Lessons From 2015

Lessons from 2015

We are coming to the final days of 2015. It’s always sad when another year comes to an end, irrespective of how good or bad it may have been. For me, 2015 will be remembered as the year that I went out on a limb and followed my passion. Isn’t it funny how one event can define a whole year? I’m grateful for all of my readers who visit this space daily and allow me to do and share what I love. I feel like I found a sense of purpose this year — one that is still being shaped every day.

As I reflect on the year, I’m reminded of epic fails (#sugardetox), exciting times (I won two giveaways — and I never win anything!), and milestones (2015 marked my second cancer-versary).

I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned in the past twelve months.

Nothing is worth sacrificing your health for: You know that demanding job that you dread going to and find yourself hitting snooze a zillion times every morning to delay the inevitable? I’ve been there. It’s not fun at all, but it may be doing more damage to your health than you realize. Constant stress can wreak havoc on your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick. Should you find yourself in a similar situation, adopt some coping mechanisms until you plan your exit strategy. Whether that’s doing yoga before you start your day, or taking a walk on your lunch break, inserting some “me” time can be a huge help.

You are never too old to follow your passion: A wise friend once told me that failure to act is just as bad as making a right or wrong decision. Think you missed your calling in life? Nonsense. You can always go down a new path. Sure, it may require late nights, learning a new skill set, or some sacrificing, but in the end it will be worth it.

Make yourself a priority: I don’t mean to sound selfish here, but make sure there is something in your day that is just for you. For me, that is my morning trip to Starbucks (sorry, Suze Orman!). It may seem silly to head to a coffee house when you can make it for a fraction of the price at home, but it helps me start my day off on the right foot. And when you find yourself working from home, it becomes more of a social outing than it once was!

Don’t skip the trip to the doc: In the past I have been guilty of missing visits to my primary care for an annual check up. With a new year upon us, and many making resolutions, it’s important to get a routine check up. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013 when a lump was discovered during an annual exam. I was actually planning to cancel that appointment because I was busy with work and felt completely fine. I’m glad I didn’t! Regardless of your age, seeing a doctor once a year is always a good idea. And make sure they check your neck and thyroid levels!

I’d love to hear about your year. Feel free to share any lessons, accomplishments, or milestones in the comments below!



  1. Appreciating the point where we should be a priority 🙂 Not all the time but we do need occasional detox. I feel ‘drowned’ in my surrounding sometimes because of work, family and blogging coming into place, having a personal space or going away for a staycation never fails to make me smile and feel happier 🙂

    Real Life Nerd // http://www.vivienekok.com

  2. This is such a great post, Vanessa! I agree with everything you’ve suggested here. It’s important that we take care of ourselves and it’s not being selfish at all. If we aren’t happy with ourselves, we can’t possibly show love and care for others. In fact, I’ve learned that the most miserable and mean people are the ones who are not happy with themselves.

    It’s so important to be on top of our health and ask the doctors question, like can you check my thyroid levels? This is something they don’t do as a standard checkup, it needs to be asked. I had to ask during my annual to have it checked, since my mom had hypothyroidism. We need to be self aware and have self love to be the absolute best versions of ourselves.

    Great post, once again, beauty! You are a strong woman and are amazing for using this platform of yours to bring awareness to thyroid cancer and early detection/prevention because of what you’ve been through. I truly admire that 🙂



    1. Thank you so much, Jalisa! This is such a sweet comment and I completely agree with the points you brought up. We are all a work-in-progress, and it’s important to remember to keep working on yourself — and not to forget to take care of yourself. The latter is something I’ve certainly struggled with over the years, as I tend to make sure those around me are okay. You will definitely be seeing more of this theme in my resolutions!

    1. Thanks, Erica! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and some of the lessons resonated with you. This year was one of tremendous personal growth and fulfillment for me — so I’m happy to share what I’ve learned, and with any luck, inspire someone. Thank you for visiting Living in Steil, and wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy 2016!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s