Happy New Decade: 2020
Word for the Year and Reading List
Whew, 2019 you were a big one. I’ve unfortunately had to let the blog updates fizzle out, but for anyone curious, we are cozy in our new bedroom as of a couple nights ago. We have a long way to go, but have made a LOT of progress on the house addition. I’d love to share all the juicy updates, but it simply can’t be a priority with my current schedule. I’m just popping in for a quick annual reflection post.
Last year, my word was “equipped”. I had no idea how much I would need that one! I was thrust into many situations in my new job and life that I was ill-prepared for, but trusted in myself and God to bring me through day after day. I remember at times thinking if I could just make it through until Christmas I’d be ok, on sure footing. Here I am! Feeling like life is still keeping me on my toes, but more resilient and handling stress really well, if I do say so. Pressing into challenges rather than away from them.
Wabi – Sabi
My guiding word for 2020 is Wabi-Sabi. This is a design term I learned this year that means embracing imperfection. So fitting for a house that’s perpetually under construction… But taking a broader interpretation, it’s an approach to living. Trying to enjoy each moment for what it is. I really believe letting go of expectations is key to happiness. The word “forbearance” has also been creeping into my mind. So I guess I need to be patient this year and accept things as they are. Sounds about right. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯
Year in Review
2019 was the year we finished our siding (Joe and Bart working all through January). We got plumbing, electrical and insulation done prior. We spent the rest of the winter months hanging drywall, mudding and taping. UGH. Still some spots to finish. From here on out its, priming, painting, flooring and finishes. We took the summer months off to work on the yard, and enjoy a few days off for weddings (8 of them this year!) We have sacrificed a lot of free time that would have been spent with friends and family to work on the house this year. We’ve been MIA and we’re sorry. We fully knew this would require sacrifice, and we have to carry on until it’s done as to not live in a construction zone for all of eternity. Our plan is to be free of projects this summer to enjoy life to the fullest!
I can’t complain about all the blessings this year has brought. We got engaged in June on my birthday. We’re getting married in May 2020 in the backyard! There’s so much to do in 4 months and the wedding seems like the simplest part. A girl’s gotta make money and finish this house up. Stressful, but I have to keep a good mindset — I’m able to have a home to work on, job to pay for it and an amazing partner in life to experience it alongside. It feels like having 3 full time jobs right now. Joe has more side jobs than ever and is on a leadership path at work. The right people always seem to show up at the right time to help. We’ve pretty much cut out any “extra” activites, but I still do book club and church group. If I have to skip one, I skip one. I’m sure life gets only busier. But these are good problems to have. It’s been an extremely difficult year for a few close people in our life: cancer, surgery, grief, and diagnoses. These are not my stories to share. But it leaves me feeling like I have no right to dwell on a single negative, but to cherish each day. It also leaves me feeling like I’m not doing enough, not helping these loved ones as much as I need to. In 2020 I’m praying for renewed stamina to do all I need to do and create more margin in my life for people.
Bucket List Review
- Take some pottery throwing classes. Still on my list for 2018 2019 2020
- Travel more. Always on my list. We had a trip to Denver in August. I went to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day and Joe went on a 2-week road trip across the country in an RV with friends. Bachelor/bachelorette parties.
- Grow vegetables. It was not the year of the garden. It was not even the year of eating vegetables 🙁
- Supplement my income in multiple ways, diversify with investments etc. Basically worked my 9-5 this year again. My job has been fairly demanding, but rewarding. I’ve learned a lot about the housing/construction industry and have been able to achieve some financial goals because of it.
- Pay off one student loan and make one additional house payment. At this time last year I had $2,000 left in loans. I have officially paid them ALL off! See ya later student loans. It was a big goal for me to pay off these on my own. I will make an extra house payment in May for our house-versary. Now I need to save for a new car.
- Redesign Blog — I uploaded a new theme a few days ago! Still some tweaking to do, but Wabi-Sabi, right?
- Appraiser’s License — I’d love to get my appraiser’s license to become more knowledgeable about the real estate market and property values. Put it out into the universe, and things start happening. Stay tuned.
- Journaling — I have a few different apps, devotionals and journals I use each morning. I completed a PDF book called 100 Steps Closer that helped with journal prompts. This year, I’m excited to use the 5-minute journal and see how that goes!
- Have more fun — Just gotta push on until summer!
2020 Bucket List
- Have a stress-free wedding!
- Make more space for my relationships
- Use our gym memberships
- New (new to me) car!
2019 Reading List
Here are the books I read last year. Below is a five second review of each.
Books Listed (with commentary)
- Dream yoga : illuminating your life through lucid dreaming and the Tibetan yogas of sleepHolecek, Andrew, 1955- As someone who has very vivid dreams, this was a super interesting read! Instructions for lucid dreaming and practicing remebering your dreams. It really worked.
- Fierce faith : a woman’s guide to fighting fear, wrestling worry, and overcoming anxietyWorthington, Alli, author. Not sure when/how I discovered her, but I love her podcast and have her book Year of Living Happy.
