Here we are, on the last day of 2016. It’s hard to not get reflective and a tiny bit sappy today, right?
Recently I pulled up the post I wrote on the first day of 2016. It reminded me what it felt like to be on the ‘before’ side of everything that this year held. We got to see several things we’d fought for come to fruition (lookin at you, law school) and made our biggest geographic move to date. My husband and I joke that this was “the year of the upgrade.” Case in point: I sit here writing this on a laptop I bought this year, in a house we moved into this year, in a new state.
Here’s the headlines of 2016:
- Logan graduated, commissioned into the Air Force, and passed the bar exam!
- We moved to Oklahoma, getting our first taste of living in the plains, in a small town, and on a base.
- We paraglided and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life!
- I finished my personal assistant job and trained my replacement.
- We soaked in as much local life as possible, including lots of deliciousness from the Triangle Bucket List and as much sweet time with friends as humanly possible.
- I read a ridiculous number of books. 93 to be exact.
- So many fabulous weddings! I lost count but the tally was at least ten.
- Most recently, I saw a porcupine in the wild. Apparently we have those here in Oklahoma.
This year’s travel was an all-time high: South Carolina, Atlanta, Alabama, and culminating in a European adventure that included England, Scotland, France, Italy, and Switzerland. I got to head to Florida for a family wedding and celebrate bachelorette weekends in Virginia and at the North Carolina beach.
To say this was a big year feels like a massive understatement.
Instead of a concrete goal for the year, I proposed an approach for 2016: happy and unperfected. If I’m honest, I thought about that phrase for about a week and it didn’t cross my mind again for the next 11 months. 2016 felt more intense than that. It was a year of fighting the good fight, staying in the game until the [sometimes bitter] end. A lot of my year was built around managing a demanding job while supporting Logan’s never-ending slog through the last semester of school and bar prep. By the way, all lawyers who make it through that process deserve medals: grueling doesn’t begin to cover it.
But progress, not perfection.
If I had to pick one word to sum up the year, it’s stretching. There have been so many things we’ve fought to finish this year, to complete things well even when they’re tough. Then there’s the whole other category of on-ramping with the military that requires you to completely give up control of location, timeline, and circumstances. Both are important and have ultimately taught me so much, but in the moment have felt, well, stretching.
There’s been good stretching too: I’ve felt my NC community stretching me in all the best ways, deepening and strengthening and continuing to blow me away with how wonderful they are. Family relationships have grown and become more dear than I thought possible. My faith has stretched and grown in ways I could’ve never expected. The stretched feeling that comes with traveling in foreign cultures, straining past your senses to try and understand a language you don’t speak.
2016 has been stretching.
Later this week I’ll share my thoughts about looking ahead to 2017. But I’m grateful for the ways that 2016 stretched me.
all images copyright Teaspoon of Nose