Month: December 2010

Top Good Things for 2010 for Me

I read a suggestion today for creating a list of Top Good Things that happened in 2010. I thought this was a good idea and have come up with my own list. It was challenging to think of different good things since it can be easy to focus on the negative, especially in these times. But it was a good reminder of what is right in my life

  1. The business I am a part owner of survived a tough year – After a very good financial year in 2009 for the company I partly own, VDL-5 Technologies, 2010 saw a drop in the business income. Fortunately, we had done planning ahead and had some reserves set aside but we still had to do some cuts in our expenses. As a result, we have a strong team and have trimmed our costs. My partners and I have also increased our experience in business development and running the business so as prepare to start our 3rd year of business we have a bit more confidence than we did 3 years ago. We also were awarded a contract in December that will keep us going as we work on building our business.The year 2011 is looking like a brighter year in many ways.
  2. Developed confidence in myself for learning new things – As part of our business this year, my partners and I worked on business development and marketing. This required going to shows, meeting new people and providing information about our company. At the beginning of this year I was nervous about this activity but somehow during a conference I attended something clicked and I felt more confident about marketing our business. I think this occurred because I was able to view it as a technical problem to solve, which I’m more comfortable with, and not just a people problem, where I needed to talk with people. Once I shifted the problem to a framework I’m more comfortable with the marketing became easier.
  3. Lost weight last year and have kept it off for a year – Last year, due to stress and such, I lost weight. I was very happy with the result if not the process for losing the weight and I have worked to keep the weight off. I have gained a few pounds over the holidays, no surprise there, but in the last week I have cut back on my meals and continue walking at lunch and in the afternoon. I was happy to see some of the weight go away and hope to continue.

I do have other items that I consider good things for 2010 but thought this list was enough to share. And as I write this, I am reminded of a New Year’s memory from many years back that I will end this post with.

Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I was babysitting for a family on New Year’s Eve. We lived in Denver Colorado and at that time I still liked snow and cold. 🙂 It had been an uneventful evening, the children went to bed on time and the parents came back after the midnight hour. What I remember is walking home and a snow fall starting as I walked. Since it was 12:30 am/1:00 am, I was the only out and awake so it seemed I had the world to myself. I was struck with the realization that I was seeing the first snowfall for that new year and it seemed like a special gift. The small white flakes, quietly drifting down, a slight breeze and the utter quiet you can only find when it snows at night. I stood for a minute and just watched the snow for a moment before walking the rest of the way home. As I drove home from work today, under a clear, cold, evening sky I was reminded of this evening and how that memory still fills me with peace so many years later.

May your 2011 be filled with peace, joy and good health surrounded by family and friends.

Christmas Memories

With the holiday season in full swing I thought I would write about some of my Christmas memories. The earliest Christmas memory I have is when I think I was 4 years old. We lived in a rental house in Oklahoma on Chickasaw Avenue, which I loved to say because of how “Chickasaw” sounded. I thought the house was very cool, it had two stories and there was a whole wall of doors that opened into a closet. For some reason I was fascinated with all of those doors and how they opened up into this other room. I had a large bed and a toy box that my Dad built for me. I loved to climb in that toy box and hide in it, it was a very large box.

The house had a large fire place and I remember a tree next to it with presents. I don’t remember what all of the presents were but I do remember getting a baby doll from my aunt, a Suzie doll. At least I think she was a Christmas present, she might’ve been a birthday present since my birthday is that time of year. That doll became my favorite baby doll and I still have her up in a closet. She’s a bit worn, her hair was trimmed at one time, because I thought it was messy and I thought it would grow back after I cut it.  In spite of all of that, she was always my favorite baby doll.

A few Christmas’s later, at another house, my grandparents were visiting us. I very much wanted a set of bunk beds for my baby dolls so that I could put more than one of them in a bed. This was also a Christmas when I was wondering whether Santa Claus was real or not. I was tending to believe he wasn’t and that my parents had something to do with the gifts appearing under the tree but I still wasn’t sure. So I stayed awake and crept out to see what was happening in the living room. I could hear the adults talking but couldn’t see much or see if I the bunk beds I had wanted were out there. My Dad saw me and got angry, so I ran back to my room, somewhat upset. My grandma came back in a few minutes and told me that I could come out, so I came out and there were the bunk beds I wanted. Since I was up, the adults let me play with the bunk beds a few minutes before I was sent back to bed. But somehow I knew that Santa hadn’t brought the bunk beds and that my Dad had put them together. It was a little bit of a let down, losing some of the magic of Christmas, but I wasn’t too surprised either. Still a good Christmas, I got the bunk beds, along with some nice warm flannel blankets, so I was able to put my Suzie doll to bed and make sure she was nice and warm.

Another Christmas I remember getting up early with my brother and being very quiet while we checked out our presents under the tree. I had gotten a metal doll house, don’t remember what my brother got. I remember checking the dollhouse against the JC Penney catalog and wondering why it didn’t quite match. And there was always a little bit of disappointment in not getting everything I had put on my list. Which I had conveniently referenced to the toy section in the JC Penny catalog. The JC Penny catalog was one of the most eagerly awaited pieces of mail during that time of year. My brother and I would take turns going through the pages, circling what we wanted and noting down page numbers. If I remember correctly, if I had gotten everything I wanted, I don’t believe my room would have held all of the toys. We circled a lot of pages for the toys my brother and I wanted.

The biggest Christmas I remember is when I got a 3-speed bike and my brother got his train set. Bikes with more than one speed had just come out for regular use so it was a big item to ask for. And it had brakes on the handles, which was another cool factor. It was a Schwinn bike, a lime green color. A year ago I saw a green Schwinn bike that looked like a duplicate of that old bike, that certainly brought back memories. Didn’t have a banana seat or tassels from the handlebars but it was still cool.

Another big part of Christmas was decorating the tree. Most of our ornaments were made by my great grandmother or my grandmother. I now have some of these ornaments that my Mom gave me when I left home. The ornaments are a Styrofoam ball covered with fabric, beads, ribbons and pins. As the years went by, fabric from clothes for special occasions were used to cover the Styrofoam. So I have Christmas ornaments made with fabric from my wedding dress, a bridesmaid dress, my sister’s bridesmaid dress that she wore for my wedding and fabric I used to make a dress for a competition in 4-H. So each year when I decorate the tree I have many memories that come up as I hang each of these ornaments on the tree.

Just a few memories, there have been many good Christmas’s over the years. And each year I enjoy the colored lights, the Christmas songs and thinking about family and traditions. A Merry Christmas to everyone and may each one be merry and bright for you.