New Years Fireworks

As I was Stumbling posts this week, I literally stumbled upon this post from Into Mind. It’s actually a post from last year of all things with 40 reflective questions about the year gone and 10 questions for the new year. As a wrap up to 2015, I’d like to share my answers to the first 40 questions with you! As for the other 10 questions…well, you’ll just have to wait and see! 🙂

  1. What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
    One event? Seriously?! 2015 was filled with three major events in my life! It began with the second half of my month long adventure in Europe. 2015 included the tail-end of our time in Belgium, Berlin, Venice and Rome. My grandchildren will definitely know of these travels! Waffles, Pommes Frites and wonderful people in Belgium, getting absolutely lost in Venice and the Wine/Food Pairing class we took in Rome – such an adventure it was! Then of course, there was my Undergraduate graduation from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Computer Science. This was a dream come true – the sum of four years of hard work – made possible by the support of friends, family and my other half.
    Finally, came the day I jumped out of a plane. Do I need to really explain why I’d share this with my grandchildren? 😉2015-05-12 12.36.51
  2. If you had to describe your 2015 in 3 words, what would they be?
    Constant Change & Movement. (Let’s forget that that is four words…shall we? 😉 ). After the culture shock and fast paced European adventure, my final semester in college was a whirlwind. Capstone was a challenge – but such fun. Days and nights of constant work to finish a project so I could, you know, graduate! 😉 Then off to Fort Lauderdale and right back to move my life to Louisville, Kentucky. This, along with living with my other half were two other big challenges. On top of that, there was this whole new world of full-time work… and playing the balance game between work, social outings, family, writing, reading and just staying sane 😉 There was even a period of time where I didn’t sleep more than five or six hours a night! Thankfully, I think I’m finally starting to adjust and looking forward to whatever life throws my way in 2016!

  4. What new things did you discover about yourself?
    I enjoy being busy. I know nothing about time estimation for events and personal projects. And mindfulness is something I need to work on. Let’s start with the busy-ness piece. It seems that I actually enjoy staying pretty busy – having a full schedule. Sure, it has to be balanced with life and such… but I like accomplishing things and to accomplish things, you typically have to stay busy!
    As for time estimation… this one may seem a little odd. But for the accomplish-er in me, it can be detrimental. If I plan to go to the store and then workout and then do X, Y and Z other things – I typically attach a time to each of those tasks… the time is almost always 5, 10 – maybe even 20 minutes too short. Silly me! This can get frustrating, and ultimately it causes me to rush through things. If I put less pressure on myself to accomplish and within a certain (very narrow) time frame, I might find myself accomplishing more!
    Finally, mindfulness, I’m getting better at. I’m listening to how I feel more, acknowledging my feelings and moving forward. I’m excited to keep working on this in 2016!

  5. What single achievement are you most proud of?
    Graduation from Michigan State. It was the absolute best feeling in the world to walk across that stage and receive my diploma (okay, okay, it was actually just a rolled up piece of paper because handing actual diplomas to students on the day of graduation isn’t a thing at MSU…but I received my actual diploma about six weeks later)! You get my point 🙂

  6. What was the best news you received?
    My second nephew, Kahler, was born healthy on January 5. Although I was across the world running around in Venice – I was thrilled to hear the good news and super excited to meet the little guy!

  7. What was your favorite place that you visited in 2015?
    Belgium! It was there that I met my other half’s family, was able to taste the worlds best waffles and fries, listen to the beautiful French language and see all sorts of awesome sites! Check out more here 🙂

  8. Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
    I’ll admit this is a tough one… maybe organization and planning? Especially with the move from Michigan to Kentucky. Planning is a ton of fun for me – even if I struggle to estimate time properly (always thinking there are more hours in the day). But as we planned to move all of our stuff from Michigan to Kentucky, it took a lot of thought and proper planning to make sure everything went smoothly!

  9. Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
    My other half. He was there for me every single day and I couldn’t be more thankful for him <3
    Other half and I

  10. Which new skills did you learn?
    A lot of technologies! Practically the whole field of Analytic’s – I lost myself in it this year with work. I love it! Have you heard of Big Data? That’s what I do 🙂
    Also, with Capstone (Senior Course in Computer Science), I found myself building an iPhone Application… super cool!
    Aside from skills learned at work and in school, I also gained skills in the kitchen and in the crafting department this past Christmas.
    Oh! And then there’s the French language.
    And Meditation!

