2016…man, what a year! There has been the good, the bad, and the hideously deformed. While I don’t think things have gone as planned for anyone, 2016 actually ended up being a pretty good year for me personally, assuming I block out everything that happened in America and the world at large.
I’m not going to rehash everything that happened to me in 2016 because, well, you’ve already read about it (and if you haven’t, check out my travel recaps here and my race reports here). But I would like to touch on some things I’ve learned this year – the serious and the not so serious.
1. I can’t do it all (well, I can, but I’d rather not). This year has seen me at my absolute busiest at various points of the year. I taught 30+ barre classes per month for the entire spring and early summer while holding down increasing responsibilities at my day job and balancing a ton of freelance work. That paid off in the form of promotions and raises, and ultimately I realized that the pace I was keeping was unsustainable. I might be able to “do it all,” but I can’t do it all well, and I can’t do it all happily. So, I decided to step back from my job at the barre studio (I’m only teaching occasional classes as a sub now) and focus on my career. While I haven’t found that elusive free time yet thanks to the crazy hours I’m working, I’m definitely feeling a little more calm.
2. I can conquer my anxiety. I made a huge leap this year when I took my first solo international trip to the Azores and Lisbon. Although I always wanted to travel solo, I never thought it was possible because of my anxiety and my ingrained fears. Still, I decided to just do it – and that turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I look at all travel completely differently now (who would have thought I’d ever return to NYC?) and found a sense of confidence I didn’t know I had. I might be 31, but I’m still growing into myself and becoming an actual adult, it seems. In addition to tackling solo travel, I’ve also practiced saying “no” to commitments that are too much and relationships that are not fruitful. Both of these situations caused huge anxiety for me in the past, but facing them head on proved to be more rewarding than I could have imagined.
3. Quality is more important than quantity. I’ve touched on this before, but when I was growing up, my mom constantly emphasized the value of “quantity over quality” when it came to our clothes for school. We could have 10 outfits from J.C. Penney or 2 from Abercrombie (not really – we were not allowed to shop at Abercrombie, but you get my point). I understand her perspective, but as an adult, I’ve come to value quality way more than quantity, especially when it comes to gear. From the incredible outdoor gear I’ve both purchased and received from KUHL to my new favorite leggings from DanaLou Fit (use code DCA15 for 15% off!), having high quality gear makes a huge difference in comfort level. I’m spoiled now and I’m not going back! Guess I better get some more freelance jobs.
4. There are an unbelievable number of arranged-marriage-related reality shows on television, and I watch them all. Married at First Sight, Arranged, Married by Mom and Dad, 90 Day Fiance – you name it, I watch it. I’m not sorry. Not at all. I am an addict and the only thing I regret is that there are not more of these shows on television.
5. I may have missed my calling. I’m pretty good at environmental science, but I probably missed my calling as a therapist. I can honestly say, because other people have said it to me enough throughout my life and especially this year for me to believe it, that I give pretty excellent advice. AJ tells me that I should pursue it as a career, but I think I’m probably too judgemental to be a therapist and would get too annoyed when people don’t take my advice. Maybe I could be a therapist who only sees people one time, gives them advice, and then never follows up to see how it went? I’m sure that would be a success.
6. A healthy lifestyle takes time. Maybe I was never that busy before, but I never really had a hard time prioritizing fitness and healthy eating until this year. Sure, it could sometimes be hard to find the motivation, but it wasn’t really hard to find an hour a day to go running or the time to prep a healthy dinner. The past few months have seen a huge drop off in my eating and exercise habits because I’m working so many hours. The idea of cooking dinner is often completely overwhelming, and taking an hour to workout seems impossible. I have had to force myself to prioritize exercise and eating well, and it hasn’t necessarily come easily. I can definitely understand why it is hard for people to make time to live healthfully when they feel overwhelmed!
7. Brussel sprouts are not that disgusting at all. I randomly got a craving for brussel sprouts a couple months ago (I have no idea how, since I am not sure I had ever consumed a brussel sprout prior to that day), so I roasted some up and ate them. They were delicious! Even AJ doesn’t mind them, so now we eat them a few times a week.
8. Being an adult means sometimes we do things that we don’t feel like doing, just because we know they’re good for us. Please see the aforementioned brussel sprouts. AJ doesn’t love them, he just doesn’t hate them, which describes how he feels about literally every vegetable. I told him that as an adult, sometimes you have to do things that are healthy for you, even if you don’t love them, just because it is the right/smart thing to do. That doesn’t mean you have to do some form of exercise you hate or choke down vegetables you can’t stand, but if you don’t mind it, then you might just have to suck it up sometimes.
9. It’s ok to let people help you. I’m not great at accepting help from people at work or in life, but this year, I’ve been forced to. I’ve learned that it’s actually pretty great to ask your husband to cook dinner when you’re overwhelmed instead of panicking your way through a stir fry. I’ve learned that delegating responsibilities at work can sometimes be challenging at first, but ultimately, it makes life easier. I’ve learned that it’s ok not to do it all yourself.
10. THE MIAMI DOLPHINS ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!! And that’s really the only thing I need to know.
LEAVE A COMMENT: What did you learn this year?