As I sit here a few days after my favorite holiday in my “Cup of Cheer” jammies staring at my beautiful buffalo plaid and burlap tree… it’s hard to not think about the wonder that was 2019.
12 months ago I had absolutely ZERO idea I would end up here right now.
I had an entirely different life planned and, to be honest, I thought I needed to settle for that.
Settle for things being hard. So hard (inside my head) that I spent countless hours talking to my brilliant therapist about why I chose to make the decisions that kept things that way.
2019 had a different plan for me. God had a different plan. The Universe knew things should be different….whatever you believe in. Karma hit me H A R D this year, and not by luck, by so much damn intentional hard work I had a freakin’ stockpile of good karma coming my way.
When I woke up this morning I was thinking about all of you. What could I say that would actually help you not settle in 2020?
Especially if you had been like me and thought that this was it and you better not be an ungrateful jerk about it. 😉
The very best gift I can give you is to recount the top 3 most important things I learned this year that made all the difference in the recipe for the best year of my life and hope that they will help you live your best 2020.
I may even do a part 2 to this post and specifically recap what happened this year, you know like all of our favorite podcasters do? (I mean, we are all nosy creatures and that stuff is interesting for me to hear, what about you?!)
I’m stubborn AF. Seriously it’s ridiculous. I’m one of those people who thinks I should do everything by myself and if I just work harder and push through alone things will get better on the other side. I have had so many people in my inner circle be brave enough to point out red flags, scary situations, unhealthy patterns and the like in the past but always for the sake of what I thought I should do, I pushed on and kept doing things the same way.
2019 brought some huge moments of so many different shapes and sizes where I decided it was time to actually listen to some of the closest people in my life.
Because guess what?! When I actually got really clear and asked myself… I saw all the same red flags, scary situations, and unhealthy patterns.
So this lesson was about the clarity that can come when you ask the deepest parts of yourself the hardest questions and then see if the people in your life who are truly in your corner agree with that assessment.
Do they have to agree? No, of course not. Sometimes the most important things in your life will be decisions you make solo on a complete whim and everyone will think you’re crazy (yes, still make those decisions). But this listening lesson was about really looking at the people who truly cared about my health, my quality of life, and my legacy – including yours truly- and wondering why we all came to the same conclusion about some of the things I was choosing to continue doing.
That combined with listening to the flashing lit up signs from the universe that I was too busy to acknowledge in the past led to some massive breakthroughs this year that paid off mainly by giving me my life back.
Are you in the stubborn club too? Is it time to put down that badge of honor and listen to that voice deep down? Are there people in your life who have been urging that you deserve more but you just haven’t chosen to believe them?
2020 is begging for you to listen Sis!
When I started to listen I knew it meant I would need some help sticking to this new way of being.
That help would require me actually sharing my thoughts and feelings with people other than my hubby.
Just that thought alone made me want to puke. 🤢
You see, the vulnerability you are now accustomed to here and on my social media feeds, is actually extremely foreign to me.
I’m a Wisconsin girl through and through and that means you just put your head down and do your thing and you certainly don’t talk about it (anyone else?!). That combined with some of the decisions I made in my adult life made me feel that it would be extremely douchey for me to start talking about all the inner workings of my heart and my brain for the world to see.
It felt whiny.
It felt gross.
It felt indulgent.
Even as I’m typing this right now I still cringe a bit deep inside.
But I knew if I had been feeling this way for so long….not listening to my heart and gut, afraid to share the depth of what I felt, there had to be at least a few other women who could benefit from me sharing my journey through this stuff. Hello Brene Brown vulnerability hangover….
So in the spirit of change, 2019 brought me to sharing my thoughts and feelings in hopes that by the end of the year it would help me poke holes in the lies I had believed for so very long.
The main lie that sharing, or asking for help, made me weak.
Luckily, a whole hoard of women (that’s you!) responded with a resounding sigh and solidarity began to form. It was one of the best gifts of 2019 and one that led me to truly understanding the power of speaking about the weight you carry inside all alone.
Life is meant to be shared. Feelings can be expressed (in a healthy way of course). Your hand is capable of reaching out for help.
#3 and #2 were the two things I needed to stop the self-sabotage cycle. Could this be true for you too?
Do you need to stop listening to the BS? Stop settling?
So it’s safe to say that with everything in my life except candy (I mean, we all have a vice, right?!) my willpower is rock solid.
When I make my mind up to do something the people closest to me would agree that you should probably just step aside. (see my paragraph about listening above 😜)
My guess is because you are reading this, you are one of those no holds barred women too, amiright? 🙋♀️
So once I made the decision early in 2019 to actually believe what my heart and gut had been telling me and stop sweeping it under the rug it meant I had to take action. The action was super difficult and it required one final GIGANTIC sign from the universe that left my family in a precarious position to finally put on my big girl pants and say enough is enough.
Starting something is easy for most of us, but continuing when things are hard… well that’s another story.
Although I told you that 2019 was the best year of my life, it was simultaneously the hardest year when it came to really seeing the side of people that we all want to just forget is possible.
The side that scares you.
The side that makes you question humanity.
The side that frankly makes you want to curl up into a little ball and cry.
2019 tested my power of persistence. It tested the power of belief.
It would have been easy when I was taking shot after shot this year to just quit.
Especially considering I told you above how hard it was to even share my inner workings in the first place.
Retreat was a pretty appealing option so many times.
Because honestly, it’s so much easier to fly under the radar. People don’t call you unimaginable things when you don’t put yourself out there.
They don’t spread lies and hate. They don’t attack your character.
But in order to persist this year, I had to go back to my heart and remember who I have been all along.
Someone who will give you the shirt off her back.
Someone who has put others before herself for 35 years.
Someone who believes in the inherent good that is possible and was willing to turn her life upside down to stand for it.
Persistence this year meant I had to know I was listening to the right voice.
That one deep inside that will never lead you astray.
Persistence meant I had to feel all the feelings and still choose positive thoughts.
So this leads me to the most important part of all of this… Y O U!
I was having a conversation yesterday with one of my favorite gals and she said “hey, if you figure out how to let all those negative comments go, can you fill me in?”
She went on to talk about how crazy it is that she knows how very much she is loved by so many but yet the one person who doesn’t get her is just stuck in her brain.
After noodling on this hard, I wanted to share this message with her and all of you.
You don’t learn to let it go.
When you’re a genuine person, you don’t just brush it off and move on. That’s such bullshit advice.
You don’t grow thicker skin or just let things roll off your back.
So if any of you are waiting to listen, take action, ask for help, and persevere through the tough stuff for a time when you are ‘ready’ for it… or a time where you are ‘tough enough’ to withstand the judgement you know will come your way… I’m here to tell you that the magical time you are seeking doesn’t exist.
Because you are filled with love, good intentions, and a genuine desire to chase your dreams all while helping other people along the way… you are strong enough to do whatever you want right. frickin. NOW.
That little voice deep inside you needs you to listen to her. She needs you to share your truth with others to make it real.
And most of all, she needs you to choose to stick it out by believing in yourself.
We are talking about who you innately are here ladies. The only way to quiet the thoughts that are trying to entice you to believe the bad stuff is to remember who you’ve always been and will continue to be.
It’s time to make 2020 the best year of your life and follow that potential path you have been ignoring for who knows how long…
The path you were destined for.
Just do me a favor, next year at this time, share your top 3 lessons about the best year of your life with all of us. #LadyTribe