Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Year of Grace: 2014 Wrap-Up

Woo, alright y'all here's 2014 in review :)

2014 Goals
Regain financial independence
Pay off credit card--not happening but it's down some
Pay car loan to below $8k (close!)
Altered clothes challenge
Run 15 miler for fun (close enough 14.5 trail jog on Oct 31)
Finally try surfing (Aug 30)
Go kayaking again (April 26, May 17, May 24, July 9, July 13, Oct 25)
Backpack in Olympic Forest (Hiked Sept 14)
Hike/trail run entire Wildwood Trail (1 day) (Mar 1st)
Roadtrip somewhere out of Oregon (ONP--Sept 14)
Potential:Run in official half marathon race (Dec 14) Sprint tri in summer
What a year it was...full of ups and downs, but truthfully if I had to put a "word" to last was GRACE. Grace for myself, grace for others, recognizing grace all around, and doing my best to give more grace.

The year itself ended with about 922 miles covered via hiking, running, snowshoeing, and backpacking. I did only 6 Insanity DVDs and 5.5 yoga you-tube sessions to cross-train, but I covered about 20 miles via kayaking, tried surfing & snowboarding, and went on one SUP outing.

Of the miles via my own feet:
I met my goal to walk/hike the entire 30 miles of the Wildwood Trail in one day:

I ran in the Shamrock Run 15k and averaged 8:46 min miles:

I met my extra goal of running in a half-marathon race:

I had an epic back-to-back outdoor weekend early in the year that included a 16 mile hike in Tillamook Forest with an evening trip to the beach and followed up with a 8 mile snowshoe trip on the mountain the next day:

Tall D & I did some epic day hikes for mileage this summer, including completing as much of the Wilson River trail in one day as was possible at the time, partially fulfilling my goal of exploring Olympic National Park by driving & hiking around part of it, and backpacking in the Wallowas:

I made my longest solo day mileage by completing an epic 22 mile hike/trail run on Eagle Creek Trail this fall...and I smiled in the rain the whole way:

And I more or less made my goal of completing a 15 miler by defeating my personal challenge of making it around Hagg Lake:

I continued to be in love with kayaking and am looking forward to eventual future kayak/camping excursions:

I learned via completing my life goal of trying surfing that while it's fun to explore new options, sometimes it's satisfying to recognize that we already have so many good things going:

I accomplished my goal of a road trip out of Oregon in a round about way by taking the day trip to Olympic National Park in September and by the recent day trip to Seattle. While I think I originally meant for that goal to be farther's all about grace :) and both day trips were rewarding!

This year I also spent the period of Lent in a social media time-out & allowed myself to finish processing and grieving my divorce and the loss that occurred to my world view in the years prior. It was a much-needed and well-received experience and I came out of Lent renewed and ready to move forward. In June, I finally "let go" on a trail in Tillamook Forest and headed into a new future. 
Ironically I also was involved with my ex twice this last year for short periods of time, but I re-learned hard lessons in the process...and eventually shut the door hard & firm. I was reminded that the core concept of self-respect needs to be forefront on my heart & mind...and I ended the year with my maiden name fully re-engraved in my heart and legally changed for good.

I participated in online dating on two different occasions. Spent the first part of the summer with a great guy. Continued to develop ideas for what I truly need in a partner and to be aware of whether or not I'm really ready to focus on a relationship. I completed the dating challenge my girlfriends gave me and truly enjoyed the process and the learning that came from it.

I had some random and scary health flukes in March & April that made me realize that my body was truly exhausted. It took 2-3 months to truly re-stabilize and I spent the rest of the year focusing on grace for my physical health & listening more to what my body actually needed. The fact that I ended with 922 miles out of the original 1000 mile goal that I had for the year, makes me incredibly happy that I was even able to come back this far. I've learned to not take my physical health for granted.

I made it through massage school. While it had to be slowed down and pushed back (grace!) and at times was a total test of my patience, on Christmas Eve my certificate of completion, final transcript, and alumni card were all delivered to my front door. Thank God it's over :) but I truly learned so much in the process.

