It's hard to believe we're nearing 2016 and a full year of holidays, travels, and change is coming to an end. Holy moly, where'd it all go? Sometimes I end the year thinking, "Has really all that much changed this year?" It's far too easy to get caught up in the happenings of daily life and forget to analyze what you've done + been through in the last 365 days. If I've learned anything this year, it's to celebrate the mini success of life and to reflect and change for the better when the not-so-great moments happen. It's how you can make real, substantial alterations, not just resolutions that are forgotten my mid-March. I get giddy about reflecting and tweaking for the better so let's do it, shall we?!
I can sum up 2015 pretty easily: it was challenging, incredible, and surreal. But most importantly, it was my best year yet. Without a doubt!
For starters, I got married! I mean, talk about life-changing! On top of that, we moved in together which in and of itself is pretty major. It's been fun and weird navigating the waters of living together but man, am I ever blessed to have a hubby that has no problem sharing in the housework! #husbandgoals
Most of my year was spent prepping for our wedding in May and then settling into married life and my business full-time. And although I officially launched Plum & Oak last year, it was 2015 that allowed me to leave my career in the wine industry to manage my business full-time. It's been incredible to say the least! Leaving a stable job with a consistent income is no easy feat and it is utterly surreal to say that I've been blessed to create my own business with my craft. I am thankful beyond measure to the couples, brands, and vendors that have trusted me with their vision and supported this sweet business of mine. I created Plum & Oak for several reasons which you can read about here, and every person I've met + worked wth this year has aided me in bringing this vision of mine to life. I could not be more grateful to you all for reading this blog post, for inviting me to be a part of your wedding day, or to my talented fellow business owners who trusted me to photograph their work.
To start, I prefer to focus on something in the New Year instead of listing specific resolutions and I think it's worked out pretty darn well! Several years ago, I made one simple focus for the New Year: to take more pictures. That's it. That was my only goal. I didn't tell myself I had to take pictures every day, nor did I feel pressured to become a professional at it (that wasn't even on my radar at that point!). I simply wanted to make a concentrated effort to take more pictures documenting my life so I could have tangible memories to look back on in the years ahead. That general concept led me to purchasing my first "fancy camera", studying photography in every free moment I had, and a few years after that, the decision to start my own business. So to say I love me a good New Years "focus" is a sincere understatement! It's specific enough to give you a clear goal, but broad enough not to encourage beating yourself up over it if you lose track midway through the year. And most importantly, it maintains the fun of the process. Had I made super specific sub-goals of mastering photography in one year, I probably would have given up before I started!
In 2016, I'm narrowing my focus down to one word, a trend I've been seeing a lot lately (<--didn't know this site existed, but it looks like they started it) and for good reason: it's liberating and pretty life-changing at the same time. Call it cheesy, but I love this process! My word for 2016 is "care." Specifically self-care mentally, spiritually, and physically. 2015 was a year of change for me, and when big changes happen, I tend to neglect the basics of making time for myself. Between wedding planning, moving, and transitioning to self-employment, it was all too easy to skip barre class, sleep in instead of go to church in my post-wedding day haze, and forget to take a day off. In 2016, I'm going to focus on caring for myself, much like I chose to care for my wedding planning and business this year. It's simple, but I think it'll make me a better business owner and human in the process. I can get on board with that.
Cheers friends, and thank you so, so much for making 2015 the best year yet. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm shutting down the computer an off to an afternoon barre class...