. You manage to find the positives where many wouldn't and stay strong through whatever life throws your way. I hope 2012 is going to be a better year for you, despite what challenges may lie ahead, and that you'll continue to find the positives in life. Sending you and yours lots of love and best wishes for the coming year. xxx

Alison said...

You have overcome so much this year Deb,and are still sending out such positive vibes through Blogland..wishing you and your family a peaceful, Happy New Year
Alison xx

Karen said...

What can I say Deb - despite the absolute c**p that has been your misfortune to have to go through this year you always seem to come up smiling, even finding the time to send little uplifting messages to me when you sensed I was down. I truly value our friendship and hope and pray that 2012 will be a much better year than 2011 was.

With all best wishes for the new year xxx

Beverly said...

You amaze me on a pretty frequent basis and this post is right there, you are so eloquent. My heart has broken for you and those you love many times this year and it is a blessing to see the good that has been born from the suffering. As I continue to pray for your healing and Marti's I pray that 2012 is much, much gentler to you all. {{hugs, friend}}

traci said...

a very clever post deb. i hope your 2012 brings nothing but wonderful times and much love.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Yeah, I would have just flipped-off 2011 if I were you. Kudos to you for rising above and finding the good.
Lots of blog love to you and hope for a really fantastic 2012.
Rinda

Heather said...

I watched the film of 'Pollyanna' yesterday and she always found something to be glad about even in the very worst situations! Its very easy to get dis-heartened when things go bad but I'm happy to read this post and feel your positivity. I hope 2012 will be a better year for you & your loved ones xx

Denise said...

You are an inspiration Deb,a wonderful post and so honestly written.One of the very positive good things that happened to me in 2011 was finding your friendship - and may it grow stronger in 2012 - AND I am SO going to get over there to meet you one day! ♥

Stephanie said...

a terrific post Deb - some laughs, some tears, some food for thought. I think the best part about it is that it shows who you are just perfectly - in the middle of all that bad stuff, you kept your sense of humor and found the lemonade. Bless your sweet and crafty heart, Deb, and may 2012 be amazing! xoxoxoxoxo

Jo.C said...

Brought a tear to my eye and a big smile. I love how you turned the post around. Happy New Year xx

Irene said...

Deb - you have touched so many hearts which is evident in all the comments in this blog. You can add one more heart you have touched - Mine. Wishing you all the best in the New Year. Thanks for the refreshing lemonade.

Margaret said...

Deb: everything you said was perfect! The last few years have been really hard at our homestead too, but just in the last few months I've begun to think we are moving into a more positive place. I hope 2012 brings you lots of joy, peace, health, and everything your heart desires.

Mom said...

Thank you for reminding me of all the good things that were sandwiched in between all the bad. I read all the comments to this post (as I do all your posts!) and my heart soars as your blog friends describe the Deb I've always known. You are so blessed to have the ability to express yourself and have people respond to you in such a positive fashion. As you know, 2012 is a leap year so we all have one extra day to "get it right" this year! Let's use it to the max!!! Love you beyond reason! xoxo

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