2019: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

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My first post of 2020, woohoo!

I wrote a 2018 reflection like this last year and it’s one of my favorites. 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life and it was tough for me to find positives to list. But it was also a reminder that it’s easy to find positives if you are looking for them.

In 2019 I tried to focus more on the positive things in my life and it ended up being a great year! Like I said last year, please don’t read this post and think that I have a perfect life. I really don’t but I try to make the best of what I do have.

In 2019 I…

  • Turned 26 and celebrated my golden birthday
  • Visited Florida (2), Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon
  • Fell in love with blogging again
  • Celebrated two years of marriage and eight total years with Brett
  • Reunited with my German BFF in Oregon
  • Tried a new migraine preventative and steroids to break my migraine cycle (they didn’t work)
  • Spent SO much time with my family
  • Prioritized my happiness for the first time
  • Learned to say “no”
  • Celebrated three years at my current job
  • Had a girls night with my work friends
  • Lost 15 pounds
  • Became an Aunt to two perfect twin girls
  • Went to my first NFL game
  • Painted and organized at my parent’s house
  • Read a lot of great books
  • Threw a baby shower for my sister in law
  • Celebrated the lives of Brett’s grandpa and my childhood friend
  • Went to Cedar Point
  • Had a date beach day with Brett

I’m looking forward to a great 2020! I’ll be posting my first quarter goals soon and a recap of the last couple of months of 2019.

How was your 2019?

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Cheers to 2020!

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Hey friends! Long time, no blog.

It’s been a hot second since my last post because I spontaneously decided that I needed to take time off of blogging. 2019 was my best year of writing and I’m so glad that I was able to share my adventures, struggles, and thoughts via my corner of the internet. But when December rolled around I knew that I needed a break.

2019 was one of the best years of my life. Not because everything was perfect, but because I really challenged myself to put myself first and to grow into the woman I want to become. I’m finally at a point in my career where I feel like I’m heading in the right direction.

Even though 2019 was such an amazing year I’m still thrilled to be going into 2020. It feels like a fresh start and I’m really looking forward to starting over again. I want to continue to push myself far outside of my comfort zone. I want to grow and to help others grow too.

So, cheers to 2020! May this be the best year of our lives!

What are you looking forward to about the New Year?

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Photo by Deva Williamson on Unsplash

10 Things That I Love About Myself

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I wrote a post last week titled “Overcoming Self-Doubt” which was hard to write but really important for me to share. One of my main goals of blogging is to share my real life which includes all of the ugly moments in between the magical moments. Self-doubt is something that I have struggled with my whole life and I have let it slow me down and ruin many opportunities.

Today I wanted to share 10 things that I love about myself to remind myself that I have so many good qualities to share with the world.

  1. I’m funny. I’m typically a quiet person and I didn’t know that I was funny until my sister told me. I don’t open up around people very easily but I’ve been trying to open up more and I enjoy letting my personality shine. I’m able to make people laugh along with me and bring a bit of brightness to their day.
  2. I’m empathetic. I’m a crier and if I see someone crying I will probably cry with them. I feel all the feelings so strongly and deeply that it’s often hard to catch my breath. I want to help people feel better. I want to be able to take some of their pain away. Being empathetic is a superpower in my book.
  3. I’m a great listener. I tend to thank my introverted tendencies for making me such a great listener. I’m constantly aware of my surroundings and love a good chat with a friend to catch up on their life.
  4. Children love me. For some reason children have always loved me. They naturally seem to make their way to me and want to talk or play. When I was young I couldn’t wait to be a mom and have children of my own to run around with.
  5. I always put family first. I was at a funeral recently and the minister said something about spending a day with your family and friends because you never know when it’s your last time. I think about that all the time now and cherish every moment with my family and friends.
  6. I’m a dog AND a cat person. A lot of people seem to be one or the other but I have both a dog and cat and I love them equally.
  7. I love to travel. A part of me is always ready for the next adventure but I’m a planner so I must think everything over before acting. I look forward to the next trip all year.
  8. I’m a dreamer. I’m always lost in my own head dreaming up my next blog post, thoughts, words, adventures, etc. I have big dreams and I’m always working on my next move to make my dreams come true.
  9. I’m a great wife. Being married is so hard and I think I was a little naive going into it. I got married at 23 after being with my husband for 6 years. Even though we had been together for so long and had lived together prior to being married, it’s still been a bit of a challenge. I know I’m a great wife though and I’ll never stop fighting for my husband.
  10. I’m an introvert. If you asked me a year ago I would have said that being an introvert was my worst quality. Now I know that being an introvert is what makes me empathetic, caring, thoughtful, and organized. Some of my very best qualities were created because of my personality and I’m so glad I have learned to embrace it!

If you are struggling with self-doubt or any other type of insecurity I challenge you to create a list of 10 things you love about yourself too. I thought coming up with 10 things would be hard but I found it to be quite therapeutic.

We are our own worst critics. It’s okay to have a bad day but it’s so important to give yourself grace and respect.

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Photo by Drop the Label Movement on Unsplash

 

October According to my iPhone

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It’s November! October is my favorite month so I am kind of bummed that it’s over but I had a great month and I’m excited to share this month’s round of iPhone pictures.

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October started out badly with the passing of my good friend, Alex. He was only 25 and I had known him since kindergarten. Alex was also my freshman year roommate’s ex-boyfriend so we spent a great deal of our college careers together. He was so funny and had always been a great friend. I’ll really miss him. He was hit by a car on his way to work which once again proves that life is way too short. Brett and I always raise a glass and toast to our loved ones when they pass. It’s something that I learned from my mom and have continued doing.

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Oscar the burrower looking too cute for words.

