Things I Left Behind in 2018

As we’re all reading ourselves for resolutions, I want to talk about some of the things I gave up in 2018. It was a great year for me and I think a lot of that has to do with the things I stopped doing, just as much as what I started to do. So here’s five things I left behind that I hope to leave in the past as I head into the new year.

  1. Weighing myself
    After trying to limit my carbs by restricting all bread, I realized I’m a fad dieter in dangerous ways. I find it too easy to restrict. I’m much more likely to say, “I’ll never eat __ again,” rather than trying to figure out how to moderate a certain food group. So when I got on a scale after months of no bread and nothing much had changed, I decided I was done with a weekly weigh-in. It only discourages healthy dieting (at least for me). I wanted to work on what my body could do – not the number it showed. So I learned how my body felt after eating certain things, and stopped focusing on my weight. And there’s something to say about listening to your body and quitting the mental war based on how you feel before and after stepping on the scale.
  2. Buying “fast fashion”
    I can’t remember the last time I shopped at TJ Maxx or even Target, two of my go-to stores when I needed a top. In an effort to save money, I started thrifting. This caused not only my money to increase, but also my mentality of “buy, buy, buy” to lessen. As I entered more of the thrift community, I realized how terrible fast fashion really is from an environmental and social viewpoint. And personally, I was put face-to-face with my shopaholism. Which I know sounds dramatic. But I’m still coming to terms with how bad my spending (on useless stuff) was – I would buy a new top an hour before meeting friends , but like, all the time! Multiple times a week! So in the last couple of months, I’ve stopped letting myself mindless buy cheap clothes. And I’m happier with myself and my closet.
  3. Friends that felt like work
    Okay, this one was hard. I recently had two big epiphanies about friendship. One was that you have to make time to nurture a friendship – but not every friend needs the same amount. And the second was that you don’t have time for everyone who deserves it. Meaning that there’s a lot of great people in the world, and if you try and make time for all of them, you’re going to let everyone down. There’s simply not enough hours in the day. So I had to really evaluate my friendships and do more for the loved ones in my life by giving them more time – which in turn meant the hard truth of taking that time from other friends. This year I gave up a couple of friendships that brought me more negativity than positivity; if all I felt was guilt when I wasn’t able to see them, I knew I had to take a step back.
  4. Burying my feelings
    This one kind of goes hand in hand with the last one to be honest. Guilt is something I struggle with as a people pleaser. So much so though that whenever something happens, I always come away from a situation wondering what I did wrong or what I could’ve done better. Even when I’m the “innocent” party. I’ve been known to let things go, to decide not to stand up for myself because it’s easier to avoid the fight that would just make us both feel bad. Then I stopped holding back my feelings. I started expressing when I was hurt by people. Which I’ll admit, did cause fights for the first half of the year. But through this journey, my friendships grew stronger, my communication improved, and I’ve felt happier overall.
  5. Strict deadlines
    Let me start by saying this was not the blogpost originally planned for today. So this item number is very true! Instead of forcing myself to turn out a less than great blogpost (which will now come your way sometime next week fingers crossed), I stopped holding myself to strict deadlines. This blog is first and foremost, for me. It’s supposed to make me happy and only bring me joy. Sure, it’s still work at times, but I shouldn’t be so stressed out it affects my mental and physical health.
    I put a lot on my plate (in general) but especially these last few weeks of 2018 as I tried to accomplish everything I had planned. And as my “deadline” approached, I got more and more stressed. When I started making hasty decisions – which caused me even more trouble and wasted time – I dropped the deadline. I really want to do it all, and I always have lots of things I’m working on, but it’s okay to take my time. That’s the hardest lesson for me and I’ll probably have to learn it a few more times if I’m being honest.

Side note: The pictures used in this post were some of my favorite portraits of this year – a few taken by friends but mostly taken by myself (with the good ol’ timer feature). I’m glad to see they’re all happy! Happy New Year, everyone!

Rest, Remember, Relax, Reflect

As I approach my blog’s one year anniversary, I’ve decided to take a week-long break from blogging, social media, and even -gasp- adventure. I think R&R is super important, and I think R&R&R&R is something I’m in very much need of. I want to take this break for the classic rest and relaxation, but I also want to spend much of it reflecting and remembering my previous year of experiences.

A lot of the time, I find myself thinking of the future. Planning and researching and wondering, “What next?” It’s been so much fun tackling things on my bucket list and making new goals. But I also think I haven’t had too much time for a breath and I definitely haven’t taken an entire week off!

As I’m about to take my first week off (I’ll miss you guys!), I’ll tell you five ways I’ll be spending it. Instead of the planning, scheduling, list-making, writing, picture-taking, etc, here are my main goals for this upcoming break:

  1. Being Lazy in Bed
    I’m not super into TV, but there are a couple of shows I love keeping up with. I don’t like having the pressure of a weekly show, but I know there’s a couple of seasons on Netflix I’ve been meaning to mindlessly binge.
    There’s also definitely some reading I need to catch up on! I’ve been so busy this year I had to adjust my yearly goal from fifty to thirty, but I’m excited to lounge around and enjoy one of my favorite hobbies that doesn’t make me go, go, go.
  2. Cleaning, Tidying
    I just did a huge clean-out of everything in my house, which was a major two-week undertaking, so I’m glad I can spend some time in my space doing the smaller chores I enjoy. I’m talking a couple of dishes here, a load of laundry there, maybe even some light sweeping.
    I really love cleaning, but also just the simple tidying up (like making the bed). Having a clean home puts my mind at ease. And when I need to meditate on things, I find this easiest to do when my hands are mindlessly busy.
  3. Doing “Nothing” with Those I Care About
    As a pretty social creature, I don’t want to completely shut myself off from those I care about. I just think I want to spend time doing more of “nothing” than having a real activity. I’m always interested in trying new things or creating unique get-togethers, but for this week I want to try and not chase having the new experience.
    They can join me on my couch! Or we can have a meal at a dumb chain restuarant – haha! Board games are always a classic. Anything that’s old and familiar and doesn’t require any plan.
  4. Projects that Have Been on Hold
    I am so big into DIYing and making stuff, but I have put a lot of stuff on hold recently. My creative endeavors list is massive as other projects take my interest or traveling has taken my time. I have at least three items on this list that I’ve promised to make for other people – haha!
    I’m so excited to get a chance to be creative in this hands-on way. Art has always meant a lot to me, so I’m ready to get my watercolors out, get the supplies I’ve bought months ago for certain projects, and spend some time making stuff.
  5. Hiking just for Me
    Recently a lot of my local hikes have been at new places so I can explore new trails. Don’t get me wrong, this has been such a fun experience and it’s great discovering new places to love. But because I’ve been pushing myself to find the new and share it with an audience, I haven’t been able to make it to my favorite local trails. I can’t promise I won’t take any pictures while on these hikes – I just love nature and photography – but I’m going only for me this time and that’s what makes the difference. I can’t wait to see my old favorites!
  • See you guys in a week!