Today’s my 27th birthday, and MAN, has it been a year! For my last birthday, my husband, Jonny, was so sweet and thoughtful in planning something creative since we were just three weeks into quarantine. He planned a three hour long Zoom birthday party where friends and family could pop in for any amount of time. At the time, Zoom was a novel thing to us all, and it was so much fun to see so many faces after weeks of being stuck at home. This year though, I told him that the last thing I want on my birthday is to have to be on any more Zoom calls. I’m Zoomed out. This year, we’re going to a nice dinner (our first date night INSIDE a restaurant in over a year!) and then taking a trip to White Sands National Park in New Mexico for a few days.
This year has been so hard. I joked to a friend that I should just be able to turn 26 again and have this last year not count. I haven’t seen my grandparents in over a year. I miss hugging my friends and being able to host big groups. I miss the little things like going to dinner with friends and trying one another’s drinks (will that EVER come back?!) I miss traveling, and I miss being in big crowds of people at events and going to concerts. I miss church and the gym and working from coffee shops. I miss playing music with my friends, and performing for my community. Mostly, I just miss people. I’m an extrovert and I get so much energy from being surrounded by good people who make me laugh, so I think one thing I’m feeling after this year is tired. I’m grateful that even though I had family members who got COVID-19, all of them lived. We’ve lost so many good people this year, and I think the whole world is mourning the loss of lives and the loss of normalcy.
I joked to a friend that I should be able to turn 26 again and have this last year not count.
This year has also been really, really good in a lot of ways. Through some intense anxiety and discomfort, I learned to give myself grace (it’s ironic how bad I am at that). I learned to turn off my work mode and spend more time in the moment. For the first time in my adult life, I didn’t darken the doors of a gym for an entire year, and I learned to be creative in my exercise and movement, and to give myself room to be still. I had the most regular yoga practice of my life, which has been so good for my body, mind, and soul.
I stopped apologizing for taking up space, and I stopped using the words “I’m sorry” to make others more comfortable. I became kinder and stronger, even as my social life dwindled to a small pod and my hands lost their rock climbing calluses. I had time to spend with myself, and I learned to like myself more and enjoy spending time alone (not a natural state for an extrovert). I learned to set boundaries and stick to them, and saw how much they helped me mentally and emotionally. I learned to love myself without makeup and I also learned to dress up and put on a full face of makeup just for myself, even if I don’t leave my house or see another soul.
Without regular date nights, Jonny and I learned how to pour our energy into one another and get creative with the ways we communicate and enjoy time together. One of our favorite things to do now is to take turns planning a date night as a surprise for the other partner. We’re both competitive, and it’s been fun to try to outdo one another in our planning of dates for the other. The first Friday that was Jonny’s turn, he pushed all the living room furniture to the edges of the room, blew up an air mattress, and piled it with pillows, blankets, and our favorite snacks for a movie night.
We traveled for a total of 83 days in 2019, and only a fraction of that in 2020, but we got creative and explored places closer to home as well as several National Parks. I had my best year in real estate yet, and completed my first major remodel in The Green Hills House. We finished our porch during the Spring 2020 One Room Challenge, DIYed a stock tank pool in our back yard (plans here) and transformed our guest room with just $500. We closed on and began demo on the Ruby Project, the Bonnie Project, and two more I haven’t shared yet. Creatively and in business, this past year has been so unexpectedly good.
I wouldn’t want to re-do my 27th year, but I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned or how I’ve grown this year.
I wouldn’t want to re-do my 27th year, but I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned or how I’ve grown this year. I just got my first vaccination shot two weeks ago, and I’m SO looking forward to being able to get my second shot and have more peace of mind and freedom. I’m looking forward to spending time with friends again, and cannot wait to spend this summer traveling, seeing friends and family, and making up for lost quality time.
During my 28th year, I’m hoping to travel, continue to grow my real estate and renovation/design businesses, and spend a lot of time with people I love. I’m excited to see what this year holds. Thank you for being here for it with me!♥
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