Hello, friends! I am back after a much needed holiday break and an amazing trip to Europe. Today, I will share with you my reflections on the past year. I know I’m a little late to the game, because we have been in 2019 for over a week now (ahh!!). But on a personal level, it is important for me to reflect on each year as it comes to an end. This year, I want to share with you what that looks like for me. Below is my Q&A for 2018, with questions I like to ask myself, and answers highlighting big moments, challenges and an important lesson from 2018.
My Personal Q&A for 2018
What were your top three favorite moments?
- Hands-down, the top moment of 2018 was getting married to Will. I know our marriage will be the biggest, most rewarding commitment of my life, and it felt amazing to embark on this journey surrounded by the support of so many loved ones. It is so much more than “a wedding day,” but it is hard to really explain that until you’ve gone through it.
- Thanksgiving – I always love celebrating this holiday and focusing on gratitude. In 2018, our Thanksgiving felt extra special. It was our first holiday as a married couple and we luckily had time with all of our parents on that day. This was such a blessing. Due to our family dynamics and their different locations, I realized that may be the only holiday we get to spend with all of our parents in one day.
- Honeymoon – We had a two-part honeymoon to give us equal doses of relaxation and adventure. Right after our wedding, we went to Antigua and stayed at a charming resort with a room that opened up to a quiet beach. It was absolutely beautiful and felt like paradise. It was also really nice to have dedicated time to relax and reflect on the whole wedding weekend directly after. If you’re getting married, I highly recommend taking time off immediately after your wedding, even if it isn’t for a conventional honeymoon. For a dose of adventure, we ended 2018 in Europe for the second part of our honeymoon. We had to reschedule our European adventure a couple times due to major work changes, but I am really glad we made that trip happen. I’ll be sharing more about it soon!
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My biggest personal accomplishment was growing my relationship with Will. I felt like I knew so much about him and our relationship, even before we got married. I’m sure that sounds naive to those who’ve been married for 5, 10 or 25+ years. But, we communicate a lot, and I am proud how we grew through the changes that came with our simultaneous career changes over the summer of 2018.
My biggest work-related accomplishment was starting my own company. I haven’t talked about my work much, but I made the leap into contract work and left my 9 to 5. Starting a business and setting up my home office were a little daunting at times, but I feel really proud that I dared to do something a little unconventional with my career, and that it has been a success so far.
What lit you up?
One of the most positive changes I made in 2018 was creating a designated home office space. I obviously needed to do that for my at-home contract work, but I was not expecting that how it would change my mindset. Having my own designated space, designed just how I envisioned has been such a gift for my work. I feel more connected to my work, more in control of my schedule, more organized and more productive. I will share more about this new space soon!
A few “small” things that lit me up in 2018 … walks with Will and Maddie, my birthday dinner with Will, a summer hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains, seeing my little brother graduate high school, and all the family time at multiple weddings.
What were your three biggest challenges?
- Anxiety – This was new for me in 2018. I began the year with a lot of anxiety surrounding all the wedding plans and details and a desire for changes in my career. On default, I strive for perfection in everything, and when I can’t deliver that I can be really hard on myself. In 2018, my anxiety kept me from moving on things because I felt they wouldn’t be done right. I felt unsure of myself at times, second-guessed my decisions a lot and would lay awake at night thinking of all the possible outcomes of all the things that were out of my control. There were times I was so overwhelmed with the various things on my plate that I had trouble breathing. Now, I feel compelled to add that I have not been diagnosed with anxiety by a doctor. I have an aversion to doctors and did not want to be put on any medication. Thankfully, this got better towards the end of the year, but I definitely have some things to work through.
- Time Management – If you know me well, you know I hate time. I hate how there is rarely enough of it, and I hate how I often underestimate how long it will take me to get something done. Time challenged me in 2018 and in a lot of ways that is connected to the anxiety around perfection I just mentioned. I think it can be pretty normal for life to feel like a never-ending to-do list at times (right!?). But, I struggled with managing my time in 2018. Work ended up taking more time out of my day than I wanted to give it and that was a big challenge to address. It’s a challenge I am still facing!
- Maddie – If you don’t know from my frequent Instagram stories of Maddie, she is my 15-year-old dog. I have had her since I was a teenager. In 2018, we learned that she has kidney failure, and her health has been pretty up and down due to that. Maddie also had to have emergency surgery for an abscessed tooth two days after we got married! It has been challenging to see her getting older, a little less like herself, all while knowing that there won’t be enough time left with her.
What was your biggest lesson?
Towards the end of 2018, I had a bit of an epiphany when it comes to letting go. I learned to let go of my fear of being misunderstood and to find confidence in who I am. Since I was a teenager, I have struggled with feeling misunderstood or not fully understood. I felt like people would assume things about me that were not in-line with my character. I feared coming across the wrong way. I feared people would think I was entitled, materialistic and overly self-involved… and it really upset me to think that people did not see my heart. Last year though, I realized it is not my job to shape the minds of other people when the impression they have of me is wrong. I realized the need to stay grounded in who I am. There will still be days that I compare myself to others or wonder what people think of me, but moving forward I will lean back into who I am and just keep going.
Even with some challenges, 2018 was a milestone year for us. I am grateful for all that God gave to us in 2018 and am honestly sad to see the year go. Now that I have taken the time to reflect on the past year, I will use this reflection to outline my plans and hopes for the New Year. I will share that post on Friday, so stay tuned.
Whether or not you do a little Q&A like mine, consciously reflecting on the past year and writing down your thoughts and feelings can be immensely helpful in planning for your year ahead. No matter the season of life you are in or how 2018 looked for you, reflection helps us see what things we would like to continue, take pride in our accomplishments, remember the lessons and assess the challenges we face.
I sincerely hope you have a wonderful year, and thank you so much for stopping by!