13 Things You Should Ask Yourself Before the End of 2013


Hello, friends! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! 
For Jordan and I, the celebration continues this weekend in the great land of Tay-has (that's how I like to say Texas sometimes). But before we leave to spend time with my side of the family, today, Beka and I are hosting a 2013 linkup!

Scroll to the bottom to link up your 2013 posts, 
and be sure and visit a few of your fellow bloggers.

* * *
I was going to write a letter to 2013, 
but I saw these questions on Kenzie's blog 
and was further inspired by Alicia's post.

The original post was for 25 things, but I just chose 13 for 2013.

1. What am I most proud of this year?
There are two things that make me the most proud:
a) Completing all my 2013 resolutions by September
b) Landing my sweet job and, most specifically, holding out for something great. You CAN find a job you love. It might take some time, but it's out there. I believe that 100%.

2. How can I become a better ________?
The first thing that came to mind was wife. You know how you guys think I'm hilarious and awesome? Well, sometimes I'm not so awesome, and Jordan does not always think I'm hilarious. Shocking, I know. 

In 2014, I want to be more intentional about being a better wife to Jordan. More posts on that later. Survey says you guys love it when I talk about marriage.

3. Where do I need to allow myself grace?
I am really hard on myself, so I don't allow myself much grace at all. I'm constantly down on myself about how I could be a better wife (see #2), a better Christian, a better friend, just a better person in general. 

And while self-improvement is a good thing, I do need to give myself some grace and remember that I am not going to change overnight. I'm not going to wake up and magically be more patient, less materialistic, and better at managing my time. I need to allow myself grace to make mistakes.

4. Am I passionate about my career?

At the start of 2013, I would have said my career looked like a black hole of awfulness. 
Now? I can happily and thankfully say yes (see #1b).

5. What did my finances look like?

Due to my job loss, our savings plan slowed down dramatically (aka stopped altogether), and our house buying plans have stalled for the moment as well. Actually, we've decided to rough it out in apartment life for another year, so there's that. 

But all in all, it wasn't so bad. Our budget saved the day, and even though it wasn't fun to pinch pennies, we made it without having to dip into our savings one time! Winning. You can check out my budgeting posts here, and one post I'm going to do soon is a short introduction to budgeting to just give you some easy tips on how to actually get started. The new year is the perfect time to implement some easy budgeting practices.

6. How did I spend my free time?
Mostly, running and blogging. And talking to my mom on the phone.
Oh, and thinking up hilarious tweets.

7. What projects have I completed?
Does my how to start running series count? Because that was a heck of a project!
I also crocheted some stuff like pot holders and scarves, bought a desk for myself so I actually have a home base for my computer and stuff like that, and I ran a marathon. That was a pretty labor-intensive project.
And I baked a lot of cookies. A lot. You could say my project was not gaining 28495 pounds.

8. In what ways can I restructure my time?

I go back and forth between feeling like, "I love my blog! It's fun! It's not a waste of time," to, "You idiot! You realize how much time you spend on this blog for no money? At least do sponsorships for pete's sake."

So there's that. I could probably restructure my blogging time, although I have no idea what that would realistically look like.

Still, in general I think I do a fairly good job of structuring my time. As previously mentioned, I am one of five people in the world who don't own a smart phone, so I at least have some freedom from social media when I am out of my apartment and/or not near a computer. But I definitely waste my share of time on the computer too. I guess I would just like to be more intentional about the amount of time I spend doing certain things and making sure I'm continuing to be productive and not just wasting time. Was that too vague? Probably.

9. When have I felt the most alive?
While running. Bet you didn't see that one coming, huh?

Specifically, running on a beautiful day with a good song on my ipod and the wind blowing at my back. It's those days that remind me why I love it so much. It makes up for the days where I get honked at by creepy strangers and chased by dogs and angry geese.

10. How can I improve my relationships?

I need to ask my friends how I can be praying for them, and then I need to actually follow through and spend time in daily prayer. That's the first thing.

