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Now that it has been a few weeks since my yearlong holiday adventure came to an end, I have had time to reflect on those 366 days (remember, it was a leap year). Let me just start by saying that a whole lot can happen in a year! This year, blog aside, was probably one of the craziest and most stressful years of my life so far. When I began this project I was not anticipating so many changes. Getting pregnant, buying a new house, packing/moving, Rich switching jobs…..those are just the major ones. Committing to celebrating a holiday every single day and blogging about it did not seem like it would be that difficult when I initially started. The second half of the year is when things started to get hard. I’m sure my loyal readers were able to see a marked difference after the halfway point. I don’t know how I was keeping up with multiple holidays in the beginning, there was no way I could have maintained that pace throughout the whole year. While it was a crazy year of ups and downs, one thing remained constant in my life…happy holiday hayley. Am I glad it is over? Yes. That being said, I loved the experience and I am happy that I did it…and actually made it through an entire year!

My motive for starting this blog was to bring more happiness into my life. Did it work? Yes and no. Yes, because it was fun to celebrate something each day and it made life much more interesting, to say the least. I tried many new things and did a lot of weird stuff that I would have never done otherwise. It gave me an excuse to go to different places, try new foods and document an entire year of my life. Now that I am done, I truly treasure what I have been able to create. I have a whole year of my life, as well as Roman’s life, down in writing and photos and that can never be taken away. It is amazing for me to look back and remember some of the holidays and also to see how little Roman was when I started. This blog is something completely unique and I hope when Roman is older he will be able to go back and read it and see all the cool adventures we had during this time. Now for the down side. No, this did not bring more happiness into my life because it ended up causing unnecessary stress, mainly towards the end. If I knew no one was reading this thing I would have quit months ago. June was the most difficult month of all. Maybe because I knew it was finally coming to an end, maybe it was because I was already under major stress with the new house/getting rid of the old house/pregnancy, or maybe it was because I was just tired. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed celebrating the holidays. It was the actual act of downloading pictures and writing a post for each and every day that became very cumbersome. Therein lies the conundrum…if I hadn’t done the posts then I wouldn’t have been held accountable and therefore probably not actually celebrated each holiday. The blog kept me honest and it kept me going, even as difficult as it was in the end. Since I have had some time to chill and decompress, I realize that I am extremely proud of myself for sticking with it. It is always easier to quit than it is to keep going. In the end, it has brought me much more happiness than it has brought me stress and sadness. So, yes. Overall, the project did bring me happiness. I think it brings me even more happiness now that it is over and I have such an awesome keepsake to carry with me the rest of my life.

As I mentioned above, if no one was reading this then I would have had the perfect excuse to stop. YOU readers kept me going! I want to sincerely thank all of you that read my blog, whether it was one post or the whole shebang. I loved when people came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed the blog. It reminded me that more people were getting something out of this other than me. Thank you to everyone that sent it pictures and participated in the holidays. Thank you to everyone that commented on posts and let me know they were reading my daily meanderings. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am 100% serious when I say that the only reason I was able to successfully finish this year is because of you.

A special thank you goes out to my husband for helping me through this whole project. Rich was always willing to celebrate with me and was always very positive and complimentary about my posts. Thank you for being my personal photographer too!

People have asked me many questions now that the project is over and I figured this is a good time to answer them: 

  • Are you glad it is over? Yes.
  • Why are you stopping? I am not stopping, per se, I committed to one year and I met that goal.
  • Are you going to do another year? No.
  • Are you going to start another blog or update this one from time to time? Not at this time. I need some time off to use my free time to work on about a million and one other things I have going on (i.e. – have a baby (that’s kind of a big one) and work on beautifying our new house). I would like to do another blog in the future, but it would be something different. I like the idea of putting things down in writing and really forcing myself to take more pictures. I want our second child to have something special like this too, so we will see what I come up with down the road.

So, that is it. No more posts. I hope you all enjoyed celebrating with me, I know I had a lot of fun. It is a bittersweet ending, but aren’t all great endings bittersweet? I leave you all with one final thought – find happiness wherever you can. Be happy, be positive, live life.

The end.

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