#reverb 12: heartfelt appreciation

Did you discover something that surprised or delighted you? What was it? (Lee Currie)

I know I have written a lot about changing my habits, eating healthier, exercising and losing weight. But in all honesty, there's a part of me that is surprised that I've been able to accomplish so much. I have been surprised by the way my body reacts to working out, that I crave the feelings of aching muscles and pushing myself to do more. In September, I participated in a Cross-training Challenge and I wasn't sure what to expect. I was surprised by how I responded to the challenge and that I looked forward each Friday to seeing what I could do. I set small goals and each time I was able to do more push-ups or run further or do one more complete circuit, I was surprised. It was an incredibly rewarding experience to be surprised by what my body could do.

 

Appreciate.  For what did you find a new appreciation this year? (Sarah Bagley)

One of my goals for the year was to tend to my raltionships, to actively put energy into my friendships, family relationships and my relationship with M. I believe that all relationships require work, that on their own they won't flourish or grow just because you want them to, and I also believe that sometimes the energy of relationships is one-sided and you have to decide how much energy you're willing to put in if you feel like you aren't getting much in return. I feel like I chose to put effort into relationships where others were also putting energy. I could not imagine the benefits of tending in this way because what happened once I began focusing on my relationships was that I felt a deeper appreciation for people in my life. And not just people I've known for a long time, but new friendships I made, and even my relationships with my students felt more connected and I feel like I approached them with new energy. 

I appreciate(d) my relationships and connections more this year than I have before, including those with people I see on a daily basis as part of my routine, the people who make my coffee, the meter guys, the department secretaries, my mailman, and the girls at the rec center who wait patiently as I search for my ID.

 

Take some time and wander through all of the photos taken over the past year. Which is your favourite? What emotions do you associate with it? (Lee Currie)

There's no way I could choose a favorite photo from the year, but I narrowed it down to a few I like for a variety of reasons. When I look at these photos, I feel a deep sense of joy and connection. I see myself happy. I love the photos of my niece and I and the one that includes my brother because it represents the energy I put into relationships this year. I've always imagined that I would be close to his children, and to see some of that coming true makes me incredibly grateful. These photos are really all about relationships: with nature, with family, with M, with photography, with my surroundings.