In 10 days (and counting) I will turn 30. This is the fastest year I can remember living. With less than two weeks to go to finish my goals, I’ve come a long way. Life has brought some surprises and adventures and it is time reevaluate my goals and explore what can be accomplished in the next few days. Few things remain on my list, which is really exciting, some goals I have compromised on, and others will just not happen.
Traveling around the state, the country, and internationally has definitely been a theme this year. I’ve traveled to France and Italy, spoken and read the languages in each country, hiked Pilot Mountain, and had the most amazing chocolate and sangria in Ashville, North Carolina. I also said farewell, and I love you, to someone I love and have lost.
Nurturing, health, and creativity have also been key aspects of life this year. The back yard of our home was filled all summer with fresh herbs, hydrangeas, and a Myer Lemon tree that I adore. Tapping into creativity through crafting, painting, and drawing has reminded me to laugh and play more. Making delicious and creative homemade ice creams (port and plum was my favorite) and homemade pasta that would make the Italians proud were highlights of the summer and fall. Physically, I ran a 10K in January and took boxing lessons. I also recently tried hot yoga!
Along these same lines, becoming more resilient and not being so hard on myself will be a lifelong journey, and another blog post all together, but this is the one goal I am the most proud of working toward.
Professionally, I attended NASPA for the first time and found a home in a professional association and the heartwarming and intelligent people who represent it. Last week, I leaned fully into the experience of the Women’s Leadership Institute, which led to memories and connections that will last a lifetime. This year was also a very successful year for publications. The goal was to publish one article; I authored or co-authored three instead. I’ve helped to make the world a better place and helped to make someone’s wish/goal come true.
Along the way this year, I’ve needed to compromise on some goals. With #52in52, audio books have been a great investment, but they are not necessarily the books I truly enjoy. Recently, I topped 39 books and am still hopeful I will come close to, or reach, 52 books. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to time off at the holiday. Each book read is reviewed on Goodreads. I did not go white water rafting, but I did work towards conquering my fear of water by jumping off a boat into a lake (terrifying) and swimming around the boat. Evan was my champion during this experience. His giant smile and outstretched hands made me want to stay in the water as long as I could without letting my fear get the best of me. This was huge and I’m really proud of myself for doing this. Maybe, in a few years, I will work up the courage to water ski. Financially, we did save a good deal of money; however, I was given the opportunity to travel to Greece for three weeks in January, so I will be spending my money on that instead! So instead of investing the money, I am learning about investing through reading web articles, setting up a mock portfolio in Google Finance, and, of course, talking to Evan.
Finally, some goals are just not going to happen. One goal I had this year was to answer the question of weather or not I wanted to pursue a Ph.D. The answer is yes, and as fate would have it, I found an excellent program right down the road three weeks ago. The deadline for application is December 15th. This is one of the reasons I need to comprise some of my goals. Reading 52 books in 52 weeks may not happen, because for the last three weeks the only thing I have been reading is the GRE prep book (I took the test today). Journaling, reflecting, and blogging may not be reached (although I think I will be very close) because I will be writing a letter of interest, editing a writing sample, and updating my resume. I will not be blogging my way through Empowering Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs, but am half way through reading it. I hit the seven mile mark in training for a half marathon and got an upper respiratory infection that stopped me in my tracks for about three weeks. On Thanksgiving, I ran for the first time in weeks and it went well, but I will not run 13.1 miles this year. I will run it next year and am investigating several half marathons to sign up for!
Looking back on this post, I can’t help but smile at the spatial comparison of what I have accomplished this year and what goals will not be reached, or are still in progress. One of my favorite parts of this journey, and my story of 2013, are the people I connected with and kept with me along the way. There have been countless words of wisdom, uplifting “you’ve got this” moments, and discussions around goals, life, and work with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. I am proud of myself for the goals reached this year and the experience has been so much more enriched by the people along the way. If 29 is this damn good, I welcome 30 with open arms, a giant smile, and anticipation of new adventures, dreams, relationships and reads.
What was your biggest success this year? What goals are you the most proud of? Who supported, affirmed, lifted, or helped to transformed you (#wlsalt) along the way?