A Year in Reflection

Full disclosure: I’m sitting in a closet as I type this, my three year old is watching tv and my almost six month old is scooting around me playing with shoes. I’m surrounded by things that represent a life I was supposed to have: five pairs of pumps, five blazers that never get taken out, at least ten pairs of dress pants (now all too small for my new waist), countless dresses, blouses, and skirts that haven’t been off their hangers in years, designer bags that collect nothing but dust (I could go on but I think you get the idea). All represent a life I was supposed to have. All are a tribute to the person I was supposed to be. All are very sorely contrasted by the little rugrat that’s wriggling around and babbling in some language he’s made up.

As I sit here I’m a little lost. I’m somewhere between the person I was supposed to be and the person I am: the driven career women who was climbing that corporate ladder and the stay at home mom and wife who spends her day chasing kids in leggings and loose tops since she can’t come to terms with the weight she’s put on with her recent “career” change. From networking to trying to make mom friends, from conference calls to diaper changes, from team one-on-ones to disciplining a small person who’s sass mirrors my own, from team lunches to breastfeeding—my world has changed and this closet tries to encompass the change.

2018 was a year of transition, it was my year of giving – giving my all to a job I ended up having to leave, devoting my all to a man who has ambition I can’t bring myself to get in the way of, giving everything I had to people I deemed my friends. It was the year I gave up my first house, my job, my body to grow another, my time, my dreams, and my lifestyle in an attempt to do what’s best for my family. It has been a year of lessons, a year of chaos, and a year of contrast — I have no doubt when I look back it will be a landmark year.

This time last year I was three months pregnant with my second baby, we actually announced it to the world a year ago today. I had been at Cambria for eight months and was starting to grow comfortable with my role there. We’d lived in our home for nine months and were just getting comfortable with how everything was coming together. We were content with life, in a good place with some good people.

As I sit here reflecting today I can’t help but recognize the lessons.

  1. Life Changes: You can’t help it, it’s going to change. My advice is to enjoy the moments you can and keep the negative in that perspective.
  2. Be You: There’s no use trying to be someone you’re not, you can try but it’s not going to work. If you need lists make them, if you need positive people seek them. Follow whatever your dreams are (write if you want to write, sing if you want to sing) you need to do you boo otherwise no one will know who YOU are.
  3. Most People are in it for the Gain: don’t be surprised when Cindy stops talking to you when you hit a rough patch in life, she wasn’t your real friend anyways. Not everyone you meet is like this (you’ve got your Ambers, Amys, Keairas, Kristens, and Sadies—they’re normally a minority) but a majority of people are going to focus on what you’ve done for them today or what you can do for them tomorrow not what you’ve done for them yesterday.
  4. Be Kind: give when you can. Whether it’s your time, your love, your ability to watch kids or listen. Make sure you’re there for the Amber’s in your life. When they celebrate make sure you celebrate even if it’s not a celebration season in your life, make sure you’re there for her highs as well as her lows cause let’s face it if your Amber is anything like mine you’re going to have to poke and pry to find out her lows. Also don’t make people feel like shit for things they can’t help, be mindful of the situations you put others in.
  5. Be Present: Time travel is not possible, if it were I would go back and “fix my face” when my husband told me he got the job in Alabama (the tears of despair should have been tears of happiness and excitement). I regret that moment at least once a week. Be mindful of how your reaction may make others feel and how your words and actions may hurt others. Be present in the moment and cognizant of the situation.
  6. Take Care of Yourself: if you don’t wake up tomorrow then what’s the point. You need to make sure you take a minute now and then to focus on yourself, believe me that mess is gonna be recreated as soon as you clean it, so why not leave it for an extra five minutes while you do something for yourself (I’m not saying you should just neglect life, I’m saying some things can wait, you’re mental and physical health are not on that list but folding laundry, picking up toys, and the pile of dishes in the sink are)
  7. Say No / Let Go: These go hand in hand. You need to say no soemtimes, you can’t constantly do everything/be everything for everyone. You need to be able to say no sometimes for your own sanity. Don’t go to the playdate, skip the toddler craft, ensure you’re taking care of yourself and let go of the guilt you feel as well as anyone who amplifies that guilt.

These are my major lessons from this year. These are my big takeaways from all the moments. Most importantly I learned that there is no such thing as the perfect parent. The perfect parent is the parent that is present, the one that is here and trying. It has nothing to do with clean floors, perfectly pressed clothes, or having the angel child — it is the parent that you bring to the table and consistently work to better. I have come to terms with the person I am and the person I want to be and that this new me is different than the person I imagined I would be. What has 2018 taught you? I hope it has left you better than 2017, that it taught you to be the BEST YOU, and most of all I hope that 2019 is your best year yet. See you in the new year!

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