Fresh Out of 2020! Thankful is the New Me!
|Photo courtesy of Tumble|
We all know that every one of us took a huge hit in some way shape or form in 2020. Whether it was our finances, losing loved ones, dealing with the rise in anxiety and depression triggers, the unrest of our nation and straight up, losing focus and motivation. We have been in a world-wide survival mentality and for many of us, the grief and the aftermath has pushed some of us to breaking points and some of us are still hanging on.
No matter who you talk to, there is not one person that wouldn't tell you that they have been tested in their faith, health, mental health, in work and relationships. I share this because I was there. I was trying to figure it out, switch gears, pivot, get more creative, maintain my income, take care of myself and children, check in on family and friends and just like many of us know, it is still an ongoing uphill climb.
Over the past year, my divorce became final, I dealt with a breakup (that crushed my heart more than I had realized), I navigated a court appointed revised parenting time plan concerning one of my children due to unexpected circumstances, and in real time right now, navigating through getting my eldest child through a difficult season of virtual school. So, when I tell you that the grief on top of grief has been the most consistent in 2020, you'd know I was telling the TRUTH!
In thinking through what kept me sane, as present as I could be, employed and showing up every week to keep my spirit in the journey of life, I cannot do this post justice without mentioning very briefly some of the how's. While some were trial and error, others were a must and by any means necessary even if it meant reallocating monetarily.
Counseling/Therapy was/is a non-negotiable. I had to do this. I was no longer keeping everything to myself. I am a project manager by nature, but this was not the time for me to be the only keeper of my thoughts and emotions. I had to have support here.
Life Coaching was/is something of a trial. I have a life coach. I decided to keep going with this as I see it very beneficial to feeling like I have another ally of support for my life's work and journey. It is also quite spiritually uplifting, which is something that has gone amiss for me during the pandemic, having a consistent and fresh approach to dealing with matters of the soul, things I could in turn take back into my therapy work as well.
Work-life and workload were re-evaluated. I only accepted additional projects that had solid budgets and a little more structure in their strategy. Although, I am pretty great with process improvement, I did not have the bandwidth to accept additional projects that needed a complete overhaul in this area without the monetary component and strong work boundaries. For projects that were ongoing prior to the pandemic, it was understood that both sides had to be gracious, patient, understanding, honest and we needed to redefine our expectations during this time. Could I have made more money taking on more, probably...but why do that if I know I was already maxed out?
Hobby-time activity increased. I was already on the path of increasing my creative time. I made sure that I stocked my art supplies so that as the ebb and flow of my energy peaked for creative outpouring, I didn't have to stop and run to the store. I could get started on something! Let's just say that my collection of my beginner crochet projects is the highlight of my last months of 2020.
Fruits and vegetables helped transform my eating habits. In the recent past, going straight for the candy and high sugar content food to ward off stress was a habit costing me my health, energy, clear skin and my molars! During the pandemic, I simplified this by buying more fruits and vegetables and making trays to eat throughout the day and as snacks. Do I still go for candy or sugar from time to time, yep! But it has been cut down at least 60 percent, probably more (doing my own math here) from where I started. The benefit is, I am maintaining a healthier weight (because even slim people can have unhealthy habits), and I can maintain energy much longer in the day.
Realizing that no matter how hard things were and still are, I could still be thankful. The tears I have shed some days in the morning, in the middle of the day (at random) and even at night, were mixed tears of heartbreak, disappointments and a lot of fear and uncertainly. One thing that kept me going was reminding myself how thankful I was to be alive, in my right mind and still maintaining. I had what I needed even if it wasn't everything I wanted, and that all the things that I was doing and how I was showing up that day, was enough.
As the world is still turning in 2021, I am taking a new approach to my vision for this year, and it's very simple. More creative time and less of anything that is "filler" that doesn't uplift and help me to consider where my vocation may be calling. I'll share more on this very soon.
How are you working through your healing and vision for yourself this year?