I hesitated to write this year-in-review post because looking back at 2015, I kept saying to myself, “Not that much happened, really.” I think that’s the thing with mothering and adulting- the days are long, but time flies. And the older I get, the shorter the years feel. So it makes sense that the past year didn’t immediately stick out as remarkable. Sort of.
I spent the early part of this week going through old emails and Outlook calendar appointments. I also deleted a ton of old emails. That was liberating! Taking the time to look back is important. It’s a reminder of the growth that happened and milestones achieved. It’s also totally OK to look back with a sense of pride and feel good about your time.
Turns out my family and I did a lot in 2015. I had a big milestone birthday- 40! Funny that I glossed over that initially. I started a business and a book. These are not small things.
In my experience, women do this a lot. We downplay things for fear of sounding braggy. It’s also a parenting survival strategy; if you dwell too long on the “stuff,” you’ll spin your wheels and get overwhelmed. As 2016 revs up, I vow to not downplay things. I will speak with confidence. I will give myself credit. I have earned it (and so have you!).
Turns out, 2015 was remarkable. In big and small ways. Here are the highlights:
- February- First annual winter family trip. In Christmas 2014, Santa brought fewer gifts and a little cash for us to go somewhere. We voted for Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City and had a blast! This tradition will definitely continue in 2016.
- On C’s 7th birthday, February 23, 2015, I started my own business, Sheldrake Consulting.
- March 15- L reached 5 years off-treatment and is now officially in remission.
- April 13- L went to his first Long-Term Survivor Follow-Up clinic appointment. He also officially graduated to one appointment/year!
- April 19- I am godmother to my nephew, Patrick and spent an early birthday with my entire family and best friend back in Jersey.
- April 21- The BIG 4-0!
- Late June- As a birthday present to myself, I rented Hilltop Cottage for (and from) myself and my girlfriends and I went away for a kid-free week in the sun. This was one of the best weeks of my life.
- Professionally, my colleagues and I survived the summer while down two full-time staff people. We were supervisor-less from August until December. This honestly was one of the more challenging times of my professional life. I learned a big lesson, too. If more responsibilities are forced on you, ask for more money. I didn’t. I should have.
- June/July- I created a blog series called #SAMid, designed to highlight the joys, struggles, and realities of being a mid-career professional in higher education. Colleagues contribute heartfelt and thought-provoking pieces. Search #SAMid on the blog to find the awesome-ness.
- Labor Day weekend my mom, Grandmom Jersey, came out to PTW and we all swam in Lake Michigan! In September!
- In September I was diagnosed with tennis and golfer’s elbow- despite not playing either of those- and began PT. Apparently you can get a “sports” injury from too much typing. Ah, 40.
- September is childhood cancer awareness month. I was invited to speak to the Nursing Student Association about our journey. It was a packed house. What an honor!
- Fall- C’s soccer team, the Okemos Fireants, went undefeated!
- Fall- I conquered my fear of home improvement and: 1) stained an old desk that is now in my writing corner and 2) painted our coastal living room.
- November- I participated in #NaNoWriMo and began our family memoir, Dear Boys. I’m 30K words in! Stay tuned for official release in 2016.
- December brought L’s tenth birthday and our annual trek to Jersey (Joisey!) to visit family and friends.
Whew! What a wonderful year. Looking back on it, we did do a lot. I highly recommend this year-in-review exercise.
Cheers to you. I hope 2015 was a good one for you and yours and that 2016 is even better.
I am lucky and grateful to be here and looking forward, with confidence, to 2016.