Are you ready for the new year to start?
There is something so soothing these last few days of the year that I just want December to last a bit longer.
I want to feel the festivity of the holidays, hear people’s vacation plans, and enjoy a couple of days off.
Before welcoming 2018, I want to wrap up some of my quick thoughts about 2017.
I hope that when I look back on these notes at the end of 2018, I will see many positive changes from the previous year.
1. Maintaining a happy marriage needs serious efforts.
I grew up seeing my parents fighting on a regular basis.
I just didn’t understand why two people had to make each other suffer for so long.
But life is not so simple. My parents still stay together after all those years.
For a long time, I didn’t want to get married. I didn’t want to get myself in the same situation that they were: being stuck and not being able to get out.
As the story goes, Mr. FAF and I got married four years ago.
Having learned from what happened in my family, I told myself that I would try to be a good wife so that Mr. FAF and I would never fight.
We also agreed that we would never argue in front of our children.
However, over the past few years, we have gotten into multiple arguments. We tried to make things work and implemented changes. After a while, we were once again faced with another problem.
The last and biggest fight happened right before and on our 4th anniversary. Things have improved a lot since then.
My colleague told me that we should find ways to address the issue before it explodes. I think that’s sound advice. The challenge is how Mr. FAF and I can implement such advice effectively.
After all, we’ve been married for only four years. We haven’t lived long enough to know what’s awaiting us in the future.
2. Raising kids is fun but exhausting.
I can’t picture our lives without our beautiful boy. Yet, one thing I realized in 2017 is that raising a kid well is no joke. I don’t know how other parents can raise 2-3 toddlers while working full-time.
Taking care of our 3-year-old son has made my wish to have only one kid stronger than ever. Mr. FAF, however, insists on having three kids (two boys and one girl).
Sometimes I really envy men since they don’t have to get pregnant and experience all the changes to their physical and mental health. I have seen my body change drastically after having Baby FAF. Not all of the changes are so wonderful, but I guess aging also has to do with it.
We sort of toyed with the idea of trying for a second baby in 2017, but nothing has come of it yet.
3. Money is important.
Whether money can buy happiness or not, it is important, period. I know many people don’t care about money, but I’m not one of them.
I think about money daily. I hesitate before making a purchase even if it’s a snack I want to try. But I don’t want money to dominate every single one of our decisions either.
Our finances improved a great deal in 2017 and have alleviated a lot of our financial concerns. We put a huge chunk of cash towards our mortgage principle and started maxing out our 401(k) and 403(b). Those were two of the most crucial financial decisions we made in 2017.
However, there were some days when I felt so empty and lost inside despite all the money that we make and have. That said, if I were to choose, I’d pick having lots of money over being broke in a heart beat. I grew up poor and know exactly what it’s like to be penniless.
4. Blogging as a business is not easy.
I finally decided to start a personal finance blog in 2017. I think it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, now I know how much work goes into blogging professionally.
It’s different when you have a leisure blog and just want to write whatever you want and publish whenever you want.
When you have an audience to entertain in a specific niche, the need to keep up the quality and quantity of content while marketing your blog on multiple social media platforms can be overwhelming and discouraging at times.
Over the past nine months, I have seen some fellow bloggers leave the community or stop blogging together. Every time that happened, I felt really sad that one of us had quit, and told myself not to give up. And I’m glad I didn’t.
I didn’t monetize my blog in 2017, but making a livable income from blogging, I realized, is definitely not easy.
I’m happy to wrap up 2017 with a smile on my face despite all the challenges and mishaps we have encountered.
No one can know for sure what will happen in the future. But I believe that hard work always pays off whether it has to do with marriage, kids, money, careers or relationships.
Keep up the great work you’re doing. We will see you in 2018!