A lot of people are pissed about 2016, with the election of Donald Trump as president and so many celebrities dying. While those things are a bummer, they didn’t really shape my year as none of those people have much impact on my life. But 2016 was a funky year for me. Not one of my favorites, but yet there are some very favorite memories. It’s been a soul-searching year as I’ve spent much of it in the consuming haze of motherhood to an infant (and 9-year-old), which was a total shock to my system and any sense of self I once had. I do feel like the fog is starting to clear, and I look forward to 2017 as a year to get my mojo back. So, how can I recount 2016? I’ll answer the same questions I borrowed from another blog many years ago. If I can even remember anything from this whirlwind…
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? I breastfed a baby. I went to Nashville with Ronnie (had a blast), saw several country concerts, got a compound bow and am learning the sport of archery. Attempted to sell our house while living in it (unsuccessful in 2016 and so.much.work.). Roasted a turkey and provided Thanksgiving dinner.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t recall making any resolutions last year other than survive. Maybe to breastfeed as long as possible – I’m very proud of myself for sticking it out as long as I did. I exceeded my own expectations and it was a very rewarding experience. I’m so very thankful it worked out as it was such a rough start with Layla’s health and inability to nurse, but we got it figured out! This year I resolve to be more active, but be creative about what that means and not give myself a hard time when it means something different than earning PR’s at CrossFit. We are gearing up to start hiking as a family – literally, we picked up a backpack carrier for Layla on Craigslist and Skyler and I got hiking boots for Christmas. Weather permitting we go on our first hike this weekend to close out 2016. I’ve also brought walking shoes to keep at work so I can get out for fresh air and walks a couple times a week. I can’t make it to CrossFit in the evenings much these days as Layla goes to bed so early and I would miss her after being gone at work all day. And though the garage is well equipped for weightlifting and CrossFit workouts, I find it so difficult to get motivated without others to workout with and hold me accountable. Plus, it’s too hot or cold for two seasons of the year. So I signed up for Beachbody On Demand so I can access a variety of workout videos online when I need some intensity and coach Tony Horton telling me what to do so I don’t dilly dally through a workout. I’m excited to have this variety and especially to get outside with the walking and hiking!
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? My buddy Jamie had her second. My other friend and coworker Brie also had her second.
4. Did anyone close to you die? No, but a few weeks ago I thought I would be writing that my Grandma Kelley passed away as her health took an unexpected nosedive, like organs-shutting-down-call-the-family-to-come-say-goodbye kind of thing, but she miraculously stabilized and recovered enough to have her previously replaced aortic valve replaced again, and she’s already at home recovering from that ordeal. I’m really hoping we can make it to Florida in June next year to see her!
5. What countries did you visit? Ronnie and I made it back to Mexico for my girl Lindsay’s wedding. It was a much needed getaway and relaxing fun time. I may have way overdone the rum or tequila the night of the wedding and spent the entire next day in my cold, dark hotel room surviving on potato chips and sips of water rather than enjoying the tropical paradise, but it still seems worth it for letting loose and dancing the night away!
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? Direction/goals/purpose outside of just being a mom. Yes, motherhood is noble and so important, but I know I have more to offer the world than just my children. I also hope to have a smaller, more manageable house.
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Probably March 3 (our trip to Nashville) or September 28 (our trip to Mexico). Our vacations/escape from reality.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I think breastfeeding.
9. What was your biggest failure? Not taking care of myself – physically and spiritually. I feel like a chubby, frumpy shadow of my real self. Hoping 2017 will melt away the fluff and haze of mommy-hood and I will find more balance in all areas of my life.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? I felt under the weather many more times this year than in previous years, I’m sure due to not making my own self-care as high priority, and dealing with another person’s germ-y slobber and poop and snot on a daily basis.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Probably plane tickets and/or concert tickets. I much prefer memories over material things.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Skyler – she is just an amazing big sister. I’ve leaned on her so much to help while I’m busy with little sis. And they are still so in love with each other. It makes my heart so happy and Skyler still says joyfully “I can’t believe I have a little sister now!” And she’s just so smart and creative and funny. She amazes me on a regular basis.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? No one specifically, but the way America handled this election year and the results. There’s been a lot of hate spewed unnecessarily and a lot of untruths spread irresponsibly. People just lack the ability to disagree respectfully anymore. The negativity that came out of this election really bothered me and I was ashamed of people.
14. Where did most of your money go? Hospital bills, daycare, tuition, home improvement projects.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Vacations. Dates with Ronnie. Layla finally sleeping through the night.
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? Any song by Brothers Osborne.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? same
c) richer or poorer? poorer
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exercise and sharing my feelings.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being hard on myself and worrying about things unnecessarily, bottling all my anxiety up and getting grumpy!
20. How did you spend Christmas? The usual handful of events with various extensions of the family around town.
21. Did you fall in love in 2016? I fall in love with my husband and daughters on a regular basis.
22. What was your favorite TV program? any home improvement show I guess. I’m still not really into TV and wouldn’t be sad if we didn’t have one, other than when I need Mickey Mouse to babysit Layla at his Clubhouse…
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? No.
24. What was the best book you read? I haven’t read much, but I’ve started a couple books – It’s Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort. This one had me in tears and laughter on the flight home from Mexico. It’s just the memoirs of a girl about my age and the crap she’s been through – very raw and sad and funny and real. The other is You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. My coworker got me a 2017 desk calendar based on this book and then the book showed up in my stocking. I’m loving it so far.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Enjoying country concerts with my husband.
26. What did you want and get? My baby to sleep through the night. It might have taken her 9 months, but she’s got it down pretty well. Now I look forward to teething and sicknesses only because they wake her up at night and she needs snuggles to go back to sleep. I jump at that chance to rock her to sleep!
27. What did you want and not get? To sell this house and find a smaller one.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? I barely remember things we’ve watched. We watched the first 3 Divergent series movies and those were really good. And Rogue One, being Star Wars and all – it was surprisingly great.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 37. I went to work that day, but Ronnie made reservations at Rye that evening for us and some great friends and we had such a wonderful time over dinner and drinks.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Less financial stress, more exercise.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? Leggings – nothing else fits.
32. What kept you sane? Sleep. And my hubby making dates for us so we could escape being parents on a regular basis.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? With my soul-searching as the year winds down I’m fascinated with Brene Brown – I kinda just want her job. Her books are on my reading list for next year!
34. What political issue stirred you the most? The election, duh.
35. Who did you miss? My girl Lindsay moved to Clovis, New Mexico. It’s so far and not the easiest to fly to. Thankfully we have instant messaging!
36. Who was the best new person you met? There isn’t a single person that’s made a huge impression, but we met some great new people on the Mexico wedding trip that I hope our paths will cross with again.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016. The contrast in age of my daughters has helped me not to wish away the exhausting times with an infant. Though I gain freedom as they grow to be independent, for now I’m clinging to the baby snuggles, even with all the stress they bring.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. For Layla: “In the still of the night, I held you, held you tight, cause I love, love you so, promise I’ll never, let you go, in the still of the night.”
Here’s to 2017!