2013 in review

This Christmas, when reflecting on what I would say about myself to my extended family I only see once a year, I thought, “Hmmm, not much has changed in my life since last year.”  I felt both relieved by that and a little disappointed. But as I began reflecting deeper on my own, I realized A LOT of things did happen.But maybe most of these changes are not things people can see.  Overall, I became a better person which is all that matters.

Here is a little about 2013 for me.

1. what did you do this past year that you’d never done before?

  • Attended my Master’s Graduation and received an MA in Special Education (Learning Disabilities & Emotional Disabilities) (Jan)
  • Planned and hosted a fun graduation party (Jan)
  • Started a Spanish Club with my students (Feb)
  • Started going to a Covenant church (March)
  • Worked for a test making company and wrote math problems for them (summer/fall)
  • Worked with a close friend (summer/fall)
  • Went on a sailing trip with some writers in my writing group (Aug)
  • Went to the Apostle Islands, WI on the above trip (Aug)
  • Became a roommate to 4 other people (3 of them are 3 years old and under) (Oct)
  • Played piano in a close friend’s wedding (Oct)
  • Played piano/keyboard outside (Oct)
  • Spent Thanksgiving & Christmas in Eau Claire, WI (Nov./Dec.)

2. did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My New Year’s Resolution for 2013 was to continue focusing on gratitude and on the present moment. This is hard to measure, but I believe I have been doing a better job with this. This year’s resolution is to continue to see myself and others through the lens of Christ.

3. did anyone close to you give birth?
No, lots of marriages and pregnancies tho

4. did anyone close to you die?
No

5. what countries did you visit?
I only traveled to the Apostle Islands, WI; Eau Claire, WI and Rockford, IL.

6. what would you like to have this year that you lacked last year?
same as last year: even more peace and gratitude, grace for myself and others.

7. what date from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oct. 5th-my friends Michelle’s wedding, Oct. 12th-my friend Vanessa’s wedding. They are 2 of my closest friends, I played in Vanessa’s wedding.

8. what was your biggest achievement of the year?

  • Receiving my diploma
  • Trying new things, like the sailing trip, playing in a wedding

9. what was your biggest failure?
failing to love myself and others

10. did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major, I am very grateful for my health!

11. what was the best thing you bought?
food! I am also grateful for my new food processor from mom and ceramic pan from Greg

12. whose behavior merited celebration?

  • My close friends & family

13. whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

14. where did most of your money go?
school payments, gas, rent & food

15. what did you get really, really, really excited about?
not sure

17. compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
Neither, I would say more hopeful!

18. thinner or fatter?
Same, thanks God!

19. richer or poorer?
Not sure, I am not in deferment anymore, so lots more moolah to be doled out.

20. what do you wish you’d done more of?

  • being present in the moment
  • being grateful

21. what do you wish you’d done less of?
•Worrying about the past, present and future

  • Complaining and being negative
  • Eating sweets

22. how will you be spending your birthday? who knows…I will be turning 30, scary!

23. how will you be spending the holidays?
Probably in the Midwest again-hopefully with some family I don’t normally get to see!

24. did you fall in love this past year? nope, not that I know of

25. how many one-night stands? None

26. what was your favorite TV program?

  • Law & Order: SVU

27. do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No,  I try not to do that

28. what was the best book you read?

I read a lot and most were great! Here are 3 favs:

Heaven is Here  by Stephanie Nielson

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Joni-Joni Eareckson Tada

29. what was your greatest musical discovery?

not sure, just having more of an appreciation for classical music

30. what did you want and get?

  • a food processor
  • a ceramic pan
  • to make progress on reading of the Old Testament
  • to be more understanding of and less hard on myself
  • less stress at work, fewer headaches, less muscles tension- yes!
  • More dependence on the Lord, less on food, meds, etc.

31. what did you want and not get?
•To be anxiety free

32. what was your favorite film of this year?
42-a great film

33. what did you do on your last birthday, and how old were you?
29! I spent it on Madeline Island on my sailing trip! Fun! Then with my friends and fam, we celebrated at Hell’s Kitchen in Mnpls!

34. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
My hair is always stylish. I also appreciate quality jewelry that goes along with whatever I am wearing

35. what kept you sane? (same as last year)

  • Trust in the Lord
  • Exercising, staying active
  • The outdoors and creation
  • Music
  • Friends
  • The stability and routine of work-I’m so grateful for a job I love!
  • Writing/journaling
  • Reading
  • Counseling

36. which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
none really stand out

37. what political issue stirred you the most?
homosexuality and same-sex marriage

38. who was the best new person you met?

  • some folks from my new church

39. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

From The Gifts of Imperfection, I learned about self-compassion. Self-compassion is not self-esteem. Self-esteem is all about us and how we compare to other people. The focus is trying to like ourselves more and on how we can stand apart from others. Self-compassion, however, is all about including others in the way we think about our selves.  “…when you feel compassion for another (rather than mere pity), it means that you realize that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the shared human experience.” (self-compassion.org)

This realization has really helped me. When I am about to have self-pity, I think of others who are going/have gone through similar or worse things and it helps me maintain an accurate view of my situation. Also, this helps me not to dismiss my suffering. Rather, I can give myself the same kind of compassion I would give to someone going through that same situation.

40. quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

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