A Look Back on 2017

2017 is gone, and a new year is upon us. The last year has given us a lot of change and disruption as a world and a species, and I’ve experienced a lot of change in my personal life as well. 2017 was a year of intense experiences, good and bad. Instead of making a list of specific events, I’m going to discuss some overall lessons I’ve learned over the previous 12 months.

Change the World

Our world and our society is currently in a state of dynamic change. Without discussing specific politics or scandals, it’s clear that a lot of negativity and darkness has come out of the woodwork and onto the main stage, and in many ways we are teetering precariously between success and failure. While this can be scary and/or depressing, it’s also clear that a powerful positive energy is rapidly gaining power as well. As darkness asserts itself, goodness is standing up stronger than ever to wash it in light.

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I’ve learned that each of us has power to increase this good. While I can’t change the world all at once, every moment of every day provides opportunities to do good things, help people, and increase the amount of positivity in the world. I believe that good energy is stronger than bad, and it’s my responsibility to send out as much of that good energy as possible. Each of us contributes to the world consciousness, and our contribution needs to be full of light and love now more than ever. We have the power to make our world a beautiful place, but we have to stand up and do it! As Michael Jackson said, we have to look at the man in the mirror, and MAKE THAT CHANGE! 🙂

Personal Spiritual Growth

I’ve done a lot of spiritual pondering and growth through the past year. I’d prefer not to go into specific details, as many of them are intensely personal, but I will say that my mind has been opened up a lot about the possibilities beyond our physical world.

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Things that I’ve had trouble accepting before, like consciousness, vibrational energy, the law of attraction, and even the possibility of life after death have become more understandable and believable to me. The power of thought has become a big part of my life and my personal philosophy. I’ve also done a lot of work in determining my own value and my place in the world and what I’m here to accomplish.

I’m definitely not done growing…not even close! But 2017 was a huge learning experience for me that will influence the rest of my life.

Circle of Friends

I’ve always been incredibly shy, and I was officially diagnosed a few years ago with Social Phobia. Because of this, I haven’t had a lot of social interaction outside of my family for most of my life. My family is awesome and I adore them, but 2017 taught me that I really need to develop a strong circle of friends outside of my relatives. There are some important topics that I really need to talk about, but have no one in my family who can listen or help me. Holding it inside is suffocating.

I’ve learned that I should make it a priority to get out more, share my true self, and develop meaningful relationships with other people. I dream of having a close, supportive, loving group of friends who take care of each other and help each other become our best selves. I know they’re out there, I just have to get out of the house and find them! 🙂

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So those are my lessons learned. I can’t say I *enjoyed* 2017, but it was a very important year for me. Here’s hoping 2018 will be the best one yet! 🙂

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Handmade Christmas!

My family has recently started a tradition where we draw names for Christmas presents. We agree on a price point, then draw names from a hat and give a gift or two to the person we receive. This year, we decided to try a handmade Christmas – everyone’s gift must be made from scratch with their own hands! We agreed that it could be anything, as long as it was handmade.

I was really curious to see what the gifts would be, because most of my family members aren’t super crafty and I didn’t know what they would come up with. The results were way better than I ever expected!

My gift was an egg holder from my father. I keep chickens as a hobby, so I always have a supply of fresh eggs in the kitchen. He found some old weathered barn wood and turned it into a cool rustic egg display! 😀

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My gift to Brother #2 were these felt ornaments; one has Mercy’s rez symbol from Overwatch, with her motto “Heroes Never Die” hand-stitched on the back. The other is the Rebellion symbol from Star Wars, with “May the Force Be With You” on the back. I was glad I pulled his name, so I could make something fun and geeky. 😉

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One of my sisters was just married over the summer, and she gave her bouquet to my other sister to keep. Sister #2 surprised her by making this awesome picture box display  in celebration of their wedding.

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Brother #1’s gift to sister #2 was this adorable bird house made from a coconut, complete with “Welcome to the Nut House” sign. XD I’m really proud of my brother, because despite being the least crafty out of everyone, he pulled off a very cute and creative gift!

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My brother-in-law blew everyone away with his gift to my stepmother – this amazing handmade cedar box! The whole thing is done by hand, including the detailed lid. That’s some real woodworking talent there!

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My stepmother made this cool Scrabble memento for my sister-in-law. It has their names, and words like “husband”, “wife”, “forever”, and “family”. Very clever!

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Sister #1 and her husband have recently started watching Game of Thrones, so my sister-in-law made this paper cut-out family crest for them. They also have chickens and love to give away the eggs, so she made the family symbol a hen. I think this is so cool! XD *starts humming GoT theme*

 

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Sister #2 made Brother #1 this cool wooden tool caddy. He’s always working on stuff and has a ton of tools, so this is perfect for him! It has jelly jars filled with nails and screws and other small findings.

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And finally, Brother #2’s gift to our dad, also made with paper cut outs! Our father loves Star Trek, so he made a framed picture of the Enterprise zooming past Earth. So cool!

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We had a great time opening our gifts! Sister #1 started crying when she saw her wedding memento box, which started everyone else getting teary-eyed, lol.

I’m glad we decided to make handmade gifts this year, and I recommend the idea to anyone who wants to try a unique spin on Christmas! 😀

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Check out my Youtube channel for positive videos!

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