It's practically obligatory to wax poetically about how quickly 2015 went by, right? I'll spare you. 2015 was both easier than 2014 and so much more difficult. I've alluded to 2014 being one of the worst years I've experienced, having nothing to do with Sawyer, his birth or existence (those were bright spots), so I'm fortunate enough to say past troubles did not accompany us into this year (and I'm also sorry about vague-blogging, but we have to have personal boundaries, am I right or am I right?). But I also spent a great deal of this year exhausted and frustrated, trying to find my way as a mom, an involved teacher, a wife, a friend, and an individual. I struggled, a lot. But, in retrospect, I've grown a lot. I became so much more patient. I'm learning to pick my battles. And I'm desperately trying to learn to cut myself a break. It's all a work in progress.
We started off 2015 with my husband accepting a new writing job that would take his work out of the house once again and into a different city, meaning a commute and long hours away from Sawyer and I. I wouldn't change this for the world; his career makes him genuinely happy and I'm not one of those wives that has to deal with a husband who is pissy with work stress. It is hard on me, though, being the one home to take care of everything, but I am thankful for his employment.
My job has also continued to challenge me in many ways, most of which are rewarding at the end of the day. Going into a new semester and new year has provided me with ample opportunity to reflect on how I can be a better teacher both in terms of educating my students and in how I manage the workload, as well as other aspects. I often say I'd like to cruise into work around nine and talk about books and writing with my students until about two. Because, honestly, that's what I love about my job- the kids and the subject (and a few of my colleagues). The grading, the planning, and some other trivial issues have royally kicked my ass this year, as is predictable given my obligations at home. It's hard to believe I'm in my tenth year of teaching; I am not longer the young one or the newbie. It's a relief and it's a little depressing.
Personally, away from work, I've made an effort to accomplish some goals. I've made much more of an effort to "get back out there" in recent months, since Sawyer is older and easier to either leave or take with me, depending on what I want to do. I've gone to a reading, I've arranged for sitters to come so I can spend time with Scott, I've found ways to exercise, and I've tried to see friends once or twice a month. During the summer I took Sawyer to daycare two mornings a week so I could have time to myself, but I also took him on a lot of fun little outings in Southern California. I worked hard to add a decent amount to my savings and I did some adult things like take out life insurance, pay off a small student loan, start Sawyer's college fund, refinance our house, and get solar panels.
Sawyer has gone from a baby to a toddler this year, which has been beyond fun to watch. I know I talk about how tired I am and how difficult adding a kid to my life has been, but I wouldn't give him back for anything, even if the return policy on offspring was more liberal (I kid, I kid). I've talked about him recently, so I won't dwell here, but this year has been about transitioning from a rollie-pollie little ball of chub with very little communication skills to a walking, playing, little creature that is trying so hard to talk. It's amazing to watch videos from New Year's Eve last year of him barely able to laugh, sit, and clap at once.
I love the first of the year, and I know a lot of people turn their noses up at resolutions, but I do not, although I do prefer monthly ones. I made some book/blog/writing ones already, but I couldn't possibly go a year without making ones in the other spheres of my life. I want to run (and walk some, considering how training is going) the Surf City Half Marathon in February and entertain doing the Disney Half in September (but I also want to be honest with myself and if it's not doable then it's not doable). I desperately want to go to Yosemite; I haven't been since 2013, which is a very long time for me. I'd like to increase my savings account by 20% and make sure to properly maintain my car and house (God, how boring). I also have some specific goals in terms of weight and fitness, but I'm still running the numbers, so to speak (translation: I'm afraid to step on the scale after eating like crap for the past week).
There are a lot of things I'd like to work at that aren't really measurable. I'd like to be a more present wife and a better dog-walker. I'd like to continue to work at leaving my phone on the counter when I'm spending time with Sawyer (I give myself a B, right now). I need to eat and cook healthier again. I want to be a more thoughtful person- so often someone will do something for me or say something and I feel like jerk because I'm not sure if I deserve their kindness.
I'd like to say that I'm going into 2016 with optimism and hope for the future, but I'm way too cautious for that. I've seen, both in my life and those of others', that things can go from fantastic to horrible in mere seconds. I hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Happy New Year!