2017 Reflection 

I accomplished a decent amount of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year and I’m proud of that. I have grown in a lot of areas of my life and am so thankful for every experience and person that God has brought into my life. A lot of excited changes happened this year and I know that there are even more to come in 2018.

As 2017 comes to a close, I thought this little Q & A would be a fun way to reflect on my experiences this year.

  1. What is something I accomplished this year that I am proud of?
    • I don’t know if this is something that would necessarily be considered an accomplishment, but it’s definitely an area I’ve grown in. I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and making more friends. I’m naturally an introvert and I’ve never been good at making friends. Even throughout my 4 1/2 years of college I only had like one or two friends. Social anxiety is real, and sometimes I deal with that. But I’ve learned that it’s best to just be yourself and not try to act a certain way to please people or to try to get them to be your friend. I’ve made some good friends this year that are such sweet people and I thank God for bringing them into my life.
  2. What is something that happened this year that I think I will remember for the rest of my life?
    • Celebrating Christmas morning with my family in Nelson County with no power. Brendan and I got to my parents’ house at 9:15am only to find that they had lost power due to high winds. Despite the fact that there was no power, it was the best Christmas I have had in a long time! We all gathered around the Christmas tree in the living room and opened presents. The wood stove kept the house nice and cozy, so we were all happy. After we opened presents Dad hooked the generator up so that we could watch TV and have some running water. Jon fixed us some French press coffee on the wood stove and we had the coziest morning.
  3. What was the most challenging part of this year for me? 
    • Honestly, the most challenging part of 2017 was starting a new job in January. Working retail hasn’t been physically challenging, but it definitely has been mentally challenging. It was very hard for me to adjust to working indoors after working on a farm in the fresh open air – the first warm days of spring were extremely difficult. I spent the entire day at work longing to be outside in the sunshine, doing anything but standing around inside.
  4. In what area do I feel I made my biggest improvements? 
    • One of my goals for 2017 was to recycle more and become more mindful of the products I was using. Since the start of the year Brendan and I have been consistently using our reusable shopping bags, we recycle everything we can (I even carry my Starbucks cups back home with me so that I can recycle them), and we have now switched over to completely natural cleaning products. I really didn’t like the thought of having chemical based cleaning products in my home, so I did the necessary research and switched to natural, non-toxic products.
  5. If I could change one thing that happened this year what would it be?
    • I don’t usually like to answers these questions because I believe that everything happens for a reason. But…back in September Brendan and I went to Charleston, South Carolina for a vacation with his family. We planned it so that we would be celebrating my 24th birthday in Charleston and I was very excited about it. We both took off work for a week, got my friend Kateyln to watch Cheetah for us, and headed to Charleston for our first time. We got to Charleston on Tuesday September 5th and Brendan’s family was supposed to come and join us on Thursday September 7th. Well, Hurricane Irma was coming and so the whole vacation kind of fell apart – Brendan’s family never came, we stayed in 3 different places during our time we were there, and we spent most of our time driving from hotel to Airbnb to hotel, etc. And then we came back to Roanoke early, something I was totally against doing. It was a lot of money spent and a lot of disappointment. So if I could go back I would choose to stay in one hotel longer and make the most of our time there. But hey, it happened and we’ve learned a lot about planning and traveling from that situation.
  6. What are the three most important things I learned this year?
    • Be present in all things.
    • Your mindset can have a powerful hold on you whether positive or negative – thankfully we have the ability to change our mindsets.
    • Everything happens for a reason, whether good or bad.
  7. What three things did I do this year to help those around me?
    • At the beginning of the year I started volunteering with the Roanoke Community Garden Association – I went to one community work day event and wrote two posts for them on their new blog. Sadly, my time with them was short lived and it just didn’t work out.
    • I helped two of my friends edit some of their English essays for their college classes.
    • Worked extra hours at my job to help my managers out around the holidays.
  8. What was the nicest thing someone did for me this year?
    • Mom and Dad letting me come home when Brendan was traveling for work. I know that sounds simple and silly, but it really warmed my heart and meant the world to me. They always welcomed me back home with open arms, and let me stay for as long as I wanted to. And I really needed that, especially at the beginning of the year when Brendan was gone, I didn’t really have any friends yet, and I was still living in an apartment that faced a parking garage. Sometimes it’s the simple acts of kindness that mean the most and stick with us the longest.
  9. What was something that was hard for me at the start of the year that is easy now?
    • Working retail. My job, as I have mentioned before, can be mentally draining sometimes, and that’s probably the hardest part of work for me. It was also hard for me to accept the fact that I was working retail instead of working in my field of study – I felt as though I had settled and was just getting by. But, God has used this job to work in my life in many ways I never saw coming. I have made friends at work and my manager invited Brendan and me to come to her and her husband’s small group. So not only have I found friends through work, but I have found other believers to study God’s word with.
  10. Of the books I read this year, which was my favorite and why?
    • I read a lot of good books this year, mostly health and herbal related. But I’d have to say that my very favorite book that I read this year was WomanCode by Alisa Vitti. I liked this book because it teaches women that you don’t have to rely on birth control and synthetic hormones to regulate your cycle or to keep from getting pregnant. I love that this book teaches that there are natural solutions to regulating your cycle and getting in touch with your body. It was definitely an eye opening read and I would recommend it to every woman.
  11. Which person has made the biggest impact on my life this year? Why?
    •  My husband. Brendan always inspires me and motivates me to better myself. He inspires me with his work ethic, his willingness to serve others, his kind spirit, his patience towards me, he is always encouraging me to work toward my goals and to chase my dreams, and he supports me no matter what. 
  12. What could I have done to make this year better? 
    • Be more present and intentional in every area of my life.
  13. What three words best describe this year?
    • Growth, Intention, Contentment.
  14. Knowing what I know now, if I would travel back in time to the start of 2017, what advice would I give myself?  
    • Be kind to yourself.
  15. What are my most important goals for next year? 
    • Practice yoga weekly
    • Work out at least 3X a week
    • Read 25 books
    • Go on trash walks in Downtown Roanoke to help clean up the city
  16. How am I planning on achieving them? 
    • Taking part in yoga challenges, going to yoga classes and practicing at home
    • Going to the gym and working out at home
    • Reading at least 2 books a month
    • Cleaning up the trash and recyclables I see laying around my city. And I also intend to contact the city of Roanoke to ask if they could put in some public recycling along the streets so that people have that option to recycle instead of just throwing plastic and cardboard away.
  17. What should I do definitely next year
    • Be more mindful and present in every situation.

This is probably the last blog post you will see form me for a while, as I plan on taking some time to redesign and organize my blog. I also just want to take the time to think about the content I want to post and to be more intentional about each and every post.

 

I hope your year was wonderful! Bring on 2018.

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