2013 in Review


It’s that time again.

I know everyone says it, but I really truly cannot believe another year has passed. It honestly feels like yesterday that I was sitting at this very desk, exactly as I am tonight: a glass of champagne, a little Mumford radio on Pandora, my favorite candle burning as I reflect on the previous year and dream of the possibilities of the upcoming one. Perhaps it feels like no time has passed because in many ways I am in the same place as I was this time last year. Restless yet calm, frustrated with my progress yet cognizant of my growth. But if I really take the time to think about it, although my daily life and surroundings have not changed much since last year my heart has. And so for that I am grateful for 2013.

Time for my annual year-in-review. I big-puffy-heart this tradition (check out my 2011 and 2012 in review, or download the worksheet to write your own) of reflecting on the past twelve months and setting the tone for the next. I highly recommend it.

Thank you for another year here at WSW. I’m raising my glass of Prosecco to you — may 2014 be your best yet. <3

2013 in Review

10 great things that happened in the past year (in chrono order):

  1. Took my Mom on a surprise Birthday Trip! with my sister and kiddo
  2. Took a bold step and traveled to San Francisco for networking
  3. Took a chance dating again and learned where I’m at with all that
  4. Completed Invisalign treatment
  5. Took care of some important paperwork/future planning
  6. Spent two wonderful weeks away exploring different beaches during the summer
  7. Completed the memorial tattoo
  8. Saw Mumford and Edward Sharpe at the Gentlemen of the Road tour!
  9. Took the kiddo to his very first big concert
  10. Stepped out on faith and began therapy

I am most proud of these three accomplishments from last year:

  1. Completing my second year of grad school (one more class, woot!)
  2. Investing in myself by finally starting counseling
  3. Consciously creating memories with others (special days with kiddo, traveling with family, etc)

Three great lessons I’ve learned from last year are:

  1. I really am worthy of a love as grand as I am capable of giving, and I will not settle for less.
  2. I struggle with self-discipline yet also with being in control of everything, making me an oxymoron that I need to learn to balance.
  3. I will never have everything figured out, and that is OKAY.

Three personal developments I have made in the past year are:

  1. I realized my limits on giving of myself to others and, by finally putting them into practice, learned that it doesn’t make me a less compassionate person/worse friend/selfish human being to have those limits.
  2. I began parenting more intentionally, deliberately focusing on enriching each moment, and in turn deepened my relationship with my kiddo and found more joy in my difficult parenting situation.
  3. I lived more boldly and cared a little bit less about the opinions of others and, as a result, felt less shy speaking up when necessary, taking chances, trying new things, and making mistakes.

If I could do things again last year, I would do these three things differently:

  1. I would have listened to my intuition and not rushed into projects that didn’t feel 100% in line with my heart and life.
  2. I wouldn’t have sabotaged and punished myself by giving up on my fitness goals as soon as I began to see real progress.
  3. I would have taken more time to just sit and breath and be without expectations or ‘shoulds’.

Three things I need to do less of in the next year are:

  1. Facebook!
  2. Second-guess myself and over-think things
  3. Over-indulge (food, spending money, laziness, etc)

Three things I need to do more of in the next year are:

  1. Run! (and lift, eat clean, just generally treat my body as the amazing being it is)
  2. Be intentional and live mindfully present in each moment
  3. Connect with others: deepen the meaningful relationships already in my life and develop new ones by branching out

[For review for this next one, my goals from last year’s post were: 1) Find the church where I feel at home with those who are like-minded and encouraging. 2) Travel to at least 3 new destinations and discover something meaningful there. 3) Become even stronger, physically and mentally.]

