Thursday, January 14, 2016

2015 In Review

You guys, 2015 was a fabulous year for me. It was a routine kind of year, and I mean that in the best possible way. There were no major life changes. No births or pregnancies, no moves or job changes, nothing life-altering. Thank heavens! We definitely still had some mini adventures and fabulous trips (see above), but by and large, it was a year of figuring out and living my routines. As a creature of habit, I loved that.

Rather than do a blow-by-blow account of how I did on my resolutions for 2015 (as a side note, I'm about 50/50, in that 5 of my goals were obvious successes, and the other 5 were less clearly so), I figured I would just highlight some of my personal successes and lessons learned in 2015.

If You Haven't Got Your Health, You Haven't Got Anything

I do not have the strongest of immune systems. If anyone around me gets sick (including my kids, who go to nursery and preschool and are always picking up bugs), I will get sick. If I get allergies, it will turn into a cold. If it's that time of the month, I will get sick. If I get too stressed, or miss too much sleep, or do anything that in any way could compromise my little immune system, I will get sick. I spent most of 2014 either pregnant or sick (most of the time, both). It was miserable, so my goal in 2015 was to focus on my health.

I focused on eating more nutrient rich foods (although I still have some work to do here), prioritizing sleep, exercising regularly, and playing around with essential oils. I'm not sure if any of these specifically caused or prevented anything (I still have a very suspicious opinion of essential oils, but they smell lovely!), but you know what? In general 2015 was a pretty healthy year for me. The vast majority of the time I felt good. My energy levels were up. I still got sick occasionally (will someone please find the vaccine for the common cold? It is my nemesis...), but in general it was a very healthy year, and it felt amazing. When I'm healthy, I feel like I can conquer the world. (It's either/or with me, when I'm just the slightest bit sick, all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep forever).

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

It took right up until almost his first birthday in September, but my baby's wake-up time finally started becoming consistent at the extremely manageable time of 7 ish (often times both my children wake a little earlier than this, but I have them trained to wait and play in their crib/room until I come collect them at 7). And so in October I finally got serious and reinstated my old morning scripture study routine at 6:30 AM. It makes such a difference in my days when I wake up intentionally, of my own free will, and have a little personal time to myself. I still don't always get to bed early, but I'm getting much better at it. I try to start my nightly routine no later than 10:15 so I can be in bed by 10:30. It's not a perfect yet, but I have confidence it's sticking. For me, the sign that my habits have truly become habits is when I'm aching to pick them back up after our routine's been disrupted by illness or travel. I've already been through a few of those disruptions over the holidays, and it's been so nice to settle back into my peaceful early mornings.

Maybe this year I'll extend myself to waking up at 6 AM...

Outside Order Contributes to Inner Calm

As much as Marie Kondo changed my life this year, I would not say that my clutter has disappeared forever (I have kids, after all). When I look around my apartment now, I still see things that don't bring me joy, or areas where clutter is collecting. But at least now I have an arsenal of strategies for dealing with clutter that I did not have before, and it really has made such a huge difference. Our home in general is so much cleaner, calmer, and such a happier place to be. It feels amazing.

There is Enough Time

This feels like it's always been true, but I only started to realize it and really believe it last year. I didn't get to read as many books as I wanted to, or write as many blog posts as I wanted or get to some of the other projects on my to-do list, but even being a full-time student and mother, I still read 48 books. I still managed to write something every week. I still did some home decor and DIY projects and practiced some photography and worked on a fun collaborative project with a friend. I spent a lot of fun time with my kids and family. We went camping and to the zoo and to the beach and had some wonderful family time together. On a daily basis there was an average of 7 hours of sleep, and yoga, and homework, and home cooked meals, and lots of tickle fights and paper crafts and story-time with my boys. Time is a wonderful, fluid, flexible thing, and even though I have seasons of busy, I have quiet moments too. I have enough time for everything. Maybe there's not as much focused, uninterrupted time as I'd like, but there's still time.

There were other lessons too, big ideas and areas of growth, but I still feel too in the middle of some of it to reflect on it now. All I can say is that grad school itself is turning out to be a very stretching, very intellectually and spiritually expanding experience, and I'm grateful for the ideas and the growth. It's such a privilege to be getting this experience right now.

Thanks, 2015. It was a great year.

What were your big life lessons from last year?

1 comment:

  1. What a gorgeous photo! Did you take it? I would love to hear all about your trip to Peru. I went last spring and loved it - although Macchu Picchu was completely covered in clouds when we arrived at the Sun Gate, so we didn't the postcard-perfect shot.