New Year, Another Year Older

For me personally the new year begins on my birthday, which is on January 2nd. I can never really feel ready to start the year until I've marked another birthday in the books. It's also the day to hit the restart button for my diet, my goals, and my overall mindset. 

 My New Years Card for 2017 | photos by Lauren L Caron © 2017

My New Years Card for 2017 | photos by Lauren L Caron © 2017

Generally looking back on 2016 I want to say that it was a challenging year and not my favorite. The weight of the cross country move was heavy on my heart. I can only compare to loosely being similar to the way a military wife or kid has to start all over when their family picks up and moves. I did it to support my husband and the overall betterment of our family, but I didn't exactly do it with bells on.

To put a positive spin on the move I've accomplished a lot in my 32nd year of life and I created a list of my top 8 things to be thankful for in 2016. 

  1. I figured out how to expand my LLC, Union Adorn into a fully recognized bicoastal business. I have an equal number of clients on each coast, that provide me with plenty of work to stay busy and inspired. In total this year I've worked with 18 amazing clients, 14 of those being residential homes. I'm thankful that there are that many people in this world who invited and trusted me enough to design their homes. 
  2. I finished two milestone projects in 2016. The first one being the Hasbrouck House, a boutique hotel in Upstate New York, where I worked together with the owners from the initial concept stages to completely renovate and design the interiors of the 3 buildings. The spaces included are 18 guest suites, a restaurant, lounge and bar. This project started in the early part of 2015. We finally called it finished for the hard opening over Labor Day weekend of 2016. The second project, was one that was in the works before I left my full time position at Bergdorf Goodman back in 2014. I was signed on in March of 2015 to support the visual team in the design of the Main Floor renovation. We accomplished this project in 2 major parts. First was to design an entirely new jewelry boutique on the 57th street side of the main floor. My role was to design and partner with the production vendor to produce unique and custom display jewelry fixtures. In the second half of the project we collaborated with the same production vendor (Pacific Northern) to design and create custom accessories display fixtures. 
  3. I flew across the country 14 times last year. I can now consider myself a pro at flying. 
  4. I've managed to make some significantly wonderful relationships this year,  from clients to creative partners and friends. I am certainly grateful to have moved to a region of the country that is known for having a "freeze" about it, only to be welcomed with open arms by many. Even with the dark outlook I have on our country's political climate I can say that I have seen on personal level that people are good and we form strong bonds to support outsiders, even to those that may not necessarily be the same as us (even if it's as small as an eastcoast westcoast thing). 
  5. I launched 2 new websites in 2016. One being the blog I'm writing in this moment, the other is The Uncommon Union, a partnership project with Esther of Uncommon Cartography. It's PNW based, where we aim to support and expose the visionaries in this region. I'm so looking forward the amazing work we'll be doing together this year. 
  6. A huge bonus in 2016 was for the first time in adulthood I am living in a house. An actual house with a front doorstep, a front yard and backyard. I've started to learn about gardening, and raked a few leaves in addition to decorating the front door. I've lived in apartments since I moved out of my parents' home and as much as I love owning my own square footage in NYC, there's nothing like a house to call home. 
  7. I started riding horses again consistently. I am thankful that my friends at Gates Estates in Connecticut in 2014, helped me to reignite my passion. I started riding at an early age, it was such a major part of my life and for many years the only thing I cared about. Taking almost decade off from it was certainly challenging mentally, but physically it was surprising that my muscles remember as much as they do. It was important that this year I would continue my weekender/fair-weather activity that it was in NY to make it into a weekly and hopefully in 2017 a daily activity. 
  8. Most importantly, I learned how to be supportive and there for my husband even when times were not easy. This move definitely challenged our relationship and forced us to spend more time apart than we've done in over 11 years. While being apart for weeks at a time I've managed to strengthen my individual, while also learning how to be stronger and a better partner. 

So there you have it. My list of 8 big things that I'm thankful for in 2016. I'm sure there are more, simple ones that I will think up after I post this entry, but when I look back and count up what I did this year, I can say 2016 was a good year. 

For next year, what are my goals? 1. I'm planning to continue working (and living) bicoastal. I love New York, and if there's anything I've learned this year it's that I can not give it up. 2. I want to continue to travel as much as possible, and that especially means to leave the country this year. In 2016 we stayed within the US, it was great to explore new cities like - Savanna, New Orleans and Palm Springs, but I'm ready for Europe and perhaps a little bit of Central or Southern America. I have a big itch to scratch with that goal. 3. Commit to community service through supporting our youth. I'm not quite sure yet how that will be, but I want to make sure the future of our country has the opportunity to be educated, cultured and inspired. If it's as simple as donating my time to spend with creative kids who are uncertain about their future and how to have a career in the creative realm. 4. Feel more centered. I don't know how or what that means yet but I do definitely want to not feel so off center or as flustered as I did last year. 

Thank you 2016.

I'm ready for you 2017!

Cheers to the New Year!