Thursday, December 29

2016 Goals: Recap

Way back in December of 2015, I posted my goals for 2016. Unfortunately, I didn't blog for most of 2016. I posted 57 times in 2015. In 2016, I only posted... 18 times. So you guys didn't get to check in with me for most of this year. I'm sure you were crushed, haha.

I had five goals that I classified as "big" goals:
  • Graduate from law school
  • Marry J
  • Move to Denver
  • Get a job in Denver at a great firm
  • Pass the Colorado bar exam
Not that you couldn't have deduced this, but I did manage to make all of those goals! I graduated from law school, married the love of my life, moved to Denver, got a job here at a firm that I love, and I passed the Colorado Bar Exam!

The smaller goals were slightly trickier for me.

Read 12+ books this year and continue my 12x12 challenge
Guys, this is the first year since 2014 that I didn't complete my 12x12 challenge. I'm not proud of it. In fact, I feel pretty ashamed. There are a few days left in 2016 (so it's not impossible) and I still need to read three books. Can I read three books in five days? I guess it depends on how big the book is and how much time I read. I probably can't do it. As we got into December, I felt all this pressure to complete the challenge, to the point where I felt guilty and annoyed and reading felt like a chore I had to do instead of something fun I got to do for myself.

So here's the deal: If we're counting all the books I had to read to prepare for the bar exam, I definitely surpassed 12 books this year. I probably read 30 books. But since I didn't count casebooks in law school, I don't count bar exam study books. I also read two cookbooks this week (don't judge me - there were stories in them and they were charming and I loved every second of it), so if we count those, I only have one book to read. But I suspect most of you (ahem, Mom) won't count the cookbooks, which leads us right back to me only reading 9 books this year.

Give away 200 things
BOY did I succeed here. J and I moved cross-country this spring, which means we had to pack up everything we owned, shove it into a UBox or our cars, and then find a place for it here in Denver. We probably gave away 400 things by the time we moved out of our apartment in New Hampshire... then I reorganized everything we owned here before Thanksgiving. We filled up four (big) boxes with donations. That was probably another 200 things, easily. I didn't count, but I would be shocked if we gave away less than 500 things this year. It's not that hard once you realize what you need, what you love, and what you don't. Also, when you move.

Run 8 miles at one time
Well, it was a good thought, haha. I still have this goal, but I didn't come close to achieving it this year. I think this spring, when I was still running at the YMCA in Concord, I made it to three miles at a time... but then we moved to a high-altitude city, I didn't have a gym, and my body wasn't ready for outdoor running for the most part. I just joined a local YMCA about two or three weeks ago and started running again, but I'm basically starting from scratch. I ran a mile yesterday. Just seven more to go!

I also tried to go vegetarian for a month (or as long as I could this year). J and I actually made it to around February without breaking once, but I had a job interview in Denver and I could tell they weren't ordering anything with meat just to be nice to me, which made me feel awkward and guilty, and then once they finally did order something with chicken in it, I kind of felt obliged? I wanted them to think I was cool and chill and flexible, so yeah, I caved to peer pressure, haha. 
I still ate 99% vegetarian for the next month or so, but by the end of March, I was done. It was a fine experience, though nothing new to me. I'll probably go vegetarian again soon, or at least stop eating red meat.


As the year went on, and especially as the year started coming to a close, I've been stressing about not meeting my goals. I think I had it in my head that I wasn't doing well this year, but looking back, the only two I didn't achieve were my 12x12 project and running 8 miles at a time. Both are things I think I'll try and do (in some form or another) next year and in future years, because they're things that are good for me and bring me a lot of joy.

This has been a hell of a year. Obviously some really good things happened, but it was rough for me. It was the year of worrying. 

All spring, I worried about grades and classes and socializing. I worried about law school drama and finding a new apartment in Denver and getting a job in Denver and moving. This summer, I worried making our apartment feel homey and about the bar exam. I worried if I was studying too much or not enough or if my studying was even working. I worried about the bar exam results and finding a long-term job and fitting into my wedding dress and looking thin enough. Then, this fall, I worried about the wedding and looking pretty in pictures and if I would ever get a long-term job and planning for Thanksgiving and the presidential debates and the election and the aftermath. All winter, I've been worrying about doing a good job at work and whether our apartment and car are in good shape for the weather and if I'm working out enough and if we spent too much on Christmas presents (probably, haha) and whether I'm making my friends and family proud and whether I'm going to finish my 12x12 project...

It's been a whole year of a lot of unknowns. I'm not the kind of person who's going to just "trust" that things will work out. I believe very strongly that things work out when you make them work out. There are unknowns in every second of every year, but this year was a big one for me, and for J. A lot of big, stressful stuff happened, and I worried a lot about whether everything would work out like I planned.

I knew 2016 was going to be stressful and that it was going to make me grow and push myself. Given how much we had going on, I'm really happy with how much I got accomplished, even if it wasn't as much as I hoped for.

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