Did you know in 2017 I did not accomplish all the things I wanted to? I did accomplish a lot. Just not all the things that I wanted to get done. For me.
So 2018 will be different because I have decided it will be. How?
I’m will still accomplish all kinds of things a home, at work, as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, etc. But I’ll be damned if I don’t also accomplish some shit for myself.
I’m going to make time for me – to do the things that I want to do, that make me happy. Because I need to do those things in order to be a better mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, employee, etc. I will make time for the things that I need to do to make me better, healthier – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I will do the things I love but never prioritized because I was “too busy” to do in the past. I will schedule the time, create the time or pull time out of my ass to make it happen. Because it needs to happen. No matter what.
Every year a set a reading goal because I love books and this is what we readers do. And reading for fun is just something I need to do for my mental health. Escaping reality into James Patterson’s mysteries and solving who done it or swooning over some hunk in one of Corinne Michaels’ latest or even laughing and crying my way through one of Jenny Lawson’s truthful stories on mental health is a must for me. I need it between all the bull shit at work, the chores at home that I’m casually neglecting and the overwhelming stress I feel 24/7/365. So books. I love them. They are my therapy. My escape.
This year I told myself 12 books was more than reasonable. I mean I’m friends with people who read 12 books a month so 12 in the course of a YEAR is more than feasible. Right? Well I did it. In fact – I’ve read 14 (that’s 117% for those keeping score at home!) and I’m in the middle of two more because the year isn’t over yet. Am I right or am I right?
SOOOO as the holidays approach and you find that you have some extra time on your hands – I encourage you to pick up a book. I thought I would share with you the books I’ve read this year so far to help if you need some suggestions. Of course you can keep up to date on what I’m reading, dying to read and have read on goodreads. I’m constantly adding books to my shelves.
I feel like gratitude is missing from our day-to-day. Similar to how common sense is not so common anymore [this will need to be an entirely new post]. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just as guilty as the next person. We get so caught up in what’s wrong that we fail to see what’s right. Or we are just too busy and on the go all the time. We forget to show thanks and return favors. I’ve decided that I want to make gratitude more important in my life. It’s about good juju. My family and I have been blessed so, so many ways that it’s hard to not want to show appreciation, to return that kindness, to show it to someone else, to continue the flow of good karma.
Naturally – I turned to the Googler for advice. I found that there are all kinds of awesome tools to help! I like that idea of journalling my gratitude. I’ve been journaling for as long as I can remember so I feel like this is just in my nature. I like the old school pen to paper approach however find what works for you! Electronic journals, blogs, or even apps! Gratitude is a private mobile app that allows you to write five positive things in your life daily. And it’s completely private – BONUS! There are milestones and rewards as you go. Pretty nifty! I might give this one a try if pen and paper fail me.
I also found that there are lots of guides to gratitude – like Unstuck. Unstuck is a digital coach that helps you focus on positive things in you life and not those that have you stuck. While browsing their site I found 9 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude – which I thought offered some pretty helpful tips. They have tons more this was just one that stood out to me.
Lastly I found The Gratitude Jar – an awesome site that lets you share you gratitude with the inter webs. You can browse by location or tag and see what others around you are grateful for. I read through several pages. Really provides some perspective, if I do say so myself. I have something kind of similar to this on my nightstand called a Happiness Jar that I learned from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert. She explains it here but you essentially write down the happiest moment of your day, each day and put it a jar, basket or whatever you want. I use different color post-it notes so it’s very bright and fun to have right by my bed. I am not as good as I should be about doing this daily. I find that I do it a lot when I have epic parenting moments. Apparently that’s often when I’m the happiest. 🙂
Frankly – I think we all struggle with this process. Even Oprah does and she’s super human! Life gets the best of us and we lose sight of what’s important. This just means we need to refocus. Just know that you are not the only one. My goal is to incorporate gratitude into my life daily. I’ll start with a daily journal – a few bullets a day – and go from there. One day at a time. I think that’s doable.