2017: A Year of Growth

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2017 a year of growth? Sure was.

It’s January 1st, 2018 and I have big plans for the year ahead. But before I jump in, I feel the need to look back over the last year – reflect on my accomplishments, missed opportunities and what I learned about myself. Something I think everyone should do as a way to highlight all of the wonderful experiences they had.

Highlights, moments, memories and accomplishments from 2017

  • Lost 10lbs
  • Ran my first 10k Trail Race
  • Narrowed in on my new business venture and started planning for 2018
  • Enrolled in courses to get my new business up and running
  • Running is now a part of me. Still love how it feels after each and every run. Even hills.
  • Celebrated 20 years of marriage with a really great guy
  • Road tripped to Franklin (Nashville) Tennessee with the fam for an amazing family reunion
  • Spent more time with my sister
  • Huge amounts of quality time with my kids
  • Crewing for Adam’s (with Vicky) FTK of The Bruce Trail (9 days, 21 hours and 14 mins)
  • Laughing each and everyday with Nunzio

I would definitely say it was a year of extreme growth and learning for me

2017 Reflections

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplashed

Missed Opportunities in 2017

I accepted a job simply for a paycheck. Why is this a missed opportunity? Well, I promised myself at the start of 2017 that I would establish a business that took advantage of my experience, skills and passions – I wanted to set my pace, my hours and work hard for ME, not a company. Instead, I took a job doing the same old thing because it was close to home and had a regular paycheck. While it was the ‘fiscally’ responsible decision for our family, it was not the right decision for my happiness. Looking back I wish I had focused more on building my business and held to the promise I had made to myself. I had an opportunity to follow my dreams but didn’t. I did what I said I wouldn’t do – go back to a corporate job.

I didn’t run enough. I started to decrease the number of runs per week toward the fall and I really don’t know why. I regret this as I really have found a love for running – I see my body differently because of running. I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been and I see that as beautiful.

Didn’t hit goal. I gained 5lbs (happily) while in Nashville in July and maintained that weight for the R E S T of 2017. This is a huge disappointment but I own it and have promised myself that I can and will reach goal by April 1st. I’ve got 12 weeks to drop 20lbs. I can do it.

But the biggest lesson I’m taking into 2018 is that there is no substitution for the here and now.

 

Game Changers that Unexpected Changed my Priorities

My need and want for less stuff. About half way through 2017 I realized how having more ‘stuff’ no longer made me happy. In fact, I found that having so much actually increased my anxiety. I found myself unhappy walking around my home – a place that has always been one of the biggest sources for calm and happiness. My home had become cluttered. Really cluttered. With stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Stuff I didn’t want or like. So I made a decision to begin purging my home of things that did not bring me happiness. (KonMari helped me here!)

This realization has helped me feel increased happiness {and less anxious) and in an odd way, more freedom. Clearing out cabinets and shelves of items that I don’t need or want has been therapeutic for me – a huge game changer for me.  (This is a huge win for my 2017 A Year of Change!)

Spending quality time with people I love. This goes with having less stuff – last year really opened my eyes to valuing experiences over things (ok, so this started earlier than 2017 but last year it really hit home). Simple walks with the dog, hiking the trails, road trips, singing loud with my kids, dancing in the kitchen, reading in the yard, running with my husband… these simple activities give me more happiness than any purchase ever could. Being in the moment, enjoying the experience while it happens and sharing a laugh means more to me each and every day.

Crewing (once again) with Vicky. A lifetime game changer was spending 9 days on The Bruce Trail with Vicky (September) as we crewed for her wickedly amazing husband, Adam. The experience we shared will never be, and could never be duplicated; it taught me so much about myself, friendship, kindness, and what the human body can endure when you have a goal and determination in your heart. I would say more about this momentous experience but I struggle to write in detail about it (strangely).

Those days and nights – the entire experience – was so profound, special and life-changing that I don’t have the words to truly explain how life altering this was for me. One day I hope to recount those nine days in great detail, but for now, they are still very personal and I honestly think I’m still processing the impact it’s had on me.

2017 A Year of Growth…

My Family. 2017 A Year of GrowthVicky and Moi Crewing for Adam - 2017 A Year of Growth2017 A Year of Growth

Things I Didn’t Get to in 2017

I didn’t get my business fully up and running. This took a back seat to my actual 9-5 and family adventures. But as the year started to come to a close, I got back on track and have made some great progress, which has me setting huge goals for 2018.

I didn’t save enough money. That won’t be a priority for 2018 either, as my focus will be on starting my new business (will see a drop in my income at some point this year), my daughter leaves for University in September and we have a few trips planned.

I didn’t give ME as much attention as I needed. Overall 2017 was a good year, but I didn’t give myself the attention and focus needed to be a really healthy year. There were moments where my depression took hold and never wanted to leave, my anxiety kept me from doing things I love and away from people that make me happy, and I did not do enough to try to keep migraines at bay. Having said that I know that 2017 was the first year I did TRY to put myself first and that in itself was a big step for me. There were day’s days and I succeeded and days that were disastrous. But I did what I could and there is no turning back.

 

I guess if I were to summarize 2017, I would definitely say it was a year of extreme growth and learning for me. I have spent time learning about what I want out of life and I discovered that I’m not afraid to make the changes needed for that life. I am stronger than I ever imagined and I have learned that I don’t need to be perfect, I just need to be me.

And trust me, being me is not easy. I struggle daily but I have an incredibly supportive husband and kids that love me unconditionally. These three people allow me to be the best and worst person I NEED to be without judgment. They are my world and if 2018 is exactly like the past 365 days, my world will be perfect because of them.

As the New Year begins, I need to thank 2017 for so many wonderful experiences and opportunities – even the ones I didn’t take, for each moment impacted me in some way. But the biggest lesson I’m taking into 2018 is that there is no substitution for the here and now. To live in the moment is the only way to experience life – each encounter and moment needs to be experienced while it’s happening to truly realize the gift it is/will bring to your life. Trust me.

Thanks 2017. You were good to me.

Erin Abbatangelo, the sole writer of this blog

 

 

 

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