As we head into 2018, a fresh new year full of new opportunities and ambitious resolutions, most of us take time to reflect on what we’ve been through in the previous year and how we would like to grow as women, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, best friends and outdoorswomen. I’ll be the first to admit: 2017 had some good memories and some great laughs, but I’m excited to be closing that chapter of my life and moving into 2018 with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of gratitude for my opportunities to get out of the office and get lost in nature. I’m forever grateful that my health has improved enough to allow me to do the things I used to dream of, like giving me enough strength to hike through the hills of New Mexico in pursuit of my first antelope and staying awake long enough to witness the most gorgeous sunsets you’ve ever seen.
GWG Life is sponsored by Girls with Guns Clothing
As I write this, I realize that I haven’t shared much about myself since I started writing for our Girls with Guns Life column here at the WON, and my first goal for 2018 is to be more of an open book; I want to share my experiences and my struggles with you all in hopes that my story will touch one of you, and let you know that you are not alone in this crazy thing we call life. We all have one thing in common—our love of the outdoors—and I hope that love can be the glue that brings this WON sisterhood together in 2018. So, without further ado, here is the first chapter of my book of 2018. Cheers to the best year yet!
A lot of people scoff at the idea of new year’s resolutions, and I can’t entirely blame them. Resolutions are best known for being tossed aside by March or April, and if you really want to be successful, you’ll need drive, determination, motivation and repetition. This year, instead of resolutions, I’ve decided to challenge myself in the three most common areas of new year’s resolutions: Health, Wealth and Wisdom. I’m competitive by nature, so I figure that if I challenge myself rather than resolve to do something, this bull-headed Taurus will be able to make it past March and April and conquer 2018.
Health: Many of you don’t know this, but I was diagnosed with several autoimmune diseases when I was 17, and after a few surgeries and one too many visits to the doctor, it has taken me the last 10 years to learn better ways to cope and live a somewhat normal life under anything but normal conditions. The years of pain and fatigue have caused my muscles to atrophy, which means I barely have the strength to freehand my rifle, and I certainly don’t have the stamina to keep up with the mountain goats I hunt with. My goal for this year is to build my body back up so that I can put in for some of my dream hunts that require more strength and stamina. I know that everyone wants to lose weight and “get healthy” in the new year, but I’m hopeful that because I’m not doing it just to look better in my camo (although who wouldn’t want their waistband to be a little looser?) that I will be more determined to pull myself up by my bootstraps and crush my workouts.
Wealth: This category isn’t so much about improving my personal wealth as it is about paying it forward. In the last year, I’ve become slightly obsessed with Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover plan (if you haven’t listened to his show or his podcast, I highly encourage you to tune in the next time you’re driving in the car or have some quiet time to yourself). A big component of his plan is to get your financial life in order so that you can give to causes that mean the most to you. Knowing how much the NRA, Kids & Clays, Sportsmen’s Alliance, Project ChildSafe, The Well Armed Woman, A Girl and A Gun, and so many other organizations do to ensure that you and I have every opportunity to pick up a gun or get afield, I can’t help but want to do even more to give back to them in 2018. This year, I’m challenging myself to create a budget (I’ll be using Dave’s Every Dollar app) and find ways each month to donate, both financially and physically, to those organizations that help me pursue my passions and give me a voice as a sportswoman and a hunter. If we can all come together to donate our time and resources to preserving this way of life we are so passionate about, we can move mountains. In 2018, I want to move mountains.
Wisdom: I love to learn new things, and I consider myself a lifelong student. Seeing as how I’m challenging myself to build up my strength and stamina so I’m prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at me, I think it’s only fair that I challenge myself to learn about new species and new terrain that will better develop my skills as a hunter. While some of these hunts may be considered “bucket list” hunts, I’m still going to put in for them and I’m still going to train and learn everything that I can so that I’m prepared to fill the freezer if I’m drawn this year. I want to learn new things, meet new people, see new places, eat new food, laugh at new jokes and experience new things because I know that each and every experience teaches me a little more about myself and gives me a little more insight to this crazy thing we call life.
Callie Wolverton is the PR and Corporate Partnerships Director for Girls with Guns® Clothing. She also is a freelance writer with articles appearing in AmmoLand, Outdoor Wire and other outdoor publications. Born and raised in Northern California, she enjoys reading, hunting, and adventuring with her dog, Bandit. View all posts by Callie Wolverton