Gone are the resolutions, the to-do-lists, the overwhelming pressure of unrealistic expectations that need to be met ASAP, and the results needed as proof that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
I’m starting this year differently.
This year my priority is to embrace daily life. I will live the moment and stop leaving things that matter for tomorrow (ex: telling my daughter to wait when she wants to bond with me or putting something off for tomorrow because I rather check e-mail or watch a movie). I want to connect with people – not just via text message but through phone calls and coffee dates – I want to create memories.
Last year was exciting and stressful.
I started 2016 by pressuring myself to lose weight for the wedding. Our to-do list was endless since we handled the planning to save as much we could.
I struggled to get things done. I tried to get it all done while being an emotional wreck; I believe I struggled with anxiety and depression. I felt despair in my soul and didn’t understand old wounds were in need of healing. Regardless of how hard I tried to get things done it never seemed to be enough. I would do a happy dance when I finally completed tasks, but the list of pending items kept growing which prevented me from feeling a sense of accomplishment.
I was mentally drained and barely surviving. I was misunderstood by many. I can’t blame anyone since I barely understood myself. I loved my life and the promise of getting married in November, but at the same time, I wanted to run away from the demands.
On our wedding day, I was excited about our marriage commitment – but I also felt relieved the planning and demands of the wedding were finally over. Things could go back to normal. I could breathe and not feel like a failure. The year flew by. We celebrated our accomplishments and the amazing wedding party we had, but we didn’t embrace many beautiful experiences throughout the year because we kept looking towards the future.
I fixed my laptop over the weekend and started organizing my pictures. In that process I found my daughter’s baby pictures – she’s 7 now. Looking at those pictures moved me to tears.
I didn’t embrace her early childhood because I was trying to get my life together. By the age of 25, I was a widow, a single mom, held a full-time job and a full-time university class load. I didn’t give myself time to recover after my 1st husband’s death – I tried to carry-on with school- the place where we met – sit in class without him next to me. Every day my heart was ripped apart further. I tried to numb it but I failed. Each failure set me back. My loved ones and my plan of study reminded me of my expected graduation date, I couldn’t give up. There wasn’t a break even though my heart was in pain. I needed to reach my original goals regardless of my circumstances.
Every day life was a struggle and my responsibilities were a burden. I had no time to fully embrace motherhood. I needed to make it. I needed to get out of debt even though only 1 of the 2 who created the debt was alive. I needed to be a mother to my amazing daughter. I needed to exercise to lose my baby weight. I needed to study as if nothing happened. Life had to go on – I had to move forward. At the start of the semester I was counting down towards the end. Always looking forward. Don’t worry about today – let’s just fast pace to tomorrow.
I graduated. I made it! I lost the weight -I was a size 4 (now back to 10/12). My career and financial stability depended on my BA – it was nonnegotiable – and I didn’t stop until I reached that goal on 12/12/12. But in those years I disconnected from reality. I was harsh on myself and my daughter. I wanted to give her all of me – I wanted her to have more than I could provide – but there were only so many hours in the day that I could offer her after all of my commitments. She saved me. I needed her, if I didn’t have her in my life I can’t say that I would’ve had the strength to carry-on. My faith grew as a means to survive- a source of hope amidst the tragedy – but in my pain the easy way out would’ve been a huge error that promised instant relief. I can’t believe 7 years have slipped from my hands and now I hold a big girl instead of my baby girl. I don’t want to lose another 7 years in the blink of an eye – she’ll be 14!! Interesting age!
I want to take today in. I want to be there – for EVERYTHING. I accept that my sacrifice was necessary to provide for us, but the pursuit of “something more” which made life pass me by ended with 2016. There has to be a point where it’s enough and I can settle into my life. Where I’m no longer racing through each day.
Life is too precious to let it fly by!
New year = new opportunities.
This year I’m focusing on making memories. Yes, I want to be a size 4 again, but reaching this goal is a journey – I’ll make it there eventually. I don’t have to reach all of my goals at the same time or in a short period of time. I can cut myself some slack when it takes longer than anticipated. I want to control my journey towards reaching my goals – I don’t want to let it take from me anymore. This week is a perfect example, I’ve got the flu and can’t start the Beach-body workouts as anticipated. I’m not stressing it – in due time I will work on this goal, but today I will focus on getting better. I won’t let this little bump discourage me. I will enjoy the rest of my day until I’m able to start.
Goals should be exciting. They’re for improving something not tearing ourselves apart.
They’re a journey towards a new lifestyle – not an imprisonment of the mind.
This year – is the year to live!
Life is short – live it!
Love is rare- grab it!
Anger is bad – let go of it!
Fear is a mind killer -face it!
Memories are sweet – cherish them!