2017 Was a Good Year

2017 Was a Good Year - Get To Work Book | kaileenelise.com

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”
(Meister Eckhart)

Without giving it much thought, I would say 2017 was a good year. The details blur together, but we found our groove as a family of three. As January approached, I found myself craving more clarity on what happened last year. So I went a cute cafe, ordered a matcha latte, and looked through my planner to examine how I spent my time in 2017.

I have tweaked and toyed with this post for weeks. Despite being extremely late to the “year recap” game, it feels luxurious to take a slow approach to reflection. Sifting through everything that makes up a year, I uncovered three themes for 2017: body + babies, travel, and creativity.

Body + Babies

2017 Was a Good Year - Bodies & Babies | kaileenelise.com

In the first half of the year, I completed a round of Whole30, returned to yoga, and found a Pilates teacher to help me rehab a severe diastasis recti (abdominal muscle separation that did not heal after my first pregnancy).

The early days of motherhood are so all-consuming that I didn’t realize how disconnected I was from my body. When my son turned 6 months in January, I was ready to focus on building strength in my new postpartum body.

In the second half of the year, I became pregnant with Baby Sues #2(!!) and my relationship with my body shifted again. This season of babies is a season of bodies. From newly pregnant to postpartum, nursing and weaning, there is a continuous flow of expansion and contraction, of miracles and magic. I am learning to trust my evolving body and appreciate all that she does.

Travel

2017 Was a Good Year - Travel | kaileenelise.com

In February we took our 8-month old to Japan. While we were there I learned a valuable lesson in perspective that I thought was about the contrast between life before and after baby. Now I see it was really about the importance of getting out and doing things… even with a little one in tow.

We applied that lesson to an extreme with family-related travel in 2017. We visited Arizona three times, North Carolina twice, and Ohio three times to see parents, grandparents, and siblings. While I’m grateful for the time with loved ones, the total volume of our travels surprised me.

I’m craving a balance between experience and stillness, tradition and adventure. Being everywhere for everyone is an easy trap. Trying to do all the things is tempting. There’s an appeal to proving that having a baby hasn’t changed the adventurous, go-anywhere people we used to be. The truth is: children change a lot. Better to cultivate those changes in the direction we want to go.

Creativity

2017 Was a Good Year - Creativity | kaileenelise.com

I spent more time writing in 2017 than in the past several years. While there’s a tendency to feel like we’re not doing enough, I want to celebrate the effort I put in last year.

I published 13 new posts, an increase from zero in 2015 and one in 2016. I participated in The Year of Creativity, a writing workshop from Ashlee Gadd and the team at Coffee & Crumbs. With encouragement, prompting, and peer editing, I finally shared my son’s birth story and wrote an essay about the exhaustion of motherhood that was picked up by Scary Mommy: At The End Of The Day, I’m Too Tired For Anything But ‘Real Housewives’.

As a stay at home mama, writing is one of the rare things from my pre-baby life that I’ve kept doing. This website has been my space to share inspiration and ideas since 2009. I used to sneak away to coffee shops before work and on my lunch breaks… now I go in the evenings and the mornings we have childcare. Some things change, some things stay the same.

Writing slows me down, smoothes me out, and connects me to my inner self. It’s something I hope to do forever.

2017 Was a Good Year

2017 Was a Good Year | kaileenelise.com

This past year helped me see the love and beauty in my everyday. More and more, I’m realizing my biggest job is to sink into the wonder of this life and appreciate everything it has to offer. Thank you for being part of this journey, wishing you a calm, magical and uplifting 2018!

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