I’m not one for New Years resolutions – I’ve simply come to accept that I might never shed that five pounds that would allow me to wear my skinny jeans without a booty-hiding sweater; it’s not in the cards for me to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal seven nights a week; and really, much to Shane’s chagrin, I’m just not a punctual person.  Love it or…deal with it.  However, I do believe that the end of the year is a good time to ‘take inventory’ – spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc…  And if I find that my boat is a bit off-course, what better time to redirect it?  As I sit here with my cup of coffee in our quiet home, wrapped up in a blanket while temperatures drop to below-freezing outside, I think, “Life is good.”  And it’s good for reasons beyond just hot coffee and cozy blankies (though those two things rank pretty high on my list of happiness-makers).

Career-wise, this year has been challenging, and frustrating at times, but it has also been the most professionally fulfilling year I’ve had thus far.  I certainly started the year on a high note, when I received word that I had passed my final architectural licensing exam, and then there was a bit of let-down when I realized how little that actually impacted my day-to-day responsibilities, but slowly, throughout the course of the year, I’ve been taking more and more ownership of my project while becoming a more and more integral part of the larger project team. And I like it – I like the balance of ownership and collaboration.  There have been several moments over the past few years when I questioned whether or not I’m really in the right profession, and I’m finding that those “Oh, crap…” kind of moments are becoming less and less frequent.  This is a good thing.

Physically, I’m giving myself a B+.  Still in the routine of running and doing yoga, and all in all, I feel really good.  With the exception of my little fish-taco-induced ‘episode’ in Sayulita, I think I managed to make it through the entire year without being sick.  However, I knocked myself out of A-status due to the fact that I never even came close to accomplishing my monumental 100-push-up goal.  I tapped out at 28, out of sheer wimpy-ness and lack of determination.  I let myself down on that one…  And as I mentioned above, it might be nice to shed just a few pounds, but then again, I have decided that I love chocolate too much to obsess over this elusive weight loss.  Heidi Klum might have a body to die for, but I bet she doesn’t get to revel in an after-dinner bowl of ice cream or few squares of mint dark chocolate.  Bummer for her…  I’m fit, but still allow myself the occasional (read: nightly) indulgences.  And I’m happier for it.

Emotionally, I’m calling myself, ‘content’.  This largely has to do with how well the major relationships on my life are doing.  Shane and I are feeling pretty on-track lately, spending quite a bit of time just hangin’ out and talking with each other – checking in, setting goals, and remembering the importance of laughter.  It’s nice when your spouse consistently makes you smile.  I’m also extremely grateful for family, both mine and Shane’s, and feel very lucky that my biggest concern is just that we can’t spend more time with them.  Our friendships here in Seattle continue to deepen, and I continue to wonder what we would do without this group of people that have become our Seattle family.  So many meals, weekends, adventures, etc. have been shared with our closest friends over the past year.  And it’s been damn fun.

So, I know I’ve painted a pretty peachy picture thus far, but in truth, there are a couple of areas in my life that fall under the ‘Needs Improvement’ heading.  Artistically, I’m feeling rather un-fulfilled.  I had so much momentum and energy going into my artwork several months ago, as I was learning about new media and preparing for my art show.  Then…I fizzled.  I haven’t been to the encaustic or print studio since June.  And I really, really miss it.  But it’s nothing that a little kick in the pants can’t cure, so I’ll probably be enlisting the help of Shane to deliver that kick.  He’s good at doing that, in his stern-but-encouraging sort of way.

And spiritually?  Errrrrr…I’m not even sure how to distill the state of my soul down to a status update.  Is this a bad thing?  Maybe (of course I’d love to be able to say, “Me and God are BFF’s!”), but maybe not (it’s ok to be unsure, as long as I’m fully engaged in the question).  But I’m not engaged – I’ve been playing the old “Catch you Later” game with God for awhile now, and I think “Later” has arrived.

Lastly, some of my old friendships need some TLC.  I don’t talk to my closest, oldest friends in California nearly as often as I’d like to, even though I know that these are relationships worth investing in.  My best friend is engaged and getting married within the next year, and I desperately want to be there for her as she looks at wedding dresses and dreams about marriage and family. There aren’t many people in my life with whom I can reminisce about my teenage years (for better or for worse), and these friends that have seen me through so many stages of life should be cherished and held close.

Much to be thankful for, much to be mindful of.  Bring on 2011.