Sunday, December 21, 2014

Preparing for 2015

2014 is slowly closing, and it feels like this has been a big year.

I opened the year unemployed, feeling determined but very, very frightened.  I was ecstatic when I gained admittance into the new career path with a new job in April, and I have to say that I'm still very proud of myself for getting that going.  It was definitely a year where career was the focus: a year of learning, of taking some bumps, of navigating new territory.  I am closing this year on some high notes, though: I have certainly proven that I can do my job well, and I've also got people encouraging me to get the next job....and I'm pretty damned excited about that.  I am so grateful to be on this path, and I'm excited about what the next year will bring.  I've lined up some meetings in January that might lead to new jobs, and I plan to be in a new job - with a major pay increase, functional (and not dysfunctional!) work environment, mentors, and colleagues as a Major Gifts Officer.  Being a development director for a small organization has been informative, but I don't particularly love wearing many hats, and I feel pulled in a hundred different directions (many of which don't interest me); I want to focus on the part of my job I love the best, and since there are many jobs like that, I'm going for it.

Unemployment created serious financial instability, and I am proud of myself for stabilizing after that.  I've paid off all but a few hundred dollars in debt, and I'm meeting all of my obligations.  I'm proud of that, because it hasn't been easy.  I've stretched myself to get the new car, and I'm stretching myself to go skiing with the ski passes that came free with that car (thank you, Subaru!).  In 2015, I intend to get such a raise that those thins won't feel like such a stretch.  In 2015, I'm going to work on savings: retirement, college, and general savings....and I'm still going to have enough money to travel a smidge, and to ski again next year (even without free ski passes!).  That's my plan, and I think it's more than just a hope, it's a real possibility, and I'm going to work hard to reach it.  A year from now, I expect a very different financial picture in my life, and I'm excited for it.  I will remain in nonprofit, doing what I love, but I will be paid more fairly than I am now.  I can't wait.

Katherine entered middle school this year, and she's grown so much physically - she's over five feet tall now, and growing before my eyes.  Our relationship is better than it has ever been, and I'm stunned at how much she has matured, and what a good person she is.  I have never loved her more.  I hope and pray that we can stay on this path, because I'm very tired of hearing, "Oh, just you wait....!" over and over again.  I am very hopeful that we will break stereotypes, and that we won't have teenager/mother drama.

I started the year incredibly strong in my fitness, and sadly it declined.  I can't run ten miles any more and I"m not sure I could run five, but I'm working on it.  I plan for another half marathon in the late spring, and I'm ready to attack that again.  I worked out five times last week, and that counts for something!  2015 will see me in a return to half marathon fitness, doing a ten (or more) mile run every weekend.  I feel better when I'm doing that, so I will.  This time, I'll be more balanced, though, striving not as much for speed but for consistency in my workouts.  I will ski all winter, hike all summer, and fill in between with running.  I feel good about that plan, and like it has more balance.  (I dream of yoga, too.  I need a plan for that....)

The year fell a bit flat in travel; I didn't get on a plane even once.  I intend to change that.  I did spent a week in the islands on a boat, even with the company of whales, and that was blissful.  I hiked, and I camped.  There were weekend trips.  All was not lost, and good times were had!

The year fell extremely flat in the romance department.  It was almost non-existent, actually.  But on the romance front, I have no goals.  I don't know what I want - I am so quick to push people away, and meet so few people without whom I feel an attraction.  I feel like I've got some lesson to learn, and it makes me sad to think I might spend the entire next year alone, but I am determined to use my life wisely, and I don't have it figured out.  I'm trying to feel Zen about it, to accept whatever will be, and to remain open to the possibilities.

It wasn't a perfect year...but it was a good one.  I remained in good health.  My daughter thrived.  I supported myself, even through some rough months.

2015 promises to be an AMAZING year, and I am ready.

But first, the joys and busy days of Christmas.  I have a week at home - a staycation - and so far I've used every minute.  We've had friends over for a mini-party, Katherine had three friends sleep over on Friday night, we went to a Christmas party, we went swimming with the cousins, and now the cousins are spending the night here.  The tree is up, the front porch is decorated with garlands and lights and bows and a wreath, and there are nutcrackers on the piano.  There are presents under the tree, and more awaiting being wrapped.

I'm a lucky woman, grateful for my life, grateful for the hope of more good times to come.

Happy holidays!

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