13 January 2014

Now Is My Time #1: Restoring Focus Where It Should Be

This will be a pretty personal post. But I think sometimes it's very appropriate to share personal things with the hope that it will help someone else along on their journey. I grow and learn from the experiences others share with me and I treasure their words and their generosity of spirit to offer up words of comfort that will guide and inspire me in my own journey.

Today I am going to share with you why I chose as my theme for 2014: NOW IS MY TIME. (Yes, I am shouting it in all caps.) I've learned something the hard way over the past few years and even knowing what I know now, I am not so sure I could have done things much differently given the circumstances, but I might have saved myself some suffering.

We have had five really tough years. Beyond stressful. Here are just a few things I have been through with my little clan in the past five years: military deployment, lots of time apart, potentially fatal infection, hearing loss and long recovery, concerns about The Bug's safety, loss of a cherished mentor, and oh so many more. When I list them I realize how much I've forgotten (thankfully) and how amazing it is that we're still standing.

A few months ago I was thinking about goals and how I define my life and everything ended with the idea that I needed to be strong so I do things for other people. For instance I need to be strong, happy and well so that I can be a better mom and wife. I need to be better so I can be a better neighbor, friend, daughter, volunteer, etc. I caught myself in that moment, there was something very wrong with my picture of my life.

But that image is not what this post is about, this is a happy, excited post, so let me tie that worrisome image together with my plans for 2014. The reason that I am so happy and excited is because I feel inspired. After all I've given to our little clan during the past few years, all the stress, sleepless nights and heart-breaking, soul-testing days, things are calming down. This is my year to really spread my wings and spend some time on myself -- my own growth and my own happiness.

Not so I can be a better wife, mother, friend, employee, church lady, neighbor...none of that. But so I can be my best self, give that gift to myself and be happy! That is the way I become a better wife, mother, friend, employee, church lady, neighbor, etc.

So with that in mind, 2014 is the NOW IS MY TIME year. On New Year's Eve I wrote down in my jar what I hope for in this year. A few days later I talked with a woman who I think will be a calming guide for this year and help me see my goals and remove roadblocks more clearly. I started exercising fiercely last month. I am trying to have high hopes and lots of faith even for things that seem impossible. Because really, I don't think anything is impossible. Miracles abound.

So I hope you might be interested in joining me on my journey this year. With that hope, I am starting a new weekly column, every Monday, called...wait for it...NOW IS MY TIME. Each week I'll highlight one thing, one gift or care we can give to ourselves. I want to abolish that list of things it seems most of us have, our WHEN THINGS ARE DIFFERENT list. You know the one. When the kids are older I'll be able to exercise, or If we had more money I would do _______, or When I have more time I will ________, or When I lose 20 pounds I'll buy myself some nicer clothes, or I'll talk nicer to my family when they do _____, I'll get more sleep when _____ happens and so on and so on. This list basically puts our happiness and well-being in limbo until some unknown, future date. No good, right?!

I set a goal to try to get through as many of the hard things that I needed to clear of my plate by the end of December 2013. I made things a little harder on myself that I might've liked at times and there were a few surprised that put me on the sidelines more than once in 2013. But I cleared the slate of everything that felt like a wall that would keep me from the life I wanted to live in 2014 -- at least the ones I had any control over. Obviously I can't change outside circumstances just by wanting them to be different. But if there was anything I could do to put me in the starting gates for 2014 positioned to THRIVE I did everything in my power to move those walls.

So I arrived in 2014 healthy, ready to go for it -- and pretty happy too. We have had a very blessed holiday and beginning to the new year so far. Our holiday school break is finally over as of today. It was awesome but about a week tooooooooooo long. Of course there have been challenging moments in 2014 already, but overall I am thankful for so much good stuff in my life and wanting to be open for more. Good stuff can't come to people who refuse it. Blessings can't be seen and appreciated when we reject them because we don't like how they look or they aren't what we wanted or expected. I just want to be open to anything that can bless my life without being too caught up in how I want things or how I want everything to be. I'm going to let God guide that and be grateful.

I hope you'll join me on my journey of doing less and being more, of making my life a happy, healthy one. I'd love to hear from you about it. I would love to share stories from other women about their struggle or conquest of putting themselves first in their lives and how it's helped them grow. If you have a story to share, message me on the kalanicut FB page and let's arrange it!

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