I Didn’t Do Anything “Big” This Year

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As this year draws to a close, I realized that I didn’t do anything “big” this year. In the past, I’ve shared exciting milestones like getting married, graduating college, buying a house, and having a baby. I know that many of my social media friends will be sharing all of their major life events this year, and I am so excited for them. I can’t wait to see all of the engagement rings and beautiful vacations that my friends have enjoyed this year. At the same time, it can be hard not to compare my highlight reel with someone else’s. I would have loved to go to Europe on vacation (or even Gulf Shores), but that wasn’t in the cards this year. I would have enjoyed fancy date nights and getting dressed up with my husband, but that didn’t happen much this year either. From the outside, it might seem like this year was a bit of a letdown after all of the excitement from the past few years. Even I get caught up in moments of wondering if I’ve accomplished enough. Maybe I should’ve started grad school or finished our basement?

However, those moments of doubt pass and I remember all of the small moments that have made this year the best year of my life. It may look less exciting to others, but those everyday moments have made my life shine. For one, my stress level is the lowest it has been in years. As exciting as major life changes are, they are also extremely stressful. I am finally in a place of contentment this year and I’m all for it. Here are some of the things I didn’t do this year.

I didn’t travel abroad.

This year, instead of taking a traditional vacation we visited family we don’t see very often. We went to Oklahoma and spent time with David’s grandparents and one of my dear college friends. We also went to Florida, where we had five generations in the same place. It was special to share Noah with people who mean so much to us, and I’m glad we made that a priority.

Photo by KaLisa Veer on Unsplash

I didn’t move this year.

We have moved four times in the past six years, and it feels so good to finally get the chance to settle in and call somewhere home. I love not having to pack up everything that belongs to me and wonder what things will get lost or broken along the way.

I didn’t write a book (but I actually got to read some).

This year I made it a priority to read books that I chose. After college, I was so burned out on reading that I had actually forgotten how much I enjoyed it. 

I didn’t run a marathon.

I didn’t really do much exercising at all, despite having a membership to the gym three minutes from my house. However, I have played on the floor for countless hours this year. I have also watched my baby, who couldn’t even lift his head, learn to stand and walk with support.

Big Accomplishment: Photo by Peter Boccia on Unsplash

I didn’t make more money.

This may sound like a bad thing, but going part-time has given me precious moments at home with my one-year-old son Noah. I wouldn’t trade my days of building towers and playing peek-a-boo with him for anything (including more money).

I didn’t add anyone to my family.

I’m very happy for my friends who are getting married or expecting babies. This year, though, I’ve been soaking up the family I already have. Life as a family of three is wonderful, and I’m not rushing to change that.

Credit: APD Film and Photography

If you had a major life event (or several) this past year then I want to congratulate you. I have been there, and those seasons of life are really special. However, if you are like me, I want to encourage you to reflect on some of the moments you treasured over this past year instead of comparing yourself to those around you. 

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Courtney moved to Birmingham seven years ago with the dream of becoming a nurse. She left behind her five wild brothers but brought along her high school sweetheart, David. David and Courtney got married after their freshman year at UAB at the ripe age of nineteen. They thrived on cans of soup while pursuing their education and working odd jobs. Courtney graduated and landed her dream job in the Neonatal ICU. One year later, her husband also graduated and began working as an Engineer. They now live in Trussville with their two-year-old son, Noah and are expecting baby number two. Courtney’s hobbies include eating, being outdoors, traveling with her family, and making wooden toys which she shares about on instagram (amindfulmom). She is passionate about mission work and has been privileged to serve on trips to Tanzania, Costa Rica and Ecuador.