I’ve been putting off writing my recap of 2017 for a while now but it’s time to get my thoughts down on (digital) paper.
In recent years, I have chosen a word to summarize my mission and goals for the upcoming year. In 2017, my word was NURTURE. For years, I hustled so hard trying to “make it,” financially supporting myself and doing EVERYTHING that pulls at my heart, but it feels like I’ve been unraveling life and its deeper meanings ever since I slowed down and gave birth to Charlie. I needed that physical reminder of a little body to remind me of being present and learning to focus my limited energy (no you can’t do it all well) on cultivating that TRULY matters in life.
This past year, I nurtured:
- Personal development
- Asking for help
- Slowing down
- Mindfulness practices
- My health
- My family’s lives
- My friendships
While a lot of nurturing went on that I am very grateful for, what I didn’t expect in 2017 was facing hardships like the declining health of my father, losing a tooth (due to impacted wisdom tooth) and going to what seemed like weekly doctor’s appointments between me and Charlie. I’m still battling with many emotions and feelings about my dad who is in the hospital. For me, seeing my dad, my hero, in such a state has struck a pain so deep that I’ve had to learn how to cope with carrying on life despite his condition. This has taught me alot about prayer and gratitude. All and all, I feel like this year of life went a little like this – “oh, you think you’ve got this life thing down and know how to handle situations, let’s throw you a curveball and see how you handle that.”
With each passing year, I realize even more how much I don’t know or really how much any of us know about life. No one has it figured out and what seems true today can be false tomorrow. The gray area of life is my only truth these days.
I’m proud of myself for leaning-in in 2017 to uncertainty. At the tail end of 2016 I left my place of work where I had been for 5 years to try something else out. I had no other role lined up when I put in my notice but as things do, it worked out just fine and I’ve been enjoying my new role at a tech company in a new industry. Raising a toddler is freaking exhausting and sometimes I worry about if I am doing it “right,” (like letting him eat in front of the tv more than a couple times a week because dang it, I just want him to eat and not have another fight!.) I’m uncertain that I’m doing the right thing but I know I am trying my best and I am at peace with that.
At the end of 2017, my husband and I went on our first extended vacation as just a couple since Charlie was born. We flew away to Scotland, covered ourselves in our warmest clothes and explored some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. We went slow, made little formal plans and indulged. This trip was exactly what I needed after being on the grind as a working mom with a toddler and full weekends doing photography or trying to get in my workouts. It gave me space to breath really deep and reset. I believe that fresh Scottish air is magical.
So where do I go from here? This coming year, I want to continue to nurture an authentic life that has meaning beyond hustling and materialism. I want slow, mindful, self love, selflessness and health.
My word for 2018 is – Truth. In all things that make up our day to day, I want to ask, is this true? Am I being true to myself, my feelings, my desires? Am I sharing my truth with others? True, that feels good.
I began to write out my goals for 2018 and my list got SUPER long so here is my condensed version:
1. In all things, do the right thing, even when it’s hard – This applies to choosing the right food for me and my family, making time for exercise, self care, be honest with others i.e. stop always people pleasing and live authentically. This also means choosing a sober lifestyle.
2. Become a better writer – This has been my closet interest for a while now. In 2016 I was a lot more consistent writing but this year, I want to take it to the next level.
3. Focus and creativity – I struggle with being easily distracted and interested in a lot of different things. This year I would like to cut out distractions better, spending more time being thoughtful on what makes me feel alive and spend time creating – photography, art, writing, etc.
4. Speaking up for myself – As a recovering people pleaser, I want to listen to my gut more. I want to speak up more and vocalize my feelings and desires. Speaking up and having hard conversations is getting easier but it’s something I want to get better at.
This year I’m tracking my goals in a pretty new blank notebook. Instead of investing in a goal setting set (which are great when starting out in writing and sticking to goals) I decided to take what I’ve learned from great resources like Lara Casey and Emily Ley to do it my own way. This notebook is a hybrid goal planner and also journal. I am looking forward to looking back and seeing my journey unfold to pursuing being my best self.
I’d love to hear what your goals are for this year and how you’re tracking your progress! Please share any tips you have on staying focused on your goals as well because we all know that staying on track is the hardest part!