Sunday, January 04, 2015

2014: My year in review

Contemplating 2014
Why is it that time seems to pass so much more quickly as you get older? 

As I enter the year that I turn 40, I'm reflecting on my growth, my adventures, my achievements. While I work towards being less achievement-oriented, I still think it's important for me to help with my post-holiday blues by highlighting the steps that were part of my journey in 2014.

So what happened in my life this year? 
  • Travel -  I did my usual ski trip when I attended my brother's wedding out west. This time, my husband came out for part of it and decided that he might learn to ski also - very exciting! Other trips included French River in June, Niagara for my birthday, a trip to Calgary/Banff for a conference, a long weekend in Campbellford and the annual trip to St Maarten. We also did some winter hiking and snowshoeing, small cycling trips, and a weekend in my friend Sarah's cottage.
  • Vocal chord - The average number of surgeries for someone with my vocal chord problem is seven. I've done four. This year, it was a little less of a surgery, more a "procedure" in which they lasered off my latest lump. I was awake and it was terrifying, but it was better than risking the usual death-by-anaesthesia
  • Health - I decided to be more conscious about what I eat. Less chocolate; fewer treats to reward myself or make myself feel better. Because they don't make me feel better. I end up feeling crappy. One treat is a treat. Many treats is a habit; an addiction that no longer brings real enjoyment. I also stepped up my activity. I started going to yoga and I love it. It's now part of a routine that involves more walking and biking.
  • Brain work - I worked on dealing with conflict by being more straightforward about what was not OK for me. Rudeness and disrespect is not OK -- I don't have to ignore or accept it. People should know when I'm perceiving their behaviour that way. If there is any chance of it changing, it's only if they know how it affects me. And even if I'm afraid that someone might think I'm being sensitive, I've been working on being OK with that. How I feel is how I feel. I've been working on being less sensitive too. Certainly, it takes a lot for me to let people know how they're affecting me, but I feel like, with practice, it might be getting easier. When's the last time that something worth it was easy, after all? I can report, however, that it has had results for my relationships. My relationship with my husband has improved and that is huge. I could have stopped right there and called it a year. But I also realized the benefit to my brain of activity mixed with journalling, so I did that quite a bit as well, biking or walking to a park, the beach or a coffee shop.

Here's what I'm seeing for 2015:
  • Fun - Achievements keep me going. So why not make "fun" an achievement? I want to make opportunities as often as possible for this elusive ingredient to my life. It could come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. People. Adventure. Entertainment. Variety in general seems to be the perfect recipe for me. I've already started imaging what this might mean for me. Cooking classes, bike adventures, plays, coffee get-togethers, ski trips, art projects, learning something new, festivals, skating.
  • Brain work - As I said, it's a journey. This year I am thinking about accepting and loving myself even more. Which I understand will lead me to accepting and loving others more, and having better relationships. As I continue with my nightly grateful list on Facebook, I'll keep looking for those reoccurring bits and strive to be more present every day to the little things that make life awesome.
  • Health - I'm realizing that, more and more, my brain and my overall are intimately connected. I'll continue with yoga, because I've found it does so much for both my brain and my back. I'll keep being active, walking or biking to the park to write in my journal. I'll keep cooking to ensure that I have healthy (or semi-healthy) food to eat instead of stuffing myself with gross just because it's easy.
  • Travel - There will be adventures. Part of the "Fun". I plan to do our family ski trip in March, probably getting to St. Maarten in December as well. However, there's a trip to San Francisco in the works and possibly again to Banff/Calgary, both for conferences. And what else? I'm hungering for active (thinking a cycling or hiking trip or something for my 40th?) but not too high impact. I have my eye on so much -- with so little time!
Hey ya, guess what? It's pretty much like last year. But maybe it means that I feel like I'm on track. All of my goals are so intertwined. There are other things I have in mind that haven't come to fruition in other years. My boss says I should remove them from my list because I don't REALLY want them. Certainly, they're lower priority. However, getting some projects completed would actually save me time in the future. 

I'm excited for 2015 and determined that it will be the best yet. And it's already underway. 

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