At the end of every year, I like to reflect on the last 364 days and survey all that has passed. Tonight, I’m looking back and wondering “What in the world just happened?!” Lol. I’m kidding, kind of, but wow, this year has been intense. I was challenged to either mend some unhealed parts within myself or to remain in my comfort zone. While it was emotionally exhausting at times, I decided to rise to the occasion and I’m so grateful I did. On the other side, I was greeted with deep transformation and personal growth.

Last January, unbeknownst to many of you, Cole was laid off from his job. Cole is the breadwinner in our house and this hasn’t been the first time we’ve experienced job loss. Cole is fantastic at what he does but sometimes the sales industry can be cutthroat. In the fall of 2017, he found himself in a precarious place with his former company. We anticipated a potential lay off and sure enough, we received the call on a grey wintery day. Even though we understood this could and probably would happen, it still came as a blow. Cole took a moment to mourn the loss, like maybe a few hours, I gave him the pep talk of pep talks and he got right back to work, this time job searching. Thankfully he had built such a great network within his industry and landed himself in a great position within a couple of months.

Once we made it over that hurdle, I found out that one of my best girlfriends from childhood was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 33. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t believe that my beautiful girlfriend, whom I considered a sister, was breathing these words. It couldn’t be true, but it was. Something shifted within me that day, and I started unraveling, unraveling in the best way possible.

Once Tricia successfully made it through her first surgery and was on her journey to recovery and treatment, I was ready to focus my energy on lifting my girl’s spirits and taking care of myself. After years of being “strong” and helping others “fix” their issues, I was beyond ready to work on my own. I was ready to eliminate unnecessary stress in my life and prioritize my health and dreams. The transformation began. 

I began to uncover some deep wounds and heal some familial relationships that were attached to them. I also learned about the importance and necessity of boundaries in all healthy relationships. In short, boundaries are personal guidelines that teach others what you are and are not comfortable with. Boundaries teach people what your limits and tolerances are and how you want to be treated. The tricky thing about boundaries is that you really have to communicate them effectively through your words and actions. And sometimes when you do, your friends, family members, co-workers, etcetera, will not like them. Those that are meant to be in your life will respect them, and those that aren’t will fall away.

Up until this point, I was someone who said yes without hesitation, who over functioned with ease, and who swallowed any issues I had so as not to burden those around me. The woman that is proudly walking into 2019 is a woman that says no with more ease and grace so that she can prioritize the happiness and wellbeing of herself and her sweet family. She is a woman that values herself enough to walk away from anyone that is treating her unfairly. She is a woman that asks for help when she needs it and that cares a bit less about the judgmental opinions of some.

Once I was able to take my focus off others and place it back on myself and my family, I started seeing things even clearer than before. After dealing with two periods of job loss in our household I had developed some scarcity issues big time, meaning that I often felt like we never had enough so I would hoard things. I would fill our pantry full of dry goods, buy excessive amounts of clothing…perhaps my scarcity issue had turned into a spending issue. Spending turned into a way to relieve stress and purge negative emotions. No bueno. Although you might not have ever thought of this, finances are a big part of health and while some areas of my life were glowing health-wise, this area was suffering. On August 1st, 2017 we got our act together, consolidated all our credit card debt and started budgeting big time. While challenging, it has been one of the very best things that we’ve done as a couple and family and I couldn’t be prouder. At some point, I’ll write a whole post on how we changed our lives with budgeting. It has been a total game changer!

And if all of that wasn’t enough, I also developed eczema this year. Does that shock you with all that we had been navigating? Your body is so incredibly smart and will grace you with a physical response to an emotional issue at times. It is ALL connected, let no one tell you otherwise. I believe my eczema issues were stress and dietary related, although no dermatologist could tell me that. Once I got stringent about eliminating dairy and gluten and dealing with my stressors, my eczema completely vanished.

While 2018 was filled with HUGE lessons, I feel so grateful to be where I am today. I feel great resolve in all that we have worked through over the past year and while difficult at times, there were so many things to be grateful for. It’s important for me to be transparent with you on this blog, it is a safe space for myself and for all that read and share. I will continue to fill my blog posts with these little bits of wisdom in hopes that they will help someone else. I’m an open book so if you ever find yourself in a rough patch, I’m happy to lend you any guidance I may have.

And now we are hours away from a brand-new year and a fresh start which is so exciting for me. My word for 2019 is “intention”. I want to put intention into everything I do this year, from how I spend my time with others to how I show up as myself each day as a mother, a wife, a safe beauty advocate, a blogger, an actress…my word for 2018 was “surrender” and I think God really ran with that so hoping for the same with “intention” this year. Haha!

As you step into this New Year, ask yourself these questions:

1.    What worked well for me in 2018?

2.    What didn’t work so well?

3.    What am I most proud of?

4.    What do I want to do differently in the New Year?

Reflect on this year and understand that your biggest challenges are always meant to be your biggest teachers. May your days be filled with blessings and joy! Happy New Year!! Xo

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