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No year is perfect, but I made some really good, really beneficial changes this year. So today, on the last day of 2017, I’m sharing 6 of the best decisions I made this year (in no particular order).
quitting my job
Until recently, I was working full time as a teacher, part-time at a local non-profit and running this blog. You know, in addition to being a parent and a wife. I realized this summer that my part-time job was eating away at the weekends and summer I wanted to spend with my daughter, so I announced my leave and officially concluded my time at the start of November. The additional income was lovely, but the extra time (for mothering, blogging, teacher prep and relaxing) has been more than worth it.
using the ibotta app
Nearly a year ago, as I watched my finances shift under the addition of formula and diapers, I decided to try out ibotta. Since then, I’ve redeemed over $373 in rebates. I had no idea the app would save me any money, nevermind that much. It’s simple to use: choose the rebates you’d like to redeem (some of my favorites have been for any brand of milk, eggs or bread, Enfamil and Similac formula, and various brands of cheese, beer, and pasta) and shop. You can add loyalty cards and have rebates redeemed automatically, or scan the receipt after you shop. When your balance reaches $20, you can instantly transfer the funds to Paypal or Venmo (and then transfer to your bank account). If you want to try it, here’s my referral link.
taking the Enneagram
I first heard about the Enneagram on the podcast That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs. I’ve always been into personality tests, so I took the one on this website. My results identify me as a Type 1 and I have never had a test that told me so much about myself before. So many of my feelings make so much more sense now and I can’t wait to explore the Enneagram more in 2018. Bonus points for all the ways it’s helping my husband (who’s a 5) and I understand each other
buying packing cubes
I bought these packing cubes on Prime Day at the suggestion of Sarah von Bargen on her site, Yes and Yes. They have revolutionized my travel life. Now my clothes don’t arrive wrinkled, I can find things quickly and my stuff doesn’t get mixed up with Brian’s. The set of six has served us pretty well, but I could definitely be convinced to buy more in the future.
Once upon a time, before I gave birth, I planned to breastfeed for a year. Once I delivered, the reality became clear that my body wasn’t particularly interested in making that happen. In the first six months, I did everything I could, including pumping as many as eight times each day in addition to breastfeeding, meeting with lactation consultants multiple times a week, trying all the herbs and supplements I could find, making and eating tons of lactation cookies, and renting a hospital grade pump. At 3 months, I decided I’d work to continue until the six-month mark. When that point arrived, I washed my pump parts for the last time and moved on. The decision gave me what seemed like infinite amounts of freedom in my day and the opportunity to more actively parent my daughter. It was definitely the right choice for me.
using technology in my classroom
I’ve always used technology with my classes, but this year there was a change in what I’m teaching and an increase in access to hardware for my students. I’ve been utilizing Plickers, Quizlet and Google Classroom, among other tools, with my students and they’re really into it. In addition to making my job simpler, playing with technology tools has made me more excited about my work. Following teachers on Instagram has also ignited excitement about my work. (Let me know if you’d like to see more teaching-related content here, or on Instagram).
What good decisions did you make this year?