2016 was very interesting, to say the least, historically speaking. It was not my strongest year when it came to keeping up with the blog but it did bring plenty of highlight moments. I, like most folks, went into 2016 with high hopes that it would be my best year yet. I am not sure that it surmounted to that expectation but I want to appreciate the great moments that were none the less.
This year I turned 25. This age is not what I anticipated it to be. I had to learn this year not to be so hard on myself. I was always one to have concrete plans. I needed to know details and put them into action, often ignoring potential opportunities that strayed away from my initial goals and possibly missing out on even better outcomes. Giving yourself slack may mean inconsistent blog posts but it also brought about some of the best moments of this year.
My relationship with myself evolved over the year. Physically I haven’t been this fit since I was 16. I found a love for a fitness regime back in March and continue to do it 5 times a week. The barre studio has become my second home. Not only do I enjoy the workout itself but the atmosphere is definitely part of what keeps me going back every month. To have a room full of women (and the odd man) who encourage each other and speak highly of others, even in their absence, is a feat within itself. I have made friends with the clients and the staff there which I am thankful for. There are some days that I get such a laugh at their stories before or after class that my abs end up with two workouts for the price of one.
I traveled for the second consecutive year to Europe in August. While exploring Greece, I met even more lovely people from all over the world and felt accomplished in knocking the last big trip off of my to-do list.
I also explored a new-to-me culinary world. Being lactose intolerant I often spent a lot of time trying to find recipes and alternative foods that did not contain any dairy. It didn’t take a lot of hard thinking to realize that vegan recipes were friendly to my stomach. As I got more acquainted with vegan food, I started to follow some popular vegans on social media to see what they were cooking up. There was so much inspiration of foods that I could make without worrying about any tummy troubles. Of course, they would often bring up the treatment of animals and of our planet within the meat industry. I learned about how approximately one-third of human water consumption is in the meat industry and I started to think about all of the other natural resources that are used in the process. I started to get an understanding that protein is not found solely in meats but in a lot of foods that I was already eating such as quinoa, oatmeal, and beans. The way I saw food changed. I no longer plan my meals around what kind of meat I have at home, but what types of nutrients I need to provide my body. Don’t get me wrong, I do still consume meat but probably about 15% of what I used to. I think that the two biggest struggles I have had with this change is replacing eggs and not eating bacon. I am interested to see how that transitions into 2017.
I spent time with many important people in my life. I was happy to spend a week this summer with some of my life-long friends; spending afternoons reading books and sipping tea or getting to participate in backyard birthday parties. I was also able to go visit some family in Victoria. Sitting in my aunt’s kitchen and indulging in fresh berries topped with coconut whip cream while picking out which local play to see was wonderful. These may be some of the moments that I cherish most. They are the simple ones that but they make my heart feel full.
With the New Year only hours away, here are some of my wishes for 2017:
- That is be filled with laughter, lots and lots of laughter
- That I will find inspiration for my next great adventure now that I have visited all of the places on my to-do list
- That I continue to stay active and to make healthy choices
- That I step outside of my comfort zone a little more often and see what the world around me has to offer
Cheers to the end of a chapter but the beginning of a new one. May 2017 be full of joy for all you lovely people. Happy New Year!