  11. What, or who, are you most thankful for?
    I’m most thankful for life. Honestly. It might sound silly, but the world we live in is absolutely bonkers. People pass every day whether from natural causes, Mother Nature or from shootings or otherwise. I’m thankful for life and every moment I have here on Earth!

  12. If someone wrote a book about your life in 2015, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
    LOL. As it was so fast-paced and I was moving and adjusting to this new world after college… it could have been considered a mix of drama, comedy and something else. Change is a difficult thing. The constant change this year certainly tried my patience and emotions a few (or maybe more than a few) times. Of course, there were wonderful times – practically *perfect world* moments in time this year – the feeling after running four successive eight minute miles. Or the elation that came along with skydiving. Or just being with those I love. This year was a definite mix of extremes.

  13. What was the most important lesson you learned in 2015?
    I think I’ve learned that the more I stretch myself, the more I seem to grow an the happier I am. As I continue to push myself and learn, I feel proud of myself! 🙂

  14. Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
    There are days this past year where I found myself unable to solve a problem or unable to be creative or unable to accomplish something. I’ve had mental blocks and to deal with them I’ve learned to get up and move. I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to walk away from a problem to find the solution.

  15. What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
    2015-12-24 17.28.33 copy
    Other half, nephew’s Kahler and Kodi, friends Cody and Laura 🙂 This really isn’t a fair question, in that I could add to this list my parents, and a few other friends I had at MSU and new friends I’ve become closer with in Louisville. But, the question asked for five!

  16. What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
    Well, I’d say my first day on the job was a pretty big day. Along with the continuing conversations with my manager and mentors regarding my career path goals. I won’t lie, it’s been a big change – and there have been a number of ups and downs. But going into 2016, I’m SO excited and know that I love my job!

  17. How did your relationship to your family evolve?
    Well, instead of being an hour away from family – I now live five-ish hours away. Being a lover of home and my family, it’s been an adjustment for sure! But to combat the change, I’ve simply returned to Michigan a few times, enjoyed the moments in person with them and, of course, taken the time to call and write.

  18. What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
    The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. She brought on ideas for change in my life at the perfect time. In fact, tomorrow you’ll be able to read more about my plans for a 2016 Adventure to Bliss!

  19. What was your favorite compliment that you received this year?
    Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love obtaining compliments once in a while?! Of course, I receive compliments… my other half always finds a way to compliment me 🙂 and my parents tell me they are proud of me. However, one specific compliment I can’t seem to forget is having my college professor tell me that he’s proud of me on Graduation day. Through the course of my last semester he was a combination of a mentor and an absolute pain. 😛

  20. What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
    Cooking dinner with my other half; running or working out or just going for little walks; moments of accomplishments (big or small).

  21. What cool things did you create this year?
    More to come on this… but, I created stockings for my other half and I this Christmas, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Russian Doll set for my nephew, a watercolor of a sunset and a Key holder. I also worked hard on a few Halloween and Christmas decorations. Being creative is such fun! It’s something I definitely discovered a joy for this year!

  22. What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
    Does “running around like a chicken with my head cut off” count as a mental state? Like I said, I think I’ve been just going and going and going and going – racing from one task to the next because of plans, accomplishment wishes and lack of ability to estimate time 😛 This is something I wish to be more mindful of in the coming year… In fact, I look forward to just enjoying now, for now and simply doing what I can.

