I feel so blessed this year in so many ways. It was just a good year. I’ve had a lot of hard years to get to this point, so I feel so grateful. A lot of things I was working towards for so long have been realized in amazing ways. I own a home. I am building a career now. My kids are older and much more self-sufficient. Life changes–and sometimes it gets better.
I started graduate school this year. I always wanted to get a PhD, but it more seemed like a dream, not something that would actually happen. And now I am in a program, starting my research. I feel incredibly lucky that things worked out–that I ended up in a place where I could do this.
We are almost done with our home renovation. We actually finished rooms this year. Lots of rooms. Bathrooms. Laundry rooms. Toy rooms. Office. Bedrooms. Living rooms (except for the ceiling). We are really close to finishing and I LOVE my home now. It’s the first time I really feel like I have my own home. We also worked a lot on the yard–doing an in-ground trampoline and a clubhouse.
I did the Proper Mountain Woman Club for the summer and it was life changing for me. I usually just set goals based on what I want to get done or think that I should do, and they often feel like an obligation. But this was a program where I did things just to do the things. It changed how I set goals and thought about my own progress. I became more well-rounded by recognizing the good I was already doing and being able to try and explore new things. I now do a Discord server with my sister where we share our goals and accomplishments with each other. Being able to share and recognize the accomplishment of small goals has really led me to be a lot happier.
We had a lot of fun as a family this year. We went on a vacation to the woods and the beach, but we also did a lot of hikes and adventures–going to a baseball game, trampoline park, corn maze, swimming, camping etc. My favorite moments in the whole world are being outside with my kids and my husband, whether we are throwing snowballs at each other, climbing rocks, exploring somewhere new, sledding, swimming, building a fire–those small moments are simply the best.
And I loved going backpacking for the first time in a long time. And snowshoeing. And climbing mountains (well, most of a mountain). We even went tubing down a river and hiked through a cave. And we have a new cat and a new turtle.
I made a lot of new friends, from a writing group, a writing workshop, going to school, and the parents of my kids’ friends as well. All those new relationships mean a lot to me.
I improved as a person, in getting better habits. I did weekly piano lessons with my kids, for example. And with the added structure of going to school, my mental health improved a lot. I found better boundaries between my family life and my own career.
The small moments are often the best moments. Recognize the good you do in your life. Write it down! Share it with others!
I celebrated my life more this year, and it led to a great deal of happiness for me and my family.
(I do have many lovely pictures of my kids too, but I try to keep them a bit more private.)