What a strange and pleasant phenomenon it is to reflect on a synopsis of memories from the past year.
2018 brought much joy, a lot of anticipation, some sorrows, new connections, and so much more. It is a blessing to be able to reflectively think back in what all occurs in what feels like a blink of the eye.
I think one of the pivotal self development objectives for me that occurred in this year is a revamped fire inside to write… (I have a personal goal that I am not quite ready to share that pertains to writing…)
Anyways, this is my third year writing “Year in Review” posts ( click to view –> 2017 Year in Review: First Occupational Therapist Job, New Last Name or 2016 Year in Review: Reflecting on the End of My Occupational Role as Student and Recharging for New Role as Fiance and OT Practitioner ) and it makes me smile rereading my previous two years to remind myself where I have been and where my path is taking me!
I would encourage anyone and everyone to take a mindful moment to think about the good, bad, and in between, of the year 2018 – perhaps even begin writing your own reflections not for others to read but for you to look back at...
On January 9, 2018, I officially began second year as a certified and licensed occupational therapist in my first and current job working in an acute inpatient rehab unit. (I made the sign hanging up on the wall behind me:) )
One of my aspirations and goals for 2017 was to attempt to write for OT Practice. Well I narrowly missed 2017 by a month and submitted my first piece in January of 2018.
I am naturally disappointed, but also still proud to say –> although my piece was rejected — my spirit to write despite rejection was untouchable.
Around that time I was working with a grumpy old lady with a history of repetitive falls and constant readmissions to the hospital. You know the type of frail old women who are widowed and really, really strong minded and tough! Well let’s just say that my experience being her therapist is something I will never forget. Even after “clocking out”, I could not get her off my mind even after one particularly long day in the hospital — so much so that I can recall ferociously typing on my notes app a little narrative account of our interactions while pedaling on a stationary bike at a local gym… more on this ahead (check out July).
Also in January this Coastal girl (I am ashamed to say I was born in Colorado and yet have not the least bit of understanding or ability in how to drive in snow #itisbeyondme) got a taste of what it is like staying the night in a hospital because it snowed!! Sweet home Alabama is NOT prepared for snow, which resulted in a sleepover of therapists that took over the rehab gym and ate family dinner in the ADL kitchen!! I kept a reacher handy, you know, just in case I needed to reach things… duh!
I became a Landau Uniforms ambassador. Part of my Brand Ambassador duties include promotional and advertising, writing brief apparel reviews, performing quality control checks (such as communicating for ex the size of the scrub top is not “true to size”), and displaying the brand via social media marketing. I really enjoy collaborating with them for many reasons. It is a true partnership.
If I am being honest, I thought it was a joke at first! You know, like one of those Instagram schemes… I could not believe that they wanted me to be apart of their team. I am very grateful and have nothing but good, genuine things to say about not only the scrubs and apparel items, but also the people behind the brand. From the upper management to the rest of the “Landau Crew“. family, it honestly is such a pleasure!
February also brought Mardi Gras! I had such a fun time throwing out beads and moon pies with my dad on the Mercedes Benz of South MS float! James was on his general surgery rotation, so I brought him back a Mardi Gras cookie to celebrate!
James and I enjoyed a special Valentine’s Day Dance at our church!! It was extra sweet!
When James is not in his student doctor role he is all about being a chef and I am 10/10 fine with that. He can make me fried shrimp any day of the week and I will be happy as a clam. It always is a treat when the Coley clan gets together! I am thankful to be apart of this family! Also our cat Gravy is quite literally a meerkat. This is a normal posture for him.
I enjoyed spending Saint Patrick’s Day with my mom in Biloxi at the Town Green followed by seeing my brother off to his girlfriend’s prom!
April is OT month!! I aspired to really, truly increase my advocacy efforts and challenged many of my Instagram occupational therapy followers and friends to do the same. I created the #ABCsofOT challenge which linked each day of April with a letter in the alphabet (ex: April 1 – Letter A – A is for advocacy or American Occupational Therapy Association. I created an image the correlated to that letter and underneath each image I wrote a rather lengthy caption to explain the topic). Together with hundreds of others, we celebrated our cherished profession and within this month my enjoyment of reaching out and connecting with others grew immensely! (Can’t wait for April 2019!!!)
