2016: Year in Review

December 16, 2016

Well hello there! Long time no see! On purpose? Maybe?

So at the beginning of the year I had a lot of goals. And I wrote about them and for a while I gave monthly status updates, and then I stopped. And I just stopped blogging alltogether because I realized I was chasing something I didn’t really want. What I want is I want an online journal and online friends and that’s it. And instead I started trying to focus on building a brand and blah blah blah and that made me not like things real fast. And then I started to put too much pressure on myself to be a “creative” with some tangible product and quite frankly that’s bullshit.

So I abandoned my blog, I abandoned my planner, I abandoned things that started out being for me and ended up being for some imaginary other people because even though it was never serious business I was treating it like it was, because I thought I wanted to make it that. But then I figured out I don’t soooo yeah.

I did a lot of cool stuff in 2016. I grew A LOT as a person and as a friend and as a partner and after removing these weirdo expectations from myself and stopped feeling guilty about giving up on something I thought was important to me, I feel great! So what did I get done in 2016? What goals did I accomplish? Well let’s reflect on this handy dandy post from the beginning of the year.

  • Strength and Balance:
    • I DID THIS SO HARD. Okay unless you’re like “Ummmmmm you worked 3 jobs this summer” and then i’ll be like “Okay so I didn’t take a vacation like I said I would. Big whoop. Free time is hard for me okay?”
    • Yeah 3 jobs. To be fair one was a Mon-Fri 12 to 6 with additional weekend hours for CSz Houston. The other was teaching tech trainings for our summer professional development (which I did in the mornings before my 12-6) and the other thing was all online so I did that whenever. (usually after 6) and I really did try to take the weekends off. But if you’re like “Meagan you worked 8 to 8 basically all summer.” I would not tell you that you are wrong.
    • BUT I did scale way back once school started. Like I took a big step back from CSz at the beginning of the school year so I could focus on that because i’d already decided to really try and live my educational ethics and go full force and get out there. So I did and it’s GREAT.
    • I also really focused on making sure that my obligations didn’t get in the way of my relationships (more on that next) and because of that I definitely felt much more relaxed.
  • Relationships
    • I went on dates! I spent time with friends! I did stuff outside of work!
    • I really went full force on just being there this year. I made sure that I wasn’t using all of my emotional energy on work and on hobbies and as a result I really feel like I respected myself as an introvert and therefore just made so many strides with my relationships.
    • I worked a lot on establishing boundaries and expectations too which is super freaking hard. But once again, introvert, don’t say yes to everything and everyone. Balance.
  • Business:
    • Okay so here’s the deal: Not only did I realize I was trying to commodify a hobby (which is GREAT for some people) but I also realized there was a way for me to turn my side project passions into a career without abandoning ship completely. I get itchy feet a lot and I feel the need to RADICALLY CHANGE EVERYTHING a lot (too much) and that’s what I was doing with my work life because tbh last school year was really really really rough on me. It was a growing year. For sure. And I grew a lot, and cried a lot, and learned some real things. But I was being short sighted and trying to just write it off as “well this isn’t working” but in reality I needed last school year because HOT DAMN is this year amazing. Last year made me realize that I needed to really be me. I needed to live my ethics, I needed to transform my practice, and I just needed to jump right in. So I did. It also made me realize that I LOVE instructional technology. I am passionate about the incredibly important role that properly integrated tech use plays in a classroom. Like GAGA for it and embracing that, learning from it, going all out with that in my classroom and in my professional teacher to teacher life, man that has made all the difference. So embracing what i’m passionate about in my real life real world real right now job, really made me take a step back and reflect on how I could best serve myself and others and I think I found it.
    • But what that ultimately means is I ditched the “creative” life. Not as in I am no longer a creative person, oh I SO am, but i’m not putting pressure on myself to produce a product and a brand that is a ‘creative’. I love going to Rising Tide events, I love meeting other creatives and I love being a part of that scene. But also I don’t have a product. Idk if i’m going to develop one. I think that ThriveBook might just stay with me and if I do ever learn any design skills I might pump life back into it and maybe sell it or whatever but until then. I’m chill. No deadlines. No carefully structured goal sheets that my anxiety makes me ignore. No more constructing something I love into a THING ON THE TO-DO LIST because god that made me abandon it so quickly.
    • So yeah. I’m done with that, and I think in return i’ll start writing on here more. Without carefully structured series and “planning schedules” because as soon as I even thought about doing that or trying to do that I was like “Nope I quit”
  • Personal Growth:
    • YAAASSSS. In my goal setting post this one got the vaguest treatment but in practice this goal got the most love. I grew as a teacher, as a friend, as a partner and a daughter/sister. But overall I grew because I just focused on taking care of myself and realizing that self care is a real thing but not in the tumblr way. I made sure that I came first and I got all the little things done so I could be a normal human. I made sure that I didn’t agree to do things with others when I knew I wasn’t capable of giving 100%. I really started living by the whole “quality over quantity” thing. So while I definitely cut back on my interactions with others I feel like my ability to be present and the quality of time I spent with people really increased and overall it’s making me feel really good about the relationships in my life.
    • Conversely it also made me focus my energy on who was important to me and made me, in a very kind way, not really stress on spending time with people who drained me, made me feel uncomfortable, and just weren’t working for me. I still love these people, but maybe I don’t exactly want to you know, be around them? It sounds awful but my quality of life went up so much that I don’t really care too much? I sound horrible but I feel great! That also means I freed up room in my life to focus on new friendships and really getting back into some relationships I had let fall to the way side in favor of others. So overall i’m really pleased with this goal.
    • Also I pushed myself in a BIG WAY! I traveled internationally SOLO! I took risks in my teaching, in my comfort zones, in my personal life, and in my relationships and I grew so freaking much and i’m really proud of who I am today in relation to who I was last year at this time. I think this is the year where I stopped identifying with the whole “oh no i’m not an adult” thing. Over it.

So what about all those smaller quantifiable goals?

  1. Blog! Build my blog, maybe get on a posting schedule! Keep up with my content!
    1. LOL NOPE. Opposite. Threw it away. Was better for it.
  2. Build my “brand”
    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA realized that this wasn’t what I wanted and quit.
  3. Attend Tuesdays Together-Houston Chapter gatherings!
    1. I went to one. It was chill. I felt a little out of place because I didn’t have a product or a business love the women I met but it also helped me realize that this path wasn’t what I actually wanted.
  4. Go to a blog conference
    1. Nope! Didn’t even try. I couldn’t fake my way through something like that.
  5. Attend a Calligraphy workshop
    1. YESSS OMG!!!! Y’all if you’re in Houston my friend Michelle is the BOMB.COM and I went to one of her amazing Calligraphy Cult workshops and i’m so happy I did. This was another one of those “I want to hang out with people. I want to try new things. I want to go out of my comfort zone.” and I did! So thankful I have a talented friend bc if this was thrown by a stranger I would have noped out of it. Also a friend of mine that I want to be better friends with came with me and it allowed us to do a crash course catch up and remember all the reasons I love her and need her in my life. So resounding success!
  6. Attend a styling workshop
    1. why?
  7. Learn how to cohesively edit my IG photos.
    1. I posted so little on IG this year. However it’s still my favorite social media and I really do want to learn how to do good photos so yes. Still a goal for next year.
  8. Skills: InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Coding. I’ve got a Lynda.com account and i’m going to use it!
    1. Nope. Didn’t ever do any of this. My anxiety controlled my life and I just noped.
  9. Write fiction: Finish the first draft of my book
    1. I wrote a surprising amount this year. Nothing cohesive and nothing close to a finished draft of a book but I definitely did a lot of writing that will be helpful to figuring out what I want to ultimately create and a lot of self reflective personal writing that helped so much.
  10. Finalize first edition of Thrive Book and put it out there for people to use. Even if, especially if, it’s not perfect.
    1. Hoarded it, abandoned it, bought a day designer.
  11. Get business cards
    1. Not even for Younique
  12. Read 50 books
    1. I’m currently on book 45 of 50. I have 2 weeks left and a lot of belief in myself.
  13. Go on an actual date twice a month
    1. So maybe we didn’t do twice a month but Mando and I went on dates pretty regularly and it was nice. More so we got better at communicating what kind of quality time we expected of each other and paying special attention to creating space for our relationship in our busy schedules. Purposeful!
  14. Release one printable for my blog each month as I learn new skills.
    1. hilarious.
  15. Meal plan, meal prep, stick to it.
    1. This is I did. Did it have any effect on my body? No. But I meal planned and prepped regularly and didn’t go out for lunch for most of this year. So that works. Thought a lot about my relationship with food and my body. Need to make some serious will power changes but overall good.
  16. Drink more water.
    1. I DID THIS! 1/2 gallon water bottle saves the day! Also I have gotten to the point where I actively pay attention to my hydration and drink water proactively.
  17. Drink less soda.
    1. I still have a diet coke like every single day. But I stop at one. And a big ass fountain drink is few and far between.
  18. Leave “white space” for myself. Time I don’t have anything on my plate.
    1. I did this! I did this so good! All over the time! I usually filled this time with books and netflix though and i’m so uncomfortable with “wasting time” but I need to waste time sometimes so whatever. As long as i’m not using it as a crutch to delay things I need to do then i’m fine, which is why scheduled “time off” is a good thing. Guilt free time off!
  19. Create a morning ritual.
    1. If by this I meant “hit the snooze button 3 to 5 times every morning and wake up somewhere between 6:15 and 6:25, leave the house between 6:40 and 6:50 to get to work by 7:05” then yes I did. My morning ritual includes snooze buttons, complaining about how cuddles are too good to leave the bed, brushing my teeth, straightening my side bang, powder on my face, winged liner, deoderant, clothes, coffee, lunch, leave. It take 10 to 20 minutes depending on if I picked out my outfit already or not. Overall it’s a great system and i’m done shaming myself about how much I should wake up earlier. TO DO WHAT!? That’s right. Nothing!
  20. Stick to my bedtime ritual.
    1. Bed time ritual now includes a melatonin and complaining if i’m not in bed by 9. I like my old bedtime ritual though and pieces of it linger on but not in any intentional way or structured way. I think now I just know that 9 is bed time and I need to get there so better hurry up and get this other stuff done first.

In conclusion:

My year was really great goal wise because ultimately I did a lot of work on myself and that effected all the good parts of my life. I feel more confident in being myself and doing things that are right for me and I think that’s a pretty great place to be.

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