I want to share some of the things I've learned...maybe in the last year, or maybe they've been slowly creeping up. But I know that 2016 was all about learning.
- It's okay to say "no": This is something I am still working on and will be learning through 2017. But 2016 was the start. I used to say yes to everything- and then get too overwhelmed or over commit and have to back out of things. Now, I've started to learn that it's okay to say no. It's okay to tell someone "I'm sorry, that just won't work for me" (a phrase I learned through Oprah!). In 2017 I'm trying to feel less guilty about saying no.
- I am a big picture person. In the midst of wedding planning I have quickly learned that I am not so good at the little details. Decorations and Centerpieces and programs and invitations? No thanks. I'd rather book the big stuff and let the rest happen. I've also decided I'm not going to stress too much about the little things. People remember food and fun at weddings, so we've made those our priorities. Everything else is just detail, and we'll slowly chip away at it. But I'd much rather have someone do it for me, because the little details overwhelm me.
- I absolutely need my recharge time. After a full day of meetings, I need a few moments to myself. After a busy weekend, I need my Sunday afternoons/evenings to be quiet, low key, and a chance for me to gear up for the week. It's hard for me to jump from activity to activity. I have to schedule down time.
- My love language is Acts of Service. Have you ever read the Five Love Languages Book or taken the quiz? If not, you should. I took it a long time ago, before I even met Tom. I don't feel like I have to take it now, I KNOW it's Acts of Service. I feel the most loved/appreciate when Tom cleans the apartment or takes out the trash or goes out of his way to do something nice for me. For me it is not about gifts or money, it's all about doing little things here and there.
- You just have to try. One of the greatest managers I've ever had, Kerri, once gave me feedback that I should share more of my ideas. She said I had good ideas and thoughts, but that when it comes to sharing them in a group setting, I hold back. I've gotten so much better at this. I still hold back sometimes, but I push myself to try. I've adapted the "it's worth a shot" motto. Also, on the days I don't think I can possibly run or workout, I push myself to try anyways (but sometimes I listen to my body and force a rest day in). I have learned, truly, that you will NEVER know until you try.
- Self talk is how I get through most situations in life. Good or bad, celebration or challenge, I talk myself through everything. Literally everything. I practice what I am going to say at meetings. I talk to myself while I run. I plan my next moves, no matter how big or small, in my brain. I write my to do list first thing in the morning and talk myself through which tasks to accomplish firsts. I am constantly talking to myself. And I will continue, because it works.
- I am not spontaneous. I need a plan. This is something I've always sort of known, but it came up quite a bit this past year. I do not like the unknown, I cannot easily just "go with the flow". I have to plan. So when things are up in the air about my dad or when someone asks me to do something with them at the last minute, my anxiety is triggered. These things were not part of the plan. I'm trying to learn to be flexible, to adapt to God's plan and God's timing, but it's insanely difficult for me. I look at my calendar weeks in advance to prep for what is to come. I put nearly everything I do on a calendar. I am a planner. Which may seem ironic since I'm not a small details person. I can't explain my mind....I can just tell you how it is.
- The perfect sleepy time combination: Lavender, Fuzzy Socks, and my Lullabies album. I've had nighttime anxiety for as long as I can remember. As soon as I lay down in bed, I start to rehash my day. I think about the mistakes I made. And then I start to worry about the future. Like, every single detail about the future. It has taken me a very long time to find a remedy for this, but for now, I have a three step combination that has actually been working. First, I need to make sure I have soft, fuzzy socks on to keep my feet warm. Then, I spray my pillow and sheet with Lavender. Lastly, I turn on my Lullabies (By Jill and Kate) album. And so far, I've been sleeping better than I have in quite some time. Fingers crossed that it continues.
- At the end of the day, family is what matters. All we have is each other. We must hold onto that, capture that love and spread it back into the universe.