It’s the last day of the year, and I love reading other people’s reflections on their years—the highlights, the low points, the celebrations, the lessons learned the hard way. For us, 2015 felt like the year of settling in. After so many years of big life changes and transitions and moving at top speed, this year was a little more steady. It feels like we’re settling into the people we want to be, and at the end of 2015 I feel more thankful than ever for the life we’re building together. Tonight we’ll toast a new year and all the beginnings, challenges, and adventures it will bring. But for now, I’m taking some time to reflect on what the past year brought me. Here are some of the most important things I learned in 2015:
Invest deeply in the people you love.
2015 taught me over and over again that the people I love deserve the best of my time and my energy. In a lot of ways, 2015 was a year of loss for us. Bryan and I both lost a grandparent this year, and those aches have been a reminder that the time we get with the people we love is precious. The older I get, the more I’m learning that friendships don’t just happen. You have to invest in them and work on them and take the time to nurture the relationship when you’d rather stay in and take a nap. My people—the small tribe of friends and family who know and love me best—are people I want to invest in every day. They are the people I want to pray with and for, the people I want to call when something goes wrong, the people I want to cry with and celebrate with, and the people I want to tell the truth to no matter how hard it may be.
This year I’ve been learning to practice intentionality—intentionality in my relationships, intentionality in thankfulness, and intentionality in creating memories and savoring the moments happening around me. I think the things that matter the most and offer the greatest rewards don’t just happen—they take work and practice. But they’re worth it.
One of the things I’m learning over and over again is that worry and trying to control every little thing gets me nowhere. 2015 (and life, I suppose) has been trying to teach me to just let go every once in a while and to let the pieces fall where they may. My type-A personality wants to plan every detail and make sure everything happens exactly like I want it to, but life is so much better when I let go of that desire. Of course, of all the lessons I’m learning this one is the hardest. I still have a long (long, long, long) way to go, but thankfully I’ve got another year to keep trying.
Cheers to 2016, friends! XO