This year has been different than any other year I can recall. It’s been the first year that the trends and habits I started in the new year have actually stuck with me. My primary goal has been to keep myself moving forward—whatever that may look like on any given day—and give myself a lot of grace in the process. This year has not exactly been easy, but even so, I’ve felt a lot of joy and a whole lot of peace along the way.
Today I’m sharing some of the moments that brought me joy throughout the past year. In writing this list, I realized there’s power in jotting down these kinds of moments of joy, not only in retrospect but also while you’re experiencing them. I plan to do more of it in the year ahead!
Moments That Brought Me Joy This Year
- Watching my kids experience big moments of growth.
- Cutting my hair shorter.
- Being less rigid with rules—both with my kids and myself.
- Making such good meals with friends, both at cookbook club and on other occasions.
- Supporting Joe in his biking journey up north and celebrating at the end.
- Being at the pool almost every day in the summer, watching my kids run around and make friends.
- Learning how to play tennis.
- Trying out lots of different styles of clothing.
- Discovering the joys of wide-leg pants.
- Embracing the cowboy boot trend (or at least a more minimal version of it).
- Starting a book club with friends.
- Learning to feel really good about my air-dried hair.
- Watching Bennett learn how to swim. She started summer not knowing how to do it and at the end was jumping off the diving board.
- Staying more organized than I’ve ever been before.
- Feeding and serving wine to people we love at our home.
- Seeing my kids’ personalities emerge even more.
- Morning walks.
- Physical movement in general. I got back in the swing of it this year and it has felt so good.
- Sitting across the table from my friend Dee at various meals.
- Getting to know my kids, especially my son, on a more personal level.
- Learning how to eat lobster.
- Taking a trip to Napa with girlfriends.
- Watching season two of The White Lotus.
- Putting spicy honey on everything.
- Going to the Chicago Field Museum with my kids. It was so fun to experience one of my favorite childhood memories through their eyes.
- Getting to the other side of one of the worst hangovers of my life.
- Deepening some of my friendships.
- Getting into the habit of a nightly gratitude journaling practice.
- Watching my kids be the bravest versions of themselves in times when they needed to be.
- Doing fewer projects around the house.
- Keeping this saying in mind: “The you that exists in your mind doesn’t exist anywhere else.” This line has given me a lot of freedom.
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.