Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

The end of the year is always a time for reflection and retrospection. It is the chance to look back on the year and remember the highs as well as the lows, to view your personal and professional growth, and review your progress on your goals. I have been doing that and have come to the conclusion that 2016 rather sucked all the way around.

It did not start out this way. The first half of the year was pretty darn good. Holly and Connor were kicking ass in their various activities. Jim got a great new job. I was riding high at work. I was making progress on my 2016 One-Word and in general having a lot of fun with friends and family.

At some point in the summer, things started declining. Friends moved away suddenly without saying good-bye. Connor had his worst year ever in cross-country. Holly did not achieve her dance goals. I got a new manager and found myself stymied at work. Jim’s new job turned out to be a lot more stressful and problem-filled than even he thought possible.  I forgot about my One-Word and stopped taking care of myself. Things stopped being fun and started becoming a slog.

By the end of the year, it was even worse. Jim and I lost three grandparents between the two of us. There were sudden spousal deaths among several of my coworkers. The kids are not living up to their potential in school. Jim’s bonus went the way of the dodo bird. The election happened. The loss this week of two of the most influential celebrities of my childhood has been the proverbial nail in the coffin. 2016 officially sucked.

2017 has to be better. We have two weddings, Connor’s graduation, a family trip to Germany, and taking Connor to college in 2017. That is as of right now and is on top of the regular dance competitions and recitals, tryouts, and lessons as well as work and school-related activities. It is going to be an insanely busy year, but it has the makings of being a fun year as well.

In order for that to happen though, I know some things need to change. I thought my word from 2016 was perfect, but obviously it was not since I forgot about it most of the time. I am still working on my One-Word for 2017 and am hoping to select a word this year that will stay with me and drive me towards personal growth, something that speaks to the person I want to be in mind, body, and spirit.

I never set professional goals because I honestly do not know what I want to do with my life, but I think it is time for me to do so. I like the idea of working, but I do not necessarily like my job or my chosen career. I really need to sit down and think through some things in that regard. I also need to take a long look at this blog and ask some tough questions. Why am I doing it? What am I hoping to get out of it? What do my readers like? Am I fulfilling their wants and/or needs? (I will be sending out a survey shortly to get some feedback from my readers.)

A new year means a fresh start which means a chance to do some major tinkering in all areas of my life. 2016 was not so hot, and I feel like some of that is my own doing. If 2017 is going to be a much better year, it starts with me. Will you stay with me on my journey?

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