1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened? I’ve been facing some anxiety and working on unresolved issues underlying it has been a challenge.
3. What was an unexpected joy this past year? Discovering I love getting a brisk walk in each day.
4. What was an unexpected obstacle? Self-doubt masquerading as anxiety.
5. Pick three words to describe 2013. Making some progress.
6. What were the best books you read this year? In non-fiction: Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss and fiction is a toss up but we’ll go with two I really loved though they have little else in common: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and The Fault in Our Stars (affiliate links, BTW)
7. With whom were your most valuable relationships? My husband Chris and best friend Kate with honorable mentions to my brother James, my best friend Renee and my cousin Sarah.
8. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year? Actively making personal changes is my biggest personal change for 2013 and I’ve got lots left to work on for 2014.
9. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally? I’ve come to a place where I’m willing to share what is going on emotionally without dissecting my feelings first to make sure they are logical, rational and won’t hurt the person I’m telling (typically Chris or Kate if it’s personal stuff, but it comes up in other places, too). My old way of coping left me handling emotions by myself and only sharing after the feelings had pasted which is isolating at best and crazy-making at worst.
10. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually? I have taken great strides in living in the moment. I’ve applied my beliefs about treating other people certain ways; with kindness and empathy. I’ve treated myself with kindness and empathy. I’ve embraced the ideals of The Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” I think I had the acceptance part down pat early in life, but I never had the courage to make changes with purposeful action.
11. In what way(s) did you grow physically? I’ve done better by my physical self this year than ever in my life. I’ve fed my body nutrient rich food. I’ve worked out more consistently than any other time in my life.
12. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others? See: #9. I’m also working to reach out to certain people who I’d lost close connections with over the years.
13. What was the most enjoyable part of your work? Using my language and people skills in tandem to communicate complex ideas.
14. What was the most challenging part of your work? Dealing with *challenging* people. I work in a call center environment in a department that takes 100% escalated calls. Everyone has been through some serious stuff before they get to us even if sometimes it’s just that their expectations are wildly unrealistic. Dealing with people on their worst possible behavior is challenging. Doing it all day, everyday, is something that really keeps me on my toes. If I don’t keep myself in a balanced state of mind and take good care of my body, the callers can get under my skin. When that happens, it is a failure on my part and I have to bring myself back to a centered state.
15. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year? I downloaded the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic game for Android. It’s delightful, but I spent way too much time on it. (See also: Dealing with the causes of my anxiety.)
16. What was the best way you used your time this past year? Walks and elliptical time.
17. What was biggest thing you learned this past year? I am in charge of my life.
18. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2013 for you. I’m super busy living my thirties while making up for the time I lost in my twenties, going through the developmental stages missed in adolescence, and re-parenting my inner-child. Maybe someday I’ll catch up so I can live one decade at a time, but it’s not going to be 2014, so I’m doing my best to suck as much joy out of the journey as possible.