2017 is (was) a year full of unbelievable madness and blessings. I am so grateful to my lucky star for the wonderful things that occurred this year and the lessons I learned from the hardships I endured. I feel as though this is the year where I’ve grown tremendously in understanding who I am through my own eyes and not someone else’s.
I’m a firm believer that you can improve your life and yourself only if you reflect on those things. It wouldn’t make sense to think of goals I want to achieve in 2018 before I reviewed 2017 and all of the wonderful and maddening things that happened. I curated a list of questions you can use as a guideline to reflect on the past year so that you can move forward to the new year a more prepared and focused you. My answers – and a brief discussion on each – to those questions are below.
1. Name your year. The year of self-discovery. This has been the year where I’ve learned so much about myself. From how influential my words can be to recognizing what causes me misery, I discovered that learning about oneself is unquestionably important. The rest of my answers reflect this.
2. What was one of your achievements? Starting my blog. I started my first style blog (focused solely on what I wore daily) over seven years ago. I stopped after a year and truly missed writing and connecting with others. I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and started one.
3. Who was your biggest supporter(s)? My husband. He’s been my cheerleader and support. It’s great to have a partner who supports me in all that I do.
4. What new skill did you acquire? Mastering the DSLR. My photography skills can improve so, so much, but I’ve come along way from when I used the ‘Auto’ setting.
5. What did you start and not complete? Connecting with old acquaintances and discussing things left unexpressed. My goal was to reconnect with some folks and address the elephant in the room, but I stopped once I realized that I cared more than I need to.
6. What is one thing you would have done differently? Reach out to friends earlier. I felt happier when I realized that I have friends who love and are concerned about me. I tend to keep everything bottled in, but will move forward to 2018 keeping friends near.
7. What was your happiest memory? Giving birth to my son on August 7th. It’s been an absolute joy to welcome a third child into my life. He is the cutest human being and loves to smile.
8. What lesson did you learn in 2017? Don’t take your self-worth for granted. I don’t think I truly grasped this concept until just a week ago. I came to an understanding that everyone’s evaluation of their self-worth is tied to how they see themselves.
9. Where are you at financially? Not as great as I had forecasted. I did not fully fund my retirement account as I would have liked.
10. What are you most proud of? Beating hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) a third time. HG wasn’t any easier a third time and though I am glad that it is over, I am proud to have survived it.
11. Name one person that inspired you. My older sister Becky (I have nine sisters!). She has a big heart, is forgiving, and is giving.
12. What took you by surprise this year? Reconnecting with an old friend I cherished but haven’t spoken with in years (she’s also a mom to three and has such cute kids). It’s so great to catch up with old friends and hear how they’re doing.
13. What was something you failed at? Letting go of a hurtful relationship. Not all relationships are created equally. Letting go of one that I should have, but ultimately didn’t, is something I may have to deal with in 2018.
14. What baggage did you let go? Blaming myself for things that weren’t my fault. No more contemplating if I was to blame. No more being ashamed. I am much stronger than the negative experience and it doesn’t define me.
15. What was your biggest struggle? Being happy about being a mom. Although I love my three children dearly, I struggled with this feeling daily since having my son this year. It’s not the feeling of wanting to redo that aspect of my life but recognizing that having children takes A LOT of work.
16. Who or what did you focus most of your energy on? I focused a lot of my energy (i.e. mental energy) on my marriage. It’s not the positive kind of energy, but a lot of energy fueled by pain.
17. What left you exhausted? My marriage left me extremely exhausted. Undoubtedly, this year was a trying period for me and my husband as partners and as individuals. It certainly would have been better for me to listen and understand him first, then reflect and respond.
18. What aspect of your health did you take care of? My physical health. I exercised as often as I could after I gave birth and it was the best thing I could do for myself.
19. Who did you forgive? Myself. Forgiveness and having self-worth come full circle.
20. What’s not working? Doubting my abilities. I’ve doubted my abilities for far too long and that’s one thing that will (hopefully) change as 2018 rolls in.