In total the year had five housemates plus M's lil guy & visiting grandma. A recurring theme this year was also learning to put my foot down and learning to say no. Removing Housemate M from the home was a hard experience but proved to have incredibly positive outcomes. My current long-term housemate has been here for seven months now and we had two great short-term gals share space with us also. 

My financial goals are still in process but this is where grace comes into play once again. I don't doubt that those financial goals WILL be met in years to come...and I'm continuing to make headway...just not as fast as I already wanted. My car loan was almost paid to the goal and I have no doubts that I'll make the goal for this year ahead. The credit card is less than it was at the start of 2014 but there's still plenty of progress to be had. And while I'm not financially independent...I'm feeling a bit more "financially stable" than I have in a long, long time...and I can see that independence is on the 2 year horizon. 

I did however also more or less make it through 2014 completing my no buy clothing challenge. I stumbled with one unexpected Target trip but those two clearance items have been worn multiple times. I feel pretty good coming out of 2014 having only bought two new regular items of clothing.

The year also included more food preservation than ever before, wonderful moments of U-Picks, backyard growing, & kitchen canning. The suburban farm also grew to include a hodge podge of 4 chickens, the rebuilt arbor & coop, and a completed pallet-to-compost bin project. In terms of increasing sustainability, 2014 saw many advancements.

In the fall I emotionally fell on my butt for one primary reason, I had a near life-altering accident from which I walked away with no damage or injuries, and I hired my cousin to be my life coach to help hold me accountable toward refinding joy in my life and moving me toward goals. In less time than I could have ever imagined, I ended 2014 with an offer to get to Africa, fundraising ideas, steps for short-term professional development, the potential for a new dream career evolving...and a general sense of fulfillment.

So there we have it. I hiked, I ran, I finished school, kept kayaking. I made payments and continued sharing housing. I spent time with family and reconnect with my siblings. I enjoyed so many moments with the many amazing friends that I have in my social circle. I continued to teach. I changed my name and started chasing my dreams. I grieved, I exhausted, I rebuilt, and I ended the year.... happy, content, and satisfied.

I spent yesterday the final day of 2014 sleeping in, interviewing a new potential short-term housemate, and then I took an old college friend on a day hike to Tillamook Forest. This is someone I haven't seen in 12 years, who was given my number to reconnect, and who is in the process of a finalizing divorce that he isn't sure he actually wanted. To spend the final day of the year on trail with an old friend, seeing nature & exercise bring happiness to his face, and asking hard questions while offering advice....was probably the most perfect way to celebrate a year of growth, of grace, and of learning. 

The evening included a hot shower, a phone call to Granny, a Lara Croft movie marathon surround by the dogs & my cat, one glass of wine, and an early bed time just after midnight curled up cuddling my firework scared dog. Even though I had many other NYE offers, this low key night was the most appealing thing to end a pretty amazingly full year.

Hoping that your end to 2014 left you feeling just as solid. While I'm looking forward to this new year that we've entered into, I do so not with unrealistic expectations or hope, but with trust that the right and true opportunities will reveal...and that life will be enjoyed in all the many satisfying moments offered when we're not looking. Heading into this new year, I have no "word" for what the year might bring, but I hope it's one of restoration, trust, happiness, and many moments of slowing down. Africa is my focus, but I'm open to whatever God decides to reveal in the days, weeks, and months ahead....I mean come on He works and reveals in the most interesting of here's to just enjoying the ride ahead. :) Onward into 2015--love, peace, and joy to all of you!


  1. wow you had a ridiculously eventful 2014!! I am so glad that you ended it on such a great note- and am so impressed by all your amazing accomplishments, both physical and emotional. May 2015 treat you to more phenomenalities :)

  2. Wow, what a year 2014 was for you... I am glad that you have learned how to be kinder to yourself and have more of a sense of grace about things. It's so easy to be ridiculously hard on ourselves... It's great that you got so much time outside as I am sure that is what kept you sane in the midst of an incredibly busy year!! Happy New Year - I hope 2015 is awesome for you!