- I don't handle stress nearly as well as I thought I did. For possibly the first time, I think I found out what it is like to be under very high stress levels for a consistent and long period of time. I've never had that before, and I didn't manage it well, which made it take its toll on me.
- I am emotionally stronger than I thought I was. Although this year has been stressful, I feel like I have been strong and have been a source of strength for others around me.
- I need a plan for follow through. I have always had a hard time sticking with things, but this year I found out that I am fully capable of it...when I have a plan. The biggest thing I did this year was read the Bible chronologically in one year (well, I'm not done yet, I started on Jan. 3). I have wanted to read the whole Bible in a year before, but I've never been consistent enough to make it happen and it fizzles out. This year, I stuck with it and I'm almost done! I am really proud of myself for doing it, and for sticking with it even though I had so much less time and more stress this year.
- I NEEEEEED rest. I am bad about self care and about taking time to rest. I am really bad about it. But this year, I have learned that I really need it. I need to go to bed earlier and get a better night of sleep. I need to take a few hours every couple weeks away from the house, by myself, to refresh. I absolutely need time to unwind and unplug. (This is probably also why I don't handle stress very well).
- I am a total book nerd! I have always enjoyed reading, but this year (and maybe a little last year), I really realized HOW much I love it! When I set a goal to read 50 books this year, it was because I wanted to pursue that a little bit more, and take time to actually do something I enjoy. I didn't make it to 50, but I don't feel too bad about it considering when I set the goal, I had half the amount of children I do now. I think I will have 28 or 29 read by the end of the year (plus 2 more that I'm partially through), so I feel pretty good about that considering how this year went! (Also, I originally wrote "I think I will have 28 or 29 by the end of the year", but since I had just been talking about my kids it sounded like I was saying I would have 28 or 29 kids....scary).
- I thrive when I have a creative outlet! This year a lot of that consisted of photography, but blogging is also a big one. I enjoy having something I can do (bonus if it's from home, while my babies nap!) to feed into my creative side a little!
- I am glad to be out of the baby phase. I honestly wasn't sure I would ever feel like that. And not to say we will never have another baby in our home (#fostercareisunpredictable ;) ). I LOVED the baby phase with my girls. And I absolutely adore babies. But this year, I started noticing that I didn't ache for another one when I would hold friends itty bitty ones. And when we added TWO babies to our family this year (who quickly became toddlers), I was not at all sad to be done with multiple naps, bottles, strollers, etc when they moved past all that. That's where I'm at right now-who knows if it'll change!
- I am not good at making decisions. I don't know that I've ever really realized it before, or maybe I have been better at it in the past. But for sure this year, I have had such a hard time making decisions...both big ones, and little every day ones. I am overthinking everything and going back and forth on pros and cons. Sometimes I make a decision just so that I can stop thinking about it, and just pray its the right one (we did this recently with a vehicle....it was taking over our life trying to choose one)!
- I really enjoy hosting! This is one of those things that you don't realize how much you like it until you're no longer doing it. At our old (much larger) home, we hosted people and events all the time. In our new (much smaller) house, we rarely have the opportunity to. Part of that is because of how crazy this year was adjusting to foster care, etc. but part of it is also the layout and size of our house. We both really miss hosting regularly!
I'm sure there are more, but my brain is tapped out for the night! What did you learn about yourself in 2016?