Well, my friends, we’re in the homestretch, just one week until Christmas! It’s a rainy, dreary day in my neck of the woods, so we’re posted up on the couch by the Christmas tree with no plans to move. Chuck has been running back and forth playing with a ball, and I’m just soaking up some quality time together. It’s now tradition for me to share some major learnings from the year, so here goes.
- Self care doesn’t have to be grand. Grand, in this case, could mean a number of things. Generally, I’m just saying self care doesn’t have to be expensive, time consuming, spa-like, or something that feels like another daunting task on a never-ending to do list. Some context, I’ve been seeing a counselor for the past couple of months to deal with some increased anxiety and a somehow even more inadequate sleep schedule, and she’s really stressed the importance of self care, however that looks. For me? That looks like eight hours of sleep a night (or anything more than four lol), dedicated time to be creative, and taking a lunch break. For you? Who knows, but it doesn’t have to be grand!
- It’s okay that my battery is best recharged with alone time. For a long time, too long, I let people convince me that I’ll regret missing out on x activity. That I’ll have fun when I get to x location. Since I was a teenager, even, there’s been this implication that I’m boring because I’d choose a night in alone over just about anything. But, I finally feel comfortable owning that fact that many social situations absolutely deplete my energy, and not always in a good way. Sure, I love spending time with friends and family, and I generally find those situations to be low stress. But, the company happy hour? The acquaintance’s birthday party? The literally any scenario in which I have to share a bathroom with someone else? No. Why? Because I don’t want to. And that’s okay.
- Not having a thing is totally fine. Can anyone relate to not really having a thing? Like, I know nurses, doctors, musicians, artists, moms, and dads. People with cool jobs. People who make it work without having traditional jobs. Career oriented people. Parenthood oriented people. And I’m so proud and often envious of all these ambitious people who have worked hard to get to where they are today. But, I also realize that putting people into these boxes is so limiting. And that my nurse bestie is also a badass outdoor enthusiast. My favorite musician has an MBA. The most admirable young parents also share God’s love daily. And the person with the coolest job somehow makes time to run the coziest Youtube channel. These things and so.much.more. We’re all complex, much bigger than our things. So, I’ve stopped putting pressure on having some clear cut purpose. The main goal is just joy and kindness, am I right?
- You’re still young. Some combination of growing older and living during a pandemic has really changed my perspective on age. I guess that’s to be expected. I remember playing house with friends at daycare, and pretending to be a grown-up, you know, eighteen. Then in college, I worried about turning thirty. And now that I’m in my thirties, and still sometimes feeling brand new, I realize I’m only as old as I let myself feel. That at fifty there will still be things I don’t know how to do. Things I’ve not yet enjoyed. Same for sixty and seventy, should I be blessed by those decades. Factually, life moves so much faster than I’d like, and I’m trying to remind myself that every chapter is new.
Here’s to hoping 2021 was full of useful learnings for you, too! Cheers to what’s to come.
xoxo Leigh Ann
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