Thank God this year happened the way it did…

I wanted to look back at this past year and identify some great moments and acknowledge all the amazing things that happened to me and things that I created in my life.  Reflection has become increasingly invaluable to me and making it a regular practice has increased my feelings of gratitude, excitement and general life enjoyment.

The past few New Years I have felt a huge sense of relief that the year was ending, I can remember saying “THANK GOD THIS YEAR IS OVER.”  and “This year has GOT to be better.”  And while I can’t say that each following year “gets better”, I have a better sense and perspective on how life unfolds and a much better relationship with the ups and downs after this past year.

So here’s my list of amazing moments in 2017:

  1. Signing up for FMCA.  This is my most recent event that I’m beyond excited and proud of.  I already wrote a quick blog post about it so I’m not going to go into a ton of details, but I’m just so excited to start this new chapter in my personal life.
  2. Niagara Falls Road trip.  I made my younger sister a promise to go on this trip back when I was probably 14 years old.  She would’ve been 6.  And she has remembered for the past 12 years.  This year I finally got to fulfill that promise to her and we had an amazing trip, I’m so glad I got to create that memory with her and hope it’s the first of many trips together.
  3. Completing a half-marathon.  That’s right.  I walked/jogged 13.1 miles this year with around a 15 min. pace.  By mile 11 I thought I was going to puke or never walk again, but my Aunt kept pushing me, my family was cheering me on from the sidelines and I proudly show off that medal to anyone who comes over to my house.  I still can’t really believe I did it…
  4. Got a promotion.  Feeling appreciated at work is a great feeling, and to know that your opinion is valued and that your efforts are seen and recognized is such a huge motivator for me.  I’m so blessed to have a 9-5 that treats me so well and supports me in new endeavors and values my ideas, it makes all the difference in the world.
  5. Saw my first opera.  For my Dad’s birthday I got tickets to go see La fanciulla del West, which was our first opera.  It was such a fun night, although I was one of the few people under 40 there.  One of my favorite things was just listening and not reading the subtitles, you could only identify emotions since it was all in Italian.  I think it’s a pretty neat way to practice identifying body language and non-verbal emotional cues.
  6. Built a clothes tree.  Over the summer I built a copper clothes tree with my Dad as a wedding gift for a close friend of mine.  It took many, many weekends working in a hot and humid garage, but a learned a bunch about his creative process and learned how to use new tools.  It was a really great year with my Dad, we had quite a few fun times during that process and even went on a road trip to pick up some antique tools.  It’s especially valuable to me as my Grandpa on that side just passed away, I’m glad that this year was full of good memories with my own Dad who takes after his Dad so much.

 

My goal with this list was to only list the things that immediately came to mind without looking at my instagram feed or photo stream.  What were the things that burned into my brain as high moments, what are the things that my brain has chosen to remember as important moments.  As I get older I realize that space up there is limited and so in order to make better choices and evaluate what truly makes me happy, I need to recognize what truly matters enough to remember it vividly.  Most of the moments were spent with family and that has been a big focus of mine this past year, I don’t know how long we’re all going to live this close to each other so I’ve made a solid effort to take advantage of it while I can.  Of course there’s a couple more moments that made the full list, but those moments are more intimate and if I’ve learned anything this year it’s keeping certain experiences close to your heart is a good thing, protect the intimacy of your life when you can, it keeps me feeling fulfilled.

Looking at next year I’m making lists (One of my favorite things to do) of things I want to focus/re-focus on, new mantras to live by and making space for new opportunities to present themselves.  That will most likely be my next post, “things to hold close in 2018”.  I’ve already got the title figured out so now I HAVE to write it soon.

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