I think I say this every year, but the past 12 months have flown by. The highs and lows have left behind some lessons. Here, in no particular order, are my life lessons, thoughts and reminders for next year, courtesy of my 2014 experiences.
- Let go of what no longer serves you. Planning a wedding was eye-opening. Seeing the people who were there for Graham and me in planning and celebrating showed me who was worth keeping in my heart. I had people in my life who ended up not acknowledging this important time in our lives. Others made little effort to celebrate with us. Through that disappointment I learned that it’s OK to only make room in your life for people who have shown they care about you. I also let go of my job at the newspaper after six and a half years. I was tired of having the direction of my career chosen for me, so I stopped complaining and did something about it. My career isn’t exactly where I’d like it to be, but I know I am in a better place. I’m also working on letting go of material things. I’ve gathered piles of belongings that I am donating or selling. I’d rather have the space and the cash for upcoming adventures, which are more fulfilling. And I am constantly working on letting go of views that are not healthy, like caring about what other people think too much, or having a vision of success that entails monetary gain rather than growth.
- Be kind to yourself. Don’t believe everything you think. It’s not real. I still battle with this but I’m improving. I’m also working on being kinder to my body when it comes to what I put in it. I know it’s not realistic to expect to have non-GMO, organic healthy foods for every meal, so I need to remember it’s OK if I need to get fast food some days when my schedule is hectic and it’s the most convenient option. I do need to work on meal planning, but when it doesn’t happen, it’s OK. Moderation, folks.
- Don’t make decisions harder than they need to be. This is a biggie for me. I struggle with decision making, even when it comes to the most inconsequential things. What to eat for dinner? Don’t ask me that or my head will explode. I spend hours debating whether to make the smallest of purchases. I often text my husband asking him for advice about trivial matters. I need to work on this. I recently read a helpful reminder: Most decisions are reversible. If it doesn’t work out, it can be changed. Too much weight is placed on choices. Remember this, Marette.
- Challenge yourself. I never would have guessed I would become a yoga teacher. Or that I would run three Ragnars and three half marathons. But I’m glad that I tried. These experiences have helped me grow and improved my self-esteem. They showed me I am stronger than I thought I was. I know 2015 will have more opportunities to grow. A source of inspiration for this comes from what may be an unlikely source: the movie “Evan Almighty.” In it, God asks, “Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?” Such wise words from a goofy movie.
- I am in competition with no one. No one is on the same path as me. I need not envy anyone else’s path, either. The fact that another person has more money or time to travel or has an awesome job does not threaten my own success or happiness. There is plenty of happiness to go around. I’ve taken time to notice who is genuinely happy for me in my successes, and I am happy for the joys in the lives of people I know and love.
I’m ready for ya, 2015!