Maybe 2016 Wasn’t All That Bad

2016 was a year that I would never want to revisit, but man it sure did encourage me to grow up.

Not gonna lie, I probably cried more this year than any since I was a hormone-riddled-boy-crazy teenager. But in spite of all the challenges, a lot of good came out of it too.

A Few Reasons Why 2016 Didn’t Totally Suck

  • After years of hand-wringing about our finances, we finally bit the bullet and renovated the house. We have a dishwasher! And a kitchen with an intuitive layout! What a concept!
  • I perfected my hustle and became self-employed and ended up making more money than I ever have before while working ~25 hours/week.
  • I’ve never considered myself an organized person, but this year I proved myself wrong. My time management skills are OFF THE HOOK! I never missed a deadline, even when we were back-and-forth to DC nearly every day while Bruce was in the hospital. I’m the queen of analog calendars and to-do lists. So long as I write it down, I can accomplish anything!
  • Conrad and I were able to love and support each other even through the most trying times. We strengthened and deepened our relationship in really incredible ways. It’s pretty amazing to be part of a relationship that’s based on a deep appreciation for each other. We both know how lucky we are and I am so grateful for the strong foundation that we built for our marriage this year.
  • I gained a ton of self-confidence in my professional abilities. I’ve always had pretty low self-esteem when it comes to work and this year I’ve learned that I do bring a lot to the table, I have a valuable skill-set, and I know how to make clients happy. Turns out that living through the worst can really bring out the best in you.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chaaaaanges!

I loved the flexibility of freelancing, but with the impending Trump presidency I’ve realized that now I need some stability. And health insurance that isn’t at risk of disappearing. And a retirement account because lololsocialsecuritylolol. Freelancing in 2016 set me up right and now I’m ready to further my career in other ways.

I managed to land my dream full-time job that starts in a couple of weeks. To top it all off, I’ve also accepted an incredible opportunity to work as a consultant for a foundation that’s doing amazing work. It’ll be a bit of a balancing act to juggle two new roles at the same time, but I thrive under stress so I’m looking forward to pushing myself professionally this year.

Heading into the new year, I want to continue building on the progress I made in 2016. On January 1st I decided to start a bullet journal to help me keep track of my goals and accomplishments.

2016 bullet journal
Next goal: Make my pages prettier.

Bring It On, 2017

Here are some of the themes that I want to focus on in the coming year:

  • Spend more time creating, less time consuming. Social media takes up way too much of my time. Endlessly scrolling through Twitter and Facebook just make me feel bad about the world and bad about myself for procrastinating. I want to use my time more mindfully by spending more of it making things, learning things, and tapping into my creativity.
  • Cultivate community. Conrad and I both stopped drinking almost completely last year and while it’s been great for our health, it’s definitely had an impact on our social life. Combined with all of the overwhelming emotional stuff we’ve been going through, we basically spent the year being hermits. In 2017, I want to be better about building new relationships and strengthening the ones I hold dear.
  • Become more organized. In 2016, I got really good at keeping my professional life in order. Now it’s time to apply those skills to my personal life. I’m obsessed with my bullet journal and I’m determined to stop being such a Luddite and actually maintain a shared Google calendar with Conrad this year.
  • Prioritize my heart health. I’ve finally come to a point where I really love my body. I’m  comfortable with my curves and I don’t care about losing weight or fitting into a smaller dress size. What I do care about is making sure that my heart won’t give out on me because I forgot to put it to work for a decade. This year, I want my love for my body to guide my eating and exercising habits.

Here’s hoping that 2017 is kinder to us all!

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