I woke up at 5:15am today...refreshed, and ready for the day. Out of courtesy to my husband, I laid in bed for 40 minutes - checked my phone, emails, social media, and the news (its raining again, in case you didn't notice). By 7:30, I had already showered, ate some hearty oatmeal, unloaded the dishwasher, made the bed, cleaned out the fridge of old food, and had a cup of coffee. This is how I envision all my mornings...up before the sun, getting things done. Unfortunately, they are rare. I am a morning person, but usually just take time to sit and relax on the couch with my breakfast and coffee before Emma gets up (on the days I am not working).
But for some reason, I was particularly focused and chipper this morning. Brent is blaming it on the steroids I'm on...I like to think it is because I am filled with joy this morning...this last day of 2015. I have so much to be thankful for as I reflect back on this year. I can say, by far, this was one of the best, most rewarding, challenging, teaching, loving, and fun years yet.
Please, indulge me while I elaborate....
Please, indulge me while I elaborate....
1. Family - I felt God's love for me through my family in ways I have never experienced before. Through challenges, what I thought would be impossible to fix, God showed me that I was wrong. I don't want to divulge into details, but I found my parents and Brent to be more loving towards me than I could ever imagine. Thank you, for teaching me that God's love is shown through others. I truly feel that I understand God's love for me more through your actions in loving me.
2. Friends - It's no secret that friendships are a struggle for me. I have so many facets of my life that are so scattered - skiing, work, church, family, and friends who live in other cities. Maintaining, or making new, friendships is always a challenge with each new stage in life. I really feel like I have come to accept this, and embrace this now. it used to annoy me and leave me feeling hopeless. I now know that I am very blessed to have so many people who love me, no matter where they live, or how often I get to see them.
3. Balance - I am a certified Type A personality, so balancing all the things that come with working, motherhood, running a house, and any other activities take serious focus for me. I wish I were one of those people who could let things go, let clutter build up, or not pay attention to the to-do list. But I am not. It literally makes me sick to have things out of my control. I really tried to work on this in 2015. And it's still a daily struggle for me. My mind is constantly reminding myself in the moment to back off, take a deep breath, and put it into perspective. This year, we were fortunate enough to do so many things. I spent most of my summer off at the lake, making precious memories that I still think fondly upon. We went to the beach numerous times, spending time with new and old friends, taking precious friendships into the next generation. I tried hard to devote fun activities for Emma and I to do together on the days I was off work - boating, museums, library, playing outside, crafting, playdates, and daytrips. This required me to let go of the daily chores at times, live with piled up laundry, and eat non-home cooked meals:) But I loved every minute, and I am proud of myself (is that ok to say...do I sound selfish?!?!)
4. Going outside my comfort zone - I did a lot of things that were beyond my comfort zone this year - the above paragraph being one of them. I joined a Bible Study at church this fall, making new, unexpected friendships, learning to open up without fear of judgement from others, and embraced a weekly commitment (I am not big into weekly commitments...I don't like the lack of control it has on me and my schedule...don't judge, please!)
I opened up an etsy shop and started selling jewelry to friends and strangers. This took a lot of courage, and still does. Since opening in August, I have made over $1400. That's not a lot, but I've enjoyed making pieces, interacting with strangers and helping create pieces they will love. I enjoy making popular styles affordable for everyone. I have no plans to grow any bigger for 2016, just maintain my small little shop:)
I tried hard to let earthly things not consume me this year. I like things, and usually, they are expensive things. And I realized that my consumption had far outfetched my needs in a big way this year. So I set out to live below my means - something that is beyond hard to do in our culture. I learned that I am much happier without "things" and that money spent on memories is priceless.
5. Working on myself - I started working out, regularly, in 2014 and I have stayed on this track. I have made many friends at PopUp and just feel better about myself. I have treid to make better food choices, and really pay attnetion to what I put in my body and how it makes me feel. I haven't gone all paleo or anything. I just know that certain foods make me feel bad, and that I need a lot of water throughout the day...and not too much sugar or caffeine. I am not one for self-control, normally, so this is a challenge:) I have enjoyed reading books this year, and bettering myself as a mother and woman. I try to take breaks and be alone when I know I need it. (I am currently sitting at Barnes and Noble, with a chai tea latte, by myself!!) I try and focus on others because I feel that this direction of my time makes me feel fulfilled as well. I strived to be "present" in every moment, not thinking about the past or future, staying at a healthy distance from my phone, and tried to focus on not comparing myself to others. I also made it a point to have daily time with God. I failed some days, but really tried to fit in just 5 minutes for Him (5 minutes out of 24 hours...I feel so convicted writing that...)
I didn't figure it all out in 2015, but man, I learned so much and I head into 2016 with so much gratitude and confidence. I will never stop making mistakes, learning, and moving on. And honestly, I don't want to. I have come to accept who I am, riddled with all my faults and baggage. I can accept them because I know they are just small pieces of who I am, and that the larger person of me is someone whom God created with love and every grand intention He has for me in His plan.
So, Happy New Year, new day, new minute....I thank you so much for reading this, and wish everyone a most blessed life ahead.