Here are a few of mine from April 2018. On my Instagram I shared posts from everyone who participated in my Instagram story! I plan to do this again in April 2019. If you look up the hashtag #ABCsofOT you will see some from all over the world!
James won a small medical school scholarship and we enjoyed spending our weekend at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery, Alabama which is where he was presented the award! (I gotta cute, smartie for a husband!)
May brings all the charm and chaos!
Between our friends graduating college, a trip to Chicago for James to take a medical school board exam, Mother’s Day and my 25th birthday — it was a lot! Also, I got to meet an OT colleague who I met through Instagram while in Chicago who took me to a rooftop bar and gave me a tour of the very interesting city. Not quite exactly fair — I drank rose on a rooftop while James took an 8 hour exam eep eep!
Mother’s Day fell on my birthday, May 13, which made it extra special:)
The summer months bring lots of work but also lots of play!! Expanded my occupational therapy horizons by learning a little bit more about wound care!! The most fun memories occur when I am with those I love most.
James and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary in Fairhope and Gulf Shores. Marriage is nothing short of blessings, laughs, compromises, inside jokes, and everyday moments. I love you James Matthew!! We spent our long weekend being lazy, hanging out at the beach, indulging in great food which included eating at Lambert’s, Mirko’s (an Italian restaurant where we had our real first date), Another Broken Egg Cafe, and Burris Farmer’s Market (their cobbler is to die for). On our way home, we stopped at a dear friend’s house (Montana who just recently had her first baby Mags!).
Also my little notes app narrative story about a grumpy little lady was published and reached people on an international level (Click to read here!! )
August began the “interview trail/audition life” for James which definitely was not my favorite, but Gravy and I got by! I enjoyed visiting James in Birmingham. He thankfully got to stay with his cool aunt and uncle which made the month the best! The city of Birmingham is pretty and booming with lots of things to do!
I attended a beautiful wedding in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee atop the Smoky Mountains of a former coworker (physical therapist)! My friend Casi and I learned that we can practically change a tire by ourselves and weren’t late to the wedding.
I had the pleasure along with two other girls to plan and decorate one of my best OT friends and bridesmaid’s baby shower for her little girl to be hosted in Daphne, Alabama!
My not so little brother Dillen turned 21 so naturally my older sister duties called for me to make sure he made it through the night. Throughout this whole month, Gravy helped both James and I keep our sanity.
Leaves change and the season starts to shift to fall (hello pumpkin spice lattes)! In October, I attended the most awesome continuing education weekend course specific to helping me gain better evidence based skills to treat patients with Parkinson’s Disease! My best friend Ashton (who is also an occupational therapist) and I greatly enjoyed perusing through Decatur, Georgia and are proud to say we passed the certification exam at the end of the course and are both current LSVT BIG Certified clinicians!! (more about LSVT BIG can be found here!! click click!!
James and I also picked a few pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch. For the first time since we have been dating / engaged / married, we could not be together for Halloween (we love couples costumes) so I found another (little) man to dress up with. Kylee (a dear awesome friend), her adorable son Grayson, and I dressed up as Piglet, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger for Halloween. He definitely stole the cuteness show!!
I visited James in Augusta, Georgia during one of his audition rotations. Of course, my greatest request was for him to take me to a coffee shop because let’s be real all I need to be happy is a great cup of coffee.
We celebrated the Seidel Coley Thanksgiving in Montgomery, Alabama. I love those people so much! I do not take for granted the blessing of being apart of their family. Later in the month, my brother visited Auburn which is always fun!
The rush and gush of the holiday season is full blown by this month. I enjoyed catching up with my very first student over coffee, started blogging about #OTSettingsSeries Click to read!, planned a surprise 26th birthday cabin staycation getaway for James, went to Biloxi for Christmas with my side of the family, and more!
I am excited to see what 2019 will have in store! This is the year that James graduates school, becomes a doctor, and starts residency. This (fingers crossed) is also the year that we will be purchasing our first home and also may be getting another pet (Biscuit) for Gravy to play with!! All the anticipation:)
Write it on your heart
that every day
is the best day
in the year”
RALPH WALDO EMERSON