I’m so thankful that Lara Casey led me to an understanding 0f the importance of celebrating the good of the past, before moving forward in setting goals for the future. Creating this timeline-of-sorts through her blog post on goal-setting allowed me to gain a refreshed, and much more positive perspective on my 2016!
For the past few months, I’ve been stuck in a slump that’s hard to explain. This timeline of highlights, though, has given me a visual that’s helped me gain an understanding of where it all stems. I not only lost my pup in September, but in the month just prior I had stopped doing this thing that I love ((creating & writing)) because of immense wrist pain. In addition to losing our Hankster, I lost an oh-so-therapeutic “occupation” (which in the world of OT is defined as any activity holds personal meaning). I lost my coping strategy! And getting lost in the grief of losing Hank, without a way to escape, permitted it (the grief) to stick around maybe a bit longer than it otherwise would.
This timeline of highlights has also given me a visual that’s helped me SEE all of the POSITIVES of the year – despite its ending AND in the midst of its ending. I’ve had so many firsts this year! So many exciting experiences and fun vacations with my husband, and I was even able to strike a balance between fun & rest. Ahhh, sigh (with a smile ☺). I’m so ready to return to a sense of normalcy. Normalcy meaning… waking in the early mornings with energy, laughing and connecting, reading and peacefulness, and joy. Real joy.
To further move toward that normalcy, ongoing reflection must occur for at least a little while longer…
As Lara suggests, here’s a fuller summary of MY (TOP 3) GOOD THINGS –
(1) The Many Firsts – My 2016 started with my very first blog post! Although I haven’t posted nearly as frequently as I’d like to have, and although it doesn’t look as pretty and professional as I’d like for it to, it was a start. In order to get anywhere with anything, we must first START – and that, I did! In addition, I received my first “large” orders from established businesses (rather than individual customers) to design handlettered tshirts, started designing hand painted coffee mugs, discovered the beautiful & creative process of organizing with a bullet journal (#bujo) in a midori, designed a large set of signs for a bridal shower, began videotaping my lettering with the cute little tripod my husband got me :), and even created a YouTube Channel to better explain my processes upon request. So many firsts!
I am thankful for the opportunities & little tugs from the gut that I received to try so many new things, and for the courage I received to jump on into them without reservation. I learned to JUMP IN!
(2) The Memories Made With Jordan – In addition to the many firsts, 2016 was filled with many more out-of-town trips with my husband than we’ve ever had within any years prior. We enjoyed a quick, impromptu stop, “just us two” (ZBB reference) at Virginia Beach; visiting good friends, listening to good music, and eating good grub in Nashville; spending our fourth, stormy (literally) anniversary at Folly Beach; memorializing 9/11 in New York with The Columbus Police & Fire Pipes & Drums Band; making memories, pretending to know Spanish, and #FAILing to avoid the potentially-zika-infected mosquitos with some best friends in the Dominican Republic; and a middle-of-the-night road trip home from a wedding in Tennessee. Little did we know how much we’d need to rely on these days of joy together, in the months that’d lie ahead.
I am thankful for the connecting that took place in leaving home and having fun together. I learned to LET GO and to PRIORITIZE MY MARRIAGE.
(3) The Balance Found – As many of you know, over the course of the past couple of years I’ve been working with a therapist to successfully triumph over my bouts of anxiety and depression – instead of allowing them to triumph over me – and keeping them at bay. I truly feel that 2o16 has been the year during which these efforts and the work done with her have come to fruition. I was able to experience productivity AND fun AND rest during the months of my summer – a balance that is always difficult for me to strike, especially when school is out. // I know, I know… that makes NO sense, but is a phenomenon to be broken down and defined at another time ;-) // Anyway, I was then able to maintain a form of this balance once school kicked off, without even a single case of the infamous “Sunday Blues!”
I am thankful for the self-discovery that’s taken place and the way its permitted me to truly embrace and enjoy so many more types of experiences. I learned to EMBRACE THE GLORIUS MESS THAT I AM (Elizabeth Gilbert reference) by SAFEGUARDING MY NEEDS (saying “no”), LAYING DOWN MY WALLS OF SECURITY (saying “yes”), and TRULY ENJOYING THE THINGS THAT SET MY HEART ON FIRE.
Ahhh, it’s been a fantastic year after all :) I’m looking forward to reading on in Lara’s blog posts to-come, and taking the next steps in planning for a BRIGHT 2017 ? I hope you’ll join me!
* * * * *
Today’s Encouragement – Yes, it took some time. It required some quiet reflecting. But I encourage you to take the time for yourself, to identify the highlights of your past year as well as lessons learned from them. It doesn’t have to be in the same format as mine, or involve the same amount of color ;-) That’s not what this is about! It’s about stopping and being encouraged by AND learning from your past. Once you’ve done so, head on over to Lara’s blog to join me in setting motivating and achievable New Year “Resolutions!”