Year end review – how was your 2010?

As 2010 draws to a close I have decided to do some personal inventory. Look back over 2010 and see what worked and what didn’t and make some goals and plans for what I want 2011 to look like. It is a proven fact that those people who actually have written goals are FAR more likely to achieve them than those who just have as ideas somewhere in their heads. I’ve done extensive goal writing in the past and find it somewhat tedious and time consuming. I find going one year at a time, I can change course as I see fit and and continue on in a new direction.

So I’ve been reading Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non-Conformity” blog and really relating to it. A lot!  So I’m going to do his annual review process.

Just today I learned about another site my best friend Nazima is also doing, Reverb10.   Sounds interesting so I’ll give it a go.  I’m already 23 days behind so got to get moving if I wanna do all 31 days.

December 1st – one word

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?  (Author: Gwen Bell)

Hmmm, this is tough.  After some thought I’d say “uncertainty” would be my word for 2010.  It was a year we spent traveling for 5.5 months and often didn’t know where we’d be a week later, or for how long, or what we’d do once we got there.  We did a lot of figuring it out as we went.  It was also a year of change for me.  I left my job of 9 years working with Queensberry albums as their North American account manager to get married and travel, not knowing exactly what direction I wanted, to go with my photography career.  I’ve gone through some self doubt, lack of confidence personally, lack of self esteem, and some health challenges with asthma and allergies.  So personal uncertainty also.

For 2011 my word will be  “rebirth” as I rediscover myself, my dreams, my goals.  Hence doing this project!   Redefining myself and an awakening of self.

December 2 – Writing

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?  (Author: Leo Babauta)

Writing doesn’t really apply to me, so I’m going to substitute “photography” or “creativity” in its place.

Procrastination, wasting time on things like Facebook, and eating/sleeping.   First two I can eliminate – I’ll keep doing the latter two on a regular basis though.  😉

December 3 – Moment

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).   (Author: Ali Edwards)

I had a few moments that fit that bill.

  • while at Destiny RV park in Goodyear, Arizona, I would sometimes take my notebook and reading materials for an online course I was doing and getting in my bathing suit and going and doing my homework out by the pool.  It was mid January and the sun was warm, hot even, and the air was dry.  I could hear people swimming or playing in the pool and occasionally I’ll look over to see what they were doing.  The sky was deep blue, not a single cloud to be seen.  I remember thinking how lucky I was to be there and how great the sun felt on my skin – when it was dead of winter back home and -30c probably.
  • when in Corpus Chris-ti, TX we took a boat tour out to see the whooping cranes.  There are very few of them left in the world, especially migrating flocks.  We got to see 4 birds, two of which flew right over us, in the wild.  The air was cool over the water and I remember hearing the birds call to each other.
  • sitting on the beach near Savannah, Georgia with my husband.  Just sitting there, not doing anything.  I don’t often allow myself that luxury, so felt good to just do nothing with the man I love next to me.

December 4 – Wonder

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?  (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

Uh let’s see . . . oh yeah!   We rented out our house in Alberta and hit the road in an RV (which we had never even slept in or used before) and ventured out on a road trip covering 5.5 months and over 26,000 km!   I took over 17,000 photographs and we stayed in, or drove through, 27 US states and 7 Canadian provinces.  I think that was an easy one.  Opened our door to something new every 3-5 days after first week of March.  Read about our RV adventure (or at least as far as we got on the blog anyway) at

December 5 – Let Go

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?  (Author: Alice Bradley)

A friend who was close.  We didn’t see things the same way and I think we both felt like the other didn’t understand us.  Upon return home we’ve seemingly gone our own ways without much discussion about it.  I have let go of any expectations and energy around it and it will be what it’s supposed to be.

December 6 – Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?   (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I made quite a few things but I’m quite proud of my 2011 Road Trip Calendars that I created using some of my images from the RV trip.  Of course my materials are glossy paper.  I have a lot of personal projects I want to make like:  our own wedding album; The day in the life of my nephew (from photos I took in June); a book of photos I did of my husband Rob’s uncles (82 and 84 years old on the family farm);  a book of images of our RV trip just for us;  a vision board wall covering our bedroom wall with inspirations.

December 7 – Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?  (Author: Cali Harris)

I discovered community in a few places.

With the NAPP association (National Association of Photoshop Professionals).   I attended their Photoshop World conference in Florida in March and met some really neat people and discovered more of their online groups and support.

With David DuChemin’s Craft and Vision blog, e-book site and facebook page.  I love his philosophy and his work.  Inspirational to me, something I aspire to follow.

And in my own community doing just that – community work.  After arriving back home, I found myself a bit directionless.  After deciding to get back to doing some volunteer work, the pieces started falling back into place for me, and I found some direction.  Since about the middle of September I’ve put in about 30 hours for the Bissell Center.  I’ve done things for them over the years but never on a regular basis like this.  Every second Wednesday I go in for 2 hours to help get the morning meal ready to serve, help serve it in the drop-in center, and then clean up.  It’s very rewarding and puts life in perspective for me whenever I start to feel sorry for myself.

That’s about as far as I can get tonight, gotta get up early.  To follow along with me you can add your own comments or blog on your own blog.   Or tell me what other kind of review and goal setting you’re doing and maybe I’ll check it out.

Until then, happy holidays!!

2 Responses to “Year end review – how was your 2010?”
  1. Chris-tina says:

    Thank you for tagging me so I would have an opportunity to read your blogs.. Reflection is a funny thing as are resolutions. Sometimes finding out what you want and don’t want in your life through your experiences is enough. Perhaps doing something you shouldn’t and know you shouldn’t have done is a life lesson all unto its own. Afterall, all of these things are reminders we are afterall…. living the human experience.

  2. trevorboller says:

    Thanks for your blog. Although you are in a different program than me, I see the parallels with our positive direction. I applaud you and loved hearing about your personal and physical journey in 2010. Congratulations on your year.

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About Your Tutor

photography tutor in Edmonton

Born and raised in Edmonton, Darlene has had formal training in photography at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She enjoys portraits, fine art, and travel photography. She is a seasoned traveler having spent time in Mexico, Singapore, Malaysia, Peru, Thailand, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Cuba and Australia. Darlene loves exotic locales, exotic food and experiencing different countries directly through the local people and the cultural arts. Her vision is to share her artistic talents through teaching “the art of seeing”, and to spread love and tolerance through the experience of truly connecting with and understanding people of different cultures.