Reflections + Resolutions (+ my Word for 2017)

Whoaaaa baby. 2016, you’ve been a DOOZY.

I don’t even know where to start. I’m feeling all sorts of weird about you ending, but all sorts of good about the idea of newness once again.

With you came the end of the Wharton era, full of late nights of bullsh*t advanced corporate finance that I could never care enough about, midnight Wawa runs for turkey gobbler bowls and cappuccino, the most awe-inspiring professors-turned-mentors, a directionless shark tank of orchestrated competition, post-exam retail therapy through the CVS makeup aisle, and really freakin’ awesome friends. What a roller coaster.

With you came the start of my life as a Mrs., which began on the hands down best day of EVER – not just of 2016.

With you came the start of some of my best friends’ lives as Mrs., too, and the most traveling I’ve probably ever done ever. We flew to the Wild Wild West (lookin’ atchu Wyoming) and Tennessee, and we’ve already got 3 weddings lined up to kick off 2017. And J and I spent a *glorious* honeymoon in Mexico, where I’ll be in a hot sec, as well. 😉

With you came the realization that the best, most powerful, most life-changing and amazing friendships come by choice, not by convenience. When you’re in high school – and even in college – you realize many friendships blossom because of the pool you’re in. There’s a set number of people around, and you’ve got a set class schedule with set people, and everyone buds up accordingly. It’s not until post-grad when you realize…unless you’ve got coworkers to suddenly call besties, you’ve gotta go out of your way to make friendships work. Now it takes a train or a plane to see old friends, or the chutzpah to make new ones.

With you came a whole lotta purchases that trump any after-Christmas sale, namely, our first house and my first car. I still have no real clue how we made that happen, except for the fact that my hubs is a wizard with Excel and I’m hella good at hiding money in mattresses.

With you came the official full-fledged cliff jump into the craziest adventure yet: entrepreneurship. Which I never in a million years actually thought I’d have the ladyballs to pursue, TBH. I found myself financially capable of going fulltime professionally with what began as a collegiate procrastination method and passion project. I started 2016 on the Wharton roller coaster and am ending on the CUR roller coaster – two wild rides, and I’m really just thankful to have even made it in line in the first place, let alone get on and go.


I learned…

  • Adulting is really hard sometimes. and confusing, and frustrating, and it feels like putting on a blindfold and walking on the edge of a bridge. But no matter how bad a day might seem, it’ll end. And a bad day – or even a bad month, or what feels like a whole bad year – doesn’t mean you have a bad life.
  • If the Crockpot seems like it’s “leaking,” chances are you forgot to put the pot in the Crock.
  • You can shortchange your self care thinking you’re more of a “boss” for working longer and harder. But it won’t end well. You’ll end up sick and unconscious after blood work, only to be told that there’s nothing inherently “wrong” with you – you’re just too stressed and not taking good enough care of yo’self. No amount of money or prestige or anything is worth more than taking care of your own body and mind. Working until sickness is not success – it’s burn out.

  • Buying a house is really freakin’ complicated and really freakin’ satisfying.
  • Buying your own first car might be even more satisfying.
  • There will always – always, always, always – be “more” to be attained in life. If you focus on the more you seemingly lack, you will never be fulfilled. If you focus on the more you already have, you will always be content.

  • Your life can change a whole helluvah lot in 365 days. What seems to be today will not be tomorrow. And if it is…it might not be this time next year. Appreciate everything.
  • Always have a bottle of wine and cheese plate fixins’ on hand for spontaneous entertaining.
  • Sometimes it’s impossible to please your boss – even when your boss is yourself. Especially when your boss is yourself.
  • Balance is a unicorn. As is perfection. When you don’t have a lot on your plate, balance can be attained because it all fits on one plate and can be rearranged and pushed around accordingly. When your plate is overflowing, not everything fits. It’s just impossible. Something’s always gotta give. And that’s okay.

And now, it’s time to start another era: 2017.

Ashley Brooke Designs Mug - Reflections + Resolutions on Coming Up Roses

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I’m dubbing 2017 the year of ME. 2016 was a total whirlwind, and my own self care fell by the wayside too often. I’m not typically one to make resolutions, ’cause I think they’re stupid and ineffective, really. We all jot down “drink more water,” “work out more,” “lose 10 pounds,” and then by Valentine’s Day we’re back to the coffee + wine diet, trading workout hours for sleep and not even caring about our weight until swimsuits hit shelves. In the past on CUR, I’ve done UN-Resolutions – the things I vow to NOT change for the upcoming year (here’s 2014, 2015, 2016). This year, I felt the need to mix it up a bit, ’cause 2016 has just been gargantuan in so many ways. I needed a hot sec to gather my thoughts and actually figure out how the heck 2017 could come close to measuring up to 2016. So.


  • Put myself first. Prioritize self care. Do things justbecause I want to do them, not what I feel like I need to do.
  • Entertain stillness. Sit still and just think, pray, read…sit still and do anything besides work, really.
  • Finish a cup of coffee without needing to microwave it.
  • Hire a new team member for CUR.
  • Get organized and on top of all ish, physically and mentally.
  • Push outside every comfort zone to make girlfriends around town. At the bar, at the gym, at the library – wherever it takes. Just build that sharp eye in identifying kindred spirits and future besties.
  • Create signature dishes beyond healthy buffalo chicken dip and sea salt chocolate-dipped clementines.
  • The daily list: Water, a workout, quiet/prayer time, a book, tidying up, and reaching out to someone.
  • Remove anything and everything from my closet that I’ve had since high school. On principle.
  • You can never have too many Kate Spade bags, but you can have too many graphic tees. Shop with intention, and stop buying the same damn thing all the time.
  • When it comes to number of tabs that should be open in Google Chrome at any given time, the limit does exist. Respect that.
  • Set work boundaries. A start time and end time. Even if it’s flexible. Do SOMETHING that makes it impossible to pick up a laptop at 6:30 am and not put it down until 10:30 pm. Boundaries. Create ’em, utilize ’em, and go back to Resolution #1.

2016 was just nutso, really. I don’t know if anything will ever come close. If I could, I’d get married all over again just to live in the utter JOY of that day once more. And if I had to choose, I’d do the not-so-joyful moments again, too. Not to make them better, per se, but to recognize how far I’ve come and give myself some kudos for strength. Like I said before, sometimes I’m hella bad at patting my own back. And if any of y’all have the same struggle – being Type A and overachieving to the point of never being satisfied with your own hard work – then stop right now, close your eyes, and give yourself a back pat. Actually tho. Take the time (since if you’re anything like me, you probably don’t), and do it.

*Back pat fo’ you*.

What are your own reflections + resolutions from 2016 and for 2017?

I’d lovelovelove to hear. There’s something inspiring about hearing what people got out of something like a whole year, because SO MUCH can happen in a span of 365 days. And there’s something inspiring about hearing what you’ve got gearing up for beyond the ball drop. SO. Let’s chat about it. See ya in the comments below, and see ya in 2017. 🙂

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