  23. Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
    Travel out of the country, graduate from college and skydive! 🙂
    Venice Sunset
    Graduation Picture
    Skydiving 10

  24. What was your favorite moment spent with your friends?
    Making friends post-college is a challenge. It takes a time commitment and effort. It’s totally worth it though. If I have to pick just one moment from this year, it’d probably be the Halloween Party my other half and I hosted! Such fun it was!
    Ashlee as a Flapper on Hallow's Eve
    MSU Reunion
    Outside of that, there was my roommate reunion at MSU and a night of card/video games with friends at the end of August. Good memories 🙂

  25. What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
    I think I’d have to say all the work I’ve put into my Adventure to Bliss I will announce tomorrow 🙂

  26. Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
    Practically all of my worries are unnecessary. Why? Well, it’s common to worry about things that actually never end up happening because we simply can’t predict the future. I worried about not graduating. I worried about failing epic-ally at my job. I worried about this, that and the other thing. But, none of my worries have really come true (thank goodness!). That’s not to say nothing bad has happened in 2015… but in terms of worries… nada 🙂

  27. What experience would you love to do all over again?
    Skydive! Or travel to Europe again. Although, I’m unsure of which one I’d rather do more-so than the other! Skydiving was an absolute whirlwind and the “high” I felt afterwards is like nothing I’ve ever felt. But Europe came with many, many new experiences – one of which being an interest in learning about other cultures. Both have their perks!

  28. What was the best gift you received?
    I asked for an experience for my birthday and that’s exactly what I got. Shout out to my other half for the skydiving experience of a lifetime!

  29. How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
    I think, I’m well down the road to planning less. 🙂 Which may seem like a problem to some, but for me, it’s the best thing that could happen!

  30. What was the biggest problem you solved?
    I learned how to speak out at work. I knew how to communicate (of course I’m still fine-tuning) but speaking out and just taking on things for myself is something i definitely learned how to do.

  31. What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
    I know there have been funny times. In fact, there have been a lot of funny times. But oddly enough, one specific moment doesn’t stick out in my memory.

  32. What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
    This year? Definitely my plane ticket to Vancouver (Whistler Blackcomb). That’s right! Come the second week in February I’ll be on top of a mountain skiing away with my other half.

  33. What one thing would you do differently and why?
    When my other half and I had a bit of a mess with our AirBnb booking, I could have reacted better than I did, I could have taken a step back…but it just kind of blew up. That’s okay though, we managed to salvage the trip, completely turn it around and have an absolutely wonderful time in Florida!

  34. What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
    Moving to Kentucky. I’ve said almost my entire life that I want to live in Michigan forever. More than that, I said that I’d never live in a city. Life does funny things to you, here I am living in Kentucky, and in a major city…funny thing is, even though I have moments of longing for Michigan and the quietness of the tree farm i grew up on. ..I get misty eyed at the sight of the Louisville skyline. Crazy.

  35. What activities made you lose track of time?
    Skydiving, friend get-togethers, running, and of course, time doing something or nothing at all with my other half.

  36. What did you think about more than anything else?
    Probably the next thing on my list 😛 Which, I honestly hate to admit but it’s true. Like I’ve previously stated, next year, I’m definitely working towards turning the list off and being present.

  37. What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
    Technology, happiness and blogging are my top three!

  38. What new habits did you cultivate?
    Lemon Honey water in the morning. Coined the warm up by my Mother. It has a slew of health benefits and after about 90 days of doing it, I feel better than ever 🙂
    I’ve almost completely quit crossing my legs!
    Better eating habits – normal portion sizes, listening to my stomach, eating only what I need, etc.
  39. What advice would you give your early-2015 self if you could?
    What else, but to relax! Be present in the now and let the future be.

  40. Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
    The move to Kentucky was a definite 180 this year. What a change after living 22+ years in mainly rural Michigan to move to, dare I say it, a city! 😛

  41. What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
    Running and exercise are the biggest *things* that had a positive impact on my life. My other half, family and friends are the *whos* 🙂


Here’s to you, the year past and the year to come! Wishing you all a wonderful New Years Eve and happiness in your snippets in 2016 and always <3

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    I think it’s great to reflect on the year like this! Also I love your Halloween costume 🙂

    • AH! Thank you, Becky! I was super excited about my costume this year! Thanks for visiting MLIS 🙂

  • I love this quiz and may copy and share on my blog with my answers in a few days! I love that you said you learned to speak out at work… I’m getting better at that too!

    • Feel free to use, Kate! 🙂 And yes, it’s super important to lean in at the workplace 🙂 Thanks for stopping by MLIS!

  • What a year! 🙂 Congratulations on all your progress, accomplishments, and growth!