As 2017 ends, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in all of the negative things that have happened and keep happening. Lately, it’s been overwhelming and it’s become a challenge to remind myself that there were some positive things that happened this year. Mostly for my sake, I’m going to recount them on the blog, but I also hope that maybe it will remind you of some positive things that have happened in your year if you’re struggling like me.
I read a blog post recently about how the confetti dropped in New York City on New Year’s Eve is a collection of hopes, dreams, and wishes left at a visitor center throughout the year. Perhaps it’s time that I start counting my blessings more throughout the year. Maybe borrow their idea and as a good thing happens, write it on a slip of paper and then read them all on New Year’s Eve. I think it would help with the problem I’m having now: Here I am at the end of the year and the heaviness is weighing down on my heart so much that I struggled to even list half a dozen things I liked about 2017.
Things That Made 2017:
Going to Chicago at Christmas – I have my favorite band to thank for knocking this item off of my bucket list. Only living three hours away, I don’t know why I’ve never done this before, but it was all that I was hoping it would be. I owe you a blog post about it, but it wouldn’t have happened without Hanson deciding to do their first ever Christmas tour so thanks, guys. 😊
Going to 3 Hanson concerts in one year, all by myself. Though my anxiety was always high at the start, each time I met new and wonderful people that made the experiences all the more special. I got front row for the first time, stood in line all day for the first time, and made some new friends. I loved every minute and I so appreciate this band and the community of fans they’ve built.
Spending a weekend in Philadelphia meeting some online sisters. These ladies have been a part of a closed Facebook group with me for a couple years now and their support and friendship have been great online, but nothing compared to staying in a house with them for a weekend. We ate, we talked, we explored(Never been to Philly so there’s another new adventure!), and my heart was soaring for weeks after I got home.
Saying yes to more experiences like the concerts, the girls weekend, but also things at home like going to Harry Potter showings with an orchestra performing the score live and having a few drinks with friends (the butterbeer was nasty, but it had to be tried). I also went to a screening of The Princess Bride and got to meet Cary Elwes. (I had completely forgotten this exciting adventure until I looked back at my calendar just now – that’s how down I’ve been. How could I forget Westley!)
Being invited to a naturalization ceremony. When my best friend’s husband become a U.S. citizen, I was privileged to be there and it was such a moving experience. To watch the happy tears, the excitement, the hopes and dreams of a room full of people was so electric. The room was charged with the passion of people finally achieving something that I was given freely at birth and wow, was it humbling.
I have been a part of three book launches this year (One I just started so look out for more on that later!). When I quit my third shift job, I wanted to get back to reading more. Rediscovering old passions of mine, getting to be a part of these book launches was a great start. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to highlight my reading life without it taking over the blog. I try to keep up to date on Goodreads.
Leaving my third shift job. I understand that I was privileged to do this and that not everyone can leave a job. Getting out made me realize just how much of my life had been consumed by this job for the last six years. There were some toxic situations, and the sleep deprivation caused me to take much longer than anticipated to “bounce back” after leaving. In fact, I would say in some aspects I’m still getting back on track.
While it’s incredibly easy for me to pinpoint some things that went nothing like I wanted them to in 2017, compiling this list was healing in many ways. I know what I need to focus on in 2018, but I also know that there were some pretty awesome moments in 2017. I wish the very best for all of you in 2018, whatever that may look like for you. I wish for us peace, compassion, and more moments that make a year-end summary hard to narrow down.