Looking back at 2015 — and ahead

I would love to hear your end-of-year reflections:
1. What was your greatest accomplishment? (Tell me so I can cheer for you!)
2. If you could do one thing over, what would it be?
3. What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

I had to think hard when I read my friend Carolyn’s Facebook post this morning.

2015 was a HUGE year for me, but I couldn’t name any single “greatest accomplishment.” In fact, some of my hardest-won battles were incremental — certainly nothing to brag (or blog) about.

The second answer came more readily: I would have bought fewer things I didn’t need. It can be difficult in our age of eBay and Amazon to discern between an imagined need and a real one. I’ll try to remember that lesson in the year ahead.

Warren Buffet quote BLOG

As for the third question, well … that’s easy. More of the same! I look forward to spending even more time with family and dear friends, more travel, more writing and photography, and more growth.

Blog highlights 2015 BLOG

I don’t have any formal resolutions to those ends, though. Instead, I’ve drawn inspiration from my friend Jim at Down the Road to choose three theme words for the year ahead.

Focus • I will spend less time worrying about what others are doing/saying/thinking. Instead, I’ll focus on my own attitude, and the things I can control.

Discipline • Procrastination causes needless stress and robs me of productive time. I will do what I’m supposed to be doing, when I’m supposed to be doing it.

Wonder • Einstein once said that there are two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle. In the year ahead I’ll try not to forget the miracle that is my very existence, or the wonders — big and small — that surround me every day.

But enough about me. What are YOUR end-of-year reflections?


    • I’m getting back to eating oatmeal too, Tom. But I also hope I never, ever take your friendship for granted. Happy 2016 to you and yours!

  1. Your expose on looking ahead and pointing out the characteristics of a life not lived yet are spot on. I hope to implement some of that into my new year attitude. Good Job

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I stopped by your blog and enjoyed your musings, too — especially your admonition that there’s no excuse for not learning something new every day. I’ll add that one to the list …
      Happy new year!

  2. Those are great reflections, H. I’ll be wrapping mine up soon. In the meantime, I want to wish you a world of wonders in the new year. 🙂

  3. 20 years after graduating high school, I got an associates degree. I daughter graduated high school. My husband stopped drinking. Now my 18 year old daughter is pregnant…it’s gonna be just fine, we are blessed!

  4. My greatest accomplishment was completing that therapy in August that was so transformative.

    If I could do one thing over, I think I might have quit that awful company before they had a chance to lay me off. (Though the severance pay and vacation payout were nice.)

    You’re hearing this first, because you’re first to ask, but the thing I’m looking forward to most in 2016 is getting married. My girlfriend and I have picked a date, and we are flying to Ireland for our honeymoon (to her family’s home county to meet uncles and cousins she’s never met!). I have yet to buy a ring and propose, though; gotta get on that!!

    You picked some great words. I’ll be eager to hear in a year how they worked out for you.

    • Ohmygosh, Jim. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! What wonderful news — I’m overjoyed for you! Just as I’m honored to be hearing this first. In exchange, let me be the first to wish you and your soon-to-be-bride a long lifetime full of love and companionship, and every happiness. Cheers to the lovely couple!

  5. My greatest accomplishment is getting an A in my French GCSE exam!!! If I could do one thing over then i would have started blogging a lot sooner and sorted out all friendship drama to go with it. Finally, the thing i am most looking forward to is staying xlose to my friends and to do daily blogs and getting peoples opinions, could you give me advice on how to get people to start seeing your blog, I’m not sure how to get followers and stuff
    Much Love
    Newscottie_xo ox

    • Félicitations ! That first one really is quite an accomplishment. As for what you would have done differently … well, no time like the present, eh? I’ve been blogging for almost seven years and can tell you that it will open doors you never even knew existed. (I’ve already made several real-life friends in this community.) To “get followers and stuff,” though, you’ll need to put some content out there. I know, I know … that first post can be kind of daunting. So why don’t you start by telling us a bit more about yourself? For instance, how did you choose your blog’s name? What are your interests?

      Anyway … happy new year to you, and thanks so much for stopping by.

  6. My inner most thought for last year is, “I’m still alive.” What I went through in one year most people wouldn’t think it possible. Dealing with high blood pressure most of my entire adult life, as I began my third trimester of life I knew in my heart (no pun intended) that my health would not get better. The more I saw my cardiologist, the more alarming the news was. October 15th, 2014 I had open heart surgery to replace my Aortic valve. Although the operation was “text book perfect” according to my surgeon. I developed AFIB (irregular heart beat), a common setback post cardiac surgery, and my fitness went downhill from that point on. I had 16 procedures since that surgery, some were minor, e.g. draining fluid from the area of my heart. Others were a little more complicated, e.g. Cardiac Oblation, 6 ½ hour under anesthesia, and when I woke up, my doctor said the procedure had failed. After that nightmare, a couple weeks later, he finally did something else, and it worked. If I ever explained the other procedures I had done in the past year, no one would believe it.
    So for now I’m in Sinus rhythm (normal heart beat). I guess I should be thankful, maybe a little bit to the doctors and nurses who tried in vain to keep me alive, but I’m really not. I’m angry that I didn’t expire during my first operation because now I can only imagine what the future will bring.
    What would I want for the future? I really want to win the largest lotto prize in history, than die after signing all the legal papers. It would be a great story for the treacheries of the tabloids. At least politics would be on the back burner for a while.

    • I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a terribly rough time, Mike. Even after your description of last year I really can’t imagine what it would be like to go through everything you’ve endured. But I do very much hope that your heart condition will stabilize, and that over the year ahead you’ll regain some of your strength and zest for life — so that when you DO claim that huge lotto prize, you’ll be able to put your winnings to good use.

      My very best wishes to you for continued healing and better health in the year ahead, Mike.

      • Thank you for your good wishes. Don’t worry or feel bad, I was just venting. I’m fine, in fact I just wrote something a little more positive. Would you like to read it? Best, Mike

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