2018 in Review

Happy last day of 2018! I can't believe this year is almost over. I'm always excited for the start of a new year, but I don't want to start thinking about 2019 before I take some time to reflect on 2018.

2018 Word of the Year - intention. Setting monthly goals and narrowing my focus each month helped me to keep this word at the forefront of my mind. Also, the word intention for me echoes the idea of having control over my life. I set intentions for my day, my week, my month, etc. and I get to be in charge of how I feel. I may not control what happens, but I do get to control how I respond and what I make out of the situation. That mentality shift was a huge part of my year. 

Biggest change of 2018 - career shift. In August I changed positions at work, going from an administrative role to a communications position. It still feels fairly new to me, but I'm thankful that it came along at just the right time and has led me to a new opportunity. The company I work for was purchased by another company, and for a while I didn't know if I would even have a job in 2019. However, I was offered a marketing position with the purchasing company, and I start in a couple of days. It is a much larger company, and while in some ways that is intimidating, I think it will be a great move and I look forward to my new role. 

Biggest mentality shift - my beliefs about money. I talked about this some in my money-focused goal post, but in the past I've had a shaky relationship with money. I viewed money in a negative light, and hated talking about and dealing with financial matters. I felt like I wasn't the type of person who was good at making money, and that I was drawn to careers that are notoriously non-lucrative. However, this year I read You Are a Badass at Making Money, and it totally changed my perspective. I don't necessarily think this book is life-changing for everyone, but for me it was just what I needed to hear. After reading that book and really taking time to understand my beliefs around money and working to change those (negative) beliefs, I have seen tremendous change in my financial life. Sure, we still have a lot of work to do to be where we would like to be financially, but I no longer see our financial life as a black hole. 

Blogging lessons learned - I got into a pretty good groove this year, with the exception of the holiday season, of posting twice a week. I've also made a conscious effort to create more style content, with the goal of at least 3 style posts a month. With the start of my new job, it may take some time to figure out if my current schedule still works, but for now I feel good about the type and frequency of my content around here. I did give myself permission to slow down over the holidays, and I didn't post as much, and I felt zero guilt about that. 

Instagram discoveries - I started using Instagram Stories this year and I've really been loving it. I love the casual, behind the scenes nature of Stories, and it's been really fun to use. I follow a casual schedule of posting about different things on different days, because that kind of scheduling makes me happy. I hope to continue to use Stories next year, and I have some plans to shift from sharing book posts on my regular Instagram to doing some regular "book talks" on Stories, so I'm excited about that. #booknerd (Follow me I'm @shealennon!) 

Books read - At the time of this post, I have finished 88 books this year, which far exceeded my GoodReads goal of 50 books. I read a lot more nonfiction this year as well, and shared my favorites (for fiction as well) here

Goals - This year I set out to do a Happiness Project and focus on a theme every month to increase my overall happiness. I really liked having a monthly focus, I think it help me get more done and I do think it helped me feel happier overall. I think I will continue the monthly theme for goals into 2019. 

What didn't go well - There are a couple of things that I think I could have done better in 2018, and now that I know I'm an enneagram one, they both seem very one-ish to me. I hold on so tightly to my to-do list and to the things I feel I must do, that I often let them stress me out a little too much. I need to remember that the world won't stop turning if I go to the grocery store a day later or fold the laundry on a different day from when I started it. Secondly, I struggle with needing to control a lot of our home and parenting responsibilities, and my controlling tendencies often manifest as criticism towards my husband when he does things differently from the way I would do them. I would like to be better about that in the future. 

{Family updates}

Aaron - Aaron has been in grad school for the past couple of years, working on his Masters in School Counseling. In the spring of this year, he balanced his coursework with teaching full time and coaching golf, and in the fall he started a job at a new school in a different district, while also continuing his grad classes. This is probably the busiest he's ever been, which definitely made the year more challenging for all of us. Thankfully the busiest season has passed, and we survived! 

Jona - 2018 was a big year for Jona. He started kindergarten in the fall, and while he struggled with drop-offs for the first month or so, he has grown to love school and these days usually wakes up ready to go. He also got glasses this year and that has been an adjustment as well. Keeping track of glasses is a big responsibility for a little guy, but he has done a great job of wearing them and not complaining about it. He is growing up so much and we joke that he is a mini adult. He is very conscious of safety (and has told me a few times to slow down when I'm driving) and protecting his sister. He also pulls out big vocabulary words (like "apprehensive" and "similarly") that make him sound like such an old soul. He's still very obsessed with Legos and will sit and work on a set for hours. 

Violet - This year I feel like Violet went from baby to full-blown toddler. She is a little girl with a big personality, and she is not afraid to let us know how she feels. She talks nonstop, and when she's not talking she's likely singing or eating. Although she's three years younger than Jona, being the "little" sister doesn't phase her and she is constantly bossing him around. She has a never-ending supply of energy and is pretty happy most of the time. However, when she doesn't get her way she lets her BIG feelings be known. She is expressive and dramatic, and she both wears us out and cracks us up. 

How was 2018 for you? What are some things you want to remember? 

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