As 2017 comes to a close, I like to set goals for the new year. I like to reflect on the past year because it helps me set those goals. This year wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t my least favorite either. It had its ups and downs, but overall, I think it was really a year of discovery for me. Here is my reflection of the year 2017.
• In March, I left a job which I loved, and it was a hard transition. The position was grant funded and the funding ran out. I loved the work I did and the people I worked with. All good things must come to an end, but I wish this could have lasted longer.
• I decided to try a career in substance abuse therapy. As I’ve said in my About page, I love helping people. I’ve seen so many people throughout my life struggle with substance abuse so I became licensed by the state and I gave it a try. The work is hard and it is draining. The people and agency I worked for were wonderful, but the work itself was so hard for me. I often felt like I was giving so much for so little return and it eventually took a toll on me. My anxiety came back with a vengeance. I ultimately decided that it is not the career for me, but I learned a lot along the way.
• Speaking of substance abuse, I watched my friends and family mourn the losses of loved ones passing on due to overdose or as a result of battling the demons of addiction. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching someone you love struggle and it made me double think my career choice. I hope the epidemic that we are facing as a nation will improve in 2018. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please visit https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ to get information about treatment options in your area.
Brandon passed away November 12, 2017. He battled demons in his adult life and ended up losing to them.
He is greatly missed.
• In May, I ended a long-term friendship. I was unable to attend her wedding due to illness. I was very sad that I couldn’t attend but she saw it differently and took it very personally that I couldn’t make it that day. One of my goals for 2017 was to cut out negativity in my life, and the way that she treats people doesn’t align with my values, so sadly, it was time to say goodbye. This was definitely one of the hardest moments of the year. I wish her nothing but the best and I will remember all of our good memories we’ve shared.
• My best friend had to put her dog, Jackson, down this year. I was very close with him because for years I would take care of him when she was away and I was always at her house while he was growing up. I was there the day she brought him home as a puppy and I was there to say goodbye to him at the end. My heart still breaks and I miss and think of him every single day.
Spending my Sunday snuggling with Jackson.
• The best thing about this year was watching my first child grow up. It was bittersweet and I had my moments of tears reminiscing about him being a tiny baby, but watching him grow was such a blessing. I saw him pull himself up, start walking, say his first words, and discover the world around him. His first birthday was so fun and wonderful memories were made. He started daycare once a week and loved every minute of it. He had his health struggles this year, starting with RSV in January and an ear infection (or two) every month until he had tubes placed in his ears in September. This past month he ended up in the hospital for a night due to a lengthy high fever. Due to this, we had to pull him from daycare so his immune system can recharge. My prayer is that he has a much healthier 2018.
One of my favorites from Carter’s 1 year photo shoot.
Photo Credit: Megan O’Leary Photography
• I completed my final internship for my master’s degree in social work. I learned so much working with substance abuse clients and it was a wonderful learning experience.
• I lost a good part of the weight I gained with my pregnancy. I also learned that if I am to ever have another child, I cannot eat pineapple and Mexican food as if it’s going out of style.
• I watched three of my friends navigate their pregnancies like champs and welcome beautiful babies into their families. I’m so happy for them!
• I watched my best friend, Rachael, be an absolutely amazing single mom. I’ve had hard times being a married mother with a supportive husband and I don’t know how Rachael does it on her own. She amazes me.
Rachael and her daughter, Adalyn Grace.
• I helped my good friend, Abby, celebrate her accomplishment of becoming a licensed realtor. I’m so proud of her! Way to go, Abby!
• I got to spend some time with another best friend of mine, Michelle, and her family. She lives in another state and they came to visit this summer. It’s always a good time when she’s around and I love her and her family dearly!
• I experienced a solar eclipse. I’m sure there’s been one in my lifetime, but this is the first one I remember. It was a cloudy day and we didn’t really see much difference where I live, but watching it on TV was interesting!
• Finally, I realized there is such a thing as goat yoga! One of my goals for 2018 is to take part in this goat yoga phenomenon. Can’t wait!
I wish you all nothing but the best 2018! Cheers!