Is it a good sign that I am 10 days late in posting a”Happy New Year” blog? Hahaha. I certainly hope that’s not an indication of how my year is going to go.

Like many of you, I find late December is a great time to pause and think about the year that’s almost passed, and what the coming year might hold.

2015 was a mixed bag for us – I’d venture to say it was the busiest year we’ve ever had, and that includes 2011 when we moved across three country from Philadelphia to Portland. (Side note: the older I get, the more interesting I find it that superlatives like “busiest” are actually quite unnecessary. It seems there is almost always the capacity for more …work, happiness, bad news, whatever. Life seems to have an endless supply of balls to hurl at you – and when I think about those around me, it’s pretty impressive at just how much “stuff” a person can take on board.)

For us, 2015 was a year of new opportunities, crazy business travel, work projects that seemed larger than life and all-consuming, and hearts that needed mending. Sometimes mine, sometimes Kenny’s or Gavin’s or Grace’s,  sometimes those of my close friends and extended family, but the real star of the heart show was my mom. At times, 2015 seemed impossible. Sometimes we smiled through the tears, and others, we laughed until we cried. Sometimes we relied on each other, and others, we pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. I learned that what doesn’t kill me does actually make me stronger. But mostly, it makes me more tired.

Oh, 2015. A roller coaster of joy and fear. I can’t say I am sorry to see you go…although as I sit here on a plane for my first business trip of the year (and with them seemingly coming at an every-other-week-clip for the foreseeable future), I don’t know if 2016 will be full of sanity, either.

I decided that if 2015 was a ramp up for things to come in 2016 (particularly in my new role at work), I need to wrangle the insanity to the ground, and make a consistent personal and conscious effort to keep myself grounded. There were too many times in 2015 where I caught myself thinking, “I miss my old self.”, and I can’t imagine I was the only one – haha.

So in 2016,  it’s my personal mission to be the best version of myself – whether I am in wife-mode, mom-mode, work-mode, daughter-mode, sister-mode, friend-mode…whatever. I gave some hard thought to some things that dilute my spirit…some things that make me a shell of who I truly am, and I thought about  where I can focus for the better. Funnily, these things all begin with the letter “p”. (I am going to assume that’s my subsconscious writer delighting in alliteration.) Here goes.

In 2016, I am going to:

Be Present. This applies mostly in my personal life, and I think it will be the linchpin to staying grounded and living with true happiness in 2016. I have a big job in communications with constant tight deadlines and big projects, coupled with providing executive support, so my mind is never far from my inbox. Unfortunately, this means I am often head down in my work email, when I should be seeking the joyful sparkle in my kids’ eyes, as an example. (I would add Kenny in there, too, but we’ve never really been a “look deeply into each other’s eyes” kinda couple, so I might freak him out if I start now…20 years in. Don’t worry though – the underlying sentiment – making an effort to spend time with people I love and people I like and being present when I do applies to him, too. Probably more than anyone, actually. Haha.)

Be Patient. Similar to above. Work has been so busy, and I’ve been traveling so much, that my patience is pretty much non-existent by the end of the day or the end of a week on the road. I am going to be more cognizant of that, and make an effort to be patient and…

Be Pleasant. Ditto above. I can very easily get trapped in my own “stuff” in my head. My mind is always, always, always thinking about a million things at once, which can make me worry, and, in turn, make me not focused in a moment, unpatient and, frankly, unpleasant.

I am going to focus on some complementary things, too. Namely, I’d like to be more playful, planful / prudent, and physical. (Ahem. As in working out. Dirty bird.)

Finally, there’s one more “p” we’ll be focusing on in 2016: puppy. Meet Bob…sometimes Buddy, but officially Bob. Yes, it’s absolutely crazy to add a puppy to our mix right now. But we’re never ones to shy away from crazy – haha, and the crazy started early with this puppy. We spent over five hours in the car after flying cross country post-Christmas to pick him up. Yes, all in one day. Let’s chalk this up to taking advantage of time zones, shall we?

Bob the Puppy

Bob’s been with us over a week, and he’s already brought so much fun (yes, and some turds) into our home. Why a puppy and why now? Well, the kids have been asking for a puppy for no less than two years, and, in the Fall, Kenny told them he was getting himself a puppy for his upcoming 40th birthday. Needless to say, they never forgot that statement. I kinda love that he wanted a puppy for his birthday. At 40. When I combine his whimsical ideas with my “List of Ps”, I think we’ll be all right this year.

Happy New Year, everyone!

P.S. I wrote and published this right from my iPhone…I am pretty excited – this means I may be able to write more this year, too! 😀