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2019 New Year Fresh Outlook

2019 New Year Fresh Outlook Featured Image Description is in the body of the post.

2019 New Year Fresh Outlook

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope you all were able to come out on the other side of the holidays unscathed. For a moment I didn’t think I’d make it through my mini mental breakdown. Don’t get me wrong, while I look forward to Christmas, at the same time I can’t wait for it to be over. The last couple of weeks were so awful I gave up any pretenses at appearing happy. Since I was practically in a vegetative state from binge-watching Netflix I toyed with the idea of becoming a professional procrastinator.

2019 New Year Fresh Outlook image description is in the body of the post.
Stones, Balance, Harmony

While it is not my intent to bring anyone down I wanted to share my experience and end on a positive note:

  1. Depression lies and tempts me into believing I’m worthless, my life doesn’t matter, and possibilities die.
  2. Fuzzy thinking clouds clarity, I lose focus and magnify unimportant elements in my life.
  3. Guilt as a by-product of my depression would have me think I MUST be… (fill in the blank).
  4. Anxiety causes me to be in a constant state of high alert and triggers panic attacks.
  5. Comparisons, as well as unrealistic expectations, are fruitless efforts and thieves of joy.
  6. Self-preservation is key and during these moments I must have solitude.
  7. Listening to my body by disconnecting, resting, and being brutally honest is healing. This recent episode actually called for an impromptu hiatus away from all social media, my computer and cell phone.
  8. Time really isn’t the enemy and I took all the time I needed to regroup and restore a fresh outlook.
  9. Change, like time, I cannot control and it’s the one thing in life that is and will remain constant. I will continue to adapt and move onward.
  10. It’s okay to not have all the answers, I’m only human.

Being Human Can Suck Sometimes

We humans are such complex creatures aren’t we? At times I look at Mollie, my dog, and kinda envy her because she only requires love, food, and water. She doesn’t have to get a job, care for an aging parent, grandchild, or worry about what to post on her website. Oh wait, she doesn’t have a website cause she’s a dog, DUH!

As a proud INTJ, I admit at many times I’ve lived to work. When I’m attached to a computer my life is full. Combine my love for work with my passion for advocacy, and the two can become a lethal combination. To some degree, the increased urgency brought about by getting older and moving closer to my expiration date causes more anxiety. Even though I realize I have no control over my life expectancy I’d like to leave my imprint on the world.

I constantly worry that I can’t keep up with the changing times but I’m dedicated to giving my all to the task. One of the my areas of focus in 2018 was simplicity and somehow it slipped from my grasp. The great thing about fresh starts is just that; I can begin anew.

Will my depression and anxiety go away? Probably not, I’ve lived with this all my life. I have periods where I lose direction and feel lost but I’ll continue to hopefully come out on the other side more enlightened.

2019 New Year Fresh Outlook Featured Image Description:

A green street sign that says “Time for change.” In the background is an outdoor clock.

Additional Image:

Stones, Balance and Harmony is a photo of three stones balanced atop one another with a skeleton key on top.

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With Hope Anything is Possible

Here's To Hope In the New Year! Description: Happy New Year 2016 on top of a green decorative medallion graphic

Times Gone By, Farewell 2015

Hope is such a powerful thing and looking forward to the refreshing and re-energizing possibilities of the New Year is one of the most exciting components of the holiday. Whenever I think about motivation I remember it’s because of hope that I was able to overcome many trials and through it all this one biblical passage kept me:

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. ~Philippians 4:13

Even during my rebellious stage or stages when I came to my senses He did not reject me. I wish I could love like this, however, I realize I am a broken human being but with hope, I will continue to strive to be more like Him.

While I do not make New Year’s resolutions, because I’m a goal-tracking fiend, the one thing I anticipate is the annual year-end wrap-up. It’s during these self-assessments that I can see what I initially hoped to achieve at the outset of the current year and where I’ve landed at year’s end. Some notable achievements:

Top 10 Posts:

  1. Ankle Boots Outfit Combos
  2. Is It Magic? Nah, Just Color Adjusting Foundation
  3. The Black Blazer
  4. The Eye of the Tiger. er, um, Leopard
  5. Bountiful Boots
  6. Raising the Blind on Sight Loss
  7. Perfectly Pointed Pink Pumps
  8. Shoe Lovin’ Saturdays: Weigh In #7
  9. Is It Boring Being Blind?
  10. The Unveiling of a Stylish Icon

Collaborations:

  1. Glenda Harrison, So What to Twenty
  2. Mel Scott, BlindAlive
  3. Audrey Demmitt, Seeing Possibilities
  4. Jennifer Barrile, jennifer barrile

Interviews:

  1. The Bold Blind and Beautiful – Tom Reid, Reid My Mind
  2. Quick Q&A | Stephanae of Bold Blind Beauty – Susan, Adventures in Low Vision

Articles I Wrote for VisionAware.org

  1. How Can I Be Fashionable in the New Year If I Am a Blind or Visually Impaired Woman
  2. Living With Glaucoma
  3. Experiencing The Magic of Eye Makeup While Practicing Eye Safety

Special Projects:

  1. Created Month in Review newsletters
  2. Development of the fabulous “Woman on the Move” Fashion Icon (collaboration with Jennifer Barrile)
  3. Achieved my Image Consultancy certification

Community Activities:

  1. Created Golden Triangle Council of the Blind (GTCB) Bowl-A-Thon fundraising website
  2. Participated in the fundraising effort enabling GTCB to surpass our $2,000 goal
  3. Board Member of the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh

Upcoming in 2016:

  1. “Women on the Move” Monthly Series featuring blind and vision impaired women
  2. Jenelle Landgraf, Double Vision Blog will become a regular monthly contributor
  3. Exploring the world of organic cosmetics and body products
  4. I will share more of my favorite outfit combinations and how to do it on a fixed income

Interesting Takeaways:

  • I am not and will not be perfect but I will continually strive for improvement
  • I cannot excel at everything but what I choose to do, I’ll do to the best of my ability
  • Overthinking is a motivational killer. Simplicity is key.
  • Losing vision has taught me that appearance is only part of the story. As humans, we are so complex and so much more than how we appear which is one of the main reasons I will continue to provide inspiration whenever possible.

When I review my activities for 2015 I can see that while I may have felt at times I was on a hamster wheel, in reality, I was productive. Is there room for improvement? Most definitely, but as long as I continue to track my progress I can rid myself of the unnecessary burden of thinking I am insufficient.

Happy New Year Everyone!! I love you all!! ~Steph

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ~Ellen Goodman