Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Happy holidays from Grumpy Tumbles aka Grumbles!
I like the idea of wrapping up the year with a nice little summary and some goals for the next year, something I can look back on a year later and remember where I was, mentally, at this time, as well as see how much things changed.

The last several (2? 3? more?) new years were sort of depressing, frustrating for me. Each year I had some major things I wanted to do - mostly get a puppy, but also move (see: get a puppy), make meaningful progress in my career, and work through some recurring anxieties and frustrations in my personal life. Each year I looked back and felt like nothing had really changed, not in any meaningful sense, and I was filled with a sense of frustration, of not moving forward, of wasting years of my life, stuck. It wasn't that I'd had bad years, they just felt excruciatingly stagnant.

2014, however... 2014 felt like my year in many ways. Obviously I did finally move to a new dog-friendly home - one which felt like a downgrade in many ways at the time, but which I actually like much more than the old one - and I got Tumbles. She is certainly the highlight of my year. But beyond that, I finally began feeling competent at work, overcoming some impostor syndrome that has been giving me anxiety for years and finding things I truly feel good at and enjoy. I feel like I matured a lot, too, learning to trust myself and gracefully handle situations which have made me feel emotionally out of control for years now. In summary: life is good.

This leaves me feeling a bit weird. I had this huge list of Major Life Goals for so long, and now that they all have figurative checkmarks next to them, I'm not entirely sure how to live. I certainly had some angst around everything I wanted to achieve that seemed out of my reach, but a part of me was comforted by having that laundry list of life improvements. Since I don't anticipate many other major life changes in the next few years (knock on wood, I guess), I think 2015 will be the year for me to settle in and relearn to be comfortable with the day to day, and to focus on small changes that I haven't really had room to think about for a long time.

A few things I'd like to focus on:
  1. Cook and bake more. I remember when I started this blog, I baked a ton (at least, way more than I do now). I was so comfortable experimenting and tweaking recipes to make them my own, and I've fallen out of the habit. I miss it and want that comfort back, and I'd also like to spend more evenings cooking dinner (I'd say 2014 has also been the year of "takeout 6 nights a week", which I am less than enthused about). Side note: these corgi cookies took hours and hours, and it was a little stressful, but it was so so nice to have something new and exciting to attempt. I'm super happy with how they turned out! More of this, please!
  2. Decorate my home. I covet the pretty houses I see on blogs, filled with non-beige walls, fun art on the walls, and DIY decor. But I spend way more time looking at pictures of those houses than I do working to make mine more inviting. I keep saying "well if I owned a house..." but that's a dumb excuse, and there is a ton I can do to a rental (especially since we have permission to paint). I assume we'll live here for a little while, and it'll be worth putting some effort in to making this a place I love to be.
  3. Take a real vacation (preferably a few!) with Tim. We've had exactly one vacation together in our 5 year relationship, and he ended up having to work for part of it. Travel has been near impossible since getting Tumbles, but that should get easier and easier as she grows up, and hopefully by the end of the year we can actually leave her alone (with friends or a boarding place) for a week or so. In the meantime, I'm hoping for a couple of road trips within CA, and maybe even a drive up to the pacific northwest?
  4. Visit seasons. I miss having real fall and winter so much, and instead of moping about it, I need to put forth the effort and take little trips to places that have glorious cold weather, fall leaves, and lots of snow. Bonus, this will help out with #2 above and can be some quality time for our little family (including Tumbles, of course).
  5. Take more photos. I say this every year, pretty much, but I'm going to try again. I have a DSLR but feel like I don't have the knowledge to use it well, but I'm pretty sure practice is the best way to get there. So, I'll keep trying! If I do start taking more pictures, I may let myself invest in something like Lightroom to make it even more worth my while, but until I'm sure I'll use it, I'm not going to waste the money.

I also want to cultivate real, deep friendships, although that one is hard to force (for me at least) and of course continue to grow personally and with Tim and Tumbles. I think it'll be weird going into the year with no major changes on the horizon, but it'll be good for me if I can learn to appreciate the day to day a bit more.


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