Secondly, I need to remember things. Birthdays and anniversaries. I need to send cards and emails and make an effort to stay in touch. Because even though I have the kind of friendships where we don't have to talk all the time, those are the friends I want to talk to the most. So I should.

11. What lessons have I learned in 2013?
Budgeting is important. Annoying sometimes, but always important.
Salmon actually is not disgusting. It's delicious.
Black olives, however, will always be disgusting. Stop trying to eat them thinking the taste has changed.
God is good.

12. What old habits would I like to release?
Being quick to speak. Not that I haven't been working on this my entire life. It would be really nice not to blurt out everything I'm thinking at any given moment. I am constantly offending people. On the bright side, I've gotten quite good at apologies.

Also, I pick at my face a lot, which I KNOW isn't good for my already terrible complexion. I'd like to stop doing that. Old habits die hard.

13. What new habits would I like to cultivate?

a) Daily prayer (see #10)
b) More strength training and other things like pilates or yoga.
I'd really like to be able to cross off "do a pull-up" on my 30x30 list before I'm too old to care about doing pull-ups.
I have tried to start a cleaning schedule since I moved out on my own. And I have failed miserably every time. Like, I don't even clean the first time. I can budget and wake up at 5am to run, but I can't get my act together to regularly clean my bathroom sink. It's a problem.

What do you have to say about 2013?
Write a post, grab a button, and link up!
The Lady Okie Blog
Jes. said...

This is probably awful of me, but my favorite thing about this post was #13c. I keep reading about all this running you are doing, and keeping up with your blog, and budgeting, and generally just being awesomely funny. Now I know at least I have a cleaning schedule and you don't. Bahahahaha!
Although the cleaning the bathrooms day is the worst for me. I always think, "It's not that bad, I'll just do it next week." Except when you have children, that is a lie. It is gross.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

So impressed with your budgeting skills! You completed a lot this year and I love that you are trying to be more intentional with your marriage and friendships! It is so hard to juggle it all but I know it's worth it and I am hoping to work on it too.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

I didn't know you had a link-up happening! Yay! I am with you on the black olives. Stop thinking you're grown up enough to like them. You never will be. Just a fact of life.

Amber Marie said...

I think a balance between pushing yourself to be important and allowing yourself some grace is a key to success! I'm glad you included it…we have to be hard enough on ourselves to actually be better, but we also have let ourselves be human, so that everything is executed in a healthy manner. And cleaning schedules. I know!! What breed of people are so good at sticking to those?!

Helene in Between said...

i love this idea!! and #4- i am jealous- being passionate about your career is so important, kudos to you and love this!

Brittany said...

I LOVE this! I am so going to link up next week! I too feel most alive when I am running. I can never let myself forget that and forget to make time for it!

Alicia | Jaybird: Home in Motion said...

These are wonderful questions. 2 and 3 work together especially well...for me, they translate to a wonderful pairing: how can I improve, and (as I do that) how can I be patient and understanding with myself? If we create new resolutions or habits and expect ourselves to immediately adhere to them perfectly, we're setting ourselves up for a difficult road and a lot of self-criticism. Your completed projects question is great too--time to celebrate your accomplishments! I'm putting together a three-part list instead of resolutions this year: I Did, I Do, I Will. Celebrate what I've done well, acknowledge how I can do better and enrich my life (and those of others), and how I'll do that in 2014.

Now that I've written you a novel I'll just finish by saying thanks for the shoutout. Happy almost new year!

Megan said...

Great post! I love the way you structured this, and I'm really excited to read the other posts in the link-up. :) It sounds like you really are finishing off this year with a bang, and that's awesome to hear (read?)! Also, maybe you should try black olives again. Just saying: They're delicious, and they make great gangrene E.T. fingers.

Lauren Alexis said...

I love answer number 3. This is something I need to work on as well. I'm glad you pointed it out in the way you did. And number 10. i love cards and snail mail, so I don't know why I don't remember these things more.
And definitely linking up next week! Working on my post this weekend!

