As 2017 comes to a close, and I put the finishing touches on my tentative plans for 2018, I find myself reflecting on the events of the past year and thinking about lessons 2017 taught me.
I wish I could say that I’ve spent the majority of the past year in a mindful state, being aware of all that was happening around me and what each moment meant, but I didn’t. I feel like I barely made it from day to day keeping my house clean, kids fed, school taught, and job done (as I’m sure many moms with lots of little ones running around can relate to).
And although I wasn’t as mindful of what was going on around me at all times as I would have liked to have been, I did learn some life lessons this past year that I thought I’d share with you today.
4 Things 2017 Taught Me
1. Simplicity Is Key
In this modern, fast-paced world, I often find myself in a mode of “more.” More projects, more time, more money, more stuff, more energy… more. And while all of these things aren’t necessarily bad, they wear me down. I only have so much time and energy to give, and although I try to delegate tasks or hire things out when I can, there’s still a lot on this mama’s plate. When I feel stressed or overwhelmed from all this “more,” I find that taking some time for myself, reviewing my priorities, and doing some heavy pruning is the key to taking the weight of “more” off my shoulders.
2. Living In The Now
I’m a planner. I like to have goals, so I know where I’m going. I love having a to-do list, so I feel like I’m making progress and accomplishing things. This past year, though, I’ve found that having things planned out too far in advance just doesn’t work for me, at least not at this season in my life. Life always changes, and so do the things that I want. And while most of my priorities remain the same, I’ve found that any long-term goals I set rarely come to fruition because I change too much. One year, maybe three-year goals, are good for me at the moment. Anything beyond that feels like a waste of my time and energy. Perhaps, in a different season of life, long-term goals will come back into the picture, but for now, I’m living in the now.
3. Non-Family Relationships Matter
Don’t get me wrong. I love being at home. It allows me to create a comforting environment for my family to live in, to build and grow relationships with my husband and sons, to give my kids the kind of education I want them to have, and to work from home doing a job that fulfills me on so many levels. However, I’ve come to know that as much as I love staying tucked away up here on this mountain, I need to work harder at nurturing relationships with people outside of my family. And while this feels like something else to add to my to-do list, I know it’s a worthwhile and valuable thing that will pay off on so many levels.
4. Self-Care Keeps Me Sane
I never realized how vital self-care was until recently. Maybe it’s that since having kids my life has become so full and busy, it’s been easy to skip taking time for myself to get everything else that needs doing done. However, over the past year, I’ve come to see the value of self-care and taking time for myself. If I don’t carve out time for myself (a shopping trip alone, a quiet bath, a massage, dinner with a friend, etc.), I find myself less content with life and my nerves in a frazzled state. And who wants to live with a discontented, frazzled woman? No man, that’s who. So let’s just say my husband is all about me taking time for myself if it keeps me happy and sane!
So, I hope that I remember these lessons throughout 2018 (and that I can, hopefully, be a bit more mindful in the coming year).