Sunday, January 05, 2014

2013: A year in review

I've been struggling lately. A funny thing to say, "lately". I could very easily write that as a fact of life.

Every year, I try to look back at the year that was my life so as to remind myself of how much has happened. I often get sad about how quickly time moves on, discovering myself another year older having not accomplished all of the things that I'd have liked. This is part of the insanity that is my brain.

Which is why I try very hard to be positive: I don't need any help in the negativity department! Part of that is a daily "grateful" list that I post on Facebook. And part of that is this annual review. It gives me something to reflect on and something to look forward to.

Things that happened in 2013:
Refurbished bar-cart/TV-stand project
  1. I had two vocal chord surgeries: one in February, one in October. In fact, the October surgery was fairly urgently planned when they realized how bad it was. I was in surgery within two weeks of my appointment. Less than a week after that, I did a charity run/walk for breast cancer - I was pretty proud of myself, even though I wasn't able to run it as originally planned.
  2. I travelled: The annual family ski trip in Feb, NYC mixing business and pleasure, Maui (one of the best trips in my lifetime), New England, a couple of weekends in Niagara (my favourite kind of weekend, especially when it involves a visit from an old friend), Calgary/Banff for a conference, St. Maarten with my husband and parents
  3. I completed a few renovation projects: Landscaping (see thisthis and this), installed the transom, painted the front of the house, got closer to completing the Man Cave by refinishing my husband's late-mother's bar cart into a TV stand in time to gift it to him for his 40th birthday.
  4. I changed jobs. I was at MaRS for over seven years. I moved on to another job in the innovation field, as Director of Communications -- the position that I'd been trying to move into for several years. I'm working on getting comfortable in the role, at the company.
  5. I worked on my brain. This consumes a lot of my my thinking pretty much every day. My aforementioned grateful list, doing an inventory of myself and my part in conflict. I think one of my biggest achievements here is my greater tolerance for conflict Not in all facets of my life, but I'm talking baby steps. At least not letting people walk all over me. Trying out new ways of dealing with it -- not all of which work, nor are they necessarily comfortable for anyone. But that's part of the achievement: being comfortable with trying out new ways of dealing.
  6. My literacy student graduated from welding school and got a welding job. I'm so proud of him.
  7. I finally got some glasses. Ya, I know, big whoop. But for me, it was a medium-deal.

The landscaping project was expensive but worth it
And what did I cross off my list?
  1. A big(ish) trip: Maui. It was thoroughly awesome. It wasn't the trip I thought I would take. It was likely the trip I needed. The only thing I would change is to stay longer. But I had to get back for my husband's 40th birthday party.
  2. My landscaping project. It was more expensive than I'd wanted and it's beautiful. There are a few more finishing touches left (painting the deck, a new patio set, a bike shelter), but I'm happy with it
  3. Brain work. This is the the biggest, most difficult thing that I've been doing. I'm frustrated at how long it takes to change, so I doubt that I will ever cross this off my list. But I'm happy that I dedicated a lot of time to it. I need it.

And what about next year? Not sure if this is surprising, but it's very similar to last year.
  • Travel - Maybe this will be the year I get to southeast asia. I will certainly do the usual ski trip and attend my brother's wedding out west. But there will be other trips too.
  • Vocal chord surgery. I found out this year, that the average number of surgeries for someone with this problem is seven. I've done three.
  • Work on my brain - I'm sure I'll continue to work on dealing with conflict, but I might move on to decision making.
  • Be good to myself - Allow myself to be wrong. Allow myself to feel what I feel and not apologize for it. Eat well to make myself feel better. Continue working on my back. Have fun. Rediscover fun. Invite fun. Live it. Every day.

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