Annual Reflection 2023

Happy New Year 2023! I like to take a moment at this time of year to reflect on the past year: the good, the not-so-good, the lessons learned, the new faces… and to look forward to the coming year.

The year started a bit rough. In January, I returned to work after surgery that I’d had in December. In hindsight, it was too soon. Then I decided to get my COVID booster and while I was in the clinic – all of 25 minutes – my car was stolen. Yep – stolen. Right out of the lot in broad daylight. I panicked for about a minute… then called the police to report it. That was a frightening event. Felt so violated. And keep in mind this is during a time when cars were hard to come by due to computer chip shortages. Thankfully, I managed to find a new vehicle to my liking in short order. Moral of the story: over-insure. I’m so glad I have full replacement coverage. About a week later, sadly, my grandmother died… after a decade long battle with Alzheimer’s. I cannot express how difficult it is to watch a loved one live with this disease and then to witness my mother, aunt and uncle grieve the loss of their mother… At that point, I figured the year could only get better from there. Rule of three, as it were.

In March, I completed my fifth and final course for a Fashion Styling certificate. While the pandemic was not easy to navigate, especially at the start, this was one good thing that came out of it. I was able to complete all the courses online, self-directed, rather than in the classroom. I did it because I’ve always loved fashion. It brought me joy and gave me something fun to do at home alone. Lesson: it doesn’t feel like work when it’s something enjoyable.

In April, I turned the big 4-0! On my actual birthday, I spent the day at the spa with my mother and sister. Then the following week, I had a party! Celebrated with ~65 of my closest friends and family 🙂 I had a GREAT time. I am so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life and touched by the generosity of their time in attending my party and the thoughtfulness of their gifts <3 Word to the wise: celebrate everything big and small.

In June, one of my “girl gangs” (my university friends) and I went on an extended weekend getaway to Turks & Caicos. First flight post-pandemic. Turks is amazing – and HOT! The best part – spending time with my besties. Our lives have taken various directions – marriage, kids, etc. so I’m glad to spend time with them whenever we can. Takeaway: true friends can pick up where they left off, no matter how much time passes.

In August, I changed jobs! For those of you who may not know, I’m a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in my full time career. The fashion blog and cabi stylist are my side gigs. It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I had been with the prior company for 10 years in three different roles. I had gotten to the point where I was no longer being challenged in my career. I didn’t want to get comfortable so it was time for a change. This new role is completely different, with new challenges, and I’m loving it! Moral of the story: never stop learning & growing.

In September, I went on a 9-day trip to Italy to celebrate my best friend’s wedding! AND I did it with a single carry-on luggage for the first time ever – very proud of myself. The wedding was beautiful: scenery, food & drink, music, bride & groom. I was thrilled to be able to share the experience with them. Plus, our whole girl gang (different group from the Turks trip) was able to join.  This was my third time in Italy and this time around I had the opportunity to visit Cortona, a quaint town in the hills of Tuscany – wish I had more time there. Reminded me how much I love to travel and explore new places. I had been missing it, including international shopping. (Love that VAT refund – haha)

At the start of the year, I bought a Peloton. I had set a goal to move my body more regularly – lo and behold, I really stuck to it! I exercise 4-5x per week most weeks. I worked on my mental health as well, seeing my therapist consistently, practicing gratitude, surrounding myself with positivity. Even changing my job improved my overall disposition. 

Throughout the year, there were several other celebrations and memories made: milestone birthdays for two of my uncles; engagements, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and weddings for two of my cousins; impromptu spa morning with my girls; first day of kindergarten for my niece and nephew (they’re twins); Mom’s 65th birthday. I expanded my small business through cabi with a new hostess and the clients from her event. Unfortunately, I recently made the difficult decision not to continue with cabi for the time being because my new position is more demanding on my time. But I plan to come back soon…

And now here I am at the end of the year, reflecting on it all and expressing gratitude.

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