So I’m doing exactly what I kept telling myself I would not be doing and totally jumping on the 2013 retrospective bandwagon. I’ve been slightly resistant to this idea because in so many ways this has not been a good year and I didn’t want to end 2013 on a negative post. As I was ticking off all of the reasons I shouldn’t write a reflection on the last 364 days, however, I realized that there was actually quite a bit of good in those days. And as part of my motivational challenge of finding gratitude and satisfaction, I thought it only fair to give this year it’s due – the good, the bad, and the crazy/beautiful.
Travel is something I seem to value over most any other activity in which I participate. I suppose on some level it equates to freedom – to explore, to learn, to change – and it makes me happy. Starting the year out, I didn’t think I would actually be doing that much travel this year; looking back, I definitely surprised myself.
I managed to see Denver, CO in February and check that off my “US Must See List.” I made it back to Alabama in August to spend actual quality time with the family. I pulled off an amazing 30th birthday trip to Scotland in November. I went back to Alabama for the Christmas chaos, which was more necessity than choice but turned out okay in the end.
I traveled to Southern Cali multiple times to see the BFF, proving that distance is only a barrier if you allow it to be. Mixed in there were several trips around Arizona including a dive trip to Lake Havasu and a fall drive through north-east Arizona to check out the changing leaves. (This really is an amazingly diverse state…) I was also lucky enough to make it down to Mexico a couple times over the summer to escape the heat and find some of the best street tacos ever! Overall, 2013 really was not a bad travel year (smile).
My BFF got married to a guy I feel really is her perfect match, which is both comforting and inspiring. I reconnected with an old friend only to find she was just using me for something else, at which point I re-disconnected with an old friend. I made new friends locally, nationally, globally, and digitally (smile) and found that diversity really is the spice of life.
I went through a rather painful breakup that involved splitting up a household. I hopefully learned a lesson about living with someone I’m not totally certain on being with forever. I learned that even the guys you think are your perfect mate can be real assholes. And I remembered why Oxford really may be the love of my life (smile), or at least that being single isn’t actually the end of the world.
I lost a grandfather in May after watching a brilliant man succumb to age and illness. I also found out that my favorite grandpa has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I applied a lesson I learned from watching my mom – spend every single moment making the effort necessary to let him know a) how much he has meant to me; b) how much he is loved, and c) how much he will be missed. Never again will I be afraid to show those things – there are too many memories to be made to be stubbornly stoic or in denial about an illness. I’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that I may have to make some serious life changes to help my grandma next year…
I spent my first Christmas with my step family, and I survived. I got to spend some extra quality time with my favorite travel buddy (aka my brother) both planning and participating in our Scotland trip. We’re already dreaming up ideas for 2014 (smile).
I’m officially a partner in this business, and I’ve really struggled this last year in trying to find my place and my voice. I’m the youngest person here, and that makes being a boss a touchy subject with some. I’ve desperately tried to figure out how to better deal with difficult people and to come to terms with the fact that this may not be my long term place after all. Life, for me, isn’t about the money – it’s about the quality of life. There have been so many highs and lows in my professional life this year, it’s really given me a lot to think about for next year.
2013 has been a roller coaster for me personally. I’ve encountered some serious health issues, and I still haven’t gotten it all sorted out yet. I had to make the very difficult decision to focus on myself instead of everyone else, which as it turns out meant being single and on my own again. Those are the breaks sometimes…
I’ve made a hand-blown stained-glass ornament. I performed a wedding ceremony. I got my concealed carry permit (yeah, I know…). I became scuba certified (and have actually gone scuba diving!). I took a couple of photography workshops, which really helped with my photography knowledge (and hopefully my skills, just a bit). I got that ear piercing I’ve wanted for years but been too afraid to get (sometimes it’s the small stuff). I made huge advances in my baking patience and skills, often retreating to whipping up treats to escape from the general stresses of life. I visited my spot of land in Scotland (see Travel photo above). I started a blog and fell in love with it, instead of abandoning the poor thing two weeks in (smile). And in writing this post, I see just how many posts I have to write in 2014! Brace yourselves (big smile)!
I’ve purposefully lost and eluded my comfort zone time and again these last 12 months, and there is nothing that could make me more proud of myself than that (smile).
Have you done a 2013 retrospective?? I’d love to check it out – Leave me a link below!