So this is Christmas..and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun
I heard a song on the radio the other day while bringing my car to the garage for snow tires and taking my son to school for a college exam. It was a moment of rushing around and it stopped me in my tracks, John Lennon’s ‘War is Over’. Even though I’ve heard this many times, it struck me in a new way. What have I done last year? Well, I’m happy to say I look back on the past year and feel pretty great about it, for the first time in years.
The Year of Me
At the beginning of 2014 I declared a theme and unapologetically told all my friends and co-workers ‘this is the year of ME’. Some didn’t get it, a few criticized me, and others thought it was awesome. That didn’t matter to me though.
My boys were well into their teen years and didn’t outwardly need me around doting on them (or nagging them as they might say), my husband was and is self-sufficient (okay, this is an understatement, he actually serves me, a lot), and when my temporary work assignment went from full-time to part-time I found myself in an unusual predicament – with a lot of time on my hands.
I didn’t really know what to do. I was already dedicating a lot of hours to a local charity but I had all this energy and I wanted to do something meaningful with my time.
Rather than look outward, which as a mother and career person was a natural pattern for me, I decided to look within. What I did know was that it was time for me to do ME things, whatever they were. In 2013 my focus was career change and I chose to leave a high paying position and industry to focus my efforts on the education and non-profit sector. These were good moves, but what about 2014?
I thought about getting a Master’s degree, taking on a second job, volunteering more time at a charity, ramping up my coaching business, learning how to be a better cook…and I stayed curious.
Then one night in December I was out for a holiday dinner with some girls from the charity, one of whom is a vegetarian. I’ve always admired people who can stick to a disciplined eating regime because I always thought of myself as being lazy in the kitchen, which means I didn’t enjoy cooking and I would pretty much eat whatever was in front of me. I didn’t think I had the discipline because when I was hungry I would reach for the simplest thing I could find.
Anyway, that night I asked her how she was able to do it, as I stuffed myself with garlic bread and cheese, ravioli with tomato sauce, two glasses of red wine, followed up with a latte and Tiramisu. She explained she was inspired by a documentary and shared the name with me. I was excited to check it out. That night as I lay in bed feeling gross (huge, bloated, crampy) I streamed it on Netflix. (Note: it is called Food Matters, in case you are interested)
This was the beginning. The one thing that struck me the most was when one of the speakers looked into the camera (at me!) and said something like, “we control what we put past our mouth; why would anyone grab a candy bar when they can eat a handful of cashews?” And it wasn’t what he said as much as the incredulous look in his eyes, like I was a complete fool – and I thought, yes, why indeed!
This was right before the holiday season and I began by eating healthier and cutting out gluten. Then on January 1, 2014 I opened a book that had been sitting on my shelf for over a year and I started a 3-week cleanse. Not only did it help my body (I felt energized, my skin was smoother, I was glowing, my bloating and pain stopped, and to my surprise I lost 15 pounds in about 5 weeks) but it showed me that when I make a commitment to myself, I can follow through.
Here is my breakfast this morning, and most mornings…
That was 2014, and now as a new year approaches I am ready for a new theme. I would like 2015 to be ‘The Year of YOU’. This means my focus is on how I can serve others. And this is my impetus for launching The Time of Your Life NOW.
So this is Christmas. And what have you done?
At this time next year, how do you want to answer the above question?
Maybe you know already, or maybe not. But a good starting point is to stay with the question, be curious and trust that the answer will reveal itself.
Until next time!