Appreciating 2018

Synchronicity is one of my favorite words. I don’t think that everything happens for a reason, but I try to see events and relationships through all the ways they influence one another rather than direct cause and effect – for better and worse. It helps me make sense of my story, how the good things needed more than just my effort to happen, and how the negative could manifest from circumstances beyond my control. Looking at the challenges and growth of 2018, I was frequently getting that buzzy feeling that comes with seeing things click. Sometimes it was the result of years of little moments, coincidences and choices, and others are just now starting to catalyze, but overall I feel like it was by far the best year I’ve had since graduating.

From grad day in 2016 with mother and sister (wow hello my hair was long)
… to 2018 when ‘little’ sister graduated and neither of us could keep our eyes open

At the beginning of the year (technically end of 2017… but whatever) I set some time aside to fill out a section in my planner with goals for three months, one year, three years, and my lifetime. Can’t really check on the things I wrote down for three years or my lifetime yet, but I caaan look at the other two…

3 month goals

Move out: sorta not really

I wrote this down as a goal in 2016, 2017, and last year, but am forgetting it for 2019. For about three weeks in January I did actually move in with one of my friends. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. At this point I’m a broken record, but maybe for the last time – the whole surgery situation combined with financial uncertainty from time off made it apparent that living at home still overall made the most sense, and back home I went by February.

from my brief time living with fur-niece Ruby

Ride > 2 days a week: not at all

I’m pretty sure I rode more in 6 months of 2017 than I did all of 2018. I was hoping to *finally* get back to riding consistently last year, but between the health issues and my instructor moving farther away (and then my job, and the dog…) horses sadly got pushed down the priority list. Once again I’m aware of how much of a gift getting any saddle time is, but I’m hoping the situation will pan out differently this year!

last ride of 2018 came in November on miss Pipsqueak

Along the same lines, blogging also got pushed down. While this caused me some grief on and off during the year, I’m ok with it now. I’m happy I didn’t put any pressure on myself this year to have my blog be a certain way or to post a certain amount because that wasn’t where I was at. I enjoyed what writing and interacting with other bloggers I was able to do, and that’s what really matters. :)

Identify core values: wait, yes?

I initially thought this was a total miss because naturally, I overthought it whenever I tried to address it. In actuality, the answer was what I was working on nearly every day of 2018: making my health/well-being such a priority that it is (almost) automatic. Doing that over the course of the past two years has made my mood better overall, my narcolepsy symptoms more manageable, allowed more awareness for my emotions and helped improve multiple relationships where the health wasn’t that great either. I don’t have a big long list of values (what I thought this goal was about), but I think it’d be telling to flesh out the actions/values that contribute to ‘health first’ more.

Year-end goals

Mindset of kindness toward self/kind inner parent: greatly improved!

It’s funny that in doing this I realize it basically was a goal aligning with the overall value of health first. When I started this work in 2017, it was a constant grind where I still usually ended up compromising my boundaries or saying ‘well I can hold off napping/I should say yes to doing this because x’ and then I’d berate myself when my symptoms would flare up because, yep, I didn’t take care of things in the first place. Or I’d get frustrated at something and while I could see what was happening, I didn’t care and would still spiral for hours or days on end, which also made my narcolepsy symptoms worse. This year I was able to move from: ‘I can see I’m getting run down, and I know I should do something but I’m not ready’ to ‘I can see this is taking a lot of energy, and I’m going to take a break now.’ Another example would be going from ‘I’m so frustrated/angry, here are all the reasons, and then more reasons, and really everything is not that great, I’m not that great’ blah blah blah, to “wow ok I am definitely in a mood. it’s ok that I’m in a mood, it’s not going to last forever, is there anything I need right now?’

Visiting with extended fam over 4th of July and being totally ok with ducking out for my naps

To create an income (of any amount) out of educating others about sleep: surprisingly yes!

Not a lot to say about this yet, but I’m starting to believe in the power of writing things out! Also, totally one of my favorite examples of synchronicity for 2018.

Sharing my strengths with those around me in a healthy amount and not holding back for fear of failure or judgement: starting to!

Not in all situations, or even most, but challenging myself to explore that balance between awareness of my limits and when to push my authentic self gave me a lot of good feelings throughout the year. Not to mention building my confidence and trust in what I bring to the many tables we come across in life.20181020_100022

Get a dog: not when I thought!

While I had this perfect idea of getting an 8 week old puppy back in January, the year had other plans and I ended up getting Frida a week before her first birthday on December 1st :) Unfortunately we’re still not caught up on vaccines or spayed thanks to trying to treat a stubborn belly rash her previous owner neglected to address… but she is so, so good, smart, loving (and sassy) and I’m so excited to start doing all the things with her this year!

Those ears doe <3

Take 2 calculated risks: also yes :)

They weren’t death-defying, but they pushed me to test where I was at. Being in my best friends wedding almost exactly a month after major surgery certainly felt like a risk, and it more than paid off. Pushing myself to do a clinic and work in the same day ended up being too much, but it was a great lesson. Joining a speaking program for people with narcolepsy was also a risk – if I’d had any surgery complications or not felt ready to delve into my journey with narcolepsy, I still would have learned something, but holy moley it’s given me so much because I *was* in a place to do the work and share myself.

all sorts of fun resources I’ve gathered over the past couple years

SO, 2018, at times you sucked, others you were the best ever, and I think that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. Life is always a box of chocolates, and I’m thankful to have another one to open and share for 2019.

8 thoughts on “Appreciating 2018

  1. I think there are definitely a lot of positives in your review! Like… a dog… how can a year be bad if it came with a new, amazing dog? Here’s to building on the positives you started in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

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