You guys, I have no idea how fast my 30’s have gone by, and that I am one short year from turning 40! I’ll say this, my 30’s have been the best years of my life, and I fully expect this last year to be even better (and my 40’s to just be awesome, too.) Getting older has taught me so many things, best of all that age doesn’t really matter. I am more confident and content than ever, and each day I learn something about myself that frees me to be the person I know I was meant to be.
That being said, this has been a huge learning year for me, especially the past couple of months. I truly feel that I am shedding the persona of who I thought I was and I’m now becoming who I was always meant to be. I am forever grateful for all I have learned and look forward to another year of adventures.
5 things I have learned this year…
1) After spending a day or so in the hospital earlier this summer with symptoms that resembled a stroke and or/MS (you can read this post to find out more), I discovered that I have been dealing with anxiety for a lot longer than I thought, and it was more than I ever accounted for. My symptoms that felt like I was actually dying, were most likely a panic attack and extreme anxiety. It was pretty crazy! Here’s the thing, I am a very driven person. I am a self starter, have HUGE goals, and put a ton of pressure on myself to be perfect at all the things. I am a people pleaser, hate letting people down, and I am probably a little bit of an empath (meaning, I am very influenced by how people feel around me.). I hold stuff in and stuff it down and just keep swimming<—heeeyyyy Nemo reference. All that being said, and after several heart to hearts with those that were willing to tell me the honest truth, I am working on ways to reduce my anxiety and overwhelm without going full out crazy. This is such a gamechanger for me, especially in this “hustle every single minute” culture of ours. For me, that looks like CBD oil daily, lowering the bar (finding ways to do less versus more,) and letting go of perfection. I am also getting realy clear on what I want my days to look like, and ruthlessly editing out that which doesn’t fit.
If you like to hear more about this stuff, I have a Health + Wellness Newsletter that I also write weekly that gives advice in these areas!
2) Putting myself first is a priority for me (or I am working on it!) As I mentioned above, I am a people pleaser and I hate appearing selfish. While I am good at saying no to tons of things, I am not good at saying no to my family and children. And then all of a sudden I am snapping at everyone, feeling like a failure, and going to bed sad and anxious. So I am working on doing things that are important to me. Self care for me means taking a nap daily if I can, early morning journal/podcast/meditation time, thought work, time to read and relax, taking the time to move my body, and letting go of the guilt that others make me feel (or I allow them to make me feel.) That means really feeling the feelings of hurt, anger, guilt, frustration, and then honoring that and letting go. It means having boundaries! My boundaries have been miniscule for 38 ish years and I am just now standing more firm on that!
3) I can accomplish big goals that I set up for myself! This past year I ran my first 1/2 marathon (I trained in 10 weeks, read this post for more details!) and I did a Super Spartan race with friends. I love coming up with big scary goals that I have been thinking about forever, and then working to make it happen. I learned so much when training for my 1/2 marathon, and I am looking forward to the next goal to work towards….Any suggestions?
4) I am so, so grateful for the beautiful life I live! Spending time in the hospital and seeing all types of people in the ER, looking around at some of the folks around me living through tough times…I am just really grateful to have an amazingly supportive husband, heathy and happy children, and a network of friends and community that bring me joy. THIS is the stuff that matters in the end, not all the little things I can worry about.
5) Finally, I have learned that part of my purpose in life is to help people. Whether it is creating a safe place for my kids’ friends to hang out, building a community online that is based on being real about my struggles and helping others, or just by learning and growing myself and sharing that process. This is my purpose, and it has taken so long to figure that out. Sometimes helping others means sharing a great outift and the best shoes for less, it doesn’t have to be big to impact others, other times it is sharing the big heavy stuff.I realize I have a gift to connect with others in a real way, and I plan on settling into that as this next year unfolds.
Flashback to my 38th bday post!