decade in review

Hey, 2020!

It’s been over six months since I wrote something – which is a long time for me to not write. I say it is overdue. Instead of my normal Year In Review post (I will still be visiting those questions at some point), I want to look at the past decade.

I have written before that my goals are always changing. I think a trend in my posts and in my personal writing is that I continue to hope that the choices and small goals I make every day will lead me toward something. So when I saw a classmate of mine post a super brief summary of his decade, I wanted to do the same for my decade. I think I may have to break out my old journals to do some fact-checking on this (*shutter*).


  • Graduated high school
  • Started school in Gettysburg and loved it
  • Took a variety of classes – was told by an advisor I shouldn’t take business classes
  • Worked part-time on campus in the sub shop


  • Started to hate Gettysburg and my classes
  • Cried in the office of my new advisor – she told me to give it another semester, I took more English and Anthro classes
  • Got an additional job as Editor-In-Chief of the yearbook and loved work
  • I stopped journaling as much and started blogging


  • Developed bad acne and gained a lot of weight
  • Worked 2 jobs and continued school
  • Took too many anthropology classes and not enough (though more than before) art classes
  • Started to use creativity as an outlet to sort out my thoughts more
  • Chose to get a BA in English with an Anthropology minor (basically because of the credits I already had)


  • Took a painting class – first time using oil paints
  • Worked my third and last summer at the city pool
  • Decided to finish college strong – even if it hadn’t turned out like I thought it would
  • Managing the yearbook helped me keep my confidence and develop work skills


  • Graduated college and started my job hunt having no idea what I was looking for
  • Started a full-time job in retail, commuted an hour both ways
  • Loved working and problem-solving
  • Started to hold a grudge toward my student loans
  • Shared a room with my 8 yo sister


  • Realized I hated retail and got a call from a tile factory with a big pay cut but the chance to work in a creative space
  • Moved into a house with my sister – got my own room 🙂
  • Joined a band as the lead singer
  • Started tending bar once a week
  • Picked up Charlie from a Craigslist stranger


  • Became an aunt
  • Lost and confused but driven became my motto
  • Determined to pay my students loans off by 2023
  • Learned so much about tile and factory work and business operations
  • Took on a lot of marketing projects for the company
  • Shot my first buck


  • Realized my sister and I could not live together anymore
  • Picked up more hours tending bar
  • Moved into a management team position at the tile factory
  • Watched my niece grow and learn so many things
  • Realized I tore my ACL (in 2016) and had surgery
  • Got a sister-in-law
  • Purchased a house


  • So many house projects (refinishing floors, painting every wall, finding furniture, curtains)
  • Paid off 6/8 of my student loan accounts
  • Started painting more regularly and sold a few pieces
  • The tile factory closed and I found a temp job as an Accounting Assistant about 40 min away


  • Freaked out because my desk job was such a hard transition
  • Got a brother-in-law
  • Was made a permanent employee with a great benefits package
  • Paid off my student loans four years ahead of my original plans
  • Continued painting and drawing more
  • Moved the blog for the 4th time

There were so many trips littered throughout the past ten years that I didn’t mention – nothing outside the US, but all of them were fun. I am lucky to have those opportunities to visit friends and family far and wide.

In reviewing the decade, from my blog posts and handwritten journals, I found that I still struggle with so many of the same issues; my weight, money, career… concern over whether I am where I am “supposed to be.” However, the older I get, the less I care what I am “supposed to be” doing. I become more and more grateful for the life I have every single day.

balance in 2019

Sometimes, I go into overdrive and am so productive for weeks on end. During January and February, I was so focused on being productive, that I forgot to take care of myself.  Through March and April, I sort of got a little too chill. Then May and June were a whirlwind of car problems and working. Now here were are halfway through 2019 already.

Being an introvert means I look forward to time to myself. I spend all day thinking about what I am going to do when I get home. When I have multiple days in a row where I can’t just go home and do what I want, I get cranky.

I’ve read that stress can make it hard to settle down – something about stress hormones and relaxation hormones. Even though I don’t feel particularly stressed, I’ve always had an anxious mind.

At the end of the day, if I haven’t worked on something, I feel unfulfilled. I hate that I can’t come home at 5:15 and work until midnight on house projects and hobbies. Sleeping is such a waste of time. I wish I could stay up until 2 and then sleep until 9.

Alas, I have to have a day job. So I had to really take a look at the quality of sleep I was getting. My sleep schedule is wonky – 11 pm isn’t a rare “settle down” time for me. Then add the tossing and turning and sometimes I won’t fall asleep until 1 or 2 in the morning. 

I started taking Melatonin to help me sleep at night so that I start winding down for bed around 9:30. I stretch and drink a glass of water. I think I feel my best with 9 hours of sleep, so I have that as a target. I have been working on it. I’m afraid I still don’t have great bedtime and morning routines. It mostly consists of me going, “oh shit! Is that really the time?”

Not even joking.

I work two jobs and keep up my house and care for Charlie. I don’t always have to be working on a house project or painting a portrait. First and foremost, I need to make sure the dishes are done and that I go to bed on time, but convincing myself that I don’t always have to be working on something is not easy.  

Still, some weeks I am really productive and then the next week I have to dial it back and focus on the basics. I think that balance is good and natural.