Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017!

Nothing quite says slow down, you’re about to crash like having your brakes go out on your car the day before the new year begins.  I, someone who doesn’t necessarily believe in signs, can take one when it’s this clear.  So I welcome 2017 with open arms and intentions to stop taking on more than I should because the last 12 months have left me mentally and physically exhausted.

Here’s a recap of 2016.

In the last 12 months, the kids and I watched someone we love get diagnosed and sadly pass away from lung cancer.  Nothing puts life more into perspective than watching a vibrant 54-year-old fight for their life and then watch her take her last breath.  A defining moment in our lives. We then moved, again, but into a more permanent place that feels more like home. Cavs won the NBA Finals in the most amazing way possible which may have been the highlight of the whole year.  3-1, what?!  I started working more which meant more money but less time at home.  On a whim and without any intentions of getting it, I auditioned for an acoustic trio and knew the minute I drove away that I landed the gig.  A week later I got the call, got it!  Another highlight of the year as my love for music has been reignited and real, genuine relationships have been formed.  And lastly, I’ve managed to end 2016 with a big, painful bang as I just got diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia which is a nerve disorder and have been in daily pain for the last 3 months.  It makes me think all 7,528 migraines that I had last year weren’t for nothing.  It seems like it was all leading up to this which along with my brakes giving out, has slowed me down like nothing before.  

I get it, Universe, I get it.  Slow down.  

It’s been the never-ending year but we’ve made a handful of very meaningful relationships and learned how to keep moving forward when moving forward didn’t seem very fun. We also learned that sometimes the doggies don’t always come first but their love and companionship never ever waver.  I found myself rushing to take them on their walks or rushing them outside to go potty before we had to leave the house.  Rushing to get the kids ready, only to rush them out the car door so I could get to work on time.  Rushing to take a 20-minute nap, rushing to get to the bus on time, rushing to take a shower.  Rushing, rushing, rushing.

So, yes, I get it.  

Time to slow down.  Unplug.  Re-prioritize.  Breath. 

And take more hikes with my two favorite friends in the whole entire world.

May this year bring about personal growth, meaningful relationships, and that all the twists and turns that are bound to happen be greeted with kindness, self-awareness, and flexibility.  

Happy 2017 everyone!


  • J. Ivy Boyter

    January 2, 2017

    Hi Ashley,
    My family and I are going to be working heavily on kindness and charity this year. My 5 year old is constantly “wanting” and I want to teach her that some people need more than want.
    Good luck with 2017 … I hope your struggles don’t keep you from enjoying the new year. Wishing you tons of luck!

    Ivy B

  • Jessica Rothgery

    January 2, 2017

    Happy New year to you and your family. I hope you are able to slow down. I know it’s hard enough to do everything you need to as a single mom and, on top of that, being such a creative person pulls your mind and heart in so many directions it’s hard to keep up with yourself.

  • Alana

    January 2, 2017

    The Universe has handed you a lot, so it may be a good thing to slow down and absorb what has been handed you. You will get through it! You are such a devoted Mom and dog lover; love will find a way. May you and your family have a better 2017.

  • Martha

    January 2, 2017

    Happy New Year and hope this is a healthy year for you and your family.

  • Cindy

    January 2, 2017

    Slowing down is so important. Take time to breath; take in what is going on around you…be present. The older I get the more I realize how much the little things matter as much or even more than the big stuff. So walk those dogs, enjoy the hikes…take care of you! :-)

  • Jane Porterfield

    January 4, 2017

    Those of us that are honest enough to take a long hard look at what’s serving us and what isn’t, are very fortunate, indeed. How else can we ever hope to see where we can improve our quality of life? Well written and glad you shared, Ashley.

  • K. Lee Banks

    January 28, 2017

    Wow, sounds like you certainly did have an eventful 2016! I hope you’re feeling better, getting properly treated, and will have an eventful 2017 in a GOOD way!

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