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Brett and I babysat our nieces, Ava and Elizabeth, while their parents had a nice night out. It’s so cute to see Brett interact with them! A couple of months ago he was too scared to hold them but now he’s first to react when they cry and is always ready to rock them back to sleep. He’s the best uncle!

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We got Oscar a Detroit Lions jersey. He had such an exciting day watching the game with the guys that he fell asleep with his jersey on!

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My work had their annual Fall Festival and I had the opportunity to co-sponsor it. It was a lot of work but so much fun!

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I spent many days at the lake with my grandparents. The lake is my favorite!

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I celebrated 3 years at work! My company sent me a beautiful Orchid and a gift card.

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My dad stopped by the night before my birthday with donuts and cider from our local apple orchard. It was the best way to start my birthday weekend!

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Brett got me my favorite cake from Coldstone. It’s called Peanut Butter Playground. Yummmm

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We spent the Sunday of my birthday weekend at the lake with my family. My grandpa and I have the same birth date so we always celebrate together! So much fun!

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We had a snowy Halloween night in Michigan but at least Bruno and Oscar looked cute! My nieces came over along with their parents, my parents, Brett’s mom, and Brett’s uncle. We had a good night despite the cold weather!

How was your October?

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Overcoming Self-Doubt

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I need my next blog post to be titled “10 Things That I love About Myself” because I have been terrible to myself lately. I have let self-doubt kill almost every dream that I’ve ever had. I’ve blamed this doubt on my personality. I’m too shy, too introverted, too awkward, etc.

Enough is enough.

My whole life I have been waiting for a sign from the universe telling me that I’m good enough. I’ve always thought that the world was built for beautiful people with their styled hair, perfect makeup, and put together outfits. I’ve only recently discovered that behind those perfect looks are just normal people who are also doubting themselves too.

I almost let my self-doubt ruin a really good opportunity at work. I’m so afraid of speaking my mind that I shut down and shut people out. I’d rather ruin something than fail at it. I’m scared of taking a chance and having it thrown back in my face.

Well, Hayley, this is your sign.

No one cares that I’ve gained weight. No one cares that I have no idea how to do my hair or makeup. I am projecting these issues onto myself and dragging my own name in the mud in the process.

Tomorrow is a new day and I promise to be kinder to myself. I promise to thank my body for carrying me through every day. I promise to look in the mirror and not say a million nasty things to my reflection. I promise to hold my head high and own my career.

It’s easy to let self-doubt get in the way of your life. I’ve done it a million times. If you are waiting for your sign from the universe like I was, let me be your sign too. It’s time to take back control.

Whatever you are facing, you’ve got this!

Do you have any tips for overcoming self-doubt? How do you deal with it?

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Photo by David Kiriakidis on Unsplash

My 30 Before 30 List

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6 years ago I had the idea to create a blog to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. So Life of Hayley was born! I turned 26 on Saturday and  now it’s time to create my 30 before 30 list. Honestly so much changed in 5 years but it’s pretty cool to look back on what I thought would be important 5 years ago.

  1. Go to London (again!)
  2. Go on a road trip
  3. Start investing
  4. Pay off my car
  5. Create a workout routine
  6. Spend a whole day binge-watching a TV show
  7. Try to have a baby (maybe?)
  8. Go on a trip with my family
  9. Have a spa day
  10. Learn a new hobby
  11. Travel to a new country
  12. Work on making our marriage stronger
  13. Have a girls day
  14. Create a self care routine
  15. Celebrate TEN years of blogging!!!
  16. Have no credit card debt
  17. Get a promotion
  18. Find a hairstylist that I love
  19. Learn an everyday makeup routine
  20. Have a monthly date night
  21. Take family pictures!
  22. Meet a blogger friend in real life
  23. Focus on work-life balance
  24. Send birthday cards to friends and family via snail mail
  25. Learn to cook some new go-to recipes
  26. Create a Christmas tradition with our nieces
  27. Do something spontaneous
  28. Create a travel video
  29. Wake up earlier
  30. Find a personal style

What should I add to my 30 before 30 list?

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Photo by The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

3 Year Work Anniversary

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3 years ago today I was a nervous wreck as I drove downtown for the first day of my current job. I sat in the parking garage for at least 20 minutes because I was so nervous and didn’t want to be late for my first day. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Prior to this job I had worked for 6 years at a restaurant. It was my very first job that I started when I was only 17 and I loved it! Saying goodbye to my co-workers was difficult and I was scared to leave my comfort zone. I thought about staying at this restaurant forever but I had worked so hard for my college degree and I wanted to do something more impactful.

I had dreamed of working in a big city doing social media marketing for a super cool company. I’d dress perfectly and have everything figured out. At 22 I had no idea what I was doing. I took a bad social media marketing class and threw the idea of marketing out the window for a job in finance. I knew nothing about the financial industry and was honestly in way over my head.

For the first few months I begged myself to make it a year in my job. I loved the company but I didn’t feel like I fit in at all. I was super depressed because it was such a cool place to work but I hated it.

So I made a change. I talked to my boss and switched roles within my department. I loved my co-workers and quickly made friends and an impact on the team. I worked my way up, covered a difficult maternity leave, and got promoted! I haven’t thought about quitting in a long time.

3 years ago I started this job that I thought would get me some good work experience. Here I am absolutely loving my job everyday and imagining staying forever. It’s funny how much things change in only 3 years!

I’m proud of how far I have come in 3 years and I know I will continue to grow within my role. My team is amazing and I have two leaders who want me to succeed. I never thought I’d enjoy a job in finance but it’s interesting, challenging, and exciting.

Here’s to many more happy years!

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Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash