It’s a pretty special thing to reflect on a whole year in one sitting. It shows you just how fast 12 months can go by, but also reminds you of just how much can happen in a year. Doing these reviews always makes me emotional because the more I look at my calendar and remember the beautiful things I got to experience, the only things I can think to say are: “thank you”, and “how did I get so lucky?” Thank you. How did I get so lucky?
I said last year that doing year end reviews is a great reminder that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and I feel like that’s particularly true of 2017. I didn’t go many places in the world this year, so when I first sat down to do this review I wondered if I’d have anything to say about certain months. And I was right, not every month had major highlights or achievements to report, but as I looked back over my calendar and my 1SE video, I realized that I had so many beautiful, quiet, meaningful moments both my myself and with my loved ones. So, no. I didn’t travel very much in 2017 or hit any huge milestones (car/house/husband). Instead, I built a life, and that is a very large accomplishment indeed. Here are my own personal highlights from the year:
In January I went to my first Tuesdays Together meetup. I was by myself and really nervous, and the only reason I went is because it was near my sister’s apartment, so I could go see her if I needed to bail. It ended up being the very best thing I did all year: as a result I met some very dear friends and kindred spirits, have become a part of Toronto’s creative community, and feel more at home in this city. All because of one little meetup!
I attended my first Creative Mornings event, had fun coworking dates with my friends, went home to visit the puppy, and saw a bunch of live music. Actually, 2017 was kind of the year of live music, and February was where that all kicked off. I also had my last two filming days with the Red Tent Sisters, on an unseasonably warm week near the end of the month. It was so much fun to shoot some great content and have a picnic with them on the deck.
There was so much fun stuff in March, but my favourite part was helping my friend Sonja cater Sarah Slean‘s album launch party for Metaphysics. It was a dream to hear her play live with a grand piano and a string quartet from only a few feet away – and of course the food and atmosphere were incredible. Another fun highlight was seeing the Book of Mormon with my friends Laura and Mike!
I somehow got to be a part of Nurture in April, which basically cracked my whole life wide open. I met so many amazing women who I am lucky enough to now call my friends (!), helped make a lot of delicious food, got some sunshine and peace and clarity, and made an important decision that changed the rest of my year in a really positive way. There’s no other word for it besides magic. It was magic.
Oh – in April I also started taking care of Pablo the cat, who was also a very welcome addition to my life for the rest of the year! Oh – AND it was my birthday, which was a ton of fun and so special to have all my favourite people around me.
We had a birthday party for my grandma, I had my first ever tarot reading, I went to see Ira Glass perform live, I wore sandals for the first time all year, I had my friend Adrienne staying with me for a few fun days, I helped out at two live events for one of my clients, I played outside in the backyard with my mom’s dog, I wore spring jackets. I love May.
The best part of June was my Dad’s wedding to my stepmom, Took. It was such a special day and – even though I didn’t think I would – I cried throughout the entire ceremony. I made a video of the day and it’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever created because it captures so much of the love and joy of that day.
Other highlights: lots of days lounging in parks, lots of live music, lots of family time.
I went to New York City for two weeks! This was my third summer visiting my friend Katie and my favourite visit yet. We went to the Jersey Shore, hit up the jimjilbang (indistinguishable from the ones we went to in Korea), found new rooftop patio bars, ate the best-ever fish tacos, went to street festivals, read books and toured the city. My heart feels so happy in New York and with my friends who I don’t get to see very often. Such a wonderful time.
Long lazy summer days, blue skies, time outside, campfires, windows open, butterflies. I deep cleaned my apartment and finally set up my home office, walked all day at Caribana, read on my front steps, went to a solar eclipse viewing party, saw my favourite Creative Mornings talk of the year, saw Shakespeare in the Park, and did a lot of journaling. Sonja and I also went to see John Mayer (her birthday gift to me) outside at the Budweiser stage after a day at the CNE – the absolute perfect end to summer.
There were a lot of fun events this month! I went to see Lady Gaga, and then the girls from My Favourite Murder with my friend Emily. I went to see an amazing documentary about The Avett Brothers with Sonja. I attended my first-ever Roncesvalles Polish Festival (the event of the year in this neighbourhood). I went up to the cottage with Laura and Mike for the third year in a row. I also volunteered at the hilarious but interesting Archangel Summit, where I got to hear Simon Sinek, Danielle Laporte, Shefali Tsabary, and others speak.
