Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I work with a woman who told me of a beautiful tradition she has for herself each birthday. She makes a list of all the things she has accomplished in that year, and then makes a list of things she wants to do in the following year. She celebrates what was and what she wants to be. This year, she turns 30, and so she is thinking of reflecting on the decade of her twenties as a whole.

I love this idea so much, and since the New Year is sort of like a birthday, the start of a whole new year, I thought I'd do it myself. (I also might do it for my birthday this year, since it's the big 4-0, and I think looking back on my thirties is going to be so, so much better than looking at my twenties, even with all the pain of our family-building journey.)

What I've Done in 2015: 
- We made the decision to start the adoption process. Which was a huge accomplishment.
- We approached the adoption process with a sense of balance and groundedness that was missing in our IVF efforts. We are significantly less stressed and feel far less personal responsibility for things that always were out of our control.
- I celebrated my sixth wedding anniversary with Bryce, both a personal best for each of us (not to compare or anything), and a beautiful celebration of six years of joy and working through the worst emotional pain either of us had ever experienced, only to feel closer and more in tune with each other than ever.
- We redid our kitchen, and now have a fully functional and beautiful kitchen that any person who loves to cook and bake could want. And we use it, all the time. (Which is why my pants are snug, methinks...)
- We celebrated a Christmas that was (mostly) devoid of a sense of loss, and embraced our hope for future Christmases that will look very, very different.
- We set up a nursery. A real nursery, that is almost-not-quite finished, for a baby that we truly believe is coming to us. Sooner than later.
- Bryce started a new job with a new company where he has more responsibility but he also has more freedom and far less stress, even though he's the Chief Technology Officer and so has executive stuff going on. However, the office is really low-key and un-stuffy, so that's not as hoity-toity as it sounds. It's been a really positive change for our household and especially for Bryce, who now has more stress-free free time to pursue other technical challenges.
- I began the National Board process for teachers. Unsure if this is a really great move or an unholy disaster given all the uncertainties we face in our life, but I have Bryce's full support (in fact, he pushed me) and a friend at school who is going through the process with me. So professional growth, which is good.

What I want to do in 2016: 
- I want to more fully commit to being happy with my body. To go for strength and health over a body shape that just isn't going to be mine anymore. I am feeling the dreaded metabolism-halt of 40 a bit early, and while I'm not too happy with my fluffy midsection I am trying to accept that as long as I am in good shape, I can dress my body as-is and be happy with it.
- Do more letting go -- of guilt, of hang-ups, of grudges, of alternate realities that will never be.
- Do more holding tight -- showing appreciation for all those wonderful people who support us, make us laugh, and hold us up in various and sundry ways.
- Be more organized, file more regularly, don't get hampered by the Paper Devil that tortures me. Pile Management was actually in my wedding vows, and I do take it seriously, but I need a better system for papers. And more bookshelves. (Hint, hint Bryce.)
- Write more.
- Get sucked into my phone and Facebook less. That's a colossal waste of time (although hard to resist the siren song). Maybe get a Phone Box for when I'm writing or reading. Phone goes in! Boom! Distraction gone! (In theory at least.)
- Become a parent. I realize I have very little control over this one, and I can resolve it all I want but that's been a goal for over 6 years and we are still just us two...but a girl can dream. Please, let 2016 be the year we become parents.

I hope that 2016 is a wonderful year, a year of hope and healing and good things all the way around. I hope it is a better year for those who have had stinkers in 2015, and just as good for those who had a banner year this past one. I have to say, normally my New Year post labels the last year as a stinker, and that can't be said for this past one. January was rough, but the rest was filled with hope and new adventures and acceptance and peace.

I wish all those things for you and more in the new year.


  1. I'm impressed by both your lists. And a bit inspired by your wanting to unstick a bit from Facebook. I think that's something I might do, too.

    You're all ready for what 2016 will bring!

    1. I was impressed by yours! :) The unsticking from Facebook is interesting...I think that it might qualify as an addictive substance. Happy New Year!

  2. I love your term Pile Management (and find it awesome and also sweet and funny that that was in your wedding vows). I seriously need help with this. If you find some ideas that work for you please share😀

    1. Our wedding vows were definitely unique! There was a lot of promising experiences to each other, including my watching a David Lynch movie each year. Which is hard because I've seen all of them but "Eraserhead," which I have zero interest in watching at the moment. I wonder if Twin Peaks episodes count? :) I got Bryce "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" for Christmas and we plan to put it into practice... supposedly it is amazing for banishing clutter and changing your mindset on Things. I am a little scared of it, ;-) but it's worth checking out!

  3. Happy new year! So much to feel good about and look forward to!

    1. Thanks! Happy New Year to you too!

  4. The phone box. Yes, I need one of those too. I've been working on being more present for tasks at hand (including watching a movie) vs multitasking, but it can be so hard to focus.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2016. May all the items on this new list be checked off.