2011 was the year of….

by Gigi Ross on December 28, 2011

We’re all looking back at 2011, reflecting on what it meant, what we accomplished and what we didn’t, and what lies in store for 2012.

I wanted to think of one word to describe 2011 for me. 2011 was a year full of blessings, excitement, happiness and laughter.

But the word that immediately leapt to the forefront was: imbalance – extreme imbalance.

This post was going to be about how I worked way too much this year, day after day. How I never felt I was doing enough at my various freelance jobs and didn’t feel I could ever say no to any opportunity that came my way. How I ended up not leaving the house for three days, barely having spoken to my kids for all I had on my plate. How I wasn’t able to volunteer at the school for most of the fall. How I wasn’t able to arrange one playdate for them since we’ve moved. How I had to blow off friends and family  more than once.

But I realized that the imbalance was just a symptom of something else – that something else being the true hallmark of my 2011.

That something else was fear.

I spent a lot of 2011 being fearful.  I feared we’d never leave Texas and feared a move would be a horrible mistake. I feared the pressure of having to be the sole provider of our family and feared not getting the next freelance job to be in the position to be a provider. I feared that if I didn’t spend enough time in social media, my career would suffer and feared being a disengaged parent. I feared being a success and I feared being a failure. And over the last two weeks, I feared that I might have breast cancer – and feared both not being around for my family and feared being sick in front of them.

Fear messed me up this year. I allowed it to make me less than I am. I allowed it to lead me to poor decision-making. I allowed it to breed unnecessary drama. I allowed it to separate me from the things that are life-giving.

When I got the news this morning that I do not have breast cancer, fear released its grip on me. Everything I worried about in 2011 seemed to fade away in importance today.

I am blessed with health.

So I am declaring 2012 the year of fearlessness.

I will love my children without fear of what happens to my career. I will let my career take care of itself. I will do today’s work without fear that my job will might be gone tomorrow. I will make choices more from my heart than from my head. I will trust that the decisions we’ve made as a family are the right ones. I will not fear dropping pageviews or plummeting Klout scores. I will work on giving myself over to what the universe has planned for me instead of trying to control every tiny chess piece.

If I can live without fear, I live with balance. With gratitude. With peace. And this is what I wish for all of you in 2012, too – fearlessness, and peace.

What one word would you use to describe your 2011, and what one word do you hope will define 2012?

I’m putting up a linky if you write a post about this topic. I’m not giving anything away. I just want there to be a place for you to share.


Dana @ Bungalow'56 December 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Just this morning I decided my word for the year, was going to be Fearless. I’ve been thinking about it all day, and now just before turning off the computer I came here. I think it’s a sign : )

sam @ goa carnival December 29, 2011 at 3:12 am


Yes you are right if we are tension free then we will live more life which is good because then you can do lots more things for your children.

Barbara December 29, 2011 at 6:20 am

What a very powerful post. That must have been a horrific scare. No fear this year….sounds like the perfect thing for 2012. You know, what with those pesky Mayans predicting the end of the world. 😉

Dominique@Dominique's Desk December 29, 2011 at 6:25 am

I haven’t really thought about my word of focus for 2012 but it would have to be ” Do it!!”

John December 29, 2011 at 7:01 am

Fearless is a good word for you, Gigi

Shell December 29, 2011 at 7:13 am

Wow, Geeg. I’m so glad that you are okay. And I think fearlessness is a great word for you.

Kelli December 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

This is why I love the [mom] blogosphere. So many fantastic, like-minded women. Like you and your other commenters, fearlessness is also the word ringing in my head for the new year. The day after Christmas I decided I was tired of dipping my toes in to test waters. Tired of being afraid.

Looking forward to more posts on this throughout 2012!

And most importantly, I’m really glad to hear you’re cancer-free, Gigi!

Jessica December 29, 2011 at 10:18 am

GULP. As I read this I found myself relating to so much to the word you chose to highlight – fear.

This year I allowed myself to (try to) conform to what others wanted out of me instead of what I needed to be doing for myself and for my family.

I hope that in 2012 I can get a better grasp on, like you said, focusing on those things that matter most – not the things that may or may not disappear tomorrow and ultimately in the end harm me in no way compared to losing time with my family and those I love.

May we all choose to be fearless about the “small things” and learn to focus on the larger picture…cheers!

Ashley December 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

2011 was a hell of a year. I am awed at how well you can share it all. I am so so happy it is positive news to end the year. Love you girl xoxo

Devan @ Accustomed Chaos December 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I love this post and love more that everything turned out okay for you. Love the new goal for the new year xxo

Stacey Nerdin @ Tree, Root, and Twig December 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I can so identify with this, and thank you for sharing it. Fear (and – related for me – guilt and shame) are little demons that have shadowed me far too long in my life. Kudos for determining your path for 2012. I will happily follow and cheer you on!

Living the Balanced Life December 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I have been struggling with thinking of something profound to write a post about the ending of an old year and the beginning of a new one. I still haven’t come up with anything, but I have to say that you did an AWESOME job sharing here.
Here is to a year without fear!

julie gardner December 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Oh my.

Cheers to your bravery, to fearlessness, to not just surviving but thriving.

May 2012 be a year of blessings for your entire family and the year we finally meet in person.

(Not to make it about me or anything… ;-))

And I’m so grateful that you are okay.
(Again, not about me. mostly.)


Surferwife December 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Holy hells bells, woman.

I am so happy you’re so close to me now. Let’s plan. Let’s plan with kids and let’s also plan for without. I enjoy my face time with you.


Poppy December 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I’m having a hard time leaving a comment because I already see you as fearless leader. I’m glad that you are healthy and I really hope you enjoy 2012–your success should be enjoyed, you earned it.

By Word of Mouth Musings December 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

What a beautiful post to read from you Gigi!
Meeting you in the midst of that moving, seeking, working, what next craziness you were fighting your way thro – it makes me so happy to see that you are taking a different road for 2012.
You are an incredible writer with infinite social media talent … enjoy it all, and enjoy life while you are at it. Look forward to seeing you again, sometime soon xxx

Susan in the Boonies December 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

Can I just take a moment to celebrate with you your health, and the cajones it took to face your fear? Because that’s what I want to do right now!

And in terms of your writing assignment…let me give it some thought. I may get back with you with a link.

But right now, I’d just like to give you a hug!

paula December 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm

These are such wonderful thoughts it makes me cry. I suffer from fear trying to control my life too and constantly fight against it! I am with you. 2012 Year of Fearlessness! Right on!

Melissa {adventuroo} January 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

Wonderful, honest post, Gigi. It’s amazing how those BIG things (like death, cancer and scary things like that) smack us in the face with perspective. I feel the same way. And am glad I’m making a change. Glad you are too. Hopefully, we’ll feel freer in 2012!

Leighann January 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm

What a wonderful jump into 2012!
I love it.
So many things can cloud the way we look at our lives and our commitments!
What a wonderful post!

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