Best of 2016

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As 2016 comes to a close I have spent a lot of time reflecting. Reflecting is something that is so important but often gets pushed aside in a busy life. John Dewey famously said that "We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience" and I couldn't agree more. It's important to look at our year and identify what worked, what didn't, and what we can learn to move forward.

I'm so grateful for the year I have had and the people I have shared it with. I love reading all the years in review around this time on social media so, with that in mind, here are some of the highlights of 2016 for me:

Reading Challenge

I set a goal to read 52 books this year - and I hit the goal! I'm super proud of myself and plan to set a similar goal for next year. Reading is such an easy way to learn new things, open your mind to other perspectives, and to sometimes just be entertained. Here are my top picks:

Non-Fiction: Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari

Fiction: Tenth of December by George Saunders

Personal Growth: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

A photo posted by Emily Hart (@emhart11) on

National Parks

I visited 11 National Parks this year! I loved every visit but I definitely had some favorites:

Overall: Grand Tetons

Classic: Yellowstone

Best Hiking: Zion

Interesting Abodes

I stayed in a lot of interesting places this year. I really enjoy spending a relaxing night in an architecturally interesting place - drinking wine, reading books, and just being. Here are some of the most memorable:

Most unique: Arcosanti

Best vibe: Taos Vintage Trailer

Best View: Torrey, Utah

Dresses

If you follow me on social media - or have read this post - you know I made up a holiday and wear whimsical outfits (mostly dresses) every Tuesday. It's been an important and fun part of my life that really brings me joy. Here are some of my favorites:

Overall: Dinosaurs!

Classic: Space!

Best Print: Mountains! 

A photo posted by Emily Hart (@emhart11) on

Trips

I went on a lot of trips this year - mostly road trips (and put over 30,000 miles on my car!) Looking back - while I always enjoy a road trip - there are a couple that really stand out:

Best trip (by far): Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana loop

Runner Up: Aspen

Most Surprising (in a good way!): South Dakota

So there ya have it - some of the best parts of 2016. This year had so many ups and downs. There have been countless times when I literally thought I was living in the twilight zone - what more could go wrong - but looking back at all these memories puts the down times into perspective.

I love scrolling through my instagram feed when I need a pick me up or looking back at blog posts when I need inspiration. Sure social media is a curated collection of your greatest moments but, shouldn't it be? Shouldn't we be emotionally intelligent enough to know that a person's life exists between filtered frames? I think so. So I will keep sharing the moments I love in 2017 - the things I want to look back on and that give me joy. I hope you will do the same! 

Happy New Year! :)