From Greeting Cards to Resolutions… don’t miss the point!
Every year I get at least 2 Christmas “letters” in place of greeting cards. You know the ones. The recap of the previous year of all the highlights and important details. I love getting them. I get to celebrate the love, the joy, the laughter, and yes, sometimes, share in some sadness too, with my friends. This year, I started thinking, what would mine read like? What would I include?
In January of 2015, Jim and I attended a health and wellness convention in Palm Springs and I got wheeled out on a stretcher and carted away in an ambulance.
Oh, scratch that. How ridiculous and certainly not in alignment with my image of a wellness coach!
In April I went in to have an ovary removed and woke to a fully hysterectomy, surgical and sudden menopause included. Thank you very much.
No. no one wants to hear about my “Seven Dwarfs of Menopause” — Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All-Dried-Up! (As Suzanne Somers coined them) Or about how cranky, sleep-deprived, fat and miserable I have felt.
How about this: From March to December I had chronic hives. NO one knows WHY and more significant to me, no one can cure them.
Ugh. Hives. Really Lori? That’s what you want people to know about?
If that were the letter I sent, how depressed would you be? Or sad? Or filled with pity? No one wants to hear all that. I don’t want to hear all that. But how quickly my mind went to the negative, the cynical, the problem, and all that was wrong in my life.
In your life this past year there may have been sickness, loss of loved ones, divorce, tragedy, disappointment, abuse, bankruptcy, job loss or something equally or more painful. In our world there is pain, terrorism, and ugliness of the human spirit. And, there are also things to celebrate like health victories and transformations, births, weddings, new loves, long loves, friendships, faith restored, proud moments, forgiveness, success, promotion, philanthropy, contribution and, beauty of the human spirit.
If we don’t train our brain, if we don’t consciously fix our “thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8)… if left on its own, our brain will indeed focus on the pain.
New Year Resolutions can be like that too. If we are not careful, we get caught up in everything that is wrong in our life. Let’s choose instead to CELEBRATE what is RIGHT!
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t share our pain or that resolutions, goals and dreams don’t have their place. In fact, I’m a huge advocate for being transparent and vulnerable as well as for personal development. We grow closer to each other when we grow in intimacy and transparency. And I know that I for one, can always improve. In all areas of my life. There are none that I have mastered 100% and if I have, then I can always dream bigger!
As you can see from the few paragraphs above, even as a health and fitness advocate and wellness coach, my health was less than perfect in 2015.
What is my point? I believe the point is to CELEBRATE. I believe the point is GRATITUDE. I believe the point is JOY. It is teaching ourselves to seek out and voice the celebrations, the wins, the victories, the love, the laughter, the joy and focus on what we learned or are in the process of learning.
Let’s take a shot at how THAT Christmas letter would read for 2015:
Wow! 2015 was an AMAZING year! Check it out:
Lori joined Toastmasters. We added a house cleaner. (Thank you HOLLY!) We brought in-home presentations IN HOME. OUR home! We expanded our business, our vision, our DREAMS! We explored partnerships and developed collaborations to assist more people in health, athletics, and wellness. We added to our community and tribe. We both had blogs and wrote on a regular basis! We had wonderful workouts, and were blessed with wonderful friendships! And at a Women of Faith event, Lori expanded our lives further by sponsoring a child through World Vision. (Joe is a four-year-old from Sierra Leone!)
We kicked off our 8th indoor season of Cycle Club Kingston! Would you believe a few peeps like Maureen and Bill and John K. have been with us since the beginning? Many have come and gone, and each year brings new athletes in to our community and into our lives like Marlene, Sylvia, and Bob!
Jim and I visited Palm Springs, Washington D.C. and Fort Lauderdale! Our country has so much to see and so much beauty! So many beautiful places we have yet to ride our bikes in.
Speaking of bikes, we bought NEW ones! OMGosh they are beautiful! Stealth! Amazing! Who knew riding a bike could bring so much joy? And that a NEW Bike would make a difference? They just want to MOVE and we truly feel like we can fly when we are on them. Cycling for us, is our happy place!
We are CASH POSITIVE! How HUGE is that? It frees up so much room in our budget but more importantly in our minds when it comes to stress, dreaming and planning! Add while we both have a lot of “gypsy” left in us, we have actually had conversations about buying a home.
2015 had some health challenges that involved a hysterectomy, hormones and hives. Nothing life threatening, but indeed, frustrating. Overall a learning experience and one that can be used to write about, laugh about and pass on some experience about. At 44 years young I’ve officially added graceful aging to my repertoire! (Along with weight loss, energy and performance). I learned at an early age how important movement, activity and fitness is to the human experience. In my 30s I learned that it was more than just exercise that made a healthy lifestyle, nutrition was a critical component. Now in my 40s, I’m learning hormones can also play their part.
Jim and I enjoyed Lake George with my folks, and then we got to celebrate Christmas a week early with the Fosters and Jermans in Elbridge. Possibly our best ever.
We were blessed to welcome so many new people into our life this year through social media and our wellness business. And we both reconnected with peeps from the past. Friendship and relationships enhance our human experience. We are exited to grow our friendships through joy, vulnerability, support and encouragement and the sharing of life. Through technology, social media and , phone calls and face-to-face or belly-to-belly visits!
Gosh, there is so much to CELEBRATE!
In 2016 my focus areas will continue in health, friendship, faith, wealth, contribution, and living a life on PURPOSE, prospering in all areas. It will also be a year of abundant JOY, laughter, bliss and FUN! I will write more. Share more. And I promise to be more real. More raw. And always, unashamed. Does that mean the rough patches won’t happen? Hell no! It just means that whatever comes, I’m choosing to focus on the good and the blessings. TO be grateful. And yes, to seek to improve.
As we turn the calendar page of a new year, I encourage you to write out and review your previous year. Brainstorm it out. And be purposeful in asking yourself
- What’s good?
- What did I do right?
- What am I good at?
- Where did I have FUN?
- What makes me laugh?
- What excites me?
- What am I passionate about or, what passion have I forgotten?
And then, with a softer heart along with a lot of grace and self love, ask yourself
- Where can I improve?
- Am I settling or a little too comfortable?
- Am I learning? Stretching? Growing?
- Is this the life I CHOOSE or can I design a life on FIRE ad go to new levels?
Wishing you JOY, LOVE, LAUGHTER, FRIENDSHIP, FUN and PROSPERITY in all things in 2016! And may you BE GRATEFUL and CELEBRATE daily!
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