Good morning, Dear Reader! The temps here in the Ozarks are glorious, to say the least. I love the upper fifties in the mornings as it climbs to the upper seventies in the afternoon. My Little has taken to wearing shorts with a sweatshirt – just like I did when I was his age. And as I watch him exit the vehicle each morning dressed like a little hoodlum, I get nostalgic for more leisurely days.
Speaking of nostalgia, I peeked at my notes and blogs from last year, and it got me thinking about how much can change in 365 days. This time, a year ago, I was planning to leave a job, was pretty sure a relationship / friendship was about to end for good, and couldn’t stand that my ex-husband was breathing air. I felt trapped by my living situation, and my insomnia was so bad, I was barely clocking forty hours of rest at the most over a week.
Fast forward and I’m back working at the place I had been planning to leave, perfectly fine that the friendship came to an end, in a relationship with a pretty swell human, on decent terms with the other half of my son’s DNA, and living in a lovely small home with my kiddo and two cats. Although I’ve been awake since 2:30 a.m., sleepless nights are not as common, and for all of this…I am grateful.
All that said, I think I’ve found a magic formula for making one’s life completely different over the course of a year. I worked with a life coach last fall and made a list of the things I’d like to see change. I also started doing things to manifest or propel those changes. And this is where we are going to dive in today. You ready?
Great. Then grab that drink. Settle in.
Here are six things that can help change your life in just a year.
1) Stop complaining and appreciate how lucky you are. Listen up. If you are healthy, have a roof over your head, funds for good food, and a halfway decent form of transportation, then you are better off than two-thirds of the world. Here in America, things seem rough right now…but I promise you…they could be much much worse. I have two special people in my life facing down the wrong end of a health-crisis barrel. All of this nonsense we think is bothersome becomes less critical when that kind of call comes in.
2) Embrace loneliness and reinvent yourself. Last fall, I let go of someone who was not good for me. And maybe, truth told, I wasn’t good for them either. No matter whose story you choose to believe, I embraced being single, and I learned a ton about myself. I learned my ‘career’ wasn’t all that important to me as long as I had a job I liked and could pay my bills. I learned I liked camping in my car. I learned I enjoyed riding my bike, and most of all, I learned I really was (am?) a good parent.
3) Say goodbye to people who don’t bring positivity to your life. It’s hard to admit that some people suck the life out of you, especially when you’ve invested so much of your fuck budget into them but the harsh reality is if they aren’t adding to your life, they are subtracting. Hardly anyone close to you is neutral. I let go of several folks last fall. Some just faded from view, while others required deliberate acts of complete no contact. Either way, you’ll find that they are barely even a memory in a year’s time and you are much happier.
4) Throw off the television and set some internet controls. I wasn’t much of a television watcher unless you count the mild obsessions that come and go. I like two or three shows, but the television is off more than it is on in this home and has always been that way. But I overhauled my social media intake and started turning off my phone at 9 p.m. on weekdays. The one thing I will admit that has lessened my anxiety is that I rarely watch the news at all. Instead, in the mornings, I’ll turn on Spotify for Daily Drive, which is a mix of news and music, and that’s how I know there’s a hurricane in Florida at the moment. (Sending you good vibes, Florida. You know who you are.)
5) Pick one skill you want to cultivate and put all your energy into it. If you dig deep, you might realize you are hard-pressed to even come up with a skill you desire. That, my friend, is a good indication that you are entirely out of touch with yourself, so I suggest making ‘getting to know thyself’ your skill. This one is tough because I like/want to do many things. But last year, I decided my ‘skill’ was more of a life lesson I wanted to finally learn. So, I decided to cultivate learning to set – and adhere to – boundaries and let go of what no longer serves me. I’ve done an excellent job at laying the foundation on this one. So, this year? Meh. I don’t know. Photography, maybe?
6) Fall forward and learn from every mistake you make. Repeat after me: I made the best decision I could with the information I had at the time. Make this your mantra so that you don’t continue to beat yourself up when you make a mistake. When you fail, you can say “Yep. That didn’t quite work out as I planned. What did I learn from this?” and you can move the heck on. I was thinking recently about the phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” and I’ve concluded that it isn’t entirely accurate. What doesn’t kill you can still sting a little…alot?…for a long time. How you dress the wound, however, is up to you.
With that, I’ll leave you with a song today. It follows my post from last week because I still believe in the power of connection. “Better Together” is a song by Jack Johnson about the importance of togetherness and how it can help improve everything. The song reminds us that we are all in this together and can find strength in numbers. It’s a song about hope and resilience, a perfect reminder that no matter what life throws our way, we can always find a way to get through it.
Which of my six suggestions sounds like something you can employ immediately? Do you think all six apply to you, and can you put them all in play? Drop me a line in the comments. And, if you think others might like this, please consider sharing it on all the social thingys. Peace out.