It would appear that the general consensus is a hearty “good riddance” to 2016. Yes, it’s been an arduous year, in many ways. That fact is undeniable. And yet, as glad as I am to turn the calendar, I am also thankful for the journey because 2016 set my family up for big things in the coming year.
We worked hard this year, all of us, quietly laying the foundation for what’s to come. Some of our efforts feel thankless and boring, lacking tangible outcomes at this point. But we can’t build up without the strong base, and so every small step is a step in the right direction.
I was hesitant to share details of my goals in this space last January. They felt really personal, and if we’re being honest with one another, I was afraid of laying things out and then having to admit to failure. Because of course, not reaching my goals equals failure, right? Insanity. Perhaps it’s been a year of personal growth in that area because I’m not feeling any of that right now – and I actually didn’t hit any of my goals for 2016.
– Read 30 books in the Goodreads Challenge: I read 29. And a half. I just couldn’t dig in and get it done. I’m pretty happy with a total of 29, however. Growing up, I was the girl walking down the school hallways, reading. I often got in trouble for hiding a novel under my desk during the lecture. I read a lot when I lived alone in my first apartment, but kind of ran out of time for it when I had kids, so the whole point of this challenge for me was to deliberately make time for books.
– Make self-care a priority: This one will go back on the list for 2017 because there’s certainly room for improvement. I went in fits and spurts this year, renewing my yoga pass and walking with some of the other moms in the mornings, but couldn’t seem to stick to either with any regularity. With J starting nursing school and adding clinicals to our schedule, I will need to be even more intentional about creating time for myself.
– Reduce grocery budget through meal planning: Our grocery budget has actually increased! The girls are eating a lot more now than I anticipated, but I’m also buying better food – healthier, less processed, more organic and non-GMO. I really slacked off on planning meals ahead of time, and I think it’s because J is rarely here for dinner so I don’t always want to cook a full meal – crazy to not cook for three of us just because one isn’t here! Again, there’s room for improvement.
I’m seeing a theme. Making time.
Laying out the list like this also makes it terribly clear just how much we did that wasn’t outlined as a “goal.” We have chickens! I learned to actually knit and follow a basic pattern. My sewing machine saw more use than ever before. We are paying down debts at a breakneck pace. The tools we will need to care for our own land and property are being acquired slowly and economically. I squashed hornworms and baked bread and grew broccoli! We have two healthy, bright, beautiful, kind little people, and my amazing husband has proved to himself that yes he can find academic and professional success. It was a big year with much preparation accomplished behind the scenes. And we’re ready to meet the new year, head on. I can’t help but think that 2017 is going to be our year, and I’m fairly bursting with the excitement of that feeling.