Wow, friends. A brand new year. Crazy how fast it creeps up, but I am so ready to move forward with some fresh ideas and renewed perspective. 2016 was a turning point for me and I am ready to embrace a full year ahead with nothing but freedom and possibility as well as a lot of lessons learned. All this week I will not only be saying goodbye to the past year and remembering the highlights, but also sharing my thoughts, goals and ideas for the new year. While there is nothing magical about January 1st, I do love this time of season when improving, striving and reinvention are all on the forefront of our minds.
Today is about saying goodbye to 2016. So what exactly am I saying goodbye to?
This truly is, by far, my biggest weakness. And it caused a downward spiral for me last year where I finally hit rock bottom. A reminder that was much needed and just like when the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on before helping anyone else? I need to take care of myself first so that I can not only improve my mental, physical and spiritual self, but so that I can better serve my family and my business.
I was always the kid in school that, when put into groups for a project, I took it all on myself to handle because I not only thought I had the best idea, but that I would get it done the right way. As an adult, this has not changed. I create stressful situations because of this type A behavior and this is something I am ready to change my ways on. This also includes trying to do daily life and everything that it involves without my Heavenly Father. I don’t usually discuss my spiritual beliefs publicly very often because I find religion to be such a personal space, but my relationship with God is the single most important one in my life and too often I find myself down on my knees when times are hard, but too little when times are good. And instead of festering, worrying and stressing over even the tiniest things, I want to let go and let God.
For almost three years I had more on my plate than should ever be allowed for one human. I was in a position that felt like the more I did, the more that was expected and the suffocation of it all wreaked havoc on my personal life as well as my physical and mental health. Truly the darkest point I have ever been and I never want to feel so broken ever again. I’m one person. And human for that matter. And life should be more than unrealistic expectations for ourselves and all that comes with it.
Last year our family was faced with a hard decision. It was after I had walked away from my second full time job after things went south. My oldest son was on a club soccer team with a very demanding schedule and it kept our family split up during the week more times than not. We rarely had a chance to have dinner together and because of my husband’s own work schedule and building his business, our entire family was feeling spread thin. Not to mention the financial aspect of it had become a burden with the career changes I was making. After many discussions and prayers we mutually decided with our oldest son for him to leave his position on the team. It hurt and it was one of the hardest decisions to make, but looking back it was such a healthy change for him as well as for our family. We now are able to gather for dinners every evening and our weekends are spent exploring, playing and resting. He is only ten years old so we know the opportunity to try again will be there in the future and hopefully then we will be ready for it. I want to remember that too much of anything isn’t always good. That life is about more than what we add to our calendars. I want the time and space to breathe in the tiniest of moments. And savor a slower pace.
I’m also saying goodbye to doing too much in my professional life. This in no way means that I am walking away from anything. I am simply just going to handle things better in regards to how much work I take on and what is realistic for me and the healthier balance I want to see for myself. I am at a point in my life that 16 hour work days are just not fun anymore. I want more time for life in 2017. Less hustle and more living.
Life is a contact sport. And it’s messy. And none of us have ever done it before. And while I would love to say that I am completely confident and comfortable with who I am, I still find myself fretting over what others may think – family, friends, strangers – and it’s exhausting. Too exhausting. I’m letting go of my assumptions of what other people think or even the knowledge of what other people think. I’m saying goodbye to caring because I want to be far too busy watering my own grass.
After going through all that I did last year and the few years before as I tried to handle two full time jobs and a growing family, I became an extremely bitter, cynical and negative person along the way. My frustration at my circumstances and burdens created an awful attitude and it was something that broke my heart to see happen. It was when I changed my attitude of ‘poor me’ and ‘I can’t’ to ‘why not’ and ‘I can do this’ that I was able to take a leap of faith, walk away from a regular and substantial income to my husband and I both running our own respective businesses 100% of the time and absolutely flourish. So much time has been spent healing and clearing my mind as well as reading for inspiration to make big changes in this area (things I will be sharing later this week).
This is something I truly have mastered over the years. And constantly beating myself up is not something I am interested in anymore. So I’m hanging up my gloves and walking away. End of story.
So peace out, 2016. What are YOU saying goodbye to?