Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year Reflections

We had a wonderful time in Arizona visiting Scottsdale, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon. The trip was full of outdoor adventures with hikes, sight seeing, and plenty of time taking in the beautiful surroundings. I hope you were able to follow along on Instagram to see a few snapshots of the Southwestern journey!

2013 was one of the most transformational years to date...and I am sure it won't be the last. It is hard to believe that I have been out of school for over a year now. Because I was able to finish school early, it presented an interesting start to the real world, and one I don't regret in the slightest.


My 2013 was filled with travels. I went back up to college to run Kappa Alpha Theta's formal recruitment (behind the scenes) for a week in January 2013.  I spent two weeks on the East Coast visiting DC, Philadelphia, New York, and Connecticut. For those that did follow along during the Spring, you are probably well aware that I went on a trip to Europe spending several weeks in France, Holland, and Spain. I went to OWU for Graduation, celebrating with friends for the last 10 days of the semester. I had smaller trips to Kenneland and Indianapolis. And wrapped up the year with another trip to DC and then New York. Finally, I was the Southwest. Whew. It was quite an adventurous year! And I hope I can continue to foster my love for travel in the years to come!

Going through pictures of this past year was incredibly fun and I loved my quick video compiling my year on Instagram. I was definitely blessed!

On the flip side, I have had to get adjusted to being out of school, living back at home, starting professional life, and overcoming a couple months of sickness and recovery over the summer.  

Professionally, it was a lot of learning. For about 5 months I was working two part-time jobs and then working on the weekends at the boutique, I have been lucky to still spend my Saturdays still at Alligator Purse and I love the ladies I work with! I also had a couple of freelance assignments with Matchbook Magazine and Sheridan French. All provided wonderful experience, but I can't deny that it was challenging to be managing so many different positions and not be certain when I'd be stable with full-time work. Thankfully, this fall I was able to officially be a member of the full-time work force at a Cincinnati-based Public Relations and Marketing firm.

  I am fortunate to be part of the ArtsWave YP board (not as young as you might expect, I am definitely the youngest of the group), nevertheless, the organization has opened up many opportunities for me to connect with the art community and be a guest at a number of performances. In fact, I have been lucky to attend several events in Cincinnati this year from Luke Bryan concerts to Diner en Blanc, cocktail parties, and community yoga classes. I have reconnected with my high school to help create a young alumnae program...our first event is just in a couple of weeks! On another sphere, I have really enjoyed being able to go back to my parish and incorporating its weekly mass in my schedule. Even though I was able to go to church while I was at school and even traveling, it is nice to have a consistent time and place that I connect with.

My company is small, only three women, so it has been a bit of a challenge to connect socially, especially with people my own age. I was quite the social butterfly in college and always out-and-about. Now I spend a lot of time at home with my family and babysitting every so often. It's a different pace, but one I am growing to appreciate...just working on the proper balance.

All aside, I have so much to be thankful for this year - especially that I have a supportive family and many loved ones who are healthy and happy. 

With every year, there are always moments of reflection, appreciation, and room for improvement. As such, we give thanks and make resolutions as the New Year begins.

Here are a few resolutions for the New Year. These are just a sampling and held as recommendations that I believe can make me a stronger and happier person. But, I am also someone who believes that resolutions can start at any point during the year! So resolutions can definitely continue to arise :)

I bought myself the journal One Good Deed A Day. I hope to actively spread happiness in my life and others each day.
Before I go to sleep, reflect on each day - the bad, the good.
List the names of people that I am thinking about and praying for in a prayer journal. I have started doing this over the past year, but would like to do so more consistently.
Spend more time reading. I love books and hate that I spend so much time on my phone, rather than reading a book - especially before I go to bed!
Start becoming a bit more domestic. I love decorating and throwing parties, but when it comes to cooking and cleaning I fail epically. I received How To Cook Everything: The Basics from my aunt this summer and need to start cooking! Additionally, my room is frequently a disaster zone. Sometimes I even put a disclaimer on my door to ward my parents away....I wish I was kidding. That said, I need to organize my closet, try to keep my clothes off the floor, and actually get out the cleaning supplies more often. To make you (and me) feel better, my problem isn't being dirty, it's being messy -- there is a difference :)
Write more notes. I love snail mail and find that nothing is an easier way to show someone that you care, than writing a little note. This goes for birthday notes, feel better wishes, or just thinking of you sentiments.
Focus on healthy living. I have lost some weight since college, but it's not from me trying to be healthy. I want to do yoga more often, take lunch breaks by walking around the park or an evening walk in my neighborhood. I really love hiking and being outside. Granted Cincinnati doesn't have views like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, but if I could spend more time outside, perhaps exploring more parks or trails. And it would also be nice to be more consistent at running...
I want to volunteer with local charities. I am still planning to work with the boards, but I am hoping to reach out to different organizations. In particular, I want to connect with the cystic fibrosis foundation chapter in Cincinnati, and volunteer at a soup kitchen and/or nursing home near work.
Incorporate more art in my life. I don't mean going to shows or museums, but actually exploring what art I can do. Maybe take classes, take a stab at painting on my own, pick-up the pen to start writing more often, the options are endless.
Make another year with adventures, trying new things, and doing things that I never expected I would.

This is just a sampling, but most importantly I try to be the best person I can be each and every day.


What are your goals for the new year? Any hopes for what 2014 will bring?

Wishing you a fabulous year and I hope I can continue to be a platform for inspiration on your journey, toodles!

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