Twenty seventeen has not been my favorite.
I’m still in my chrysalis. I didn’t expect to be here so long, but I know it’s necessary. It will be nice when those wings finally spread.
I haven’t had the best year with money management. Increased expenses, variable income, and just plain overwhelm have interfered with my normally iron-clad financial vigilance. (Good news on that front, though–my insurance premiums went down by $200/month this year!)
And then there’s the elephant in the room. The seemingly endless cycle of bad and/or contentious news that affects us all. I’m glad people are reporting it. It is happening, after all. I just wish the terrible things didn’t exist to report on in the first place.
Despite all this, I still have things to be grateful for. I’m also conscious that in the past year, my posts have become a little less personal and probably a bit more pessimistic. So I’m going to take a minute and reflect on those things I am grateful for.
Some of them are financial.
Some of them are worth more than money.
2017 Gratitude List
Seventeen things for 2017. In no particular order. Ready? Set….go:
- My kiddo, who has some special needs, has made amazing progress this year. If you had told me this was where they’d be 12 months ago, I would have either not believed you or collapsed to my knees crying.
- I won a battle with that child’s insurance company that I had been fighting for years. Two different insurance companies (I switched when I got frustrated) were denying them an explicitly covered benefit. The final time they did this the reason they gave was illegal. Fortunately, I had just written a story about that particular section of federal law. When I quoted the law in my appeal, we got what we needed almost instantly. Magic.
- Did I mention my insurance premiums are going down $200/month?!
- I work with some awesome people and companies. I’m really glad to continue those working relationships into 2018.
- Although it wasn’t under ideal circumstances, I found out I have some pretty amazing friends. I knew this before, but when you experience rough times–or straight up jarring times–your appreciation for their amazingness deepens. Thank you.
- Taking the kids to Disney was pretty cool. I’m grateful for all of it, but especially for the family member who gifted us a week at their timeshare.
- I’m grateful I finally found a way to make use of the miles I’ve been accumulating for years. In 2018, I’ll be visiting my childhood friend in Osaka for the first time. Excited doesn’t even begin to describe it.
- On that note, I’m grateful that my library offers free language classes. Apps are cool, but I still like going in person. It allows you to ask questions and pick up on cultural norms. For instance, after a lesson on money-related vocab, I now know that I should not attempt to haggle while in Japan.
- Calgary in the winter was an amazing experience. I’m grateful for it, and for the fact that over the years, I’ve learned to travel for very little money. I didn’t even use travel hacking on that trip, either.
- Meeting new friends in NYC was an unexpected pleasure. They showed me new music, taught me about their own languages, and rightfully were the first people to laugh at me for the ridiculous hat I wear while I’m recording 360 videos–but were also kind enough to walk alongside me as I recorded.
- It’s pretty rad that we found a way to get green energy as renters.
- I’m legitimately thankful for late night comedy shows this year–and for the fact that I don’t necessarily have to watch them late at night because I live in the age of streaming.
- My youngest child is turning into a pretty amazing person, too. Maybe it’s that they always have been, but as they get older I’m learning more about them.They’re always trying to do the right thing, and have an inspiring perspective on the world. They’re perpetually reminding me to be a better person–and teaching me new ways to be one.
- You guys nominated me for a Plutus Award again–thank you times a million!
- I’m grateful for my mom–and for the fact that I live so close to her. She helps with my kids, listens to me rant and is one of the best people I know on this earth in general. I’m lucky to be her child.
- I’m glad I learned about Jetty, as there’s a strong chance I’ll be using them when I move out to the burbs in 2018, which will save me oodles.
- I’m also super grateful to CFSI for paying my way to FinCon this year. Not only did it save me a ton of money, but I also got to attend their amazing workshop and meet people I otherwise wouldn’t have while I was in Dallas.
What have you been grateful for in 2017?