2017: In Review

Tis the season for reflective naval gazing, yes? Honestly, 2017 was a year for quiet, contemplative naval gazing — obviouslsy evidenced by the fact that I haven’t posted since May. In the past when I’ve gone through major shifts (like I feel like I did this year) I’ve written through it and shared a lot here. This year I just…couldn’t.
I think this was a tough year for a lot of people. Personally, politically, there was just a lot of turmoil out there in the ether and I didn’t really know how to talk about that here. That is some of the reason why I didn’t write much.

But the other part, for me at least, was that in 2017 there were so many changes that I could have shared that I just couldn’t keep pace with them. Honestly, had I written through them, I probably would have given you whiplash. You’re welcome for keeping quiet for a bit.  But here we are at the end of the year and I am feeling pulled to share a little bit. I don’t know what to do with this dusty old blog, but I’m not quite ready to give it up.

I thought we could start with everyone’s favorite end of the year wrap up?

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
I have never really been a devotee to the “word of the year” phenomenon, but in hindsight I definitely see that there was a theme for me throughout this past year. 2017 was the year of Surrender. The year I had to say to myself – Holly, you can not do it all. And I couldn’t. And I didn’t. And if you know anything about me, you know that was a very tough pill to swallow. I mean, for evidence, please see the name and content of this blog for the last decade.
In 2017 I didn’t set a single goal. I didn’t aim to improve myself, or push myself, or plan for something, or execute on a big project. None of it. And honestly that was hard for me. There were so many times I felt lost and un-anchored and desperate for some structure. But there was also part of me that felt free. Free to just flow with where life took me. And I did that. And so many times I felt energized, and alive and surprised by what surrounded me. It’s been an interesting thing to reconcile.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
My goals at the top of this website are from 2016 – so that should tell you pretty clearly about whether or not I kept any resolutions. Ha! I’m not sure if I’m going to make goals for 2018. We’ll see.
Never say never. I mean, I am turning 40 in 2018, so…

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one in my immediate family gave birth but a good friend did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No deaths in my immediate family. It was another year of feeling oddly connected to dying celebrities though. I think this has to do with the fact that I’m getting older.

5. Where did you travel?
Zero trips this year, which was just fine by me. But I definitely have the itch to go back to Palm Springs something fierce next year.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
More sleep.
Holden woke up 2-3 times a night until we sleep trained him in June. BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE OMG WHY DID WE WAIT SO LONG. It literally took one night and he has been a champion sleeper ever since. But I went 8 months straight without really sleeping more than 4 hours at a clip and that took a toll. We’ve been sleeping a solid 6 months now but it took quite a few months FOR ME to get back the ability to actually sleep through the night. My sleep isn’t perfect but it is steadily improving and I look forward to feeling slightly more rested in 2018.

7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Holden’s first birthday. (Joy)
The night before my mom had a major surgery. (Anxiety)
Christmas Eve. (Because Holden slept in until 8am and so did I, and WOW I woke up feeling festive and rested and we had a wonderful day with family.)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I found balance between work and motherhood. It’s a new pace for me, and it took ¾ of the year to figure out, but I’m there and I feel good and I don’t feel like I’m failing at everything in life.
9. What was your biggest failure?
I maybe worked out 5 times this year? That might be giving myself more credit than is due. I completely lost my fitness mojo. Obviously I wasn’t sleeping until July and working out just wasn’t going to happen – my body was pumping out enough cortisol just to survive. But in 2018 I would really like to get back to moving my body in a way that feels good physically. It’s so good for my MENTAL health, and I really missed that in my life this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Pregnancy a C-Section and the natural loss of some core stability shined a light on a congenital back issue that I have going on that caused me to suffer quite a bit of pain this year. I began seeking help for it in spring and only in the last few weeks have I felt a decent amount of relief. It’s been a long, slow process and it’s made me realize that CrossFit is not in the cards for me in the near future (or maybe ever again.) This was a very sad thing for me to come to terms with this year. I want to continue rehabilitating my back in 2018, lose some weight since that will only help things, and find new fitness that both me and my back will love.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
We bought our first home in September after looking for almost 12 months. It was exhilarating, scary and hands down the best thing we bought. I feel grateful every single day for this house. It is all the things we hoped for but thought we would have to compromise on. It was really an exercise in patience because we saw so many houses, made multiple offers, had our hearts broken and really thought we may never find The One. But then our house came along and literally everything from start to finish was easy, effortless and exactly what we had been asking for all those months. It felt like a literal gift from The Universe.

12. Where did most of your money go?
OOF, that house down payment.
13. What did you get really excited about?
Holden sleeping through the night. Celebrating two years of marriage. Surviving the first year of parenthood. Buying a house. Moving three miles away from my mom. The Holidays in our new home. Feeling like I am getting a bit of my personal mojo back after having a baby.

14. What song will always remind you of 2017?
This one.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder? Oh gosh, that’s hard. I mean – last year I was a blissfully pregnant dog mom and so excited about what was to come. This year we lived through some of the harsh realities of the first year of parenting. Haha
That said, overall I am definitely happier.
– thinner or fatter? I weigh less than I did pregnant.But definitely flabbier.
– richer or poorer? Richer for sure. In all the ways that matter.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish we had dined out more when Holden wasn’t mobile :)

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I wish I had done less panicking. I go from zero to a hundred REAL QUICK on the anxiety scale when I am not exercising. As you can imagine so this year was a hard one on the emotional management front. New baby, re-entering the work environment, family health issues, all of it. I just did a lot of panicking that probably wasn’t necessary.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
We slept in. My mom stayed the night. We had family over. There was cooking and Christmas music and way too much dessert and I went to bed with the fullest, happiest heart.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
We fell hard for The Great British Baking Show this year. That show is just too cute.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I only read 4 books this year and I don’t know if any were really favorites.
Hillbilly Elegy (Pretty darn good.)
Love Warrior (Meh.)
The Dry (Great.)
You Are A Bad Ass (Hated.)
A Return to Love (Re-Read)
I was just happy to get through them. I hope to read a lot more in 2018.
21. What was your favorite music this year?
I have been on a Country streak ever since I was on maternity leave and up all night nursing and watching old episodes of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. Spotify tells me Luke Bryan, Maren Morris, Chris Stapleton, Lady Gaga and Beirut were my most played artists. Seems about right.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
Did I even watch a film this year? I don’t think I did and that is sad.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 39 and I can’t remember what I did. Is that mom brain? Did we just relax? I’m not sure. Hoping to make this next year’s milestone birthday one to remember.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was pretty darn good, I don’t want to be greedy.

25. What was the political issue you that stirred you?
Like so many, I think everything under the entire feminist umbrella made me feel stirred up and like taking action.

26. What kept you sane?
Am I sane? Is that a fact? I am not sure sure. I don’t know if I would bet on that you guys — I went a really, really long time without any sleep. :)

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.
I am much stronger than I thought I was, despite the fact that I have much less muscle.

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