In life, we all experience setbacks. You aren’t living life to the fullest if you aren’t learning lessons. 2017 was filled with lessons and I’ve come to understand, in those moments when things aren’t going your way you aren’t always sure of the meaning of the lesson. This year I had my fair share of lessons and blessings.
Here’s what I learned.
This is something I am ashamed to say has not come easily for me. I wish I could just “brush the dirt off my shoulder”. Sometimes I do, no problem move on. But when something hurts, someone or something changes abruptly, that’s when you put this skill to the test. I read that you should learn to forgive as fast as possible. I love this concept but hell sometimes that stuff eats at you. The what-if’s to no end. You’ve been there, what if I said this, what if I reacted differently, all the things that your mind repeats after the moment happened. Well, for me the unexpected resignation of individuals who I helped achieve success in a short time in real estate and then learning of their decision to make a change just before I was expecting my first child was tough to say the least. It really made it hard for me to let go, to forgive. I was angry, sad, disappointed not only in the situation but in myself. Forgiveness is a quality that I am learning to apply in my life and this year I understood that it was more than just letting go…forgiveness is what I needed to set myself free of the negativity. A lesson I surely didn’t expect to learn when 365 days ago when I was planning for 2017 which leads me to my next lesson;
Oh man. This one. This one was rough. I am a planner. I love I am love to plan. My mantra is, “If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist” Goal setting. Agendas. Mind mapping. Planning for the year, month, week, day. It gets my motor running. This year, I gave birth to my first born son, Phillip. The love is flowing, exploding through my very existence, this child is the best thing that happened to me/us this year. Rewind to this time last year, we were planning. Getting everything ready for baby. The house, the room, the stuff..oh so much stuff. As first time parents, we wanted to be prepared for everything and anything that could happen. I was lucky enough to have a relatively easy pregnancy. In fact, I loved being pregnant. I was glowing and it radiated, just saying. BUT the delivery plan, well that my friends went right out the window. The private doula classes and yogi breathing, I knew that I could do it and wanted to deliver sans medication. Our birth plan was set, bags packed and ready at a moments notice to head to the hospital to birth our baby. Well, sixty hours (yes that’s 60) of labor, four days past the due date, five days in the NICU, you can say our plan was thrown right out the window. Flexibility was a long and hard lesson to learn. I also learned I have a high pain threshold (yay me, jk) but I also learned that going with the flow whether it’s being flexible to when baby wanted out, to how he was coming out, to spending the first several days of his life in intensive care, all of that required flexibility. Open mindedness, faith and love… a whole lot of love. The day we came home with the baby from the hospital was monumental. That’s when I learned my next lesson;
Life is so short but life is also long. People say when it comes to kids; The days are long but the years are short. This is truth. Those first few months with a newborn it was if time slowed down. If it wasn’t for the sleep deprivation I’d remember what we did every single day. Though I am sure it went something like this: baby eat, sleep, poop, repeat. “They” tell you it’s tough but until you are “there” no one could prepare you for the adventure. And it was exactly that, an adventure. Learning how to be a parent, getting to know this little human we made, all of it…even the sleepless nights were fun. Why on Earth did I wait so long to have a child?!? Well, I had a plan (remember lesson 2) and I honestly believe that timing is everything. But promise not to wait until everything is perfect to enjoy the good stuff. There is fun in just about anything. It was the little moments, the seemingly insignificant activities that have turned into the most precious memories. Spending time with those we love is something to cherish which so happens to be my last lesson of this year;
Family first. Always. Cancer. Ugh. The dreaded word. No one EVER wants to hear it. It sucks, period. Especially when it strikes those you love the most. My brother was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer earlier this year. It began with complications in his vision. His right eye. In fact, on this day a year ago I spent New Years Eve with my brother in the hospital. There I was four months pregnant and keeping him company to help lift his spirits. At the time, we had no idea that three months later he’d be fighting cancer. WTF! Coincidentally his treatment began the week after my baby shower. For months I couldn’t visit with my brother because I was either pregnant or just had the baby and didn’t want to chance exposure from his chemo. He wore a mask anytime he came to visit his newborn nephew but the time we spent together this year was incredibly special. We were absolutely thrilled when he had his last treatment in September and waited a month to hear from the list of doctors on what they recommended next. As it turns out, he may need to undergo a second round of treatments but we are hopeful since he’s currently cancer free that we won’t need to go that route. If we’re so lucky he’ll be able to immediately schedule the retina attachment surgery so he can fully regain his vision. The good news is the optometrist is confident my brother will see from his right eye again. We want my brother to get to doing what he loves most; Hair, makeup, costume design. My brother was born with creativity flowing through his veins. This year was especially hard for him and for our family. We are optimistic that the new year will bring all the joy that our hearts desire.
Life is tremendous! We have so much to be grateful for in this life. Our health, our sons health, our family, our business, our home, our neighbors, our community, I could go on. Reflecting on the past year sheds so much perspective on what lies ahead. The goodness is what I’m striving to experience, everyday. Cheers to 2018!