Other Stuff

Putting 2019 In The Rearview

I swear, it was just a couple of years ago that I was a senior in college waiting for the Y2K crisis to wipe out the universe… and yet, here we are, days away from 2020. What?! That year that seemed to be a laughably far away place is knocking on my door, and I’m not sure I’m ready! With 2019 fading into the rearview mirror, I thought it might be a good idea to review the year before leaving it in the dust.

Each year I pick a motivational word to narrow my focus on meeting my goals. My word for 2019? Tenacious. I set out to approach the year with the tenacity of my beloved Hufflepuff badger and fight for myself. I had such great intentions… and made a lot of cute motivational vision boards. Now, I feel as if my little badger self is kind of just lying in a hole in the ground, content to hibernate and ignore what I wanted. Sigh. I allowed circumstances to shut me down faster than they should have. Thank goodness for new starts soon…

There were some wonderful things about 2019… completing 13 competitive 5K races (despite being out of practice), starting new passion projects, lazy beach days, adventures to new places with my forever partner, and Baby Yoda! But 2019 definitely had its share of heartache too… difficult goodbyes, strong moments of self-doubt in my career, and long stretches of loneliness. I guess there always will be balance in The Force. These are the moments that made 2019 memorable…

Winter: While I love the beauty of the snow, winter is usually rather difficult for me. The Seasonal Affective Disorder is REAL, yo! Always dark, always grey, and always blah… It’s honestly something I just survive. This year wasn’t any different. I didn’t meet many goals and sort of laid around like a slug. However, it wasn’t ALL bad.

January brought an epic snowfall, leaving us snowbound for a few days. During that week, we risked the roads to meet my friend, Under Grace Photo, for a beautiful wintry photo shoot in a grove of evergreen trees. It was really magical and gave us some great photos, worthy of a Hallmark movie.

February was a repeat of the January grey, but blessedly short. We enjoyed a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner at home together, thanks to my ever-growing fancy cooking skills, and a box of Christopher Elbow Chocolates. Also in February, I got a coverup tattoo, done by Nicholas Anthony, in an effort to move forward with some past hurts. Plus, we are still laughing about the 5K race we finished with horrendous food poisoning. (It wasn’t remotely funny at the time… I mean, we have NEVER been that sick…. but now, it’s kind of hilarious!)

Spring: I am always grateful for the renewal of spring. When the trees start to grow green buds, the temperatures rise, and the days grow longer, there’s a bit of promise in the air.

In March, I took a big step of courage and began my blogger adventure. I was able to do a couple of influencer photo shoots and launched my blog in late March. Though there have been moments of doubt throughout the year, I am really proud of what I have been able to accomplish so far. I’ve made connections with some really wonderful people and helped to promote a few St. Louis creators that make my heart happy. Launching the blog was a nice contrast to the stress and frustration that always comes at school in March with Contest Season!

April brought the quick rise and fall of what was supposed to be the school musical. Though the show itself was a complete bust, I made a few new friends in the process who I am forever grateful for. Jeff and I enjoyed a beautiful Easter Sunday morning, having brunch in the sunshine while the dogs played in the yard. I attended Boy Band night at Busch Stadium with new friends and cried through Avengers: End Game with old friends. Then came May and the end of the school year, where I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I drove away for a few months of respite.

Summer: I like summer. Summer is my favorite. Actually, it’s not, but I really like summer as a teacher… my chance to relax, reflect, and renew. I really needed it this year for a lot of reasons. Summer also offered me many opportunities to build my personal brand. I met other influencers, completed a lot of try-on sessions, wrote in earnest, and did an awesome collaboration with Argaman & Defiance.

June brought visits with both of our families… lazy days on the beach with Jeff’s parents and family filled days of adventure with mine. Plus, it provided long, lazy days of reading and binge watching streaming TV.

In July, we set out on a grand adventure in Southern California. Jeff and I explored iconic sights, beautiful beaches, craft breweries, and of course… Disneyland. We also experienced our first SoCal earthquake! Now we sit around waxing poetic about how wonderful the trip was and how much we want to go back. July also brought me the chance to direct some of my students in singing at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals game. That was really a big dream come true to stand on the field and see my name on the Jumbotron… even if it was spelled wrong! And I participated in lots of blogger events that helped me connect to the community in new ways.

Then there was August, and, well… school.

Fall: Autumn truly is my favorite season… as seen in my previous ode to Autumn blog post.

In September, we had to say a very sudden and painful goodbye to our little buddy, Oscar. The end of this year has been an uncomfortable exercise in teaching ourselves and our little, Scout, a new normal. Though it’s a little less painful, it’s still not easy.

At least October and November afforded us opportunities to connect with friends… like Oktoberfest, movie nights, and dinner dates. They provided a needed distraction from the hurt. We enjoyed a lovely weekend at the Mansion On The Mile B&B in Indianapolis, and watched two of my students perform in the National FFA Chorus. And we made a brief jaunt to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with Jeff’s family and my little brother.

December is definitely my busy season as a music teacher, but we had some awesome performance opportunities, and my students were real troopers during a super busy schedule. Finals week approached fast and I marked my grades as quick as I could. Then we spent the last week in Ohio for Christmas, enjoying time with my family.

And so, tomorrow we officially say goodbye to 2019. Jeff and I will close out the year as we always do… talking about our hopes for the future over a pot of fondue and toasting goodbye to all that this year was. Here’s hoping that 2020 brings us the focus that we need to make it a year to remember with fondness.

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