My 25th birthday was at the end of October and yes I know this post is super late but I really wanted to share it with you!
Birthdays are always so special and this one was even more important because of this blog. Life of Hayley began as a way for me to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. I started blogging right after my 20th birthday and it really evolved from there into a hobby that I love.
I had been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading my 25th birthday for the past couple of months. I wasn’t worried about reaching my goals that I set for myself when I was 20. In fact, I haven’t been worried about those goals in years. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and all I have accomplished in the past five years. I’m looking forward to the next five!
So let’s talk about why this birthday was so Legendary with a capital L.
Have you heard of John Legend? Well, my work throws some pretty sweet parties and for their 20th Anniversary Gala they invited John Legend as the surprise musical guest and the Gala happened to fall on my birthday! Which meant that I got to get all dressed up in black tie apparel, get my hair and makeup done, and spend the evening eating, drinking, and singing along to John Legend with Brett and my favorite co-workers. Talk about Legendary!
I couldn’t think of a better way to start my 25th year!
2019 is here but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2018. I had a conversation with some friends awhile ago about how 2018 had not been that great of a year for me. It was a year of struggling. Struggling with work, pain, and loneliness. Struggling with trying to find myself, accepting who I am, and trying to figure out what healthy means to me.
In this post I am sharing a list of things I did in 2018. It’s easy to look at this list and see only the positive things. I had Brett read it before posting because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t coming off as braggy. Here’s the thing to remember though, I accomplished a lot this year between my personal and professional life but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I had a headache or migraine every single day in 2018.
So when you look at this and every other blogger’s 2018 re-cap I urge you to remember that it’s not perfect all the time. I urge you to not compare your list with other’s. Because my list looks perfect but I can assure you that it’s not.
Without further ado here’s my list of what my life consisted of in 2018.
In 2018 I….
Celebrated 5 years of blogging
Bought a house
Adopted Oscar from the animal shelter
Crossed Rome off of my travel Bucketlist
Traveled to Paris for the third time
Celebrated one year of marriage with Brett
Surpassed my goal of reading 12 books in a year
Found a new Neurologist
Saw John Legend perform a private concert at my work party on the same day as my 25th birthday
Started a “House Fund” to save for building a new bathroom and re-doing our driveway
Spent a weekend in Traverse City with friends
Fell in love with decorating our house
Celebrated two years at my job
Helped my parents pick out a new puppy
Celebrated eight years of kitten motherhood
Turned 25 and reflected on my 25 before 25 list
Covered a three month long maternity leave at work
Started a new medicine that made me insanely sick
Stopped taking said medicine and started feeling much better
Lost 10 pounds
Focused more on self-love and less on the scale
Struggled with finding work-life balance
Fell in love with reading again
Spent more time with family
Struggled a lot with feeling sad and lonely
Accepted my introvert tendencies and tried to learn how to work with them instead of against them
Found a wonderful and supportive group of blogger friends
Went to countless airshows with Brett
Traveled around Michigan and other nearby states
Came to the conclusion that life really is better with a dog
Started blogging regularly (for the most part!)
Like I mentioned before, it’s easy to look at this list and only see the good. But 2018 was one of the hardest years of my life. I learned valuable lessons and tried to share my life with others in a positive way. I never want to be the person on social media who someone compares their life to.
My 2019 1st Quarter goals will be up soon. I’m going to continue doing quarterly goals instead of yearly goals because I really do think that they work better for me.
What are your goals for 2019? And how do you feel 2018 went for you?
It’s been awhile since my last blog post and I have started writing this so many times but have never hit publish for one reason or another. The last you heard from me I was in Italy with Brett enjoying a much needed vacation. I want to do a full recap on our time in Italy AND Paris very soon because it was amazing but first I wanted to go over a couple of things that I have happened while I’ve been away.
The first big thing that I celebrated was my 25th birthday! My birthday always causes me to reflect on the reason why I started Life of Hayley. This blog began right after my 20th birthday as a way to document the 25 things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. With that said, Life of Hayley is turning five! I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for five years already! A full recap on my five years of blogging will be coming your way very soon.
I also want to give a quick health update which is the main reason why I had to take a break from blogging. I did start seeing a new Neurologist in October and he started me on a new medication. I will probably do a full migraine update at some point but let’s just say this new medication say not agreed with me at all. I’ve been very sick for the past six weeks and it’s been taking a toll on my mental health. I hate that my health has once again impacted my blogging because I was really starting to grow this space but sometimes I have to take a step back and take care of myself first.
I promise that there will be more to follow soon. I don’t want to drop off the face of the planet again.
Woah… this year has gone by so quickly! I can’t believe it’s already time for another set of quarterly goals. This is the final quarter of 2018 and I really need to make every second count. So far it has been an exciting and challenging year. I’m looking forward to 2019 but I’m not quite ready for 2018 to be over yet.
Third quarter was probably my favorite so far this year! We slowed down a bit at work so I got to enjoy more time off and normal work hours. Brett and I traveled a lot and spent time with our family and friends. I got a lot done in the last three months so I feel good about going into the final months of 2018.
Pass a certification class. I’m in the process of taking a class for work and the certification test is in December. If I pass I will earn my very first finance certification. My goal is to pass the first time which means I really need to get to studying!
