Hello my dear friends,

I hope everyone's had a safe and enjoyable start to 2017 already. It's that time of year again where I do a "year-in-review" post. I feel like a lot of people share my opinion that 2016 was a rough year, especially those who live close (or within) the United States and were affected by the shifting political views. Speaking for myself, I'm very apprehensive of what's to come in 2017.

2016 has been a transitionary year for me; it wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either. I've been slowly working my way out the depression that's plagued me for the last few years, so 2016 was about health, rediscovery and breaking bad cycles. Considering this, I'm not sure if the resolution system is a productive tool for me anymore, especially since I tend to set overly ambitious goals and become burnt out or disappointed.

At least my 2016 resolutions were much more realistic and healthy than previous years.

2016 Resolutions:
✓ Progress not perfect
✓ Self-care and self-love
✓ Rebuild and strengthen left leg
✗ Finish thesis
✓ Spend more time in nature

The past year was definitely about progress; I finally was prescribed anti-depressants to help me move through my depression, I've rebuilt strength and confidence in my knee, and I made the financially risky decision of taking a chance on a wonderful, yet sick, cat.

In fact, I think a lot of the progress I made this year was because of Callie. She brings so much happiness into my life and provides a source of unconditional love that I've been craving ever since I was a little girl wishing for a pet. Thanks to Callie I took a part-time retail job to help pay for her costs, which led to me spending 8-9 hours a day on my feet, allowing me to strengthen my bad leg. I also have a better outlook now that I'm working retail in addition to academia. I get to meet new people and feel accomplished at the end of a successful workday. 

This year I also started writing down my small successes and saving them in a jar. I think I'll definitely do this again for 2017. It's amazing how many good things happen throughout the year that you would otherwise forget about. 

Some of my favorites from this year include:
"Was finally prescribed anti-depressants"
"People at work like me :) "
"I got a consulting project with pay at $24/hour"
"Successfully presented my research and got great feedback" 
...and my personal favorite, "I'm getting a cat!" written the day before I picked up Callie. 

My greatest hope is that I continue this positive momentum into 2017. I created a vision board with my goals for the next 2-3 years (which I'll post to the blog soon), so my year's resolutions mean a little less to me now. Overall, I just want to keep taking little steps in the right direction this year. 

2017 Resolutions:

Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe 2017!

Amanda xox