As I’ve done for the past four years, I have written my year in review (past year’s posts: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015). Overall, 2019 was a really great year! Even though there have been a few very difficult moments, I’ve tried to focus on the little and big positives. Not to go too deep into this, but this is not a case of toxic positivity (you know, the “good vibes only” t-shirt type life)–really, it’s about cultivating gratitude each day, recognizing that life isn’t perfect, and finding the beauty and growth opportunities in those more difficult moments.
Where I was (December 2018)
- In December 2018, I was feeling hopeful that 2019 would provide me new opportunities and a fresh start. I was recovering from ending a 10 year relationship, and surrounding myself with people who were encouraging and hopeful. I wasn’t in a bad place, just reflective and looking forward to moving on.
- Professionally, I was enjoying my work, although a little stressed over a few big changes, including the elimination of my Blended Learning Specialist (technology resource) period due to budget issues.
Where I am (January – December 2019)
- My OneWord for 2019 was reclaim: I needed to reclaim my physical and emotional space and plant seeds for new opportunities and adventures. I redecorated my guest room and my office, bought some new furniture, traveled, went to concerts by myself, and rediscovered passions and hobbies that I had hidden away for years.
- In February, I turned 30 and took myself to New York City. It was mostly a solo trip, although I did meet up with a few friends for meals and adventures. I felt so much joy in exploring a new city! It was a good starting place for some future solo travel.
- In May, I started my EdD in educational technology and Boise State University. It’s 100% online, and has been great so far. I like my cohort and professors, and the workload is manageable on top of working full time.
- The summer was filled with an incredible ISTE adventure that started with a visit to my good friends’ Jess and Sean’s house (love you both!). We took the train down to Philadelphia, and stayed at an awesome AirBnB.
- In July I took a week at my family’s cottage in northern Wisconsin–my great-grandparents bought it in the 1940s. This was my first time having my own week (previously I’ve only ever gone with my parents) and two of my friends joined me. Per my mother’s wishes, my aunt “chaperoned” us–those of you that know me well, you know this is highly unnecessary; however, it was helpful for things like caring for the boat and such. I spent the whole week sitting on the dock, drinking coffee, reading, swimming, and enjoying being detached from the world. It was perfect!
- Fueled by Coffee and Love: A Brew Perspective was published in July 2019. We celebrated with a release party at Project Reo Collective!
- In September, I drove to Phoenix, Arizona for a Dave Matthews Band concert. I’ve always wanted to do a destination DMB concert, so as part of my reclaim theme this year, I did it! It was well worth the drive and heat. When I got home, I spontaneously bought a ticket to see DMB at Kaboo in Del Mar. I’m not a festival person, so this was super crazy for me!
- November was the best adventure of the whole year: Iceland! Our friend Ingvi Ómarsson hosts conference every year for Icelandic teachers and brought a bunch of us in to speak. We saw the Northern Lights!!! Not only was the conference wonderful, but also I met some amazing new friends (love you Christine, Heather, Hildur, and Álfhildur!!). This was also the pivotal moment in my reclaim year because I realized how many opportunities and experiences I’ve put off due to fear or allowing other people to negatively influence my passions. I came home energized and antsy to push myself to do more.
- Surprisingly, even with starting my doctorate, I finished a total of 60 books! (22 audiobooks + 18 books + 20 ebooks)
Where I’m going (January 2020 and beyond!)
- I’m looking forward to continuing to grow as a teacher and person. I still have a lot to learn about this world so I can drive change in my school and community. Got any book recommendations?
- This year, I want to focus on taking advantage of opportunities and figuring out solid short- and long-term goals.