Welcoming a brand new year

The past year has been my biggest, hardest, craziest year that left me feeling small (at times), challenged, and very, very accomplished. 

I rang in 2016, and I honestly don't recall spending time sorting out any goals or resolutions. At that time, Jay and I were still long distance and I had just left him to go back to my life in the states. It was a very emotional time for us, so I couldn't think about new year's resolutions, when all I could think about was how much I was going to miss him. 

The rest of the year was wild. 

I was invited to the White House to meet the First Lady (best. day. ever). I did my taxes for the first time. I was feeling lonely and lost on my own in the states without Jay. I got a promotion at my job with the government and transitioned from working in an office to working from home. Got healthy (finally).

I traveled to New York and DC. I redesigned my website. I got a job offer in Canada, allowing me to be with Jay (a sign from God? definitely.) I went through the work permit process, which took months and resulted in stress, worry, prayer, more stress, paperwork, research, crying, and more stress (stress, stress, stress). 

I said goodbye to my first apartment. 

I drove 12 hours, nearly 500 miles, through a tornado, to my new home in Canada.

Moved into a beautiful home with Jay. Got a new job that I absolutely love. Grew closer to God and my faith.

Adopted a kitten.

Fell in love with Jay again and again every single day. Realized my weaknesses and embraced my strengths. 

I never liked the idea of a "new year's resolution" simply because I've personally never stuck to them. A "resolution" seems to be limiting, restricting, and comes with too much accountability that I just don't need to add to my every day stress. Instead, I like to choose one simple thing that I can apply to every aspect of my life.

This year I choose joy. I choose to focus my attention and energy on things that matter, instead of wasting time worrying and stressing over things out of my control. I want to plan more activities that bring me joy and be intentional about using my time wisely to do things that help me grow and feel good about myself. I want to get better at letting go — of things holding me back, of stress and anxiety, of things that just. don't. matter. I want to continue to work on myself everyday to be happier, kinder, wiser, and live every day with grace.

Here's to a strong, happy, rewarding year.