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Reflections

Happy New Year to you, my friend! I hope this message finds you well, feeling hopeful, and ready for this next 365 days worth of adventures.

My family has settled in nicely to life in the Pacific Northwest as cold as it’s been and as much as we are missing the beach, the sunshine, and the aloha of Hawaii. The last few months of 2017 were hectic with my husband’s schedule changing what seemed like every other day, me busting my leg at kickboxing because I was so pumped I wasn’t careful with my form, my kids sharing their illnesses with each other, and, finally, the holidays. The older I get, the harder it is for me to get excited about those wonderful holidays. They’re a lot of work for this lady, so I’m grateful that I have small children who make them fun and remind me of how important it is to make the magic happen, even if it means literally leaping out of bed at 5am because you forgot to move the damn Elf on the Shelf…again.

I spent the last few days of 2017 getting back into the studio at I Love Kickboxing Silverdale enjoying the workout I truly LOVE and making plans like a mad woman to take ACTION in 2018 after listening to some killer podcasts, watching a few Facebook Live sessions, and getting reacquainted with my journal.  I finished my graduate studies at Columbia University in December (woot!) and now I’m ready to make things happen. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

My wonderful friend of 30 years, Michelle, introduced me to the practice of choosing “One Word” that will drive how you think and what you do for the year. This year, my one word is ACTION because after using a SELF Journal for a good portion of 2017, I realized that I DO a lot of things, but ultimately, I spend a lot more time in thought and planning than I do in execution. Yes, I MANAGED a household without my spouse for 9 months and got 3 kids through an important year of school. Yes, I COMPLETED two masters degrees in this same time period. Yes, I COORDINATED our first military move on my own (so painful) and helped our family adjust to our new life. BUT writing all that out in my year end reflection only showed me that my successes list was shorter than my dissatisfaction list. Earning a graduate degree from Columbia was a 20 year old dream realized and though I am thrilled about it, I still sat there thinking to myself, “So what?” and “Now what?” Being in school reinforced for me that knowledge strategy IS my passion, but I also realized that I no longer want to apply the skills associated with that profession in the same spaces and in the same way I did before. Technology, social media, and our military lifestyle provide so many opportunities for a solopreneur to help many more people and businesses than traditional consulting or employment does and that’s where I want my focus to be.

Perhaps most significantly, I discovered more about the human being I want to become, and it’s not who I thought I wanted to be 12 months ago. People spend so much of their lives chasing money and dreams, and love and being loved, and here I sit, in a beautiful home, with an amazing husband and family and more love than I ever thought I deserved. What do I need to chase, then, and why? For the last 5 years I feel like I’ve been chasing a new identity and holding on to an old one simultaneously. I wanted so badly to find another career-like space where I felt challenged, visible, needed, and important and I’ve tried a half dozen (maybe more) things and nothing worked. Meanwhile, I failed to embrace the fact that I AM challenged, visible, needed, and important in the lives of my family and where I serve my community – and that’s a beautiful thing. I’m not famous or insanely wealthy or employed by a big corporation or earning awards and bonuses, but I have every single thing most people spend a lifetime trying to get. It occurred to me as I began to write this that what I need to chase is the vision for my life – the biggest, scariest, most beautiful vision for my life possible. It’s a vision that has me:

  1. Close to my family at all times.
  2. Serving people and our community daily.
  3. Active, worry free, and applying my gifts in the ways that best suit who I am AND the needs of others.
  4. Teaching people how to be more mindful, compassionate, and empathetic in the ways they live, work, and serve.
  5. Exploring the world, having new adventures, and teaching my children (and myself) to care about our footprints and the beauty in the diversity of all life on earth.

I’ve obsessed so much over HOW to accomplish these things for years, but I learned in 2017 that the how is not as important as the what and the why.

When I started this blog on October 13, 2011, I intended to chronicle the journey of a mid-30s woman who was out of shape, just had babies, and never run a day in her life who somehow managed to transform herself into a runner. I started running because I wanted to keep up with my younger, fitter husband.  I started blogging because I love to write and because I hoped it would help other women realize that they could start from zero and do what I did, too.

Today, I’m a once again an out of shape woman, but in my early 40s, a mother of three married to the love of my life, ivy league educated and full of ideas, in need of losing weight and regaining myself in a different way.  This time, my why is bigger than wanting to keep up with and keep my husband. I want to keep up with my vision for the future, for myself and our family. I want to be fit enough and confident enough to enjoy, excel in, and appreciate the challenging times to come and the rewards that will be the result of taking ACTION on everything I’ve learned on this journey. I want to present my best self to people as I help them present their best selves and their best work to the world. I want to make things HAPPEN in a big way in 2018. I’ve decided to continue blogging here because after 6 years of doing this, I know that writing publicly helps keep me accountable AND I know that what I share has helped people take action in their own lives.

In my next post I’ll talk more in detail about the actions I’m taking to get to that life I envision and I’ll invite you to follow the 45 day transformation challenge that I’ll be starting on Thursday, January 4 at I Love Kickboxing. In the meantime, comment, email, or visit Facebook or Instagram and tell me what you’ll be chasing in 2018 – and do you have One Word? I’d love to hear about it.