While looking through old journals that I had written in, I came across an entry from exactly a year ago, where I was answering questions assessing the year. I thought it might be fun to answer these questions for this year and then read my answers from last year. I was curious to see how I had grown or stayed the same. Try answering these questions yourself.
After comparing the two reviews I realized that I have been a lot happier this year. I see that the outdoors and adventure are and always have been necessary for my sanity.
Year in Review – 2014
The single best thing that happened to me this year was: Getting to compete in many open water (mostly ocean) endurance swimming events.
The most challenging that happened to me this year was: Living in New Jersey (a place that has seasons) away from my family and all the things I love.
Unexpected Joy: Learning to row and joining a rowing club.
Unexpected Obstacle: Biking through a blizzard
3 Words describing my year: challenging, adventurous, unexpected
Best Books: Cellist of Sarajevo, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Scaramouche, The Boys in the Boat
Most valuable relationships: family, breaking bread/theology on tap community, Triton swim team.
Did you grow emotionally: Yes? At least I think so. It’s one of those I feel I have but I wouldn’t be able to give a concrete example.
Did you grow spiritually: I hope so. This is always tough to assess because I don’t know what exactly to compare it to. I don’t think I’m the same but I also don’t think I’ve regressed. But I also can’t say in what way I have grown.
Did you grow physically: Definitely. Earlier in the year I gave up all processed sugar (honey, white, brown, agave). Only fruit sugar was allowed. I was also strict vegan during this time. I lost ten pound. During most of the summer I was competing in long distance open water events and when I moved to the East Coast I took up rowing. I also bought a bicycle for transportation. I am probably in the best shape I’ve been and there are still ways I can improve.
Biggest time waster: Procrastinating through any activity besides the one I was supposed to be doing. Although nothing specific comes to mind.
Best use of time: studying for class, reading for pleasure, swimming, hiking, and rowing.
Biggest thing I learned: I think the biggest thing I learned is being generally more confident and comfortable with myself.
Year in Review – 2013
The single best thing that happened to me this year was: Joining the Triton swimming and Triathlon team.
The most challenging that happened to me this year was: Staying in, caring about, and getting through seminary while repeatedly being rejected from the Navy.
Unexpected Joy: Making friends on the swim team.
Unexpected Obstacle: Being denied from Naval service.
3 Words describing my year: challenging, stressful, discouraging
Best Books: Giants Bread, Situations Matter, Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Most valuable relationships: family,
Did you grow emotionally: I don’t think I grew emotionally but declined
Did you grow spiritually: Declined
Did you grow physically: Grew with swimming and running.
Biggest time waster: School… internet.
Best use of time: Nature, Swimming, Running
Biggest thing I learned: Life is disappointing (though I already knew that).