- Nothing to prove : why we can stop trying so hard Allen, Jennie, author. I won this book at an event! really couldn’t have been better timing. Great read and reminder we are human beings not human doings.
- What is the Bible? : how an ancient library of poems, letters, and stories can transform the way you think and feel about everything Bell, Rob, 1970- author. Always a thought-provoking writer. Did not disappoint. Puts the Bible into context and brings it to life.
- Wolfpack : how to come together, unleash our power, and change the game Wambach, Abby, 1980- author. Really good, quick read. Applies to feminism on a global scale or in your personal life. Or both!
- The alter ego effect : the power of secret identities to transform your life Herman, Todd (Leadership coach), author. I followed this guy several years ago and he dropped off my radar. I have mixed feelings about adopting an alter ego. Kind of like the “fake it til you make it” philosophy. But it was an interesting read and something you can apply in your life right away.
- The surrender experiment : my journey into life’s perfection Singer, Michael A., author. After reading The Untethered Soul (a must read), I needed to read this one. Not quite as transformational, but still great.
- Creative calling : establish a daily practice, infuse your world with meaning, and succeed in work life Jarvis, Chase, author. I am currently starting this one, so I’ll report back next year!
- Educated : a memoir by Westover, Tara, author. Book club book. WOW probably best book all year. True story that is remarkable tale of resilience and strength.
- Girl, wash your face : stop believing the lies about who you are so you can become who you were meant to be by Hollis, Rachel (Event planner), author. Yeah I read this one. I’m a sucker for these types of books. Honestly, not a big fan of hers.
- Real life dinners by Hollis, Rachel (Event planner), author. I also read her cookbook. Not a fan of her recipes either. Just sayin’
- Leah on the offbeat by Albertalli, Becky author. Just grabbed this teen book because it was on teh library end cap and had my name in it!
- Truly madly guilty by Moriarty, Liane, author. Book club book. My first Liane Moriarty read and I really liked her writing style! The others didn’t care for it as much, but I enjoyed the character development.
- Joyful : the surprising power of ordinary things to create extraordinary happiness by Lee, Ingrid Fetell, author. This was a yes. More of an in-depth read in the Malcolm Gladwell style. Using research and case studies but making interesting stories about the data. Scientific ways to create more job for your brains.
- Reading people : how seeing the world through the lens of personality changes everything by Bogel, Anne, 1978- author. If you love eneagram and personality tests, you will like this.
- Now, discover your strengths by Buckingham, Marcus. Honestly can’t rememebr this one. I hope I discovered my strengths.
- Calm the f*ck down : how to control what you can and accept what you can’t so you can stop freaking out and get on with your life. by Knight, Sarah (Freelance editor), author. Heard her on a podcast and fell in love. Enjoyed her book
- Then she was gone : a novel by Jewell, Lisa author. Book Club book. We had a little phases there of this genre.
- Marwencol by Malmberg, Jeff. Ok this deosn’t count because it was a DVD, but I watched the Steve Carell version and had to dig into the real story. Wonderfully weird and totally fascinating to me.
- Where the crawdads sing : a novel by Owens, Delia, author. Probably my second favorite book club book this year. The author is in her 60’s or 70’s – first novel. Her background is in wildlife and it shows in great detail through this murder mystery hybrid. Definitely read.
- One day in December : a novel by Silver, Josie, author. Book club. Romance book, but not cheesy! Puts you in an impossible situation and seems very realistic IMO.
- The murders of Molly Southbourne by Thompson, Tade author. Book club LOVED this short little page-burner. A mind bender more than a slasher type or thriller. Just a trippy read that messes with your reality. In the best way.
- Big little lies by Moriarty, Liane, author. I had to check out her other work, but only read half of this one. Too disturbing for me. Also, I think I figured out the ending so I walked away from this book.
- Everything is figureoutable by Forleo, Marie author. Also currently reading. TBD
- An atlas of natural beauty : botanical ingredients for retaining and enhancing beauty by Taillac, Victoire de, author. Beautiful book. Skimmed the pages
- Little women by Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888.Book club. Can’t believe I’d never read this but SO glad I did! Completely understand why it’s a classic. Timeless. Hope the movie is half as good.
- Stylish weddings : 50 simple ideas to make from top designersby Doh, Jenny, author. Obligatory wedding planning read.
- The snow child by Ivey, Eowyn, author. This was my book club pick. Just finished. Starts a little slow and sad, but you gradually warm up to and cherish the characters. Alaskan setting.
- No happy endings : a memoir by McInerny, Nora author. Half way done. Felt obligated to read this one.
- Imagine it forward : courage, creativity, and the power of change by Comstock, Beth, author. This was my first book club pick. I fully enjoyed it, but pretty long read. Following along with her career at GE and Apple and broadcasting. A good read for career-driven females without hitting you over the head with the fact.
Here’s hoping 2020 brings you more ups than down, smiles than frowns and good friends and family through it all.