My January 2018 Wrap Up

My January Wrap Up | Writing Between Pauses

Tweets like this have been going around for what feels like the entire month, but: did January feel really, really long to anyone else? 

Last week, I distinctly remember thinking... "it's finally the last week of January." But it wasn't. It wasn't even close! I was still 10 days away from the end of January! Yet the first 20 days of January felt like, easily, 3 or 4 weeks. 

January is always kind of a slog of a month; we're all making up for the holidays (either at work/school or in our finances or, worse, both or even all three); it's cold or wet or both; we're tired, we're cranky, we've had a "break" that might not have felt like a break (and some of us don't really get breaks). It's a rough month, set in the dead of winter, with no signs of spring yet. 

But January wasn't all bad. One of my goals, privately, for January was to try and remain positive even in the face of feeling... really, really not positive (negative, Michelle, that's called negative). I've done great in some areas of my life and not-so-great in other areas, but I am supremely proud of myself in a lot of ways. Because I really felt like I rocked it this month, made steps towards being a better version of myself, and grew in ways I didn't really think possible. 

Things I Learned

It's ok to let things go. I'm not someone who causes a ruckus, really. In fact, I've always been one of those people who doesn't say when something bothers me or when something bad happens... and then, 2 weeks later when someone else finds out, they ask me why I didn't mention it to anyone. I just don't want to be a bother. I always second guess myself when I don't say anything. I've always felt a little bit like "maybe I am a pushover" when I have those moments, but recently I realized that sometimes it's ok to just wait for people to feel bad about what they've done, notice their mistakes, or experience enough karma to realize they did something wrong. I'm ok with being the kind of "say nothing" personality that I am. 

It's ok to define my version of success. I started listening to the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You--specifically, the episode about working mothers which focuses on redefining success and motherhood and the ways they overlap. While listening, I felt so inspired to redirect myself and my energies and how I define "success" as both a mother and a member of the workforce. (And it should be said: even if you're a stay at home mom, you're still working!) I am someone who definitely struggles with making comparisons between myself and others, and judging myself harshly for "falling short"--so deciding, as I was listening at my desk at work, to redefine how I view my own success was such a breakthrough moment. 

Things I Loved

  • It goes without saying, but the Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast is great! 
  • I also started listening to the Is This Adulting? Podcast this month and it's another new favorite. 
  • Being a real dork about getting Dove PR
  • This tweet
  • I always hate writing things like this, but: January has been the best month for my blog since October--and is on track to surpass my October numbers (which were really, really good). I'm absolutely stunned because I felt like I had been falling really behind in terms of scheduling social media, pinning to Pinterest, and more. I just want to say thank you for helping me to feeling like this little blog of mine is becoming a success (in my terms, no one else's!); if you're reading this, you're part of it too! Thank you! 

My Favorite Content

  • How to Write Every Single Day - I wrote this post in a few sessions over what felt like 2 weeks (but was probably closer to just 1 week). It was a labor of love and something I struggled to write because it forced me to articulate a few of my habits that are just, really, part of my being at this point! I'm really proud of it though & think it's really great, no matter where you are in writing at the moment! 
  • My Favorite Lipsticks series - I started this series this month & will finish it next month. I'm really excited and love writing these; I'm making an effort to include photos of myself in my posts thanks to a suggestion from a reader. As terrifying as the prospect of taking photos of myself is, I feel like it's good for me at the end of the day! 
  • How to Stay Creative as an Exhausted Mom - being someone who thrives on my creative spirit, and yet a mom who feels like I never have time for anything, let along creating, I have found little ways to keep myself from feel like I'm just absolutely losing it. This post compiles all those ways and honestly, I love being able to share these tips for people, whether you're a mom or just exhausted! 

I shared this post on Instagram last week. I wrote it in one big, long blurb at work and then, took a break to reflect on it. Nothing set this post off; it was just some thoughts I'd been having since waking up in an absolute funk that morning. Click through to Instagram to read it!