Nurture launched Harvest Table Dinners and we held the first one on October 1st! It was such a fun event with so many friendly faces and delicious food, and such a surreal way to celebrate my one-year anniversary of living in Toronto. Little did I know on that first night in 2016 that one year later I’d be having an amazing meal with the beautiful souls that I’d gotten to know.
In October I also had the very last patio drinks of the season, and went to my first family pumpkin carving day (I’d missed the last few years of this tradition!).
Katie came to visit for the first time since I officially moved to Toronto! It was so much fun to have her in my home and my neighbourhood, show her some of my favourite spots, introduce her to my Toronto friends, and tour (a lot of) Toronto’s historical houses. We also had kickass eggplant sandwiches, which warrant a mention here. In November we also had a sushi extravaganza with the whole family for my mom’s birthday, which was so much fun.
A beautiful month full of book clubs, dinners, kitty cuddles, work projects, twinkle lights, parties, crafts, candles, and family time. I helped my friend Brittney on a fun (but strenuous) interior design job which added some variety to my days. I got to go to some fun holiday parties wearing fun holiday sparkles. And I got to spend Christmas with my family and our dogs. What could be better than that?
Firsts of 2017
My friend Laura introduced this idea to me last year and I think it’s such a fun way to sum up some of the smaller aspects of the year that might not have otherwise made the highlight reel. Here are a few of my favourites:
- First Tuesdays Together meetup
- First Creative Mornings event
- First time trying caponata, first time trying labneh, first time trying fennel
- First time getting a promotion!
- First time trying Ethiopian food
- First tarot reading
- First blind internet date
- First time discontinuing work with clients I didn’t like
- First time having friends stay at my apartment in Toronto
- First time seeing a feminist comedy show
- First book signing (with Jen Sincero!)
- First time watching a solar eclipse
- First time seeing a movie at my neighbourhood theatre
- First time having a cat!
- First time seeing Caribana
- First time doing NaBloPoMo
2017 By the Numbers
- 75 books read
- 89 blog posts written
- 107 Instagram posts
- 257 days of morning meditation
Goals & Intentions
It’s nice to revisit my goals & intentions post from last year and realize that I still resonate with so much of what I wrote. I hadn’t even really remembered what I wrote, but (since writing things down is magic), it turned out that unplugging often, embracing the moment, and celebrating the everyday were very much my themes this year.
1. Read 75 books ✓
“How much happier I would have been to know that reading was itself a passion. Nobody treated it that way, and it didn’t occur to me to think otherwise.” -Pamela Paul, My Life With Bob
This is still my favourite goal, habit and practice all rolled into one. 2017 was the year that I really deepened my relationship with reading, partly thanks to reading My Life With Bob, and since I realized that reading is a form of flow and meditation. You can see everything I read in 2017 here.
2. Film 1 Second Everyday ✓
Yay! I’m so happy to say that 2017 was the first year that I made a complete year of 1SE. There were definitely days I missed, but I just went back in and added a clip of something that was likely to have been happening that day. Such a simple project, but it really gives such a cool recap of the full year. This year flew, but it’s cool to see a tiny slice of every single day, even (especially) the ones that I might not remember otherwise.
My Word of the Year: Embrace
Like most years that I choose a word, I could have been more intentional about embrace in 2017. That said, unlike some years, this word actually stayed with me the whole year, mostly in the back of my mind and sometimes on Instagram. I revisited my intention-setting post for this word and I do think there are ways that I embodied the word embrace throughout the year. I really embraced the people around me this year: I spent more time with family, I made lots of new friends, and I became part of more than one community here in Toronto. I also think I embraced my everyday pretty well – documenting 1SE helped, as did trying out NaBloPoMo this year. I also embraced my apartment and worked to make it a home by decorating, rearranging, styling, cozy-fying and inviting friends over. All in all, it was a great word and it served me well! I’m excited to choose a new theme for 2018.
If you’re curious, you can see more of my year-end reviews here: