The year 2016 was an interesting year for me to say the least. I faced many obstacles and challenges this past year. While I cannot say that I handled everything the way that I should have, I can say that I made it through. There were plenty of bad and sad times this year, but I was also presented with fun times and special moments.
I have learned in this past year alone to focus on the good times no matter what is going on. Dwelling on the bad times won’t change the situation. Focusing on bad things has proven to cause anxiety for me. I feel like I have become a stronger person and I no longer care about what people think of me. I’m just trying to make it from one day to the next.
Being that this blog is about my journey to debt freedom, it’s only right that I highlight my finances for the past year. I got a raise in January and my husband worked for a month and a half in the fall. In 2016, my husband and I paid off $4,351.54 of debt. This may not seem like much, but one income along with the things that we had going on makes me very proud of this amount. I am hoping to at least double this number next year.
My family took a big hit this past year losing my paternal grandmother to cancer. This was a rough time for us as it was a short battle. We all had a chance to see her and get a few words of wisdom from her. I will cherish that time forever. My family came together in an amazing way and gave her a home going service that I know she loved in Heaven. We have learned to rejoice and be thankful that we had her here for the time that we did.
Even though I lost my grandmother this year, we did gain new family members. If you remember from my baby shower post, we welcomed a precious new baby to our family this year. She is the cutest baby and she is growing every day. My husband and I also found out that we will have a nephew this month and we can’t wait for his arrival.
The past year was rough as far as health went for my family. My husband had procedures done in January, April, August, and another procedure this week. I have stated here before that everyone is healthy until they are not and that is so true. On the way home from the Christmas holidays, I began to experience eye pain and cloudy vision in one of my eyes. I am currently awaiting an MRI for myself as well as a visit with a neurologist to find out what is going on with me. This will not discourage me. I believe that we will make it through this as well. My tip about health is to make sure that you have money set aside in the case that one day you wake up “not healthy”. Our emergency fund has been a big help to us time and time again.
Despite everything that happened this year, there were plenty of fun times. I really enjoyed my family this year. They came to sit with me for every procedure as well as stay at the house with us for a few days after. We attended a family reunion in Daytona Beach where we had an amazing time. We also met up to hang out with our families occasionally throughout the year. The family fun day that we had at Callaway Gardens was a very easy gathering that was fun for everyone and I hope that we can go back this year.
Christmas was the best holiday of the past year. We all met at my maternal grandmother’s house and had a great time. Each year we have a Christmas party so this year was no different. We had tons of party food and desserts and we played games until 12:00 am! At this point, we decided to open our secret Santa gifts. Secret Santa was a big hit and everyone LOVED the gifts that they received. On Christmas Day, we opened presents and had a small breakfast. Later that day, we enjoyed a Christmas meal together and played lots of games. We also had an impromptu photo shoot that resulted in some amazing photos. This was a great way to end the year 2016.
My advice to myself and all of you for 2017 is to look ahead. Create your goals and reach them. We cannot stop working towards our goals when things don’t seem to be working out. These are the times when we should keep going and work harder. Life is very unpredictable and obstacles WILL come. We must be strong and respond accordingly. The last piece of advice is to love and cherish our family members. Give them their flowers while they are here. Mend broken relationships this year and make time for family fun.