Three reasons I did/didn’t achieve my goals from this past year are:

  1. I didn’t find a church home this year because I allowed my personal insecurities and fears from prior church experiences hold me back from exploring all of my options. However, I also learned that while the fellowship of the ‘best-fit’ church can be amazing, I don’t necessarily need it as much as I was pressuring myself to find it. True ‘church’ is inside of me and in how I live. I love Jesus, not religion.
  2. I did travel to at least 3 new destinations and in each place I discovered something about myself. In San Francisco, I learned I have more confidence than I think I do and that I can thrive anywhere. In Fernandina Beach I realized that I had decisions to make and was bold enough to make them even though I didn’t want to. In Anna Maria Island, I ‘unplugged’ and rediscovered the beautiful simplicity of family, ocean, and the gentle rhythms of life.
  3. I did and didn’t become stronger this year. I didn’t become stronger physically: I began working my way there in the first half of the year and shed 25 lbs while building muscle. However, as soon as I began tasting success in early summer I got scared and bad habits snuck their way back in, resulting in ending the year at the exact same place I began it. Fail. However, I did become stronger mentally: I uncovered a lot about myself and finally decided to overcome a hurdle by starting counseling, where I am connecting so many things and finally striving for balance. Success!

Three goals I want to achieve this next year are:

  1. Simplify, minimize, clarify, realign, center. Everywhere in my life.
  2. Claim my health and get in the best shape possible.
  3. Balance. For me this means SO much, it deserves it’s own post. I’ll link to it when written.

Three reasons why I want to achieve these goals are:

  1. Because simplicity = living in alignment with your purpose without the excess that clutters the heart and mind, ultimately leading you off course.
  2. Because it is time to feel like I am living in my own skin again. Because I want my outside to be as strong, beautiful, and capable as my inside is. Because fitness impacts all areas of life. Because I want to be the best role model possible for my kiddo. Mostly, because it’s necessary.
  3. Because swinging from one extreme to the other is exhausting and impossible to sustain while remaining sane.

Smartest decision I made last year:

It’s a tie between 1) finally parting with the house in South Dakota and 2) dropping a few projects that were draining me and weighing on my spirits

Biggest risk I took last year:

It sounds silly but is true: getting this big tattoo on my arm! While I love it and it is absolutely beautiful, it has been difficult to adjust to. I’ve lived with a clear pristine arm for 29 years and now suddenly it is covered with color and art. It’s not my first tattoo, I didn’t make this decision rashly, and I do not regret it….and really I would honestly be more concerned about it if I didn’t need some time to adjust. But still, it was a big risk to permanently decide on such drastically appearance-altering highly-visible ink, especially one that means what it does. I’m still coming to terms with it.

One sentence that sums up this past year:

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” — T.S. Eliot

One year from right now, I want to my ideal day to look like this:

…whatever it is. Honestly, I do not want to imagine what an ‘ideal’ day will be. I don’t want to plan for it, I no longer want to idealize my future or aggrandize my past. I just want to live each day with intent and authenticity, accepting it for what it is. And wherever that leads me one year from now, will be the best place I can be. <3

Dana Jackson

This is an amazing year in review Erin! Here’s to 2014 being simplistic and healthy for both of us! Happy New Year to you and your little guy!

octavia ancrum

Hi. I’m new, I’ve been a widow for 8 years. I have 3 beautiful kids with my late husband. I have my good and bad days. I’m a wreck and have no clue which way to turn. :(


Octavia, I am so glad you reached out. I understand exactly what you mean. May I email you?


Thank you and Happy New Year Dana!

Your year ahead looks amazing. I really connected with your goals when you typed “I struggle with self-discipline yet also with being in control of everything, making me an oxymoron that I need to learn to balance.” That’s me! I also related to not finding a church-I’ve had bad church experiences too and have been unable to commit. However, I found a group of amazing ladies in my facebook list who are also in a similar faith situation and we’re going to begin meeting monthly to discuss the big questions of life. I’m excited at this alternative. Cheers to 2014!


That sounds so wonderful!! I hope that it will be a satisfying, stretching, and affirming experience for you. 2014 does look to be a lovely year already, doesn’t it? Hope to see your smiling face in it! :)

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