My 2016.

2016 has been many different things. I don’t feel the need to use the hashtag “FU2016.” Has 2016 been worse than other years? In some ways, perhaps. In other ways, perhaps not.

I often found news and politics to be stressful, disheartening, and discouraging. While sad about some of the celebrity deaths this year, I also acknowledge that death is part of life.

On a personal level, I’ve accomplished so much.

A few of my personal milestones from this year:


Learned my first full routines, taught my first full Nia classes. 

I subbed my first class at the end of March, and stepped in for my teachers again in June and July. In late July, one of my teachers approached me and asked if I would be interested in taking over one of her weekly classes for two months – my last full months in New Mexico. I said yes. Over the course of those weeks, I learned so much about teaching. I opened up more room for spontaneity and play, and discovered the importance of rolling with making mistakes and being imperfect. I also deepened my Nia practice; through my process of learning to teach, I deepened my experience of being a student.


Self-published my oracle card deck.

It had been three years since I painted my first handmade card to the first printing of the deck. After putting numerous hours into them, it was incredible to hold the cards in my hand for the first time. I sold my first decks, too – mostly to friends but I’ve also sold two to new customers.


Went through an entire vision therapy program (January – October)

 I didn’t know quite what I was getting myself into when I began the program. I had already begun sensory exercises, but working with my vision issues seemed daunting and overwhelming at first. From following a ball to my eyes, to eye charts, to practicing convergence (close) and divergence (far), I learned a lot…and the way I saw the world around me began to change. At first, it was subtle. When my depth perception improved, it felt dramatic and unsettling. I discovered how much I hadn’t been seeing before, such as the small three-dimensional details on surfaces. My peripheral vision improved, too. I notice this improvement most in places like grocery stores, where I used to nearly or actually bump into people because I couldn’t see them coming from the side or behind. Now, I notice and see more and respond accordingly. Driving feels easier; I’m better able to judge (rather than guess/estimate) distances and I generally feel more relaxed behind the wheel. Overall, I am less overwhelmed by visual stimuli. Vision therapy was a huge investment of time, effort, energy, and money; I truly believe it was worth it.


photo credit: Adam Durant.

Planned a wedding. Got married.

We wanted a simple wedding, and we succeeded in creating one. Even so, the process was still fairly detailed. We chose an outdoor venue at an open space park in the foothills of the Sandia mountains. We met with florists, bakers/cake creators, and a photographer. I asked my hair stylist (who normally just trims my hair) to do my hair and makeup. We had a beautiful and touching handfasting ceremony that felt like it was truly unique and ours. The weather stayed decent throughout the ceremony and for most of the reception. It was wonderful to share the day with friends and family, and to celebrate our love and partnership.


 Other accomplishments:

  • Completed an iLS listening program: headphones attached to an iPod and bone conductor, the combination of music and vibration are supposed to help with auditory and sensory processing as well as motor skills. I went through the sensory motor skills program (60 one-hour sessions) twice.
  • Learned about prenatal and primitive reflexes and did exercises to help with them. So far, as a result, I startle less easily.
  • Finished individual DBT therapy sessions. I finished my skills group at the end of 2015, and continued my individual sessions through the end of September of this year. I’ve worked on a lot over over the past two years; I’m also grateful for my wonderful therapist who helped see me through it. I finished my therapy sessions feeling done and resolved for the time being. I will, of course, continue my personal growth journey, and I’ll continue to feel out what that will look like going forward. Going through the DBT program has definitely changed how I approach my relationships, emotions, and life in general. I still use my DBT skills on a daily basis.

One amazing sunset in Las Vegas

  • Moved from Albuquerque, NM to Las Vegas, NV.  I’m grateful to still be in a semi-Southwestern location, for the mountains, subtle desert beauty, and beautiful sunsets. I’m beginning to explore the area more; the past few months have been more about getting settled in the apartment and general neighborhood.
  • I’m living with my love (my husband!) for the first time in over four years. We’re definitely still adjusting. I’m so grateful to wake up next to him every morning. I love that we get to explore life together.

I’m proud of all I have learned and accomplished this year.

In terms of this next year, I have several things I have planned or have just begun; I’ve started to plant figurative seeds for the New Year.

Goodbye, 2016. Welcome, 2017!



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kneelynn on December 31, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    You are amazing Jennie!


  2. Funnily enough, personally 2016 was one of my most mentally clear and creatively productive years yet. ❤


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