the nest

the nest

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 - the year of being "present"

Just like that another year has passed. I want to have something awesome to say. I don't. Several times over the last few weeks I thought about writing, but between college kid coming home, concerts, a Nutcracker performance, grown-up kid coming home, Christmas festivities, driving to Western NY, wedding festivities, driving to IA, celebrating New Years Eve, grown-up kid leaving for Puerto Rico, driving back from IA, and getting husband and youngest back to school, my brain has been full of lists and to-do's instead of thoughts and ideas.
Honestly it's better that way at this time of year. Even though everyday is slightly longer, it's still dark. I'm beginning to emerge from my annual winter "dip" but like the sun, it takes time for my energy and enthusiasm for life to really get back to speed. Too much time to "think" sends me into a pit, while a list of things to check off keeps me going.
Every January I want to start fresh. I make lists and goals and create strategies and plans. Some years I do better than others at reaching those goals. We all do. Some years I look at last year's goals and realize they were left behind in January. That's what happened this year.
Last January, I started out with a focus and commitment to really dig in and grow my business. I created 1 year and 5 years goals and wrote out actions steps. Goals not met, action steps? Some completed. Many not. Last January I started with a plan to reduce our debt. This January? Debt level is the same (or higher if I'm really honest). Last January I committed to working out and losing those last annoying 20 lbs. Worked out more than in 2014, lost 10 lbs., but bailed the last 4 months of the year.

This January I'm doing it differently. Lately I've been trying to find ways to help my youngest spend less time mourning the loss of her past, less time worrying about her future and more time living in her present. I've ignored the fact that that's exactly what I do. It's not what I SAY, but it's what I DO. I talk about how things used to be as much as the next person. "When we were kids..." "When I was in school..." "When I was younger..." I endlessly worry about the future. What's going to happen to my business? What are my children going to end up doing? What am I going to be when I grow up? How will we ever pay off our debt? What if? What if? What if?

When we spend all our time worrying about what was true or what will be true, we miss what IS true.

Here is my list of "what is true"

~ I am in a loving supportive marriage with my best friend.
~ I have raised three healthy, quirky, interesting, compassionate children.
~ I have work that is important, powerful and ridiculously fun to do.
~ I have an extended family spread around the country full of people who love me.
~ I have a warm place to live.
~ I have delicious food to eat.
~ I have clothes to wear.
~ I have a strong body that allows me to dance, play, work and serve.
~ I have a crazy dog who is always up for a snuggle.
~ I have friends who love me and who are there whether I need a hug or a kick in the pants.
~ I have more resources available to me than the average person.
~ I have an amazing life full of blessings.

This January I will look back briefly. There is a place for looking at where we've come and what we've done. This January though, instead of saying to myself "I didn't do this and I didn't do that and I didn't get that done..." I'm going to say "here's what I want to continue working on and here's what I'm going to let go."
This January I will look forward and set some goals for myself. I will create some action plans and to-do lists. I may find a place to put them so I don't lose them so quickly, but as life moves on I will tweak and edit these guides as life dictates.
New this January will be a commitment to look at "what is true TODAY." I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize that I was so busy looking behind me and ahead of me that I missed what was right in front of me.

Life is about change. Change can be good, change can be bad.  The one thing that is consistent in life is change. So much of life is out of our control. The one thing in life that is completely in our control is how we react to it. We choose how we live our life. We choose how we react to changes, good and bad. We choose how we react to challenges. We can choose to be overwhelmed and defeated or we can choose to shake it off, stand up and move along. We can choose to get stuck in the past, overwhelmed by the future or absorbed in the present. We get to choose to be reactive or proactive, sad or happy, negative or positive. We choose how we live today.

2016 - the year of being "present".