Write 2 blog posts per week. It’s time I make blogging more of a priority. I want to grow this space going into 2019. It’s been almost 5 years since I started this blog and I’ve only recently started to take it seriously. I’d love to create a content calendar and some sort of schedule.
Do a complete wardrobe refresh. I am in desperate need of new clothes for the fall and winter seasons. I need jeans, sweaters, jackets, and boots to get me through the upcoming colder weather. I made a Thred-Up order so I’m hoping that some of those items will work out.
Explore Rome with Brett. I am SO excited to be visiting Rome in October! I have wanted to travel to Rome since I was a young girl watching the Lizzie McGuire Movie and I finally get to go. I’m going to try not to worry too much about my diet and just enjoy my time in Italy.
Live it up for my 25th Birthday! I have been talking about my 25th birthday for a while now. This whole blog started as a way to capture my life from 20 to 25. My work is having their 20th Anniversary Gala on my birthday so I’m excited to wear a fancy dress and celebrate with my co-workers and Brett.
Celebrate 5 years of blogging! I’m turning 25 which means Life of Hayley is turning 5! The past five years flew by and I’m excited to share my blogging highlights with you in November. I have captured most of my adult life on this blog and that makes me incredibly proud and happy.
Put 50% of my holiday bonus into our savings account. My work is awesome and gives out holiday bonuses every year as profit sharing. I feel so lucky each time I receive a bonus and always save the majority of it for future purchases. We added my 2017 bonus to our down payment this year for our house!
Interested in the rest of my quarterly 2018 goals? Check out these posts! Q1, Q2, Q3.
I don’t know about you but I am exhausted! I have been going nonstop lately and I am in desperate need of a break.
“What’s an introvert battery?” you ask. Great question! I don’t know if this a real term but it’s something I use to explain how I feel. If I know I’m going to be in social situations I spend some time alone to recharge my “battery” before needing to talk and interact with people. After I’m done interacting I go home and sit to recharge myself for the next outing. Being social takes all of my energy sometimes.
I’ve talked many times about being an introvert and one of my most prominent introvert tendencies is the need for alone time. I have had very little alone time as of late and need to recharge my battery. By recharge I mean not be around people for awhile.
I hate being “on” all of the time and I need to switch myself “off” for a while. I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately just because I feel so overwhelmed right now. It’s so hard to explain this to people who don’t experience the same feelings of anxiety towards social situations. Brett tries really hard to understand but he loves being around people so he struggles to realize that I can’t do as much as he can.
Sometimes I wish I could have a personality transfer because these periods of my life suck. It makes me feel selfish and ungrateful when I have to say no to friends and family that want to see me. But if I don’t recharge soon I will crash. I’ve crashed a few times before and it’s not fun and I end up feeling guilty about it for days. Our wedding day took a full introvert battery and I crashed at the end of the night because I was so overwhelmed and exhausted.
I got some good advice this weekend from a family member and I thought that I’d take a quick second to share it with you:
The key to a successful marriage is communication.
This seems simple and I’ve heard it many times before from other people but it really stuck with me when my cousin said it.
We were talking about marriage and the difficulties that sometimes arise. My husband, Brett, works pretty strange hours because he works in event management. He has to work any night or weekend event that he is in charge of. Because of his job we don’t get to spend a ton of time together and he misses most family events.
I work a normal 8-5 Monday-Friday job which means that Brett and I really don’t see each other a lot during the week. It’s hard to communicate besides a series of text messages that are exchanged throughout the day. But no matter what we do communicate with each other. I always know what’s going on with him, if he’s having a good day or bad day, and what his hours for that day are.
Communication is the lifeline that holds us together. We may not be together but he at least knows that I care and am interested in what’s going on in his life.
While it is important to have the regular day to day communication it is equally important to communicate about any challenges and goals for the future. We are always talking about our short and long term goals.
We have only been married for a year (on August 19th!) but I can already tell that communication can make or break a relationship. I never want to get to the point where Brett is no longer my best friend.
What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?
Today is one of Brett’s favorite days of the year and I always try to share his excitement! Our 4th always consists of spending the day at an Air Show and celebrating all of the men and women who fought or are currently fighting for our country!
I always think of both of Brett’s Grandpas on this day. His Grandpa Charlie died before we started dating but was an incredibly hardworking man. But his Grandpa Ed (Red) lives in Florida and I have got to know him well through the years.
When Brett’s Grandma passed away in December we spent a lot of time with his Grandpa. Ed pulled out his scrapbook that he created from his days in the Army and shared many stories about his experiences during World War II. It was heartbreaking to see how badly these memories still hurt him. He was injured and earned a Purple Heart which is a huge honor! I am proud to call him “Grandpa” and will make sure to pass along his stories to our future children.
It hurts me to watch him suffering from the loss of his wife and an injury that still he suffered during World War II. He lives alone now in his nineties while his whole family is in Michigan. The VA has done very little to help him while he risked his life for years for this country.
The Fourth of July means so much more than fireworks and barbeques. It’s a day to remember all of those people who represented our great country and fought for our freedom. All of the people who still suffer from the memories and heartbreak of war.
I am proud to live in the United States but I realize that it took a lot of suffering from others in order for us to enjoy this freedom. Today we should celebrate America and all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.