Oh, hey there, 2014!

Happy 2014!

I tracked down my New Year’s post from last year and had to laugh. This year, I was planning on writing how I didn’t feel like writing an inspirational message. The only problem is, that’s what I wrote last year.

Though I wrote something else.. Something that ended up being quite meaningful in 2013.

May you face tough times with fortitude and realize that “this too shall pass.”

Those words were words I clung to throughout the spring. Dude moving out came as a complete shock, and the process just so happened to overlap with my busy season at work. In the past, the busy season was normally handled easily by a team of 4-5, but I’m now operating as a team of one. It was a teeny tiny bit overwhelming to work almost a month straight (weekends included) without having a day off.

However, 2013 taught me that I have more mental grit than I used to. In high school and college, I would completely fall apart when faced with too many layers of stress. In 2013, I was armed and ready for it. I feel like I’m really hitting my stride with knowing myself. Knowing my strengths and accepting my not-strengths. Knowing what I need to do to keep myself sane and operational. Saying no when I need to. Not feeling like I have to apologize when I need to do something for me that doesn’t quite align with what someone else wants.

There was one day in the midst of my work schedule marathon when I had an appointment with my trainer at the gym immediately after work. I was dragging. I was exhausted. I wanted nothing more than to cancel that appointment so I could go home and crash and watch some mindless TV. But then a quiet voice in the back of my head got louder. “You seriously can’t take 30 minutes to do something good for yourself? Come on, Julianne. You’re better than that.” So I went. And I felt a million times better at the end of those 30 minutes. Sweaty. Energized. Less stressed. Grateful. Proud.

2009 me wouldn’t have been able to dig into her reserves and do that. 2009 me wouldn’t have been able to put aside her crushing anxieties about her little brother moving out and soldier through it while maintaining cautious optimism (I once took a Martin Seligman optimism test and scored in the “Extremely Pessimistic” range. True story). 2009 me probably would have been curled up in the fetal position on her bed with crocodile tears streaming down her face, not knowing how to even begin to sift through and attend to the stress.

I’m proud of me. And I’m proud of Dude, who has really been stellar with handling his transition and accepting new people into his life. And I’m proud of our parents, too, who have handled everything as best they know how.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I think using January 1 as a start date is kind of arbitrary for something as fluid and dynamic as your life. But it is a nice opportunity to check in on yourhappy-new-year triumphs and trials of the past year.

In 2014, I hope I continue my growth as a person. I hope for fortitude. I hope for optimism. I hope for laughter. I hope for travel. I hope to see dear friends both near and far. I hope to continue to be active. And I hope these things for you too!

Happy New Year, everybody!

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