The Word to Sum My 2016 & Three New Year's Resolutions for 2017

Patience.

When I saw this trend on summing up a year in one word, my word came to me immediately: Patience. This year was incredibly life-changing for me. And yet, it was filled with waiting periods that brought my lack of patience to the surface. Sure there were such beautiful moments to cherish this year, but all the other days in between forced me into a type of patience that I wanted nothing to do with. Here were some of my waiting periods:

Waiting Period #1: The Proposal

Oliver & I had had a discussion towards the end of 2015 about getting engaged, but I had no idea his plans for proposing. Even though I flat-out told him I wanted nothing to do with the proposal – like, when it would happen, and what my ring would look like – I still got incredibly impatient with him during those few months. I couldn’t understand what was taking him so long and why he was making me wait. I went to my friends like a crazy woman, sobbing about how I thought Oliver didn’t care (when secretly they were all in on the proposal, but couldn’t say a word…such good friends I have). I patiently waited through my birthday and Valentine’s day (only four days apart from each other, so I had a lot of hope during those days), but still nothing came. Then, Oliver asked me to help him out with a friend’s proposal a few days after Valentine’s Day…which, of course, you can just guess how furious I was…and what the actual results of the night were… ;)

Waiting Period #2: Grad School & Moving

I’m kind of putting these two together since it was such a transitional period for us. After Oliver proposed I was still finishing up graduate school, and watching a lot of my friends thriving in full-time jobs. On top of that, Oliver was applying for graduate schools, which meant we had to make a huge decision on moving or not moving. The waiting to hear back from his schools…then the waiting to get my degree…then the waiting until graduation…then the waiting to find an apartment in NYC…it felt like so much for me. Also, I should probably point out the patience we had to practice in the car driving back and forth from Chicago to NYC three times during the move. Serious, serious patience required for that.

Waiting Period #3: The Wedding

Even though our engagement period was five months, it felt like a lifetime for us. You see, Oliver and I never lived together or anything – and at that point in our relationship we were ready to just be together all the time. We were sick of having to drive back and forth to each other’s apartments, working out schedules over the phone or via text, and planning a wedding whilst all of that stress. I mean, there’s so much that goes into a wedding, and by the time the day finally came we were so exhausted and more than ready to go vacate to our honeymoon.

Waiting Period #4: The Job

Maybe it’s because this is the most recent waiting period, but I feel like this particular one was the most excruciating. Having to sit around in my apartment and somehow be patient for three whole months while applying for jobs was, in my opinion, the best definition for “the worst.” I came from being such a busybody in Chicago (which rolled off from my very active self in high school) to being a couch potato in Brooklyn with nothing but cooking and cleaning to do all day. Although I finally was able to land two jobs, that process takes a while, and I had to be extremely patient with those who were interviewing me throughout it. I would act patient…but at home I was always crying, screaming, sobbing, complaining, and watching our bank account sink lower and lower. I’m telling you, my husband deserves #1 in the world after what he’s been through.

Patience. Yes, that is certainly my word.

After reading all of this you probably are thinking I’m some kind of expert at the waiting game now, that being patient is a practiced virtue in my being. Well I’m here to inform you that it’s absolutely not. Even to this very hour, I fail constantly. I’m the farthest thing from patient. I’ve been sitting feeling crappy because I have so much I want to achieve, and feel like I’ll never be able to actually pursue my dreams. I’m staring at what other writers and social media gurus are doing, and thinking those easy-to-believe lies of I’m never going to be good enough. And we all know where that goes…

I refuse to let those lies be true of me in 2017. If anything, this year throughout those waiting periods I have learned that the smaller steps towards manageable goals will help one to achieve an ultimate dream. I want my resolutions to be smaller, tangible goals that I know I can accomplish…one’s that will help me towards a grander goal. One’s that will not only fit my passions, but fill me with passion.

The 2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge

A good writer is a good reader. This particular list gets me pumped up to keep diving into all of those books I buy but never have time to read. I’m shooting for the smaller list (40 books) since the advanced list is 52, which means a book a week. But I’m not opposed to diving into that list if I end up reading all 40 before 2018!

Develop more meal plans

If you’re following me on Instagram, you probably have noticed the number of plates that I’ve been posting. I’m actually doing this on purpose! I want more of my social presence to reflect my healthful living (not just healthy eating, but mindful living & self care tips), and I want to help others by developing more meal plans for their lunches and dinners during the week. I’m hoping to curate them into some kind of publication some day, but for now, you can find them on Instagram and my 10-for-10.

Contribute writing to other publications

You see, most writers actually contribute to multiple publications. Now that I actually have free time, I want to take some pieces to other publications I love. I want to share my passion for healthful and thrifty living to larger publications that will help multiple readers in the nation, and around the world. This would require me to learn more about freelancing, pitching stories, and taking on clients. It’s a big feat – but with this extra time I have, I’m up for the challenge. Plus, we certainly won’t complain with more money flowing in to our shrinking checking account…

 

I know that was a bit long, but I have to admit, this was exactly what I needed today. I needed to see where I’ve grown, how far I’ve come this year, and take time to really think about helpful resolutions that will improve my personal and professional life. If you stayed with me throughout this entry, I love you for being such a faithful reader. Happy 2017!

 

Photo Credit: Eric Floberg