February 10, 2014


[photo I took the afternoon we chopped our Christmas tree down... over 2 months ago?!]

Well, hello! It’s been quite some time. Here’s what we’ve been up to since last time around…

- I traveled to Massachusetts for Thanksgiving. Will ended up having to work unfortunately, 
but he was kind enough to still send me on our planned trip, and I had a wonderful time.
- We hosted my brother and sister-in-law from San Diego for a few days here in PA, 
and they joined us for the aforementioned tree-chopping.
- I had nine days off around Christmas and we didn't travel anywhere. It was so amazing and lazy. 
It consisted of lots of things around the house, sleeping in, and 7 full seasons of How I Met Your Mother. Judge away!
- We had a super relaxing Christmas day.
- Climbed some rocks.
- We visited some dear friends from our church in MA who have recently moved to State College, PA. So good to see them!

It seemed like I was barely getting my hands around 2013 and it slipped away. We were just reminiscing about where we went for dinner last Valentine’s Day and the memory is so clear. Could that honestly have been a year ago? How does this happen? I had so many hopes about what I wanted 2013 to look like, and before I knew it, I was stuck in a routine that I couldn’t get out of: work, home, dinner, TV show, bed. Sure, we occasionally strayed from this formula, but more often than not we were stuck in it. I hate that.

After looking back and feeling a bit dismayed about what 2013 became for us, I came across of list of forty things (ambitious, I know) that I wanted to accomplish last year. And you know what? I actually did twenty of them! Maybe one needs to make an unreasonably long list so that when one only accomplishes half, it’s still twenty things completed! Probably not the best advice for the everyday list, but for a barely-addressed-year-long-to-do-list? Why not.

Some of them were bigger feats than others: pay off vehicles, boost up savings account, start planning a trip. But it’s nice to even acknowledge the small things: buy a new bath mat, hem some curtains, paint some furniture. After analyzing the twenty things that we did accomplish, I realized 2013 was a year of slow and steady progress, moving ourselves in the direction we want to go. Did we do anything incredible that friends and family should know about? Not really - particularly noticed when I was scrounging for Christmas card material. But we did steadily propel ourselves toward the next chapter of our lives, and that is not a wasted year. 

One goal that I’m particularly proud of achieving last year was to read more fiction. In early January, I made an account on Goodreads, compiled my lists of books, set a goal, and read 15 books last year! That's a big deal for me! Granted - not all were fiction, but like I said - baby steps in the right direction. Now, I’ve developed reading as more of a life habit and continuously have a book out from the library. The even babier-baby-step that got me here was when I decided to just read for 15 minutes every night before bed. That practice helped me to just be in a book, and then more regular reading came from that. 

I came across this list of questions to reflect on the past year, and I’m considering pondering over them (sorry - can’t remember where I found them!). I emboldened the ones that strike me most.

1. Where in my life do I feel stuck?
2. What am I most proud of in this last year?
3. Am I passionate about my job, or career?
4. What have I learned this year?
5. What have I been an example of?
6. How have I been open minded?
7. What new experiences, people or places did I experience?
8. How did I express myself creatively?
9. What projects did I start? Did I complete them, or procrastinate?
10. Did I get in my own way and make excuses?
11. In what ways can I restructure my time?
12. How have I been a good and supportive friend/spouse?
13. Have I been unfair to anyone?
14. Who do I need to forgive in order to move forward?
15. What (or who) do I need to let go of?
16. What old habits am I ready to get rid of forever?
17. What habits would I like to integrate into my life?
18. Am I healthy in mind, body and spirit?
19. What do my finances say about my life?
20. Am I spending my free time in healthy and productive ways?

What do you think of these questions? Do you spend time intentionally analyzing the past year? 
If you do, I'd love to hear how. I hope 2014 is starting off on the right foot for you all! :)

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