Here’s something I’ve never said before: 2015 was the best year yet.
Yeah. True story. The fun thing about having eleven whole years of my life documented on this website is that I can actually go back and see what I’ve said about the last decade, and when it comes to looking back at previous years the resounding theme is: “Huh. I really thought I was going to get more done last year.”
The one notable exception to that was 2011, which–holy shit— takes the cake for the sheer volume of work that got done in a year. I called it a “beautiful disaster” and nothing has ever been more accurate, for so many reasons. If I hadn’t been feeling nostalgic and looked back through all my old end-of-the-year posts, I might not have realized what a big year that was, and how it has shaped my perspective on the years that followed.
2011 was the year so much of the interior work on the Memorial house got done, I finally moved out of the garage I was living in and into a real house, then made the hard call to end a four-year relationship and move back out of the house I just spent two years fully-invested in building. Things at my job were also in complete turmoil, and I gladly took on more work-responsibilities just before I jumped in to the insane adventure of buying the Liberty House at auction, and then starting all of the work on this place while also trying to physically and mentally drag myself out of an eating disorder.
Which makes the last four years sound, uh, insane, and also like they should have been miserable… except they weren’t. Even in all of that crazy, there has been so much awesome. So many incredible people in my life, so many small pleasures in living on the farm, so many projects to be engaged in, so many new ways to challenge myself, and so much to be grateful for.
But I can also see how– taking 2011 at face value– every year since has seemed disappointing in terms of my drive, progress, and ability to get shit done. I mean, the thing I said about 2014 was that it was a year of life-lessons, all of which left me pretty exhausted, and, honestly, my goal for 2015 was to “just survive it.” Yeah. That is the goal of a very tired human.
And then… I don’t know. So many unexpectedly awesome things happened.
Then, I did something I haven’t done in, oh, 15 years? Went on vacation with my Dad…
There were so many Coronas and golf-cart mishaps. This will go down in history as one of the best vacations ever, I’m sure.
I finally, finally got my little orchard started with the help of some awesome friends.
This was one of the best birthday parties ever.
And my back patio became a nice place to hang out…
And enjoy the view from the house.
Or sometimes enjoy the view on my back patio.
(I mean… who wouldn’t?)
Also, my adventure with bees began…
And the firepit stopped being a weed-pile, and started looking respectable.
Then I called for reinforcements and my dad, brother, and a bunch of my brothers friends came up and helped us demo the garage siding…
I can’t even tell you what a relief it is to have that (mostly) done.
And built a big table to go under it…
And had all my friends and family over…
And if that wasn’t enough, I also had help from blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend who got my ass in gear on tiling my upstairs tub surround (finally). I definitely wouldn’t have gotten it done without her…
And my first real bath in 3 years.
Plus I threw in a couple of other unplanned end-of-year projects, like building a bunch of tables with my co-workers…
And helping my neighbors put in a wood-ceiling at their lake-house… (more on that later.)
Oh. And I’ve been lifting weights enough that if–after a couple of Christmas morning mimosas– I decide to pick up a 15′ long picnic table and move it by myself while wearing a santa hat…
I totally can.
So, yeah. Here I was just hoping to get through the year… in fact, my list for 2015 started out pretty small:
And even with all that I got done, I still only completely checked off maybe half my list?
Had a been a little more planful I probably could have knocked another item or two off the list, but I’m not sorry I spent that time at the gym, or hanging out with my friends (or with shirtless, bearded men on my patio… ahem.)
I’m so incredibly grateful for all of 2015. As for 2016? Well… I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’m hoping it will be just as awesome.