The Ups and Downs of 2016 – The Year in Review

2016 was…a year. It was harder than some others were. It was a year of growth for me. It’s early in 2017 and I am feeling optimistic so far. It’s early days, and I though it would be fitting to review what happened to me in 2016. The year had its fair share of ups and downs. There were many things learned and a lot of positive change.

Let’s start with the “ups”:

  • I truly enjoyed celebrating my birthday this year with the impromptu plans that came about. It was great to be surrounded by awesome people.
  • I didn’t increase my debt-load.
  • I reconnected with some old friends.
  • I started a new job and it is the first job I’ve had where I truly feel respected and appreciated.
  • I made an amazing new friend as a result of starting the new job. I can’t imagine not having her as a friend.
  • I learned to love living alone. I’m not so sure I could live with someone again unless they’re REALLY special!
  • I became a lot more comfortable with who I am as my own person.
  • Tobi is a happy kitty and is well on her way to being a healthy weight.
  • I saved up for and built my new computer. (Built with the help of said amazing friend and her husband!)

And now for the “downs”:

  • My best friend moved across the country – This is kind of bittersweet because it was an amazing move for her personal happiness, but I miss the shit out of her.
  • I didn’t pay down any significant amount of my debt.
  • I didn’t manage to save any money that stayed saved. (see “ups” above)
  • Some pretty influential celebrities in my life died. Carrie Fisher was the hardest for me because she is such a strong advocate for mental health. She was a bit of a hero, and not just because of Star Wars.
  • Tobi had a health scare. We caught it in time, but it is looking more and more like the issue will crop up again. It’s almost time for another visit to the vet to avoid the scare again in the future…

I created a few goals for myself at the beginning of 2016 and they included getting healthier and being kinder to myself. I think I am definitely better at being kind to myself than I was. Getting healthier is still a work in progress, but I feel like I will make some serious headway with that one in 2017.

A lot of changes were affected in 2016, including these:

  • I went on antidepressant medication. I was in a really terrible place when I finally went to my doctor to ask about this. He was more than happy to talk about it with me and suggest some options. I stand by this as quite possibly the smartest decision I made in 2016. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t done it.
  • I am finally started doing a better job of looking after myself and working on finding the work-life balance that works for me. I also starting improving at practicing regular self-care.
  • I came to terms with a lot of things and I feel like I finally started to heal. This is especially true in the last half of 2016.

Because of these changes that took place in 2016, I also noticed small things about my habits:

  • I started listening to music again.
  • I started wanting to read again.
  • I was more present in my life than I ever was in the past.
  • My weight started to finally go in the right direction (DOWN instead of UP!)
  • I was able to manage my spending well enough to make the new computer happen and get back into playing PC games again.
  • I finished my big blanket project that I started in the summer of 2015. (I finally finished it in the summer of 2016.)

I started a few projects, however, that were not so successful. I won’t beat myself up over these because being kind to myself is so much more important. The kind of things that I am listing below used to cause me a lot stress and upset, but no longer.

  • Life Reboot and Life Reboot 2.0 were almost complete failures in terms of accomplishing the goals I set out for myself. HOWEVER, the items I listed in these projects have slowly become incorporated into my daily life and continue to become easier as time goes on.  This is why I refuse to call my “life reboot” a complete failure.
  • I got rid of my gym membership that I was so excited to have at the beginning of 2016. Frustrations and bad experience with the gym over and over again prompted me to bite the bullet and cancel my membership early. I have found that home workouts and yoga are a much better fit for me. This isn’t so much a failure or not a success because it was something that I learned about myself.

In 2017, I will continue to be kinder to myself, and focus on getting healthier. In addition to this, financially I am determined to pay down a chunk of my debt and start saving for a house. I also have a reading goal of 25 books and want to pick up my camera again. I miss taking photos. The only times I picked it up in 2016 were for Mason’s and Sloane’s birthday parties. I want to get the creative juices flowing this year. Because I am in a much better place mentally, I think these will be easy to manage. 2017 is shaping up to be a good year around here.

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I had more fun in 2016 than I’d had in years!

 

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Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Oh boy what a year 2015 was. Many changes took place, and I think things got better in many ways through the year.

The first of those things being how I spent my holiday season. I was able to spend it where I wanted, with my family. I attended the traditional Christmas Eve gathering at my Grandma’s house for the first time in probably five years. I stayed overnight at her house and helped her cook Christmas Dinner.img_2006 We played some pretty rad board games with some “healthy” competition to boot. On Boxing Day, my sister and I had Christmas dinner with my dad. I also watched my sister get a bit emotional over her gift from Dad. Also, Boxing Day included a morning of colouring with my sisterimg_2019and an evening of Magic: The Gathering and wine. After the Christmas rush, I had a gift exchange with another good friend. I made her a scarf, and she gave me a collection of Classic Doctor Who novelsimg_2030! Super geeky and awesome! The 28th brought a day of yarn shopping, kombucha brewing and home improvements, and the evening a img_2046Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie date with my step-sister Nikki. It was a really good Christmas this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Now for all of those changes and lessons that happened in 2015… There were a lot of them! Let’s look at a few of the changes, and the things I’ve learned. Here’s a little summary:

  • I became single.
  • I started living along – for the first time ever.
  • I’m much more happy than I was, though I still have a ways to go.
  • My cat is happier, less stressed and less anxious.
  • less stressed and less anxious.
  • I started learning how to manage my money on my own – it’s tricky sometimes!
  • I started reconnecting with friends, forging new connections – being more social in general.
  • I started to put myself and my happiness first, rather than that of others
  • I fully embraced my geek.
  • I started learning (however slowly) how to be me and how to not allow others to define me and who I am as a person.
  • I learned that only I am responsible for my happiness and the direction my life goes.
  • I learned that only I know what’s best for me.
  • I  made huge strides in coping with my anxiety and depression, thanks to my therapist’s help (even though I do still have some really bad days).
  • I started learning how to stand up for myself.

This is not an exhaustive list of what I learned and what changed, but it is a pretty comprehensive one. I experienced a lot of personal growth, not without the help of friends and family. I even spent my New Year’s Eve with friends and some pretty cute kids. Today, on New Year’s Day, I am looking forward to what 2016 will bring for me.

I was a little bit cliché this year and I came up with a small list of goals I want to accomplish in 2016. As always, I refuse to call them resolutions, it just seems so lame when I do . Anyways, this is THAT list:

  • Be kind to myself, stop holding myself up to the ridiculous double standard I have up to this point.
  • Get properly healthy. E.g. eat better, make use of my gym membership, generally be more active
  • Break some bad habits.

Since I moved into my new place and settled in, I’ve developed a few bad habit and kept up with some old ones. They include leaving the dishes for days, sitting and not getting things done that need doing, and riding the bus to avoid walking. These all easily remedied if I set my mind to it, and I finally have. Motivation is key and this year I hope I have found it in a way that I never have before. Here’s to 2016 and being successful in my goals, and you in yours!

Happy New Year!