There are two sayings that I will always remember my mom saying whenever things didn’t happen as anticipated:
“Everything happens for a reason”
“Nothing ever happens before its time”
I guess age brings wisdom because as a child, teenager and young adult, I failed to understand these sayings and only remember being completely frustrated. But as I ventured into my thirties and beyond, this suddenly started to make sense.
I think the revelations and wisdom have come from the many mistakes that I’ve made in my life… the failed relationships, friendships that fizzled, career choices that disappointed because I wasn’t good enough by imagined benchmarks and standards. With every mistake, I grew stronger. No matter how small, I learned something. And from the lessons, I was able to find the courage to move forward. I found the bravery to step outside of my comfort zone. I learned to love myself without needing validation from others whether it was my physical appearance or the internal battles in my head.
Have I reached my final destination? No. But I’m in a better place today than I was yesterday and tomorrow will bring continued growth.
It’s been 9 years since you left and my life has changed in ways I never imagined. When you died, I was a new inexperienced mummy fumbling around with everything related to child rearing, but completely focused on my career and driving it forward.
Fast forward 9 years, and I’m 6 years older, many years weirder. I’m Super Mama (but still fumbling), autism advocate, homeschooling mom, blogger and yoga instructor. There is no science or career and career-focused is one of the last phrases that I would ever use to describe myself.
I’ve learnt the value of family and loved ones, the significance of health over wealth. I’ve discovered the ability to find beauty in simplicity and recognized the importance of appreciating every single moment however fleeting it may be. I’ve realized how easy it can be to take those we love for granted, assuming that there will be another day to say sorry or I love you, but then finding out that extra day is gone and will never be back.
When I gave your eulogy, I said that regardless of how tiny the accomplishment, the person who always lauded praises the loudest, was you. Yet I’ve always wondered how you would’ve reacted to the complete 180 that my life has taken.
I shared my thoughts earlier on introspection and how this might help you to determine some of your goals for 2018. In my final blog post for 2017, I share some of my greatest accomplishments of this year. Several of these were goals that I attempted in previous years but finally happened in 2017.
It’s always a work in progress. Many of these goals will continue and here’s my vision board for 2018. Be sure to stay tuned for updates on these goals… and maybe some added ones as I continue to reflect on my joys, challenges and experiences in 2017.
As 2017 draws to a close, expect social media to be inundated with the “New Year, New Me” posts, coupled with the multitude of failed attempts at resolutions. But why are resolutions so difficult for many of us to commit to and so easy for us to fail at? I think the answer lies in what we set as our resolutions. How genuine are these goals and how accurately do they reflect our true desires? Are we attempting to learn a new skill because it might help us with our personal marketability or because it sounds cool to say? How about those fitness plans… because it’s the easiest goal to think of or because we really have a vested desire to be healthier?
A few years ago, I changed my approach towards resolutions. Instead of focusing my attention on setting goals, I started using this time for deep thought and then allowed goals to unfold from my thought process. For me personally, I think introspection is needed for growth. This allows me to reflect on all that I accomplished and decide what is most important for me to focus on as we move into the new year.
One of the tools that helped me was an introspection article, which included a list of 100 questions that can sometimes help in your thought process and maybe allow some goals to unfold for 2018. I’m sharing some of my faves with the hope that they can assist you as they’ve done for me. Allow your thoughts to run as deeply as possible… not simply answering the question but focusing on the why in your answer.
When was the last time you told someone “I love you”?
When was the last time someone told you that they love you?
Can you be alone without feeling lonely?
What is one thing you love most about yourself?
What made you feel the most alive this year?
What did you do this year that you regret?
What made you cry the hardest this year?
Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?
What did you accomplish this year that you’re most proud of?
Was 2017 better or worse than 2016?
Who is that one person you can talk to about anything?
Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable?
If you died tomorrow, what would you be most remembered for?
What was the best book you read this year?
When did you feel most at peace this year?
Who might you owe an apology to at the end of this year?
What’s the most important thing you learned this year?
Are your actions guided by love or fear?
Do the people you surround yourself with add value to your life?
Are you more likely to follow the crowd or listen to your own heart?
What is one thing that you could start doing to immediately improve the quality of your life?
When was the last time you did something nice for yourself?
What was the last new thing you learnt?
Are you a happy person?
If you had to give a child one piece of advice, what would it be?
Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
Is there someone who has hurt or angered you that you need to forgive?
What has my heart been telling me that I might be ignoring?
Where am I not being honest with myself and why?
What would you do differently if you only had one more year to live?
Stay tuned for my 2018 resolutions in a blog post coming soon.