This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission. For more info, please see my disclosure page in the drop-down menu above.
I’m feeling a little broadsided that it is the first week of 2020, you guys!
I mean, I watched the days tick by on the calendar but it still seems a little mindblowing. The last decade of my life flew by! It’s hard to believe that I have lived in my little valley longer than I have lived anywhere else. That my baby turns 10 this month. That this fall marks 10 years in our home. And that, come August, I’m going to have a Senior in high school. What! How?
In the last few days, I’ve been taking a mental inventory of the past year. Getting up the mountain, away from the busy-ness of life, surrounded by a peaceful blanket of snow tends to do that to me.
I found a neat little Year in Review journaling exercise in the winter edition of the Magnolia Journal that really got me thinking. If you’d like to print out the prompts, you can find them HERE. (Look for the link right above the first photo that reads “click for downloadable content”.) I cut the prompts out of the magazine and old school pasted them right into my journal. In this digital age, I haven’t done anything like that in years! It was fun and lit a little fire for me. I’m not saying I’m going back to scrapbooking, but maybe it’s time to spend more energy on recording my life. If for no other reason than clearing the cobwebs in my own head.
There was a quote included in the exercise that caught my eye.
Isn’t it funny how day to day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different?C.S. Lewis
It’s so true.
In the middle, everything seems the same but as I look back with 2020 vision (So punny! Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) so much has changed.
2019 for me was all about shedding… bad habits, bad feelings, excess hormones, unnecessary weight, fears, and energy. The year before had been a horrendous one. Yuck, galore. I was constantly sick, exhausted, and felt so alone. When 2019 rolled around, I knew that things needed to change big time. On a bit of a whim, I chose the word MAGIC to focus on. I could never have imagined what that would spark in me!
While this bathroom was definitely my most eye-catching project in 2019, the woman behind the camera was the most important one.
I’d like to write a post about my health journey, so I’ll save that story for another day. But I will say that small, simple, unremarkable daily changes have literally changed my life. When I look back to a year ago today, everything truly is different. And it all started with slowing down to look for magic in everyday moments.
When you start looking for magic, or God’s hand, you start to find it everywhere.
Mindset. It’s all about mindset. From the moment you wake up to the moment you rest your head at night. Everything is up to you. Your emotions, your thoughts, your perceptions, your reactions. Every moment.Michael Bliss
- My blog: Obviously. (Please tell me you read that in Snape voice.)
- Posting to social media in general: I had to take a big step back, especially from Facebook. Businesswise that’s a big no-no but mentally, it was definitely the right choice for me in that moment. Especially since my day job requires so much online presence.
- Finances: Murphy straight up kicked my butt! Oh, and teenagers are freaking expensive. Just a warning to any of you young moms. Start saving up NOW. If you’re like me, you’re gonna need it!
- Scripture study: Eek. My effort was dismal at best.
- Home projects: I finished one project in 2019. One. Hence the lack of posting here or on social. I spent a lot of time dreaming up things I wanted to do but just didn’t have the extra cash to tackle them. Sometimes there are years like that, and it’s frustrating but also ok.
- My health: More on that to come.
- Finances: I could have dug myself (and fam) a bigger hole while doing all the cool projects because projects make me unbelievably happy PLUS they give me something to post. Instead, I hunkered down and re-trained my brain. I started budgeting again, cut majorly down on our eating out, started cooking more, wore the same ugly clothes every dang day, listened to obscene amounts of Dave Ramsey, avoided shopping like the plague, passed on girls nights, sold a bunch of stuff, and found odd little ways to make extra cash.
- Work: In 2019, I chose to become really consistent in my work at my family business. It took me months to figure out and to be honest, I haven’t seen results yet but I know they will come. I spent a ton of time studying and learning how to be better at my day job. It feels awesome to look back and see my skill levels increase. I taught myself photography, marketing, design, and scary software. Yay me!
- Prayer: Praise hands, guys. Prayer was my lifeline in 2019 and it was oh so good for my soul!
- The Bird Bath: My one completed project. I finally finished our cute little powder bath and it turned out SO fun. I learned how to wallpaper. Cut an old dresser down into a vanity. Changed out lighting. And even installed a sink and faucet all on my own. Plumbing is hard! Now if I could just figure out how to convert live photos into regular ones so I can upload them and actually write a post. Sigh.
I learned in 2019 that there is a time and season. Also, that things often come in waves… lessons, trials, storms, and abundance too.
I remembered how to look for magic. In the world, in others, but especially in myself.
Magical Moments of 2019
- Watching my shy daughter step out of her shell and act in her first High School musical
- Realizing you haven’t cried all day! (Goodbye, excess estrogen!)
- Tubing down a “raging river of death” while trying not to fall in from laughing too hard
- GIFs battles with my brothers
- That last payment on a debt along with the subsequent dance party!
- When the Cole Train says “No!” and the stands go crazy
- Sleeping in my very own camp trailer that has running water and my family snuggled up inside
- When my suburban starts
- Creating something beautiful
- My gem playing the piano
- Acting on that scary little prompting
- Campfires under the stars with guitars and a messy serving of smores on the side
- Hugs from my kids
- Secretly listening to my son sing when he’s got his headphones on and doesn’t realize he’s belting out Willie and Waylon
- Late-night laughter with my big man, then getting scolded by the kids for being too loud.
And, although I know that physically there isn’t a lot to show for the effort, it is a year I can look back on and be proud of.
I laid the seeds for good things to come.