Last Friday’s Plinky prompt was “Summarize your 2011 with one sentence for each month this year.” I thought about it briefly – and concluded that I would find it very difficult.
For the last several years, I have written some sort of family Christmas letter (or at any rate year-end letter, as I often don’t get it done by Christmas). I always intend to work on it long before Thanksgiving, but there are two significant challenges. One is finding a way to write the letter that is interesting and avoids bragging or complaining. The other is remembering what actually went on in our family more than a month or two ago.
This year I didn’t even try. Family and friends are communicating more and more by facebook these days, so they should have a reasonably good idea what has been going on with us, without my having to write a letter. (Though we did get a Christmas card asking if my husband had heard from any churches lately, so apparently we failed to effectively communicate about his new position as part-time pastor.)
Doing the Plinky prompt offers one advantage over sending out a Christmas letter. People who receive one of those letters may resent having to either read it, or perhaps feel guilty for not reading it. But no one has to read answers to Plinky prompts. I could brag about accomplishments or complain about problems – if I could just remember them.
I tried looking back through my saved emails to see if that reminded me of major events from the past twelve months. But apparently I don’t send or receive emails related to major events. Or else nothing major has happened.
Then I tried looking through my blog posts for the past year. That yielded a few more ideas, though it still appears that 2011 has been fairly uneventful.
- January: In between reading several books, I helped my son Al make an alligator pinewood derby car.
- February: I helped my son complete the last of the requirements to earn the Arrow of Light before he bridged from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.
- March: I participated in a Toastmasters area speech contest and won – due to the lack of any other competitors.
- April: I found out that my Toastmasters membership had lapsed the previous fall, so I was ineligible to compete at the next level.
- May: I became the President of our Toastmasters club – primarily due to being the only member willing to volunteer to serve in that office.
- June: We visited a church and town in Nebraska that seemed like a good fit for our family, but it did not work out.
- July: My son Al and I celebrated his twelfth birthday with a Pirate Party.
- August: I became more enthusiastic about Toastmasters as I attended officer training – but learned that most of the members of our club planned to drop out and that the club would most likely disband.
- September: I started following Dr. Ann’s Eat Right for Life program, learning to choose more healthy fats and carbohydrates.
- October: I helped Al make an Ent costume for Halloween that won him first place in the costume contest at the church party we attended.
- November: My husband was called as part-time pastor at a church where he had been doing pulpit supply, so we finally have a real church home for the first time in a few years.
- December: We lost our home internet connection for two weeks and I spent a lot of time reading (even more than usual).
Not much to write a year-end letter about, is it? But considering all the unpleasantly eventful things that could have happened that didn’t, sometimes it can be good to have an uneventful year.