Okay, I guess it’s really a first glance since I didn’t publish a single post to this blog last year. Thanks to a mixture of Mommy brain and anemia-induced memory issues, I couldn’t give you a month-by-month recap if my life depended on it, so I’m turning to these great Personal Year in Review questions to help me reflect before moving onto my One Little Word tomorrow.
What did I do this year that I’m really proud of?
I’m so proud of the work I did as the Community Relations Director of a local non-profit. From being one of only 15 programs that received a grant out of 55 applicants, to helping a group of students combat marginalization on a university campus, to publishing a new community magazine, to taking on local government officials when they were doing wrong, to working with the FBI to keep our institution safe when potentially threatened, to assisting victims of the “1,000 year flood,” I truly feel as though I made a difference in my community this year. Even when I was teaching, I’m not sure I felt like I was contributing the way my current job has allowed me to – and as I write the words, I realize – this isn’t just a job; it’s a passion. How lucky I am to have finally found it.
This may sound silly, but I’m really proud of myself for achieving my reading goal of 30 books this year. Granted, some of the success is owed to my child for the nights he refused to sleep anywhere but in my arms, but I’m proud of myself for reading instead of playing Words with Friends, and I’m equally proud that I took time for myself before bed to read instead of watch TV. I’m most proud of myself for reading more adult titles than young adult ones this year (which I attribute, in large part, to my mother-in-law and her awesome book recommendations).
Despite my lack of presence here, I wasn’t completely absent from the blogosphere. As a contributor to Columbia SC Moms Blog, I published several heartfelt posts, but the one I was most proud of this year is Five Unbelievable Superpowers All Moms Develop. Why? Because this was an idea that I had been sitting on for months. Tried as I might to finish it, it seemed an impossible task. It’s hard to write a funny piece when you’re not in good humor. But, for whatever reason – perhaps just to prove to myself that I could still write with a sense of humor – I was bound and determined to finish and publish the article. While the article wasn’t my most successful one in terms of how many times it was “liked” or shared, it’s the one that I consider to be the greatest success.
What are the top three lessons I learned?
I finally learned to listen to my body and do whatever it takes to make my doctor hear it, too. If something feels “off,” chances are there’s a legitimate reason behind it. You have to be your own advocate, and you can’t be afraid to share all the details, no matter how trivial they may seem.
Through a terrifying near-accident, which found me doing figure eights into oncoming traffic, all of which – thankfully – somehow managed to avoid hitting me, I learned just how important it is to be present. I wasn’t texting, talking on the phone, drinking coffee, or eating while driving. But I was thinking – fuming, really – about something that happened at work before getting in the car. Even now, I shudder to think how those absolutely pointless moments of fretting about something beyond my control could have resulted in my son losing his mother. Thus, I try really hard these days to clear my mind before getting behind the wheel.
While this is not a lesson that I have put into action as of yet, I’ve learned that I need to write everything down. This lesson is twofold. First is the practical application: I am one of those lucky people who used to be able to rely on an elephant-like memory for appointments, meetings, and the like. But because “Mommy brain” is not a myth and because my brain is so cluttered with work and all other aspects of “adulting,” I will forget to show up to a meeting if it’s not written down (confession: sometimes I forget even if it is written down). The other meaning of this lesson is a sentimental one. Surely, I thought, I will remember this [whatever adorable thing my child has done or said] when I have time to write about it. Nope. Not even a little bit. When my son one day asks, “Mom, what was my first word?” I may have to make it up. If I go back to social media and 23 Snaps, an application we use with our family, I can probably piece things together, but that will ultimately take more time that the minute it would have taken to record the moment when it happened.
What increased my happiness and joy this year?
Need I really explain?
No matter how your 2015 was, I hope this year is an even happier one! I look forward to connecting with you more in 2016.