2014: A Look Back

2014

In reviewing my themes, goals and intentions for 2014, I’m happy to say progress was made in many aspects. The year was a difficult one for me – perhaps one of my most – and I believe that without these predetermined areas of focus, the past 365 days could have been much worse.

In the fall, I went through a bit of a blue period that was much too reminiscent of a bout of depression I experienced in my early/mid 20s. This past year, however, I had the added “bonuses” of extreme stress punctuated by feelings of anxiety. I used the knowledge I had gained working through that past experience and took action quickly, which involved long periods of self-reflection and exploration, classes and learning about natural remedies for the blues and, finally, finding a therapist.

While all of these were helpful in remedying the situation, the latter has been truly transformative and I’m continuing this work despite being back on the upside of life. I’ve always said that everyone needs a therapist and I’m grateful I’ve found one with whom I really connect.

Although 2014 was not my best year, there were many positives and, thankfully, even the negatives were cathartic – providing many lessons and an opportunity for growth. Ultimately, it was a strong reminder that this – right now, this very moment and all that is happening and not happening and how I feel and don’t feel and how I perceive it all – is life. And, sometimes, life is messy and sad, but you need to take time to feel the messy and the sad. And, sometimes it’s necessary to take a few steps back to move forward and accept that forward might not look quite like you expected (or, even close). And, all of this is okay and I, and my life, are works in progress.

So, as I take time to reflect on the past year, For all that was and is, and begin to look toward 2015, I am grateful – for the good, the bad, the life.

friendships and family. I would be remiss to not include first on my list of reflection and gratitude those people who I cannot imagine life without. I have always been fortunate to have a strong support network, which becomes even more imperative during times of distress, and each of these individuals hold a special place in my heart. The past year brought bountiful opportunities for new memories with existing friends and family, whether that be through a phone call, a text or in-person experiences, as well as many new friendships. I am forever grateful to have these people in my life.

adventures. It’s no secret I have a bit of wanderlust and I’m grateful travel is a big part of my life and continues to be year after year, whether it be for work or pleasure. I am also fortunate to have many special people in my life who live across the globe, providing opportunity for at least a few excursions each year to visit some of these friends and family members. The past year brought trips to Sacramento, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Jackson Hole (times two), Angel Fire + Taos, Pittsburgh, New York City, Harrisburg, Nashville, Boise, South Dakota, a beach weekend with cousins in North Carolina and my inaugural European adventure in the form of an internal street paper conference in Scotland.

There were also many close-to-home adventures, including multiple weekend trips to the mountains (um, Baconfest), hosting out-of-town guests, camping, hiking and hours spent exploring the wonderful city I am grateful to call home — jaunts to the Denver Art Museum and Denver Botanic Gardens, live-music at Red Rocks and other venues, a Colorado-symphony Valentine’s Day, derby party, many hours spent in the darkness of movie theaters and lots of cheering for the Rox from Coors Field and the Broncos from Sport Authority Field at Mile High. I also joined a skeeball league and a weekly trivia team.

taking risks + learning + firsts. boot camp. hand-lettering class. French lessons. smudging class. mood medicine class. castles. Denver VOICE presidency. Christmas in Denver. renewed love of cooking. dating. therapy. vulnerability. intranet. dog.

reading + writing + journaling. One goal + intention I set for 2014 was to spend more time reading, writing and journaling, and I’m happy to report this is one area I succeeded in fully. My participation in two books clubs for a large portion of the year (one is now defunct) was definitely a catalyst for achieving the reading portion of the goal, but I also took time to enjoy many books on my own. While my goal is to continue to increase my frequency of journaling and blogging, I did manage to begin a Week In Review blog post that I have successfully completed each week since the beginning of September.

milestones. one year of home ownership. seven years in Denver. seven years at my company. 34th birthday. promotion. kicked off a big work project. served as secretary of the Denver VOICE. elected as 2015 Denver VOICE president. Scotland. successfully completed Whole30. first Christmas tree. outstanding leader award.

celebrations. If I had to choose one word to describe this section it would be babies. In the span of just a bit of one week, I had seven — SEVEN — friends who welcomed babies into their lives, including a set of precious twins to one of my besties. In addition to the plethora of babies, I also celebrated with friends in the form of weddings + bridesmaid, bachelorette parties, graduations, engagements, housewarmings, birthdays and holiday parties.

looking forward. While I am notorious for making lists and grand plans, I have chosen to keep it simple for 2015. Of course I’m looking forward to what the year will bring and can’t wait for those events already in the works — Neil deGrasse Tyson, Foo Fighters, Panama, completion of a big work project, writing + yoga in PARIS, weddings — I’m giving up the long list to focus on three key areas: self + progress + continually beginning again. 

Here’s to wishing all a very happy New Year and a 2015 that brings much happiness to you and yours.

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