Ah, the end of a year. Always bittersweet, always reflective, always coming way faster than I could have ever predicted.
At the beginning of this year, I set my word of the year to be Recover. I’ve been using OneWord365 to set my New Year’s resolutions for a while now (2014, 2015, and 2017) because it really is the only way I’ll actually keep up with my resolutions.
2017 was going to be about recovery for me, because, let’s face it, 2016 was a hell of a year. Sure, great things happened. My nephew was born. I married my rock and had a killer dance party. But some not so great things happened too. My grandmother died. My house flooded. All in all, a year to recover from.
This year has certainly been a year of recovery. I started going to therapy, which has helped my mental health in so many big and little ways. My relationship with my husband has never been better, and I’m learning how to be more assertive in asking for the things I need and realizing the things I deserve. I’ve found new mantras and techniques to combat my anxieties and feelings of unworthiness, and I’m generally happier and more light.
We FINALLY finished our house this week. I KNOW. But as of right now, all of the projects we wanted to do after the flood are complete and paid for and I’m looking forward to settling into the normal homeownership upgrades (fixing a leaky sink is much less worrisome than laying new flooring down).
We have finally built up our savings, and we are being more proactive in prioritizing our spending and investing in the things that make us happy (I say, as my husband is fishing in his new-to-us kayak in the 43 degree weather, while I stare longingly at the pile of new books waiting to be read). We traveled a lot, sometimes at the spur of the moment, without breaking the bank, and that’s a GREAT FEELING. Financial security is something I haven’t really felt since I graduated high school, and knowing that a fancy night out with my husband won’t force us to eat ramen for the rest of the month is something I’m hella proud of (and also incredibly grateful for).
As for my health, well… it’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve been nauseated since February. Honestly. At first I thought it was anxiety, and that definitely could have played a role, but in the end, after lots of tests and blood work and procrastinating and hoping it all just heals itself (lesson learned: it doesn’t), I’ve finally got a diagnosis and made a plan and had a surgery to make it all better. It might have taken me all year to own my health, but there have been some hard lessons throughout all this, and since I’m nearing 30, I’m realizing I need to get a handle on my body. (Also, I’m very, very grateful to insurance and deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums and all of the adult things I never thought I’d learn but somehow managed to conquer this year.)
In addition to all of these things, I found my way back to reading and blogging (a constant ebb and flow for me), and I finished the Around the Year in 52 Books Challenge, which was one of the most specific goals that I’ve pushed myself to meet, and which helped me read the most books that I’ve ever read in one year.
Have I accomplished my New Year’s Resolution? I think so. I feel like I truly made an effort to heal myself, body and soul, in the past year.
So where do I go from here?
This year, it was hard to pick a word. I like the path I’m on. I’m not facing a whole “New Year, New Me” attitude, nor am I feeling up against any major obstacles coming down the road, knock on wood. After the last two years (2016, facing the wedding, and 2017, facing the rebuilding of our home), I’m grateful to just be able to continue on the path of acceptance and learning more about who I am and what I want out of my life. Sure, I definitely want to go to the gym more often, and I’m certainly going to be eating a bit better (since my now-nonexistent gallbladder will require it), but these minor lifestyle changes feel conquerable now that I’ve been up against mountains.
Here’s to 2018. I hope it brings you lots of joy and books and kitten videos.