*This post is created in collaboration with Vuori and ShopStyle Collective.*
Happy February, sweet friends… you made it through January! But what typically feels like the longest month of the year, actually seemed to fly by! Was it that way for you, too? Hopefully that’s a sign of all good things to come this new year!
Ahhh, the New Year! A time for reflection, new beginnings, and a fresh start. When it comes to the New Year, I’m not really one for resolutions… there’s something so resolute about them… with no room for error or growth.
So for the last few years, I’ve allowed myself the time and space to slow down in January, and reflect on my patterns and behaviors of the previous year, and any changes that could make a positive impact on my life and those around me. I’ve found that choosing a single word as the theme of my thoughts and actions is much more powerful than a list of lofty goals (with some help from Vuori, but more on that below!).
Several years ago, that word was RELAX. In every sense of the definition… relax my control, my grip, my expectations, my fears… it goes on and on. I needed to surrender.
The next year INTENTION was so loud in my head I looked around to see if someone was in the room (they weren’t). I was so busy juggling life, being a ‘master multi-tasker,’ that literally nothing got my full attention. That’s a startling and humbling realization. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, business owner… none of those roles ever really received my full, undivided attention. Not for long anyway.
Last year, rather than a single word becoming clear, the whole dang dictionary came flying at me! But how could it not after the year we’d had?!? Instead of living with intention, I was just trying to keep my head above water. And forget relaxing my grip, I white-knuckled my way through the last two years! Anyone else feel that way?
And here’s the thing… I’m a fixer. I want to jump right in with my opinion, advice, or a solution… not because I think I know best, but rather, I hate to see people I love hurt or struggling. But in the process, I bulldoze over their feelings with my band-aid. Which in the end helps no one, and results in frustration and resentment.
So last year I focused on PAUSE. Rather than an immediate response and reaction when problems and heartache are presented… I learned to pause my own thoughts and response, and really listen to those of others. And in that pause, there is solace. Comfort. Understanding. Power.
When reflecting back last month, I realized my one-words, and life, of the last few years have been so heavy. Words born of pain and frustration, worry and fear. And looking back on last year alone, it felt more like surviving than living. Sure there were pockets of light, but so much pain and worry was buried under the surface, always finding a way to bubble up.
Losing the precious young life of a girl we loved, and with it, the last bits of my kid’s innocence, really crippled me. We experienced the kind of hurt and grief that a mother prays to shield from her child, and not only could I not shield her from it, but I couldn’t save her from it, either.
That weighed so heavily on me as a mother, and rather than living outward, I found myself building a shell… intended for protection, but it only proved to block me from joy.
So here we are almost a year later, with a fresh start in a new school and new home… and while the loss will never leave us, I realized that for the first time in several years… everyone is okay! The healing and grace that I’ve prayed so fervently for is here, and we are stronger and closer from it. Thank you, Lord!!
Life isn’t perfect, and we will struggle and fall countless times, but today I choose JOY! This year I want to jump at every opportunity for JOY, no matter how outside my comfort zone.
‘Joy is not the absence of pain, but the presence of God.’ — unknown
So what does finding JOY look like? Saying yes to last-minute plans, coffee dates with new friends, and celebrating all the milestones… even if it’s just making it to the weekend! Take the trip, throw the party, eat the cake… lambano life!
Will my work suffer? Maybe.
Will my pants fit tighter? Probably.
Will I have more laugh lines? I hope so!!
Do you have a word or phrase for 2023? Or are you more of a resolution and goal setter?
This post is created in collaboration with a brand that brings me so much joy… Vuori Clothing! I’m grateful to partner with companies that encourage us to Invest in Happiness, and allow me to dig deeper and share my heart with you.