I am optimistic about this new year. When the clock struck midnight and we collectively celebrated, I felt a sense of comfort as we welcomed in 2024. It was like greeting an old friend at the door. A friend you are excited to see. That is how ringing in the New Year felt for me.
This feeling was such a relief to have, compared to when we entered 2023 and I was feeling pessimistic. When the clock struck midnight last year, we were lying horizontally on the couch, physically sick from catching COVID, and feeling completely exhausted, both mentally and symptomatically. After the mental strain that I endured in 2022, I found myself in a fog of depression when 2023 started.
With the series of unfortunate events cascading upon us, throwing in the towel felt like it could be an option, but giving up wasn't the answer. Instead, I reflected on the "what-ifs". What if we wrote a new chapter for 2023? What if 2023 was completely different from last year? What if we made changes to channel the best versions of ourselves so that we can step into a new year, bigger, better, more authentic, and more at peace with ourselves?
This was the chapter we wrote for 2023.
Our Year in Review: 2023 Recap
The initial shift we embraced when we sat down and put pen to paper for this new chapter was exploring new job opportunities. It was our biggest and what we thought would be our most challenging change in 2023. Little did we foresee that both of us would secure new opportunities in our respective fields within weeks of each other.
Navigating the nuances of our fresh roles naturally brought about a period of adjustment, as expected. As I am typing this, we are currently 9 months into our new positions at our newfound workplaces. Reflecting on this relatively brief span, it's astonishing to consider all we have learned, what we have gotten to do, and how much we love it all and it has only been less than a year.
Read More: We Got New Jobs + Life Lately Updates
Along with new jobs, we also filled 2023 with a couple of other new things: Momma Mac's new rescue dog Dale, more home improvement projects tackled, and a new marriage to celebrate.
Melissa and Oscar set a date for July 2023 and asked Ashley and me to be the Maids of Honor at their wedding. It is bittersweet to get the last of our trio all prepped and ready for her wedding day. We threw a honey bee-themed bridal shower, arranged a "Bach Bash" evening perfect for the couple, and watched them start their forever journey with a gorgeous ceremony and reception.
Read More: Life Lately: Summer 2023
Now we are honored to always reserve a seat at our gatherings for our newest member of the family.
One of the biggest things we got to do this year, which felt like a HUGE accomplishment, was finally taking our honeymoon after waiting for three years; three years, 6 months, and ten days to be exact.
Read More: Our Banff Honeymoon Recap
Finally, I cannot end a 2023-year recap without bringing up Taylor Swift. It truly did feel like the "Year of Taylor Swift", and, as a long-time Swiftie, who has been listening to her music since I was 15, I was very much so here for all of it. So much so, that I made an allergy-friendly version of her Chia Sugar Cookies, attended the Eras Tour concert and concert movie, and made my 32nd birthday celebration Swiftie-themed.
The stark contrast between welcoming 2024 and bidding adieu to 2023 is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. The inception of 2023 was marked by the lingering shadows of challenging past years, with the echoes of the mental challenges endured, casting a lingering fog. Yet, amid the storm of hardships, the option of surrendering was eclipsed by the power of "what-ifs." What if we authored a new narrative for 2023? And so we did.
2023 was a transformative chapter, one that unfolded with authenticity and inner peace. A chapter of unwavering tenacity, introspection, and growth. As we stand on the threshold of 2024, the optimism that propels us forward is not just a celebration of the new year; it's a salute to the strength found in facing the "what-ifs" and crafting a narrative that speaks of triumph over tribulations. May this new year be adorned with hope, resilience, and the promise of continued growth. Cheers to the journey ahead! 🌟🎉
Hugs & Cookies