2016 has been a wild ride. Blogging fell way, way, way to the back of my priorities list for the first time since 2008ish (weird), but I can't seem to give it up completely...so it feels right to do a year end post and maybe I'll blog more in 2017. Maybe! Who even knows anymore.
- I received an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University! This was my biggest, most exciting moment. I just never imagined I would do something like this, and not only starting but finishing it felt humongous.
- In the same week I submitted my thesis, I was offered a job...teaching Writing...at BYUI! Sitting in the Starbuck's in Queen Creek and seeing that email come in will forever be burned into my memory. I sat there, exhausted, and cried openly over my laptop. The next semester I got a second section and a leadership position. It's been a year of massive growth in this new job.
- Clark turned 4. 4 has been harder than 3, but I am still so proud and overjoyed by the sweet, funny person my Joony is.
- We went to San Diego, which on the surface sounds like a fun family weekend, but which was actually something we desperately needed at the time. I didn't even realize at the time how badly our family needed that trip, just the three of us. It was the weekend of both mine and David's graduate commencement ceremonies, so we were coming off nearly two years of grad school and were about to dive into career changes that really tested us. That cool, windy, relaxed weekend came at the exact right moment.
- My girlfriends, the most necessary source of magic in my life. There were two Shpitty weekends (we went to a David Sedaris reading in April and then I went to her wedding in August!), a week with Meeshelle and Baby Than in September, two visits with Meredith (one was a sunrise airport layover hang that I maintain was the best decision ever), a hundred park-and-soda dates with Kate...I knew it before, but girlfriends are necessary. I love them fiercely.
- In the last two months of the year I took charge of my eating. I'm really happy with the changes I've seen because of that.
- Our anniversary--both the 8th wedding anniversary and the 100 month anniversary. I'm so proud of our marriage and I love my husband more than ever.
- The election. Ugh. Sigh. All of it. I lost a lot of faith in humanity over the course of this election, and not just because of the outcome--because of the process that got us there and the ugly, nasty things I saw people I once respected justifying. Truly disheartening.
- Shifting employment. In some ways it was really good, and in a lot of ways it really tried us. Changing jobs is really, really stressful. It was hard on each of us personally and on our family as a unit.
- Our move to Arizona really sunk in. The first year felt like a dreamland. "We're here! We made it out of Rexburg! Let's get In N Out!" This year a lot of realities set in--how stressful the move was, how deeply we miss Idaho, how different building a life here is than it was in Rexburg. That was hard.
- Religion was a hot topic on my mind this year. It felt hard and confusing. I think I'm in a good place again, but it's been a year of ups and downs for sure.
- Anxiety. It's been a couple years now of finding things that alleviate it, things that aggravate it, learning when I cannot avoid it, and coping with the whole ride. A lot of days are pretty good. Some days are pretty bad. Exercise, organization, and a little bit of medication helps me through it all.
ON MY BRAIN
- Health. Fitness. Diet. All of the normal New Year things! I feel grateful to have a head start on my goals there.
- Teaching. I have so many jumbled thoughts on improving and growing and advancing here, it feels a little overwhelming! And then I remember that I have years to figure it all out. A lifetime! It's okay!
- Little Clarkjoon, who needs to much attention but who is also so independent. He's starting kindergarten in 2017! KINDERGARTEN. My heart breaks at the thought.
Oh gosh, I feel like I'm forgetting a million things. Doesn't the year in review feel like a big blur by December 30? I'm excited to get to work in 2017. I hope and feel like there are big, good things happening...but I'm also really excited about the small day-to-day things, like hustling away at my teaching job and my health and parenting week after week. Let's do it!