Happy New Year!

Well, the holidays have come and gone. I hope you, your friends, and your families all enjoyed relaxing, eating great food, and spending time together. The holidays are my favorite time of year – I love buying gifts (made evident by my Holiday Shopping Tips and Great Gift Ideas blogs), setting out decorations, watching my favorite Christmas movies (ElfHome Alone 2, and A Charlie Brown Christmas), and listening to Christmas songs. Finally, I love ending the holiday season by ringing in a new year. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end 2015 than – well, I’m getting ahead of myself! For my first post in 2016, I thought it apropos that I reflect on the past year. At the end of this post I’ll share something I plan on doing throughout 2016!

  • Travel: I have wanderlust like you wouldn’t believe. Luckily, 2015 was filled with travel, but I’m always hungry for more. Here are some of the places I was able to see in 2015:
    • Guatemala
    • Chicago
    • South Bend, Indiana (Go Irish!)
    • Orlando
    • Philadelphia (my forever home)
    • New Orleans
    • Atlanta
    • Annapolis
  • Events: I got to experience things I hadn’t before. There are likely some things I’m forgetting because I’m so bad about remembering to take pictures. (One of my new year’s resolutions is to take more pictures!) Here are a few:
    • Gasparilla Pirate Festival
    • A wedding at the University of Notre Dame’s gorgeous basilica
    • My cousin’s wedding in Philadelphia
    • An annual pass at Walt Disney World
    • My sister’s college graduation
    • A home football game at the University of Notre Dame
    • Scalloping (literally diving for scallops)
    • A swamp tour (where I held a baby alligator)
    • New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which was, in requisite Disney fashion, truly magical)

A huge turning point in 2015, and really in my life, was my being let go from a company that decided to centralize in another state – coincidentally, one where I have already resided and vowed never to live in again. As you might imagine and as anyone who has been let go (emphasis on not fired) from a company can tell you, the toll this can take on a person’s psyche can be pretty staggering. During my time with the company, I was able to make connections with a few people to whom I will forever feel indebted. They offered opportunities to me that helped reverse some of the negative feelings and self-doubt I was having as a result of my being laid off. This is why I am a firm believer in not burning bridges with anyone (unless, of course, they’re truly toxic).

But I digress!

Given my proclivity to forget to take pictures, I thought I’d try something this year that I’ve seen floating around the internet for a few days now: a memory jar! Essentially you take a large jar, and when something positive happens over the next year, you write it down on a Post-It note or a scrap of paper. (My plan is to write the memory on a strip and fold each strip into a star. It might be a pain to unfold all the stars at the end of the year but it will be fun to see the jar fill up with little stars throughout the year!) The intended result is a bunch of feel-good memories at the end of the year. I’m going to give this a whirl – try it out with me and let’s swap memories at the end of the year!

Thank you for checking out this post – the support of my friends and family made the final few months of 2015 amazing. I hope you have a wonderful 2016!

I have a blog project coming up that I’ll need help with, so stay tuned!

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