The Rollercoaster of 2018

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Phew.  2018.  You have been a roller coaster.  There have been very high highs and very low lows.  It is easy to look back and focus on the lows of the year including physical therapy (for Bailee and myself), helmet for flat head, being sick constantly, ear infections, HFM, the decision to get tubes in Bailee’s ears, and post-partum depression.  But, when I focus on all of the highs, 2018 really wasn’t all as bad as I think.  Bailee turned one and started walking.  We were able to experience all of her firsts, which is really way more exciting for us than for her.  She rocked that helmet she had to wear and was able to lift her neck within 6 sessions of physical therapy.  We removed toxic people and emotions from our lives and I grew my support system with some amazing people.  I also created a direction for myself by deciding to apply for my doctorate program next year.

When I focus on the highs of 2018, I realize there are a lot of lessons I learned this year.

It’s ok to say no.

The magic of not giving a f**k.  Go watch this video.  Seriously, it changed my life.  I only have so many hours in the day being a working mom.  I don’t want to spend that time doing things, I have no desire to do.  Or being around people, I don’t want to be around.  And ya know what?  If you are respectful and considerate, there is NOTHING wrong with that.  Don’t waste your time doing things just because you feel like you have to – it will only make you miserable.  Say no respectfully and with enough notice and leave the guilt behind.

Get rid of toxic people.

And don’t feel guilty about it.  Your mental health is too important to worry about feeling guilty about leaving the toxic people behind.  If someone is causing you anxiety, drama, or any negative feelings, leave them behind.  You don’t need that in your life.  You have other priorities and other people in your life who WILL support you.

Try new things.

This one was hard for me.  I thought I was an introvert until this year when I realized it depended on the situation.  I decided I was an ambivert (part introvert, part extrovert).  I went outside my comfort zone and joined a leadership program where I was forced to leave my one year old for an entire week, meet new people and network.  I survived and created an amazing professional support group.  I joined an online mom group and actually attended meet ups with people I did not know.  Through this group, I met some amazing moms who have become very close friends and added to my support group.

Set a direction for yourself.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?  10 years?  Think about your professional and personal life.  Create 3-5 goals for your 5-10 year plan.  Write it down and post it somewhere for you to look at when you’re feeling the lows of life.

Focus on little goals.

And celebrate the little accomplishments.  After you have set a direction for yourself, set small, attainable goals to reach that direction.  It is easier to reach towards small steps and your big direction won’t seem so daunting,if you are taking small steps to reach it.

Focus on gratitude.

As Brene Brown says, “you can’t have joy without gratitude.” Every morning, take some alone time for yourself and think about things you are grateful for in that moment.  There are so many great books and journals out there that will focus you on one positive area of your life per day.  Before going to bed each night, think about 3 amazing things that happened that day.

This has truly been one of my biggest years of growth in a very long time.

 

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