Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 In Review & 2016 Goals

If I had to choose one word that summed up how I felt about 2015, it would be "content", which is a pretty huge deal for me. We've been living with my parents for well over a year now, and it can be hard at times, but it's also an enormous blessing in our lives. Ultimately, I've learned to be so grateful for what I'm given each and every day, and not worry about not knowing what may happen down the road. I admitted to being poor, and then did a relatively good job at not letting money (or lack there of) control me. 

Despite being somewhat in limbo, we made good progress in figuring out what me might want to do and where we might want to go and then making some concrete steps in those directions. I also sense that I'm starting to solidify as an adult. I want to write more about this later, but there are aspects about that process that I like, and then some that I don't like. I've become more open, and in some cases more staunch, about both my spiritual and political beliefs, and I've even dared to let those two become entwined, and often in public. I'm also less embarrassed about that being unpopular. 

Even though I'm bidding 2016 goodbye feeling good, there were some really terrible and/or stressful times in 2016 too. It was a very bloody year the world over, and that weighs on me, even as it has driven me to make important actionable changes in my life. It was also a devastating year for several of my closest friends, and I struggle with how to adequately share such great burdens. 

In my personal life, I realized that I was almost certainly dealing with postpartum depression. I wasn't feeling sad so much as indifferent or angry (which is less of a textbook manifestation, and therefore not one I was on the lookout for) and only once I was out of the woods in that regard (at least a year after giving birth to Ira) did I notice what a toll it had taken on me and on my marriage. Especially taking that into account, I feel content with the size of my family as it is, and surprised at how I only feel more certain of that as time goes on. {image}

Hand in hand with having PPD behind me, I've felt that I've come alive again, enjoying my work selling vintage items and books (@retroriot/@retroriotreads) immensely and all the knowledge I've gained through that experience. It's also allowed me to be a part of a new-to-me community that I've greatly appreciated. With the shops and other things as well, I feel like I'm succeeding at something again, which makes me less anxious to set goals for myself, which in the past have sometimes been a way for me to convince myself that I wasn't flailing around in life, doing nothing and going nowhere. 

Still, I remain a believer in lists and the idea that goals are more likely to be met if you set them. 
Here is a look at my goals from last year and some ideas for things I would like to start on in 2016. 

2015 goal assessment:

  • Earn the Pampered Chef incentive trip to the Bahamas. (nopeee, and I have not missed that job since quitting in February, even though I'm glad I gave it a try) 
  • Complete at least 3 more classes at APUS. 
  • Make progress with Jonas's school/our future situation. 
  • Build up a nest egg - have more in the bank at this time next year than we do now.  (I think we do have a little bit more, despite two cars dying and an unplanned international trip) 
  • Not let other's opinions be my standard - not that I don't care about other people's opinion at all, but not let my goals be molded to their goals for me. 
  • Focus on being a good listener. (needs more work) 
  • Yoga 1x/week. (I did a little bit, but far from once a week)
  • Visit a museum I've never been to before.
  • Have friends over for dinner once a month. (epic, epic fail) 
  • Cook something I've never cooked before from a hard-copy cookbook, once a month. (I didn't hit once a month, but I did do one or two recipes from a book)
2016 goals:
  • Begin collecting art
  • Begin investing money beyond my 401K/IRA
  • Submit writing to a publication I haven't submitted to before
  • Read the Koran, at least in part, as well as read the Bible 
  • Become involved in my local Muslim community 
  • Visit the CRM plant in San Diego
  • Jonas apply to Otis
  • Figure out when/how to get Ishmael started in school
  • Have $10k in the bank by Jan 2017
And in very brief, non-exclusive form...

Best of 2015:

  • Tasted: Chai Lemonade, Mian Pian, Summer Spaghetti Salad, Goshi Sushi (SLO), Imperial bar (Goleta), Industrial Easts (Buelton), 85C Bakery (LA area) 
  • Watched: Peaky Blinders, Big Hero 6
  • Read: The New Bohemians (Justina Blakeny), Fire in the Blood (Irene Nemrikovsky), and many, many fantastic articles which I made an effort to make time for this year
  • Heard [will remind me of 2015]: TV on the Radio's album "Seeds", Japanese House, Lianne Le Havas' album "Blood", Melody Gardot 
  • Browsed: Messy Nessy Chic, Hither & Thither, Vox
  • Experienced: Road trip to Oregon to visit Jonas' brother and his family, got to meet some dear friends from online high school in person for the first time, was honored to be in two weddings - my sister Annelise's and my childhood friend Danielle's, spent Christmas in CO while Jonas went to Japan to be in his long-time friend Chris' wedding 
Happy new year, friends! If I sent out holiday cards, this would probably be the family picture you'd get. 

Sometimes my impulse is to wish people a "great" or "wonderful" year, and I do wish that, but more than that, I wish for each of you that when the disappointment and hurt comes, that it will shape you to be stronger, wiser, and more aware of how precious you are to our great God and to those who love you.

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