Month in Review

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Hope your February was absolutely wonderful, my friends! I used to do a Month in Photos series every month and I really missed it so thought I'd bring it back in a somewhat new form to just review what's happened in life over the past month! It's really nice to be able to reflect and appreciate all that's happened whether that's through words, photos, or everything in between. I've always been a big proponent of keeping a journal, but sometimes life gets in the way  and reflecting through photos is just a tad easier :)

This past month was admittedly quite uneventful, but that's pretty on brand for me :P I'm a 100% homebody and honestly, if I haven't spent enough time at home, I really miss it! This month also began my 2nd semester of graduate school. I haven't taken much time to reflect on my graduate school journey over here on the blog, but if you'd like to hear more, let me know in the comments! It's been a journey to say the least. I feel slightly more confident this semester than I did the last, but the imposter syndrome is still present. I'm just trying my best to remember my little 2019 motto of impermanence - while I might feel overwhelmed and completely incompetent at times, it's an impermanent feeling and one that will inevitably pass as I learn and grow in this career.


Twenty Nineteen Word of the Year ♥


Hello, everyone! Today, I thought I’d share my word of the year for twenty nineteen! In case you haven’t already guessed by the photo above, the word I’ve chosen for this year is impermanence.

The timing of this post might seem a little strange since it’s the middle of February and not January 1st (when most people would be posting and sharing their new year’s goals), however, I actually think this is the perfect time to re-focus because I find this is about the time during the year when all my ambitious new year’s goals fall to the wayside! 

I gave up setting (usually giant and unachievable) new year’s goals a couple of years ago. Through instagram, I found a little community of people who choose to set words of the year rather than lists of goals. This really resonated with me because, frankly, a word of the year is much easier to remember than a whole list of goals! I have anxiety, and when there are too many things to do and not enough time, my anxiety loves to show up and remind me of how stressed I should be :) Setting a word of the year has helped me simplify things, has forced me to decide what truly matters to me, and allows me to set a more holistic theme that I can use to approach any decision or situation in the upcoming year. 

Last year, I chose balance as my word of the year and it truly shaped my year for the better. Remembering to keep things balanced really allowed me to be kinder to myself. In areas where I might’ve beat myself for not working hard enough, having this overarching theme of balance reminded me that not every day was about working day in and day out! While I might work my butt off one day, the next day, I might lounge around the house with very little motivation - and that’s completely okay! The idea of balance helped me treat myself with more compassion and allowed me to enjoy my down time rather than feeling guilty. 

This year, I settled on the word impermanence because it’s really struck a chord with me after my first semester of graduate school. As much as I tried to prepare for the intensity that is a PhD program, nothing can truly prepare you for the onslaught of work and high expectations it throws your way! Through the more difficult exams, projects, and research roadblocks, knowing that nothing will last forever has helped immensely. That feeling of not knowing what I’m doing and feeling like I’m so far behind? Impermanent. That feeling of anxiety before a big presentation? Impermanent. The 100th freezing cold, snowy day in Wisconsin? Also impermanent! I’m really happy with what I’ve chosen as my focus for twenty nineteen. The concept of impermanence as already helped me immensely and I know it will continue to help me keep things in perspective throughout this year. 

I also wanted to share that I didn’t settle on this word until the end of January! I think it’s incredibly important to give adequate time and thought to what you want the focus of your year to be. At first, I thought I’d continue to focus on balance because it had been working so well for me, however, it didn’t resonate with me the same way it had a year ago. I felt like I’d grown past the idea of balance and already adopted it fully into my life. Learning to let things go and overcoming the anxiety that’s come with graduate school is a new challenge I’ve faced over the past couple of months and the idea of impermanence felt like a more appropriate starting point. All of which is to say, take your time deciding on your focus for the year! There’s nothing special about January 1st so don’t put so much pressure on yourself and choose a focus that truly resonates with who you are and what you need this upcoming year. 

What are you themes for the new year? How do you plan to grow and challenge yourself this year? I’d love to hear about your twenty nineteen plans!


My Twenty Eighteen Word of the Year


Hello everyone! Sorry this post might be a little on the late side, but I really wanted to take time to think about what my focus for the 2018 year would be. I think we’re often pressured to make these crazy, outlandish, completely unachievable goals for the new year that just end up making us feel like failures when we don’t accomplish them! I’ve had enough unachieved new years resolutions to know that huge goals set at the beginning of the year almost never work for me! 

Instead, I like to set smaller, more frequent goals on a monthly basis that work towards achieving a greater goal overall. There’s really nothing special about January - and if we feel like we’ve already failed our new years resolutions just weeks into the new year, it can be really hard to get back on the wagon. So, it’s worth remembering that January is just another month, new years is just another day, and tomorrow is another opportunity at being better than you were yesterday 😃 

This past year, I’ve really struggled to find a healthy balance between the different parts of my life. Work, family, friends, self-care, fitness, blogging, volunteering, and even boring things like keeping my house clean started to overwhelm me, leaving my very little downtime to just sit back and relax. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything. I want to have a clean house and also be able to spend lots of time with family. I want to go above and beyond at my job and also try to keep contributing to my blog - but as one person with a limited number of hours in a day, frankly, it’s impossible to do it all! 

So, this year, I’m choosing to focus on BALANCE as my word of the year. Yes, I still want to be better at everything, but instead of trying to do everything perfectly all at once, I’m hoping to be a little bit more patient with myself. As long as I’m getting a good balance between all of the different parts of my life that are important to me, I won’t give myself too hard of a time. 😃

What is your focus for the upcoming year?

I’d love to hear about your goals and resolutions for 2018!