First, and most importantly, I made myself a priority this year. I started lightly running and walking (I wrote a bit about it here) and lately, I've been finding peace and fitness through yoga again. It's been SO good physically and mentally for me. Also good for my mental and physical health has been becoming vegetarian! I haven't eaten any meat in over nine months now and it's been fantastic! Rio doesn't eat much meat so I was always focusing on how to make sure to get the proper amount of protein into her without meat and I would often eat the same. Then one day I realized that it had been a week or so since I had eaten meat myself! It just happened. I continued it and started educating myself more and more on complex proteins and the other nutrients that someone my age and activity level should be getting. I will say, without a doubt, that I am eating the healthiest that I ever have been before! It's not about anyone else and it's not for anyone else. It's for me and it feels wonderful. It's probably been one of the best things to happen to me this year.
For the first half of this year, I got back into reading for pleasure again. I have fallen out of habit with it a bit, but I feel like I'm not far away from a reading binge again. I read some really outstanding books that helped me see the world from different eyes. I also read some real duds. Ha!
On the bravery front, I traveled to visit my sister this summer! I hadn't flown in quite some time, so getting on that plane was a HUGE deal for me. It was a spectacular weekend with one of the most important people in my life.
Later this summer, Rio started school for the first time and it's been wonderful for us all! Shortly after she started school, we had a surprise visitor, which I wrote about on my personal Facebook profile. That post got picked up and went VIRAL, which has been the most bizarre and wonderful experience. I hope to write about it more soon, in more ways than one, hint hint wink wink.
In regards to my teaching, I just completed ten years of teaching English as a Second Language! I've said it before and I'll say it again, nothing fulfills me quite like teaching ESL. What I learn from my students is priceless and I always wish I could share it all with the rest of the world. Rewarding in innumerable ways. I also stepped into a different classroom for a good chunk of the year and taught ESL in a factory for employees after they completed 12 hours shifts. It was incredibly eye opening all around.
In my creative world, I achieved sooooo many of my goals! My etsy shop FINALLY grew some legs, I made some of my favorite quilts yet, I gave three sewing-related presentations, I taught a bag-making class, and I made 500 little trees for Philbrook! M'lord! I finished up the year preparing a stack of quilts for a quilt show this upcoming weekend where I'll be one of two featured quilters! Feeling pretty proud of myself. :)
I also organized the 8th Annual Alliday Show at Retro Den. Dare I say it? Best show yet! It's always a good handful of work, but it always worth it in the end. Plus, it's such a joy to work with friends and creatives.
There were a few life transitions this year. Some good, some sad. First, My Mimi turned 90! She's an absolutely outstanding person that I will always strive to be like. To call her family is a real treat. Goodness, I love her. Everyone who knows her loves her dearly.
This was also the year that we said goodbye to Vera. Vera was around 20 years old and had been with me for 15 years. I adopted her when I was 23 years old and she passed when I was 38. She was with me through all of my adult life and was my first pet that was truly my own. I am beyond sad that she is gone but am so grateful for being able to spend so much of my life with her. For her, I cut off 16" of my hair and donated it in her memory.
For many different reasons, we welcomed a puppy into our home just two weeks ago! His name is Vinny and we think he's a lab/shepard mix, much like Mondo. He's a young three months right now and it's quite an adjustment having a puppy in the house again! He's such a sweetheart though and I look forward to the future with him.
2017 got me riled up politically and made me more sure of what I believe. I also learned to listen more, which has helped me grow and understand. All in all, 2017 was a good year for me. I'm excited to see what this new year holds and how it shall unfold. Cheers!