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

Love this linkup idea! #8 and #11 really cracked me up :) Don't be so hard on yourself, I'm sure you are a great wife and friend! I used to be really hard on myself about cleaning when I moved in with my husband. Funny how when I lived at home I could care less... ha! Anyways, I had a strict cleaning schedule for our house and I stuck with it for the last two years and up until about 3 months ago, I like to give myself some slack. Some weeks it's too much slack, but oh well. Life is too short and no one comes over anyways. :) Best of luck with your 2014 goals!

Niken said...

it's good to reflect and look forward. reflect to learn and make a better plans for the future. i need to make a list too. i learned budget is so important too. and i want to be more intentional in the way i live my life and actually start living healthier.

Anonymous said...

Love this linkup as well, but can someone tell me why my image is sideways???

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

This was so good!!!!!! I loved it all. Also, I had no idea you crochet. I knit but have yet to try crocheting.

17 Perth said...

I love this!! And I am so impressed you accomplished your goals by september!! And I hear you about the cleaning...hilarious. I always joke that I am tired after a run and have "no energy" for things like cleaning! lol.

Miriam said...

I'm so happy for you to have found your dream job! That's awesome. Also, your passion for running almost makes me wanna run - but I hate it, so there's that. I get the same sort of kick from long walks though, moving is great!
Have a happy new year!

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

Ooooh, this got me thinking and ALMOST wanting to join in. Maybe fighting laziness is something I need to improve for 2014. ;) But #3 is so well said, you should be proud of all you accomplished in #7, and I am an ultimate face picker too. I hate it, but those times that it actually works out and doesn't scar you for a week? That's what keeps me going. (GROSS. But picker to picker, you know. ;))

Jenna Griffin | Gold & Bloom said...

Aw, I love this! I just love reading your blog. I'm so glad we have connected through this blog world. You're an awesome person!

Happy 2014! Xo

Unknown said...

Hee hee, I agree that live tweets are kind of weird but I do appreciate the funny ones. Congrats on meeting all your goals by September. That's pretty impressive!


Erika from America said...

What a great idea! It looks like 2013 was a great year for you!!! :) Hope 2014 is even brighter!

Ashley said...

I love this idea of reflecting on 2013! Can't wait to keep reading in 2014. Let's make it the year of the snail mail and funny tweets! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! You've had a wild 2013. I'm so glad that you found a job you love and that you have so much good to reflect back on from '13 and to look forward to in '14. Here's to a great one!


Anonymous said...

I feel like you wrote this for me! Especially the part about growing to be a better wife (and less intensely - the picking part - I'm horrible!). I can't wait to keep reading in 2014!

Unknown said...

I can relate to a lot of these! I'm constantly coming up with some improvement scheme for myself (I'll start a new cleaning schedule/diet/time management plan/exercise routine/etc, etc) and always hard on myself for falling short. I think it's important to chill out and just enjoy happy, quiet moments in life without worrying if we're doing "good enough". Congrats on the new job! Also, great accomplishments! I think running a marathon and posting great blog series throughout the year are great accomplishments. Thanks for all of your funny, inspiring posts, and I hope you have a great new year!

Unknown said...

Reese, I don't know that you'll ever know completely and wholly how much #13c means to me. You and Kylie Lyons and Emily Wilson are sort of my adult inspiration, and I always imagine that all of you have cleaning schedules and generally everything in life together (though I know you don't feel that way, it feels that way to me looking in from the outside). So I feel much more at peace with the soap blobs on my sink and the dust on my ceiling fans. You just made 2013 for me. :)

Elizabeth said...

I love this reflection on the past year! and I think you should totally keep up blogging and even start selling add space :) You have a lot to offer! Dream big for 2014!!


The Lady Okie said...

Well, Buttercup, I'm glad I could make you feel better. Your soap rings and mine should party it up sometime. Also, I made your thumbprint cookies and took them over to Jordan's parents' house for Christmas. THEY WERE A HUGE HIT! Everyone loved them. Thanks for the recipe!

The Lady Okie said...

Thanks so much, Amy! Hope you have a great start to 2014! Happy new year!

The Lady Okie said...

Thanks, Amy! Hope you have a great new year!