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/ January 6, 2020

The lessons 2019 taught me

Every year I think things are going to slow down. That this year will be the year I’m really going to treasure every moment, slow down and soak it all in. But every year, as December rolls around, I’m somehow amazed at where the time went (and there was no slowing down in sight). And this year was no different. In fact, I actually feel as though the opposite is happening. The older I become, the older the kids become, the faster the time goes.  

2019 went by in the blink of an eye. It was an incredible year for our family.  An incredible year of growth.  So many ups and downs, for all of us.  Big wins and big heartaches.  Milestone birthdays celebrated, a forever home purchased, DIY projects started (most completed, and others not so much).  New friendships made, and some that we let go.  New jobs, new career paths, and new schools.  A year filled with growth, humility, and gratitude.  A year of overcoming fears, pushing boundaries and challenging comfort zones.  A year filled with (many, many) paint cans, YouTube “how-to” videos, sandy floors & wet bathing suits, tears over website glitches, high fives over student council wins, and too many kids in “mom and dad’s” bed than I’d like. 

2019 was a year of abundance, of both the good and bad.  And as I look back at the year now, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for all of it, and I’m taking so many lessons this year gave me into the New Year. 

Here are the lessons I’m grateful 2019 gave me….

I’m more capable than I think

There are specific times over the years I can remember looking at JP saying; “This is it, this is truly my max.  I can’t add another thing to my plate.  I’m so overwhelmed.  I really don’t think I can do this.  I’ve taken on too much”.  And then somehow, I’dd add another spinning plate into the mix, and somehow, someway, manage to juggle it.  Not gracefully. And never done well.  But done.  I’d figure it out.  Learn to prioritize what the real priorities were, and let the rest go.  All the while learning that I’m more capable than I think.  I’m smarter than I thought.  And I can do this.  

and more flawed than I’d like to admit

There were a lot of failures this year too.  A lot of them.  Personally and professionally.  Things I could have handled better, planned for smarter, spoken to kinder, been more thoughtful – with JonPaul, my family, friends and peers.  And they hit me hard.  I worried about what people thought.  Are they upset?  Was I wrong?  Could I have done that better?

And at times, these moments got the best of me, making me doubt myself.  As strong and as capable as I am, I know that I’m equally still just a flawed and imperfect, and even more than that, still more sensitive than maybe I’d like.  A work in progress for sure.

Not every relationship will last, and that’s ok

This year gifted me, and my family, with so many new friendships and relationships.  But it equally challenged just as many old ones, in ways I hadn’t expected.  This year reminded me that all relationships change, some will grow stronger and some won’t – and that all of it is ok.   

Not all problems are mine to fix

This has been such a hard one for me this year.  Watching my kids struggle in certain areas and learning to stand back, and let them find their way.  Watching Asher or Lillian cry over playground dynamics, not having a seat on the bus, or not making the team.  Watching other friends or family struggle in ways where maybe in the past I would have tried to “help”, or “fix”, now knowing that not every problem is mine to fix.

Rest is not for the weak

By nature I’m a hunter.  I go full steam ahead when I have a goal or project, only knowing one speed.  Go.

I listened to a podcast the other day where the guest described how humans, by nature, are built to “hunt and gather” rather than leisurely “graze”.  It was as if he was describing me!!  That rather than “graze” over 40 hours a week – we’re actually built to push hard on a project, intensely, and then when it’s done, feast and rest.  The hunt part I have down, the “rest” part I’m still working on.  One thing at a time.  

It’s ok to be happy

If there’s ANYTHING this year has taught me, it’s that It’s ok to be happy!  It’s ok. You have permission to be happy.  Exactly as things are, right now.  Even in the mess, and the chaos, and when things feel like they’re falling apart (and they may actually be falling apart), but it’s ok to still find happiness in there too.

We don’t have to wait for things to be perfect to be happy.  And when they are, when they are pretty darn close to perfect, it’s up to us to just sit back and enjoy it.  To not look for the flaw or worry about it not lasting.  But rather to savor the moment and take the joy.  To enjoy it and allow ourselves to be happy no matter what is swirling around us – the good or the bad.  It’s ok to just be happy.  To allow yourself to just be happy.  

With all that this year has taught me, there are still so many things I know I need to work on.  And while I’m not big on “resolutions” I am a big believer in setting intentions.  

Here are a few of my intentions for 2020

Dream a bigger dream

I read somewhere recently that we tend to overestimate what we can achieve in one year, but underestimate what we can achieve in 10.  This year I want to work on allowing myself to dream and pursue some of those loftier bigger dreams.  Knowing that they’re not for this year – but rather for a me down the road. Allowing myself to see the limitless possibilities, knowing that this year is just one step of many.  

Find time for rest

I would like to say that I’m going to “slow down”, but that’s just not who I am.  So I’m working on finding ways to meaningfully and thoroughly rest when I can.  In a way that is nurturing and healing, whatever that may look like.

Be kinder to me

Everything from the internal dialogue I use, to the way I view and critique my body, to the way I practice self-care and create boundaries for myself – this year I’m working on being kinder and gentler, TO ME.  To see myself through my children’s eyes and take care of that lady. 

Be mindful of my time

Whether it’s good or not, I’m always on the go, which means I tend to be pretty reactionary.  Jumping to whatever the next “emergency” is.  All of it feeling “so important”.  This year I’m working on being more mindful of how I spend my time, how I organize my priorities, what gets on my calendar (and what gets taken off!).  This year is about being honest with where this precious commodity goes.  If the years are going to keep going faster and faster – you better believe the I’m going to be mindful of where the time is going.  

Celebrate the wins

To stand back and say “yeah, I did good”, when something goes well.  Even if that’s just getting four kids out the door without yelling.  To give me credit for the successes, big and small, and to pause and actually enjoy them.  

Whatever your intentions are for the year, I hope you find what you’re looking for.  I wish you all a year filled with good health, joy and most of all grace.  Happy New Year to you all, my friends.

A few of my favorite moments of 2019 in no particular order…









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