2017 brought it’s fair share of trials and tribulations. I don’t typically like to dwell on the negative, but 2017 was nothing short of a sh*t-show, the icing on top of an already pretty devastating year – 2016. When you think about “bad” years, how do you categorize them? Perspective is in the eye of beholder, but for me, when there’s a constant flow of health issues, unexpected bills, loss, and struggle – think Mercury retrograde taking over YO LIFE – then by all means, it’s one crappy year.
To start, 2016 seemed to just bleed right into 2017 even though I did everything in my power for it not to. As you know, I experienced a devastating loss due to an ectopic pregnancy in Oct 2016 (you can read more here) and was still dealing with the physical aftermath well into the new year (2017). We had some sudden losses of family members in the early Spring and when I finally thought I gained my footing and sanity back mid-April, we were dealt another blow of a missed miscarriage at 7 weeks toward the end of May. Among many other challenging things we were dealing with as a family, I could easily tell where this past year was headed. All summer long I had hurdles: health issues that arose from the use of the methotrexate, huge financial delays with things that were owed to us, personal business set-backs, and people that I trusted with portions of my company that turned out to be self-serving and frankly criminal. (Not only did they compromise my business’ reputation, but they mis-used their privileges within my brand to essentially embezzle money from another small business.) To say I was knocked through a loop in a 6 week period would not be an understatement. Things seemed to look better as mid-July rolled around, as I took a lot of time to refocus my priorities and center myself. Just when things looked relatively under control, my younger brother, my only sibling, was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 27 years old. My family was not expecting this. I was not expecting this. My entire immediate family suddenly all had faced cancer diagnoses and I felt like mine was just lurking around the corner. At that point in September, my husband and I literally had no idea what was coming next.
Since I’m usually a glass half full type of person, it wasn’t all bad. There were bright spots in the chaos, like traveling to Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas not only once, but twice this year. (recap of our trip here + here) Being personally invited by Chip and Jo themselves was incredible and little did they know, it came at a time when I was the most discouraged with my situation. I was overanalyzing everything in my life and really felt like I wasn’t good enough. Not good enough to carry a baby, not good enough to run my company, not good enough to choose the right people to surround myself with, and above all not good enough to handle the stress of everyday life. Going to Magnolia rejuvenated our family during a time of turmoil and renewed my confidence in my brand. Our huge financial delays ended up sorting themselves out with due time (finally), and by the end of December we had some excellent news all around.
I heard a host on the radio the other day say that it’s 20-GREAT-teen and I honestly feel like that’s exactly what it’s going to be. Two years of feeling like we were slugging through the mud and now I know that 2018 is going to be time to let the past go. Things are going to be restored and I believe that what has seemed hard to accomplish in the past will now seem simple this coming year.
I don’t believe in resolutions. You know those things you feel obligated to come up with on Dec 31st, so you can fit in with the rest of the Jan 1st crowd? Those things that you ultimately forget all about by May and your life motto just ends up becoming “YOLO” by the summer? Yeah, those. I don’t believe in resolutions like I don’t believe in giving up chocolate for Lent. What I do believe in is focusing your intentions for the year ahead and not setting yourself up for failure. I came across a great idea of doing 3 words for the new year. Choosing 3 words that have intentional meaning and give purpose to your actions and thoughts. Think of it as an outline of how you’d like to see the next 12 months transpire.
So here are my 3 words for 2018:
Stillness. Value. Gratitude.
prayer. remaining calm in the chaos. being one with myself and with God. Psalm 46:10 –“Be still, and know that I am God”.
I’ve always been religious, but not always dedicated. The past two years have drawn me closer to my faith, especially through the unpredictable. Digging deeper into my devotion has helped put me at ease learning to understand that our journeys are already written, it’s just how we navigate them by having faith in Him.
value myself more. spend more time in my life creating value by building more value for myself and for others. help my customers see the value in my brand, help the companies I work with to see the value in the projects that I help them execute in 2018.
I’ve fallen away from practicing gratitude in my day to day. It’s easy to get distracted when everything seems to go wrong; often finding myself in a state of “why me” and honestly, it’s just not a pretty place to be. Practicing life with gratefulness can make it pretty difficult to feel depressed or sorry for yourself when you have so much to be thankful for. one of the many things that I want to get back to in 2018.
What are your 3 words for this new year?!