‘Tis the season, and as I stroll down the memory lane of my Google photos, it dawns on me that our adventures beyond the four walls of our home have been somewhat scarce compared to the good ol’ days. A whopping 70% of my snapshots feature the feline stars of our household, while another 15% showcase a mix of memes and TikTok gems. The remaining 15%? Well, they capture spontaneous and sometimes less-than-flattering moments starring yours truly (me) and the ever-amusing Mike (though let’s be real, it’s mostly me in those unflattering shots). Despite the seemingly mundane photographic evidence, this past year has been a treasure trove of firsts, valuable life lessons, and doing things that spark joy. ‘m excited to spill the beans on my newfound wisdom with you.
Things that Sparked Joy
In the whirlwind of life, taking the time to do things that genuinely spark joy for yourself is like a breath of fresh air. Imagine it as your personal happiness fuel. Reflecting on 2023, we’ve all been through ups and downs, and it’s crucial to prioritize activities that bring genuine happiness. Whether it’s a simple hobby, a walk in the park, or indulging in your favorite treat, these moments act as anchors of positivity in the storm of daily challenges. By actively seeking joy, you’re not just surviving but thriving. It’s like recharging your emotional batteries, giving you the resilience to face whatever comes your way. So, go ahead, embrace those little pleasures, and let the joy you create be your guide in navigating the complexities of life.
As I reflect on 2023, it’s striking that it’s the first year I didn’t wish to rush through. While we didn’t embark on our usual exciting adventures, the majority of our time was spent at home, with occasional outings to grocery stores, flea markets, or thrift stores, making up 20% of our ventures. Surprisingly, I harbor no resentment toward the year. Though I grappled with some health issues (just the usual girly stuff!), I’m actively addressing them. Unlike previous years, there’s no part of 2023 that makes me eagerly anticipate its end. It was a year of simplicity and reflection, and I’m content with the pace and experiences it brought.
- I committed to taking my vitamins daily for three months, organized my kitchen counter, stashed them in the cabinet, and promptly forgot about them. (Working on building better habits. I am a work in progress.)
- I successfully binge-watched all 24 seasons of Law & Order: SVU. It took me a solid five months.
- I found happiness in feeding ducks, secretly hoping to build my own duck army.
- The thrift store became my treasure trove, uncovering cool items over the past year.
- I embraced a new role as a nanny, dealing with kids who are an absolute riot and parents who are the most wonderful, kindhearted people I’ve ever met.
- The plan is in motion to move up north in a year or two.
- I’m almost done filling up my 2023 journal, with the last few pages reserved for Christmas and New Year pictures and this list I am writing for Firsts, Lessons, and Things that Sparked Joy.
Dipping your toes into the unfamiliar waters of life can be a game-changer, and reflecting on 2023, it’s become even more apparent. Stepping outside your comfort zone doesn’t always mean diving into extreme adventures; it could be as simple as trying a new TV show or finding a fresh perspective for the mundane. Life’s flavor is enhanced when you savor the moments of doing things for the first time, even if they seem ordinary. Whether it’s tackling a challenging situation with newfound resilience or embracing the small joys of a routine shake-up, these experiences add spice to the everyday. So, relish the flavor of variety, savor the nuances of the new, and appreciate the beauty in pushing your boundaries, no matter how subtle the change may be. It’s in these seemingly mundane first-time experiences that life reveals its most delightful surprises.
Looking back on 2023, I can say Mike and I didn’t dive into crazy adventures or jet-set around the globe on some wild self-discovery mission. Nope, we stayed put at home, and you know what? It was great. Our “firsts” this year might sound dull to others, but for us, they were special. Dealing with some typical girlie issues aside, we experimented with new recipes and binge-watched fresh shows that sparked awesome conversations. It’s those seemingly “boring” moments that brought us closer. We turned them into our own version of date nights, saving us some cash. Turns out, having a bunch of firsts doesn’t have to mean draining your wallet; it can also mean growing together and expanding your mind at home with the people you love. And hey, that’s a win-win, right? LOL.
- Confronting and overcoming health challenges, including dealing with a Boil, a Bartholin Cyst, yeast infections, and Bacterial Vaginosis.
- Navigated the escapades of my cat, who transformed into an escape artist and disappeared for a week. Then got out multiple times after that, but got him back inside the same day.
- Ventured into the world of BBQ with Mike, who now boasts a pellet smoker, a grill, and a flat-top griddle.
- Mike and I got Married. After 10 years and 364 days together we tied the knot.
- Tried new foods and drinks like matcha, brisket, and Birria tacos, and rediscovered old favorites like pistachios and trail mix.
- Became a “Target girlie.”
- Had the most amazing conversations during and after watching ” A Man Named Otto”. Documentaries like Yellowstone Supervolcano: American Doomsday and then Forbidden History.
- Mike discovered his biological dad and connected with two out of seven siblings.
Taking a moment to look back on the past year, especially reflecting on 2023, is like digging for hidden treasures in the story of your life. It’s not just about reminiscing; it’s about finding those little lessons that might have slipped under the radar. Think of it as peeling back the layers of a mystery – what worked, what didn’t, and what surprising insights can be uncovered. Reflecting helps you understand where you’ve been, what you’ve overcome, and where you want to go. It’s not about dwelling on mistakes but about discovering the wisdom that comes from experience. So, grab your mental magnifying glass, sift through the memories, and you might just stumble upon valuable lessons that will shape your journey ahead.
As I look back on 2023, I stumbled upon some eye-opening discoveries about myself and the sneaky boundaries I unknowingly set. It wasn’t until I started jotting down my thoughts for this reflection that these lessons hit me. Turns out, taking a moment to think about the past year can reveal stuff you were tweaking without even realizing it. I picked up a few lessons along the way and, without consciously knowing it, applied them when I needed to. It’s like I was making these changes on autopilot, and that, I think, really played a big part in making 2023 one of my happiest years. Sometimes, it’s the little shifts we don’t notice that end up making a big difference, you know?
- It’s perfectly fine to splurge on oneself and replace items with higher-quality alternatives.
- Finally finding our rhythm on our financial journey.
- Acknowledging a lapse in writing letters to pen pals.
- Recognizing the importance of consistently pushing oneself out of the comfort zone, bit by bit.
- Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries. (I Set and stuck to my boundaries)
- Resisting the pull of guilt trips and staying resilient. (I didn’t break)
Reflecting on 2023
Looking back on 2023, it’s evident that the year wasn’t about grand adventures or exotic escapades but rather finding joy in the seemingly ordinary moments. As I sift through the snapshots of my life, dominated by feline companions and daily routines, I realize the power of embracing simplicity. The reflection on 2023 isn’t marked by a desire for it to end quickly, but rather a contentment with the slow pace and the meaningful experiences it brought. Whether it was the thrill of feeding ducks, the excitement of thrift store finds, or the joy derived from binge-watching TV shows, these moments, though seemingly insignificant, collectively defined a year that didn’t demand extravagance but instead celebrated the beauty of small pleasures.
As I bid farewell to 2023, it’s with a newfound appreciation for the valuable lessons learned, the firsts experienced, and the understanding that happiness often resides in the unnoticed shifts of our daily lives. The true essence of reflecting on 2023 lies not just in reminiscing about the past but in uncovering hidden lessons and understanding the value of embracing life’s subtle shifts, making it a year that holds its own unique charm and significance.
Let me know in the comments what sparked joy, what notable Firsts you experienced, or what valuable lessons you learned this year. I would love to hear about it.
Here is a little recap of my 2023…
Until next time, Have a great day! Remember you are a badass!