My gal Grechen recently posted about the importance of taking some time to focus on what you accomplished in 2014, rather than moving right on to 2015. I completely agree. I am so focused on what I want next that I never really appreciate or even recognize what I have right now. As soon as I have it, I am on to the next thing.
2014 has brought some major changes to my life, and not just with my hair. So rather than using the New Year to take stock of everything I want to change about myself or my life in the next year, I want to take stock of where the past year has taken me. Here are the things I am proud to have achieved this year:
- Moved to Minnesota. Honestly, the verdict is still out as to whether I am actually all that happy about this decision. Minnesota and I are taking it day by day. But I am really proud that I had the guts to do it. We really loved Chicago, our condo, and all of our friends there, and giving that up was pretty scary. Not to mention the fact that I moved by myself to Minnesota in the middle of winter, knowing just about no one. I basically lived my entire life on one chair - for 3 months. It was tough and lonely, but I made it!
- Shifted careers. I gave up a really comfortable job in Chicago. I now work much harder, have no clue what I am doing approximately 40% of the time, and make a little less. Okay, this is really not sounding like an achievement on paper. But I still think it was the right move for me. There was zero growth potential and little variety in my old job, and my new job offers constant opportunity for advancement and change. I'm proud that I am willing to deal with a little short term discomfort in order to get on a career path that will definitely make me happier in the long run.
- Started doing things I didn't already know how to do. I never really considered myself a perfectionist until I realized that I avoid doing anything I don't already know how to do. I can't stand the idea of doing something wrong, so I don't do it at all. I have whole lists of things that I just "don't" do. For example, it took me years to even try cooking anything besides pasta, because I "didn't" cook. Really, I just didn't know how, and was too scared of being terrible to start. I feel like I have really started to overcome it this year. I learned how to hand quilt, went showshoeing, cooked at LEAST five things I didn't already know how to cook, and started biking all over town. In the next month alone, I will be taking classes in cross-country skiing, photography, and quilting (again. Remedial beginning quilting). I mean, I still always have to take lessons from a professional, because I have to do it "the right way"... but, it's progress.
- Made some decisions about our wedding. We've been engaged for over a year now, and there is no wedding date on the horizon. It's not because either of us has any doubts about the marriage. In fact, I really wish that we were already married. So, what's the hold up? This is an extremely unpopular opinion, but: I think the typical wedding these days is both boring AND basically insane (I have happily been a bridesmaid many times, but I will never force anyone to be one for me for all the reasons laid out here). Plus, while I am hardly shy, I am SO uncomfortable with the kind of non-stop attention you get around your wedding. Everyone suggests just doing something tiny. Even keeping it small, a wedding involves approximately 4000 decisions I am just not interested in making- how can we decide who to include, do we still need to set up hotel arrangements for everyone, do I still have a shower / bachelorette / rehearsal dinner? Combine that anxiety spiral with my parents' divorce, our move to Minnesota, and a new job, and I have basically felt paralyzed. Well no more. We are doing exactly what we want to do and ignoring all the "shoulds" that come along with wedding. For us, a big trip feels like the way to celebrate our marriage, rather than an expensive party. So, Step 1: booking a mega, blowout honeymoon for this time next year (almost done!). Step 2: get married sometime beforehand. Details TBD.
Looking back at my 2014, I am seeing a capacity to change and adapt that I never knew I had. I hope 2015 is a little more settled, but this whole exercise makes me feel so ready for the next year and anything it might bring. Before you go resolving to change everything in 2015, be sure to give yourself some credit for 2014.