After bringing in a New Year just a few weeks ago, I decided to ask myself what it is I wanted out of 2013. What I wanted to see change from 2012. I started asking myself what it is that life really means to me.
Well, I went to Google for some inspiration about life, but there was nothing there that I hadn’t read before. It’s inspiring and all, but I have heard it all before and it wasn’t really the answers I needed.
I thought maybe if I made a New Year’s resolution then at least one or two things would change. But still, something felt empty and I wasn’t getting what I was really looking for.
After telling myself over and over and over in 2012 that 2013 would be a MUCH better year, I had a major breakdown on the very first day of the year, January 1st! I was miserable and I didn’t know why.
The days that followed were a rollercoaster of feelings. One day I’d be upset over silly things like debt or things not going my way, and the next day I’d throw it all to the wind and just spend the day making memories with my kids playing mega blocks and hide & seek.
Finally, I decided that when all the little things are bringing you down it’s usually because there is one very big problem at the core, and I was persistent on finding that thing! I didn’t want to spend my whole year dreading unpaid bills, cold winter days, and lack of money. I mean, there’s ALWAYS something to be ungrateful for and it’s ALWAYS easy to point it out….but to really be grateful for things…well that is a much harder thing to do.
I came to the conclusion that life was not being unfair to me; I was being unfair to life. Here I was just expecting that the New Year would automatically pay my bills, turn my children into perfect obedient angels, turn my attitude into something positive, and bring me a money tree. Sadly, life does not work that way.
I figured out, after reading a lot online, that I have no balance in my life. I have too many expectations and I focus far too much on the future. I plan things that are so far into the distance that I forget the things I am surrounded with in the moment. And when life doesn’t go my way, I lose focus and my world starts to shake!
I needed answers, and here is what I have got so far. (Not in order necessarily)
Zen. I have heard the word before and I knew it meant something “still” and “calm” but I didn’t really understand the full use of the word. So I read a bit about it online. Life certainly needs Zen! It’s like the eye of the storm, the center of the storm. When things are going crazy and fast and bills are not paid and deadlines aren’t met and everything seems so rushed, we need to take that moment to just breathe. To meditate, whether it’s for a moment or twenty minutes, our mind needs rest just as our bodies do. So so so very important!
Balance. This is actually something I learned a lot of from the movie, Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts. I decided that if the Earth needs balance, then so does my life. I do way too much of one thing and not enough of the other. I don’t give a fair amount of time to all the things that matter. I spend way too much time watching TV and surfing the web and not enough time with my kids. I spend too much time worrying about my diet and my health and not enough time getting outside and breathing in the fresh air. My life lacks a lot of balance and I swore that if I had a New Year’s resolution this would be it. To gain more balance in my life.
Acceptance. This, in my opinion, is probably one of the hardest things to learn in life. To accept oneself, to accept others, to accept that life won’t always go your way, to accept that some things are out of your control, to accept that life won’t last forever, to accept that good things happen AND bad things happen, to accept that expectations will let you down. Acceptance is crucial to get through life. But it’s also very, very difficult!
Slowing Down. As we all know, life is like a speedboat. Everything is fast! We like fast, we live in a world now where we have drive-thru banks, drive-thru food, extremely fast internet access, fast cars, fast ways to lose weight, etc. Thus, our minds go into overdrive and we start becoming insomniacs because our minds won’t let us sleep or think properly. We don’t know how to turn it off so we rely on coffee or energy drinks to speed us up to get us through our fast paced day. And at the end of the day we wonder, “Where the hell did time go?” It felt like just yesterday I was 16 years old and enjoying hanging out with my friends! We say that our kids grow up way too fast and on our death beds we say that we wish we could just rewind time as our lives just went by too fast. Life needs to slow way down. IN reality, we don’t need things to go half as fast as they do. So in my own life I have decided that it is of the utmost importance to slow things down A LOT and take the time to appreciate what I have and watch my kids grow and change, to breath in the fresh air, to take each moment for what it’s worth to me.
Priorities. I feel like over the years I’ve forgotten the things that matter. I take so many things for granted, because really we live in a time where things can so easily be thrown away and replaced. This mentality shifts focus and I lose sight of the things that matter. So I ask myself, if I had one day left to live, what would I want? Who would I want to be with? What would I be doing? Those are ultimately the things that matter, they are priorities, and they should not be pushed aside until my last few days on Earth. My priorities are my family, my friends, my health, and the memories I make, share, and leave behind. In the end it would not matter if I had thousands of dollars, or if I had unpaid bills, or if I had the best body or the best car or the best TV. My kids matter, my boyfriend matters, my immediate and distant family matters, and my friends matter. In order to make the most out of my life I must shift my priorities in orders. So that is also something I am working on!
These are the answers I was looking for and as I continue to wake up each day and go to bed at night, I continue to learn more and grow more. I could not be more thankful for my life and hopefully I can start this year by showing my gratitude, by making changes, and by…well…drinking lots of wine! (C’mon, ya had to see that coming!)
Cheers to that!