Being honest about the ‘happy’ in happykatie
So this blog is called ‘happykatie’, but you know that’s more of a state of mind and worldview than a constant state of being, right?
2013 has had a lot of ups and downs for me. I love so much about the last 365 days > our home life, how my kiddo is doing in 2nd grade at her totally awesome school, cool projects at work, memory-making travel adventures and filling my brain with some REALLY cool stuff.
But then there’s the ‘meh’ memories – like the last 5 months of intense pain before and after surgery (thank God for Adam), not hitting financial goals that I wanted to see (stupid hospital bills) and wondering if close adult friendships are ever going to be in my future (it’s been a desperately lonely year…).
I’m fortunate in that the bright moments always outshine the challenging ones, even if half of my year was spent on crutches or being house-bound feeling sorry for myself. And especially lucky that I have an immediate family that loves and supports me always.
So… thoughts on perking up in 2014 abound, in the name of continuous improvement and creating a little more sunshine.
How to make 2014 a joyful year:
>> Give more
By the end of Q1 2014, I have a goal to connect to a single cause or nonprofit and focus on supporting them more substantially with my kiddo. She’s proud of the fact that a quarter of her weekly allowance goes to charity and church, now we need to buckle down and give our time to one as well.
There’s a lot of ways to identify a charity that connects with your heart and mind. The questions I’m using to guide us are:
- What local organization can we easily find opportunities to physically volunteer at?
- What kind of personal connections do I want to encourage my 7-year-old to grow that will shape the way she sees and treats the world?
It’s fun including Ella in this selection process. She has such an interesting perspective on her skill sets and what needs in our community she can help meet – we’ve had the best conversations around exactly these topics.
>> Spend more
I go back and forth with my relationship with money, often resulting in overspending on really odd things and not giving enough attention where it matters most.
Very happy to say that over the last few months I’ve been re-negotiating my views on spending, saving and earning. This year I have a really great independent monthly finance plan in place that will allow me to spend money on things that I care about without the guilt (like opera tickets, books and the occasional fancy dinner), while still saving like a mofo.
I’m working on transitioning to the YNAB model where you live off of last month’s salary and also re-evaluating my previous savings goals (for instance, I really don’t know that I even want to buy a home in the next 10 years… why am I stressing about not having a deposit saved up yet) to keep forward momentum that I’m happy to continue.
>> Grow more
Working in a previous life as a social media consultant and continuing to do a fair amount of public speaking means that I’m always thinking about growing other people and their ideas. This year I’m focused on consuming information and applying it to MY life and goals.
Personal growth, to me, means:
- Reading – fiction and everyday helpful non-fiction content through the library, Feedly and the Oyster app
- Conversing – more meet ups, Google Hangouts and in-person questions, conversations + knowledge sharing
- Applying – being aggressive in knowing how I’ll apply what I learn and
- Moving – physical movement, idea shifting, taking action on my goals – 2013 has been far too sedentary
- Consistency – so many goals, so many ways to improve… now to keep it all rolling and progressing iteratively
So that’s me — and that’s a peek at what is in the works for my 2014. I’d love to know… what are you working on or needing for a new year ahead?