Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap-Up

Happy 2015, everyone!

When I look back on my year, at first it seems like not much has changed from this time last year - which is fine, because the previous year was a huge transition and I started last year with plans on de-stressing and resetting. But then I read my "resolution" post from last year, and I realized that even though things are physically pretty similar to the way they were last January, mentally I'm in a totally different place.

I kind of forgot how weird I felt around this time last year. My life had gone through a major change, and I had done a lot of growing up in a very short period, so I felt uncomfortable in my skin and I had a lot of guilt issues about "abandoning" friends. I was also going through a major period of FOMO, but was in denial about it. I was really happy to be where I was, but I just felt weird about it. I felt displaced.

This year, I spent a lot of time reconnecting with myself, and reconnecting with Jeff. I didn't feel disconnected from him, per se, but this year we spent a lot more quality time together, and I feel closer to him than I ever have. Things have been a lot less stressful over the past year than they had been in the past, and it's been good to just be able to appreciate the good things in life without having to worry about a ton of other stuff. Not to say life was terrible before, or that we were going through anything particularly difficult, but things just feel very calm and stable right now, and it's nice.

Since the previous year had felt so chaotic, I had a pretty big list of goals for this past year, but they were pretty general. I'm not going to set specific goals for this year, because I don't feel like anything needs major change, and instead I'm going to just focus on appreciating the good things and taking advantage of my time doing things I enjoy and spending time with people I love. Pretty simple stuff.  Anyway, to address my goals from last year:

The first major "goal" I had was to get back on track with a healthy lifestyle. Results? We'll say, "Meh". I definitely didn't eat any healthier than I had been, but I wasn't a total train wreck about it, either (at least until the holidays hit). As far as working out every day before work...that was a joke. I didn't do that once. Not one time. It was too much work, having to bring my work clothes, keep them from getting wrinkled, lugging my makeup and hair stuff to the gym, attempting to shower in the locker room, etc. etc. It just wasn't happening. And that 12-9 schedule had me miserable. Remember that seasonal depression post? That was in the middle of that awful schedule. I do legitimately get seasonal depression, but that schedule was not helping by any means. It felt like my entire day was totally eaten up. Once I was on a more reasonable schedule, I did start going to the gym after work, and that went as it almost always does: I'd have a two or so month stretch where I'd go every day, I'd get busy and stop going for a month or two, and then I'd start going regularly again, and the cycle would repeat. My last cycle ended around November, and I officially decided to give up for the duration of the holiday season, but I'll go back in January and try to continue as frequently as possible throughout the year. It definitely does make a difference in the way I feel, and my schedule should be consistent this year so it should be a lot easier.

And then there was the social thing. I already mostly covered that, but I really am in a much better place mentally than I was last year. I spend a lot more time at home, but I feel totally fine with that now. When I do spend time with friends, I enjoy it a lot more because it feels more like an event than an every day occurrence. I finally feel like most of my friends are on the same page with me, so I don't feel guilty about leaving them behind and I don't feel left out of their lives. Not to mention I'm saving a ton of money by not going out three nights a week...though I have developed a bit of a shopping addiction. Maybe THAT should be a resolution.

The house thing...that's another "Meh." I got pretty much nothing on that list accomplished, but I don't really feel bad about it. When we first moved in, I was super hyper about making everything perfect right away and I was also reading a lot of DIY/home improvement blogs, which were making me feel like a total renovation loser. Our house the way it is right now is beautiful. It's not perfect, but it's home. I did decorate gradually over the year, and of course I'm always working on that. I still need to get our guest room done, because I hate making people crash on our third floor when they stay. The office is on pause, because we're not sure a dedicated office space is totally necessary. I still want to do the stuff I mentioned before like paint the staircase and semi re-do the kitchen, but I'm not really in a rush. We got our windows done, which was huge, and we got our heating situation resolved. I don't know if I mentioned this, but we're getting our roof re-done for free due to some hail damage from last spring, which is freaking amazing. That's going to happen next week. We do have official goals set for next spring/summer: our main goal is our exterior, which is a mess. Jeff's determined to make it functional and nicer looking, and of course I'm all for it as well. He's also determined to put a new, heated floor in our main bath because we get hardly any heat in there, so when we do that we're going to re-paint it as well. I'd also like to re-tile our shower and/or get a new sink/vanity, but we'll see. It's not a necessity. Smaller things we've done include putting a new faucet in the upstairs bathroom, putting a new rug in the living room, scoring my precious sideboard in the dining room, and mulching around our driveway (except we didn't maintain that, and now our work is pretty much ruined. And when I say "our work", I mean Jeff and our neighbor Liam's brother.) All in all, I think we did pretty well for our experience level and budget. We got a little lazy, but that's okay. Oh, and I still need to put stuff on the damn walls, but I have a pretty concrete plan worked out for that. More to come.

I guess that was it, other than "take more pictures". I guess I included that in my house goals. I'm still kind of bad at remembering to take pictures and I'm really weird about asking people to pose or asking strangers to take pictures of us, and I'm kind of (really) bad at taking candids that look like anything, but I'm trying to get better. I bought a "grown up" camera, and have been working on learning how to use it effectively, and I have photoshop now, so I'm thinking about taking an online photo-editing class. I'm happy that I've started blogging on a consistent schedule, and I'm going to try to improve on content.

All in all, it was a pretty great year, and I'm excited to see what 2015 has in store. Thanks for reading, and happy new year!

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