This isn’t an easy post to write because, for the most part, I will not be sad to see 2016 come to an end. It was a year of lots of challenges and upheaval both personally and around the country. I feel like I’m crawling across the finish line of an exhausting marathon-of-a-year and can’t wait to be finished. However, the beauty of writing for me is that it’s often my chance to think out my thoughts on the page and this post is no exception. My list of what worked reminds me that, as with all of life, the beauty is mixed in with the brutal and there were lots of moments of great joy in this year.
What worked in 2016
- Road Trips We took two significant road trips this year to Colorado and Florida. It’s certainly the most driving we’ve ever done with the kids and it felt like the right time to start traveling longer distances with them. My kids visited 8 states on these two trips and we took full advantage of our travels as we checked out roadside attractions, new science museums (thanks to our ASTC membership), and local restaurants. I can’t wait to plan more trips for 2017 and am loving that we’re finally at a stage we can hit the open road.
- Blogging I know I’ve only been at it for 2 months but I am having so much fun with blogging. I love how creative it allows me to be and how much I find myself sustained in wanting to work on this project. I find myself more excited about this work than anything else I’ve worked on in the last few years.
- Goodreads Account I finally started a Goodreads account this year after my husband encouraged me. I gave myself permission to simply rate the books with stars instead of worrying about writing reviews (a source of stress for me) and I love, love that I’ve tracked my reading this year. It’s been so helpful to see all the books I read in one place. I use my account all the time for adding to my TBR list and also offering recommendations to others. As a visual person, I love that I can see the cover images for each title to jog my memory.
- Flexibility I made a huge career change this year so I could be more flexible and have more autonomy over my own schedule. It’s still a really hard adjustment and I’m finding my way through it as we speak so I don’t know how it will all turn out, but I am incredibly thankful for the time I get to work on my writing, on saying yes to social events I’ve always been too tired to do, and on allowing me to explore my own path rather than feeling stuck in one that is self-perpetuating in its exhaustion.
- Facebook Swap Group I joined a group for our area of the city that is basically an online garage sale and it has been so helpful in getting rid of stuff and also finding what I need at reasonable prices. It feels so freeing to know that I don’t have to hang on to everything with a fear of “what if” and that stuff I don’t need can go to someone else who can use it. We’ve always used Goodwill to purge but I love the personal connection this group has offered and as silly as it sounds, offered a small sense of community that can be hard to find when you live in a bigger city.
So what worked for you in 2016? What made your life easier or happier or simpler? I’d love to hear what worked for you.