I'm still here.

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I know you haven't heard from me or Jasper & Fern in a while. A few of you even expressed concern - thank you; thank you for caring about me and being aware enough of my existence that you noticed I was missing. I want to lay your concerns to rest. I'm okay. In fact, I'm more okay than I've been in past years at this time.

This time of year always gets hectic for me (and I'm sure for many of you as well). There's the holiday stress of family dynamics and balancing expectations; I have five of my busiest days of the year back to back and, the cold grey skies start to weigh on me. 

In the past, I've lied to myself and I've lied to others. "I'm great!" usually slips out of my lips more than once. Meanwhile, I'm barely keeping my head above it all and, some years, I've been well underneath the surface. I've worked hard at convincing myself that I'm Wonder Woman and can do everything, all the time, exactly as it needs to be done. 

I'm done with that. 

This year, I stepped away from my life and looked at it. I saw the angst, the stress, the sickness that accompanied this time of year time and time again and I told myself "that's enough. You're not Wonder Woman and you don't need to be." 

So, this year, I took more time to myself. I commit to let go of my family's expectations of me, repeating an "it is what it is, I am who I am" mantra. I planned to hibernate after my back to back 18 hour days (and slept for a full 24 glorious hours). I commit to eat every meal, continue to drink water, take time for quiet before I needed it and I made a resolution not to over-extend myself. Happily, I was almost perfect on all of those determinations.  

The fruits of making these boundaries and respecting myself has been refreshing. For the first winter in many, I've yet to even get a cold. I had a wonderful, drama free Christmas celebration with my family. I'm not as stressed as I usually am at this time of year. I'm happier. My husband and I were able to celebrate the holidays and our anniversary without a large portion of our conversations centering on my work and work stress. I'm rested and not starting a new calendar year barely making it to the end of each day. My depression isn't as severe. And, where I typically don't have time (or energy) I find myself able to spend time in my hobbies and invest in my 2018 business year - there's SO MUCH that I'm excited about for Jasper & Fern this year but, that's another blog.

All in all, this year's wrap up has brought me full circle on many of my 2017 lessons.

1. Invest in your own self care
2. Love who you are
3. You don't have to make everything right for everyone
4. Find balance

While this year has certainly had it's bumps, I'm glad to be able to step outside of myself and address my struggles. Thank you for giving me time to be in my quiet. I can't wait to share 2018 with you!

Alyson LawtonComment