For those of you who are newbies, today is my birthday and always my personal time of reflection instead of the flip of the calendar year. (I’ve never exactly been punctual.) In keeping with tradition, here are my biggest lessons as I turn the page.
Thirty-two was a doozy. In the greatest ways, mostly, but a doozy nonetheless.
Let’s recap: Alex sold his place and we moved into a 1-bed rental suite with 2-beds worth of stuff while we house hunted. We went to Mexico and adopted a dog on a whim – bringing him back to the aforementioned overcrowded suite. I got a nice little promotion at work. We bought a fixer-upper in a neighbourhood that’s much too “hip” for us and I cried over a light fixture. We travelled to another bunch of weddings – and we got to watch my brother tie the knot. I took on more hours of teaching dance and fell more in love with the teenaged humans I spend my time with. But not just them, this year I loved hard on all of my family, my friends, and the little people and furballs they have in their lives.
In summary: age thirty-two was a year of getting my you-know-what together and building a life.
So what did I learn?
I have too much stuff
Over the last decade, I’ve become an incredibly spread out hoarder. When I moved overseas I kept things at my parents’ place. I acquired more stuff while living away from that which I’d left behind. I needed more clothes due to a new workplace dress code. I lived in hot weather. I lived in cold weather. I took up skiing then switched to snowboarding. I took up kickboxing. I was handed down not one, but two, sets of golf clubs from my mom. I documented my life in photo albums, frames, letters I didn’t want to lose.
Yeah, I don’t have room for all of this shit…
Sadly, I hadn’t read Marie Kondo’s book yet when I went on an absolute terror tossing/fixing/donating/organizing my life before piling what sparked joy it into our new place. Poor Alex was a real sport running furniture from storage lockers to Craigslist buyers, dropping off box after box at the Sally Ann, and even tossing 90% of his 400+ DVD collection. (Apparently, getting rid of the 24 box sets isn’t an option.)
A purge felt amazing. But more importantly, I’m now thinking twice before I buy anything. Consumerism isn’t a joke.
ROI isn’t only for the workplace
This lesson is a work in progress for me, and you may remember me touching on it last year.
For me, it’s a multipronged lesson in (1) taking accountability for my life and where I’m focusing my attention and efforts (2) when it’s time to fold on certain endeavors or relationships (3) what things in my life are bountiful in life’s riches – monetary or otherwise.
Health is truly holistic
I guess I’ve always sort of known this, but theory and practice are two very different things.
Whether it’s been the autoimmune problems I’ve had since I was a kid, physical injuries, or mental health issues, I’ve always treated them when they flared up and by their symptoms. In the past six months, instead of making a drastic change or two, I’ve made a million little changes to improve my health with things like diet and sleep. (Did you know you can eat certain foods that will lower your anxiety???)
No, this isn’t earth shattering information. But consistency and longevity of practice have completely transformed my mental and physical health.
You know when something is right
Trust. Your. Gut.
If you find yourself feeling small, or frustrated, or uninspired when you’re doing something in particular – it’s probably not for you. If one of your friends depletes your energy, shares opinions that don’t align with your values, or makes you feel uncomfortable or unworthy – sorry to say, but they are not your tribesman.
Stop stifling that little voice of intuition. It knows you.
Go towards the people and things that bring you to life and make your energy flow. It’s magical.
You’ve got this, boo