I like ending each year with a bit of reflection before setting goals and intentions for the year ahead. I’ve found that moving forward requires that you truly close the door behind you. It’s hard to move on unless you recognize the past, determine what worked and what didn’t, and find resolve in what was in and out of your control. Although January 1 is just another day, there’s something so cathartic about a fresh start, new beginning, and the chance to say goodbye to the previous year.
Two Thousand Eighteen… I’ll just cut to the chase, it was just one thing after another this past year. The road was filled with speed bumps, making life quite comical at times. 2018 helped me realize just how burnt out I was and how vital is to be surrendered. As much as I try to have everything together, life has a funny way of reminding me that you can’t control what is to come or what has happened. We only have control over now, and the really cool thing is, it is always now. That doesn’t mean ‘now’ doesn’t suck at times, but we have the power to control our thoughts, actions, and beliefs in the very present moment.
I started off 2018 returning to work full time after my maternity leave with Kinnick. As prepared as I was to return to work the second time around, it was really hard leaving Kinnick, my ability to care for my family without conflicting priorities, and the time I had to invest in my own wellness. Looking back, I can now see just how burnt out I was returning to work full time, raising 2 kids, and juggling everything else in the air. I was practically screaming for help looking back over these two blog posts (Blog 1 and Blog 2) in March and can not believe this schedule. Looking back though, I was doing the best I could. I just didn’t realize I was drowning.
Shit really hit the fan starting in April when we had to replace our roof after a storm. Then over the summer I got into a car accident, which I’m still dealing with, our master bathroom flooded into our living room, I spilled a can of purple paint across our living room carpet, and our AC unit died in late August. Our series of “you’ve got to be kidding me” situations (hopefully) ended on December 19 when our furnace died and we had to replace our entire HVAC a few days before Christmas. What this year taught me is that you just have to laugh some times. Most of these moments ended with me closing my eyes, shaking my head, and laughing with Neal until I cried. When it rains it pours, but this year also put into perspective all that really matters. It’s easy to say that, but God am I thankful my kids and family are healthy and safe, Neal and I both have jobs, and we have a gorgeous house to call home.
Quite often this year I felt lost, purposeless at times, and confused about where I was heading. One thing I know about myself is that I’m a fixer. I am always working to be better and am driven to help others to be their best selves. Feeling lost drove me to explore ways to support the health and fitness goals of other plus size women. Studying and earning my NASM Certified Personal Training and Never Binge Again Certifications and launching my personal coaching business were definitely two of the highlights of my year! I am just so proud of how hard I worked to explore my dreams while balancing the needs of my family and full time career in higher ed. I knocked on lots of doors, some opened, some remain closed, and some I couldn’t close fast enough, but looking back I see how much of 2018 was spent looking for a clearer path.
As 2018 comes to a close, one of the biggest realizations I had happens to be the same one I had back in March… WE CAN’T DO IT ALL! I can’t do it all! I can’t invest in my own health and wellness, be the wife I want to be for Neal, pour myself into being the best parent I can be for my kids, continue to grow as a professional in higher education, and invest in the goals I have for myself and my family long term if I’m worried, stressed, and stretched thin by things that don’t bring me the fruits of the spirit. I can’t do everything at 110% and I certainly can’t spend time on things that make no positive impact on my life. I tried and it’s exhausting… and very, very lonely.
This year I tried to do too much. Let’s be honest, I’ve been doing too much since I had my daughter 4.5 years ago. What I’ve realized is that for far too long I’ve allowed life to define me and not the other way around. I kept adding to my plate and never too anything off. I don’t want to spoil too much, but going into 2019, it’s time for ME to define my life. It’s time for me to be proud of my personality, qualities, interests, ways of working, and strengths. I like being busy and having a full life, don’t get me wrong, but it’s time to let go of the systems, ways of thinking, people, and processes that have sucked the life out of me. It’s time for me to say what’s on my plate, why it’s on my plate, and how it’ll remain on my plate.
Life happens. Paint spills, people hit your car, and shingles blow off your roof. I hope this year has made me a more resilient woman, wife, and mother. I hope these past 4.5 years have made me more resilient person. Heck, I hope these past 10 years have made me a more resilient person.
I hated much of 2018, but it was an important year. I am thankful for another year of life, another year of marriage, and boy am I thankful for another year raising my gorgeous, inquisitive, and energetic children. As much as I want to say goodbye to 2018, boy do I wish time would slow down.
For now, I’ll enjoy one last weekend of 2018 with my family and one last Monday by myself. I can’t wait to share my goals and intentions for 2019 as we move into the new year!